Bridal Budget Beware

Getting hitched, taking the plunge, tying the knot, jumping the broom--whatever you call it, chances are you know it ain't cheap to say "I do."

But do you know the real sticker price of a wedding these days? You may want to have a seat for this one. According to a 2005 survey by The Fairchild Bridal Group, the average cost of a wedding is $26,327. And no, that's not a typo.

So that's the bad news. The good news is that you can do it for less and still have the wedding of your dreams. And you won't have to cut your guest list down to 10 or have a cash bar at your reception.

But before you begin crunching numbers and cutting budgets, figure out which elements of your wedding are most important. Start with a list of the major bridal expenditures (cake, ceremony/reception location, flowers, food, formal wear, honeymoon, invitations, music, photographer, and videographer) and rate them in numerical order. Once you've done that, you'll have a better understanding of your expectations for your wedding.

So on to the free advice...

Not all 'weddings on a budget' advice has to focus on settling for the next best thing. There are lots of ways to save money and still get precisely what you always dreamed of having. For example:

- Once you've picked out the perfect wedding gown, go online and see if you can find a better price. There are several reliable, online bridal retailers that also operate their own bridal salons--so you won't have to worry about fly-by-night operations and poor customer service. (And yes, they offer brand name gowns.)

- Do the same for your shoes and accessories. Many of these online shops have free shipping and no sales tax--so that's money in your pocket.

- If you're serving alcohol at your reception, ask your caterer if they charge a corkage fee. If they don't, look in to purchasing it through a wholesaler, local retailer, or even online. You're going to get better prices.

- Instead of hiring a professional videographer, get a friend or hire a student from your local university to do the handiwork.

- Ready-made favors can cost upwards of $3 per person. And most of the cost associated with these little tokens of appreciation is labor. So make them yourself...it's not that hard and can be lots of fun!

- Instead of buying expensive, personalized thank you cards, buy boxed thank-you cards. You can find beautiful ones at a card store, bookstore, or stationer.

- If your guests aren't big on dancing, think about skipping the DJ or band. Instead, hire a solo musician for a romantic touch.

- If you're having an outdoor ceremony or reception, use potted plants instead of expensive floral arrangements. Not only will you save money, but you'll get to take the flowers home and watch them grow through the years.

- Have your reception at a local restaurant. Many don't charge a location/rental fee AND you won't have to rent tables, chairs, or linens.

Planning a wedding on a budget doesn't have to be painful. And it certainly doesn't mean that you can't have everything you always dreamed of. It's about being spending your money wisely...and perhaps saving a little so you can buy furniture AFTER the wedding.

Jessica Bonilla is the owner and editor of http://www.e-wedding-planner.com/ -- the source that makes online wedding planning a lot easier.

Copyright 2005.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Choosing a Wedding Reception and Banquet Facility

It's time to look for a banquet facility. Most clients... Read More

Grooming for the Groom

The big day is not all about the bride; the... Read More

Flowers in Her Hair

Before George W Bush became a President, John Quincy Adams... Read More

Your Wedding Invitation?s in the (e)Mail: Pros and Cons of the Virtual Wedding Invitation

From purchasing the garter to choosing the photographer, brides (and... Read More

Planning A Wedding? Tips On How To Attend A Bridal Show

If you're getting married, a Bridal Show is a great... Read More

Online Wedding Dress Shopping!

Taking the hassle out of finding your perfect and unique... Read More

Reduce Marriage Problems: Go and Wake Up Your Luck

At one time or another, most of us have had... Read More

For Second Weddings Only - Eight Tips

Planning a second wedding? Prevent favorite guests comparing your second... Read More

A Butterfly Release; Alternatives to Throwing Rice

Brides are looking for different ways to make their wedding... Read More

10 Ideas for Perfect Wedding Gifts

Wedding ceremonies are the stuff fairy tales are made of.... Read More

Your Wedding Flowers - What Are Your Choices?

Your wedding flowers usually tie to your wedding theme. When... Read More

Mindfulness and Marriage: Moving Along

Marriage has to be the greatest opportunity for mindfulness on... Read More

The Maid of Honor ? Remember, It?s All About the Bride!

The term and role "Maid of Honor" is sometimes confusing,... Read More

Keeping A Marriage Romantic

My belief is that most relationship problems should be given... Read More

Choosing a Wedding Date ?- When You?re Feeling Indecisive

He ? or she ? asked, and you answered in... Read More

Lingerie Party Ideas: Tips to Help Break the Ice

Are you in the process of planning that last special... Read More

Celtic Wedding Rituals -- Tying the knot

One of the most elegant rituals you can choose for... Read More

Wedding Jewelry Tips Tricks and Helpful Hints

So your not one of those fabulous actresses or models... Read More

Men?s Wedding Rings - Should a Man Wear One or Not?

Strange as it may seem the use of a wedding... Read More

Which Came First, Love or Marriage?

I came across an article today: LOVE AND MARRIAGE THE... Read More

How To Hire A DJ For Your Wedding

Hiring music entertainment can arguably be the most important booking... Read More

Maui: A Prime Wedding Destination

Most visitors to Hawaii would agree that Maui is the... Read More

Butterfly Releases

Butterfly Releases offer the viewer the chance to see beauty... Read More

Wedding Reception Entertainment - Choose Wisely

When planning your wedding, what type of entertainment are you... Read More

28 Things That Really Do Matter In Marriage (Short Shots On Living An Exceptional Life)

In my opinion, these things matter...1. Valuing commitment over instant... Read More

New Trends for Wedding Favors 2005

Wedding favors have evolved over time. Wedding favors today combine... Read More

Planning the Music for Your Wedding Ceremony

It's safe to say that out of all the events... Read More

How to Find, Select, and Afford a Wedding Photographer

You are engaged and one of the most important days... Read More

Marriage Counseling Tips: What to Do When Your Spouse Wont Talk

How to get a spouse's attention so that he or... Read More

Celtic Diamond Rings ? A Combination of History And Romance

The symbolism of Celtic Diamond Rings is relevant to all... Read More

Hot Wedding Trend: Platinum Wedding Rings

In our hungry-for-anything new pop culture world, celebrities are often... Read More

Riding into the Sunset in Style

Details, details, details. Paying attention to details, that's what makes... Read More

Rose Petals Add The Perfect Touch For A Wedding

Rose petals will add luxury to a wedding day or... Read More