The economy has hindered many a bride as she valiantly tries to plan her “dream” wedding. But all does not have to be lost just because the economy is still climbing its way out of the tank.
An e-mail came across my desk from wedding expert Cara Davis with her ideas on how to save big when planning your big day. Following are a summary of her suggestions—with some of my own thoughts thrown in along the way. For more ways to save, check out her blog cheapwaysto.com.
Choose an off-season month, day and time to tie the knot. Off-season months are January, February and November—so start planning now. You’ll also save dough by swapping the traditional Saturday evening timeslot for a Friday or Sunday evening. If you’re heart’s set on Saturday, consider a morning wedding—just make sure you are serving coffee!
Trim the guest list. Don’t invite the whole office. Or your entire running group. Or everyone from your third-grade class. Another option: forgo the traditional multicourse meal and instead have a high tea, dessert buffet or brunch. Just make sure to time your reception appropriately. You don’t want to serve high tea at a 6 p.m. reception or a dessert buffet at 11 a.m.
Buy discounted gift cards from giftcardgranny.com. Use the cards to purchase supplies, wedding attire, etc. I perused this site and saw cards for Michaels (great for supplies) and White House Black Market, perhaps a good place to find a non-traditional (but still elegant) dress or even bridesmaids dresses.
Shop around. Remember, vendors are looking for your business, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Also, have a backup plan in case something falls through with your vendor.
Do it yourself—and ask friends and family for help. Creating (and addressing) invitations, making party favors, decorating the venue. All this adds up to big savings, and, if you make it fun, it’s a great way to spend time with the ones you love.
Don’t discount discounters. Your local Goodwill might be just the place to snag the perfect wedding dress or other wedding day/pre-wedding day/honeymoon attire. (Check out Goodwill’s midtown boutique at 1621 L St., Sacramento.) Shop Craigslist or even Freecycle. Or, ask friends if you can borrow dishes, glasses, serving trays and more.
Take out insurance. This may seem like a contradiction given the thrifty tips above. (I mean, I’m suggesting you check out Freecycle, for goodness’ sake!), but with the economy as dicey as it is, some vendors may go out of business before your big day and leave you high and dry. Wedding expert Davis suggests purchasing insurance if you’re spending more than $5,000.
I’m of the mindset that even if you have oodles of money to spend, it’s always more fun to save! So consider the tips above and see what works for you as you plan your wedding.