The Most Important Wedding Stuff: The Dress and the Flowers
Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to be a dress, exactly, but you do need to wear something a little special on your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be the top-of-the-line designer dress that will break the bank, though! Remember that, although it is a very important dress, you will only wear it for one day. So, buy something that is “you”, something that you will remember forever, and something that will not put your credit card on life support.
As for the flowers, everyone dreams up the perfect bouquet to carry down the aisle. But when florists see a bride coming, they can increase the prices of the flowers to many times what they would cost an average customer. What to do? If you’re a Pinterest fan and a crafty person, consider doing the work yourself, buying wholesale, and having a party with your bridesmaids the night before to put together all of the foliage. Fun and frugal!
Things to Remember: The Cake and the Photographer
Everyone loves the tradition of the cake. The photos taken of you and your new husband cutting into it are so classic and adorable. But the costs that come with it are not so adorable. However, if you only order a small cake for photos and to put out for your family and friends to admire, you could have regular sheet cake “behind the scenes” to have everyone eat. It’s the classic “have your cake, and eat it too”!
Speaking of photos, another point that can cost a fortune can be your photographer. Of course you want the magical photos of your bridal party having fun, everyone dancing, and even that one of your crazy uncle making faces at the camera. You could go the route of giving guests disposable cameras, but then you risk any kids at the wedding just taking pictures of each other and nothing else. If you do enough research, you can find a reasonably priced photographer willing to photograph your wedding and give you the CD with all of the prints. Start asking friends who are married for recommendations.
Going Places: The Reception Hall and the Honeymoon
I’ve heard of brides shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to get the exact reception hall that they want. What a waste! There are many options out there that are much more reasonably priced, and could add a fun and quirky feeling to the whole event! Look at your local aquarium, museums, and even state parks! There have some been amazingly beautiful weddings done at zoos and empty theatres. Get creative while saving some dough.
Also, you want your honeymoon to be the trip of a lifetime, but you don’t have to take a whole lifetime to pay it off! Start your search early, and see if you can find a good bargain. Some all inclusive resorts and cruises may give deep discounts during their “off season” that you can use to your advantage. Or go “old school”, and plan a fun road-trip with your new hubby! See the sites in your neighboring states, have lots of fun finding interesting places to eat, and enjoy each other’s company as you travel wherever your heart desires.
The Extras: Gifts for your Bridesmaids
It’s tradition to give gifts to the girls standing up in your wedding. Some brides go all out on expensive jewelry that the bridesmaids don’t need and maybe even don’t want! Why not use a little ingenuity to come up with some unique, yet useful gifts? You could give personalized Iphone cases, unique metallic water bottles with their names on them, or, if you really want to do it on the cheap, you could decoupage a beautiful box for them in which to keep their treasures. Just find something girly, unique, and, most importantly, cost-effective.
Things You Don’t Need
There will be plenty of magazines and websites that will try to woo the unsuspecting bride into buying more than is needed for her perfect wedding. Just keep an eye out for those few essentials, and try not to get swayed by all of the fancy advertising. If the perfectly dewy bride-model in the perfect tailor-made, designer, “it’s the dress I’ve always wanted” dress is drawing you in to spend more than you should, try to look away. Remember that the wedding itself is not as important as the promise that you are making during that wedding. And if you happen to slip, and buy a fancy monogrammed, Swarovski-crystal cake topper, it’s okay to splurge too. After all, that wedding stuff is just the icing on the wedding cake!