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How To Save Big Money on a Big Wedding

Friday, June 14th

How to Save Big Money on a Big Wedding

If you've always imagined a big formal wedding with all your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers you may now realize the cost is too substantial to pull off. With many couples now footing their own wedding bill large weddings are on the decline.

But, if your heart is still set on inviting several hundred guests you'll have to set a strict budget and stick to it. Saving money to make the budget stretch is a necessity and the wedding gown, party favors, drinks and venue are not exempt. Below are several tips on how to cut costs at your wedding.

  • Consider a smaller wedding: If you've always dreamed of a big wedding it's ok to trim it down to a more affordable size. Many couples today only invite close family and friends to their special event. If you're adamant about having a big wedding consider trimming down the guest list by 25% - you'll see a significant price drop for food, drink, cake, wedding favors, venue size and more.
  • Choose an outdoor theme as an alternative. A lower priced venue is going to allow you to save thousands of dollars on your wedding. Outdoor weddings or receptions are generally less expensive if you can count on the weather. Think outside the box and ask around to see what places are willing to rent their space for a period of time. You'll be surprised to find affordable options that may have not been obvious before.
  • Consider an off season. June is the most popular wedding month and subsequently can be the most expensive. If you're able to be flexible with your schedule choose a date that has less demand. Ask the venue of choice if they could offer a discount for on off month of their choosing and see if that works into your plans.
  • Avoid a formal affair: If you're trying to cut down the budget avoid having a formal black tie wedding. The more formal the affair the more costs associated. Consider a cocktail party or something even less formal to reduce the costs of food and the length of the reception. Generally speaking, less formal wedding gowns are cheaper in cost as well.
  • Consider a cash bar. A cash bar is generally not the first choice of most couples but will reduce your costs significantly. Liquor costs can range thousands of dollars for several hundred guests. Or you may consider offering beer and wine but allow guests to pay for any other drinks they may prefer. This is a nice compromise for guests and a reasonable offer.
  • Look for lightly used wedding decorations: Many brides look to sell their expensive decorations at a fraction of the cost. Check out Craigslist.com or even EBay for used decorations that will save you significant costs.
  • Shop online for wedding favors: Shopping online will yield the best bargains. Look for wedding favors, decorations, invitations, gifts and more online. Often times these items are sold at a premium at local retail stores - the internet can cut costs significantly.
  • Shop online for a wedding gown: This is a great way to easily save hundreds to thousands of dollars. Designers and dress makers alike are becoming savvy at creating beautiful wedding gowns using expensive looking fabrics for a fraction of the cost of silk and other high end materials. You no longer have to buy an expensive dress to look like you're wearing an expensive dress. Online stores do not have the costly overhead that a local store has to pass on to their customers. A large number of online wedding dress stores are available to search hundreds of beautiful wedding gowns at much lower prices than a local bridal shop. Utilize independent product reviews to research the best online dress shops available.These companies do much of the work for you by identifying return policies, history, customer service levels, selection, costs and more.

Planning a big wedding on a budget can be a stressful event. Having to cut corners and find discounts can take time. Today many brides are becoming more savvy with their efforts to shop budget smart and are taking their wedding gown research outside the box. The internet is a great place to save on wedding favors, gowns, shoes, jewelry and more. This allows brides to save significantly by bypassing retail markup and big overhead costs.

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Wedding Dress Store FAQ

Congratulations! You can start looking for your dress whenever you like, but a good rule of thumb is to have your date and venue arranged first - so that you'll have an idea of the season, look and theme for your wedding. (For example, a beach wedding in August requires a very different dress from a cathedral wedding in January!)
Most off-the-rack dresses will fall somewhere in the $500-$3000 range, but you can find options priced much lower and much higher. You'll likely need alterations as well, so don't forget to factor in those costs (which will depend on which service you use).
In today's world, you can buy anything on the web - including a wedding dress! In fact, as many as 20% of brides in the US get their dresses online. If you've had a hard time finding one that you love locally, the internet may be your best option. Online retailers of wedding dresses make it much easier to find the right sizes, hottest trends, and all of the accessories to match.
That can be tricky, but almost every single online wedding dress store has a helpful sizing guide. You can usually reach out to the store's customer service team for extra help in taking measurements and finding several dresses to choose from that should be a good fit. Keep in mind that wedding dresses tend to be sized differently from regular clothes, often 1-2 sizes higher than what you wear day-to-day. (So unfair, we know!)
For wedding dresses, it's usually free. (Good luck finding anything else about your wedding that will be!) A few retailers have a minimum order requirement, but let's be honest: with as much as you'll spend on a wedding dress, you probably won't have a hard time reaching that amount!
That's probably the biggest fear brides-to-be have when buying their wedding dress online, but rest assured that most stores let you send it back - as long as it's still in new condition with all tags attached (no wearing it for your big day and then returning it!). Make sure you read the return policy of any store you're considering for your purchase, though: some don't accept returns under any circumstances!
When budgeting and planning for wedding attire, many brides forget that it's not just the dress. You'll need shoes, any desired accessories like a veil, gloves, and/or jewelry, and suitable undergarments!
Great question, because without preservation your dress may yellow or oxidize, experience mold or mildew, or be permanently creased in the wrong places. You can pay a professional to preserve your wedding dress; expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $700 for the service.
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