Many children dream of that day, far in the future, when they will walk down the aisle with that special someone. And approximately zero of these dreams involve sparsely populated rec rooms with a tiny MP3 player functioning as the DJ and a part-time bartender officiating. No, the wedding dreams of youth spare no expense. They are filled with bright colors, throngs of guests, lavish cakes and overall opulence. Unfortunately, dreams of a royal wedding don’t comport with reality for many of us average folks.
But even though a person may not live in a palace, that doesn’t mean they can’t have a royal wedding in spirit. And they don’t need to go into total hock (the average wedding costs $25,000 these days, according to American Weddings) to accomplish it. No, a lavish Outer Banks wedding can indeed be achieved on a relatively modest budget. Here are some tips to get there.
Shop with time to spare
There’s nothing that will break the bank faster than a bride-to-be on a last-minute hunt for a dress. This leaves no room to consider options and no time to find deals. Those ladies with a bit of extra time on their hands can likely find a dress similar to their first choice for a fraction of the cost off the rack.
Renting is also an option. And while many women might pop a blood vessel at the mere thought of wearing someone else’s clothing on their big day, it is a much more reasonable proposition for the groom. After all, how many occasions does the typical guy have to wear his wedding tux after the wedding?
Few brides have met a handcrafted, embossed and monogramed wedding program they didn’t like. The problem is that these printed invites and programs can cost a pretty penny. These days, there’s no reason technology can’t pickup where old-time craftsmanship left off. Going the online route means those planning a wedding can create an entire website dedicated solely to the event. Then they can send beautifully designed digital invites in an email blast to everyone on their list. All for free.
Those who simply must have printed invites can save much-needed cash by opting for an understated and simple look without all the design bells and whistles.
Go light on flowers
No, that doesn’t mean lose the flowers entirely; it just means being a tad judicious in the selection. Because while dendrobium orchid blossoms and curled sago palm leaves certainly look nice, they will destroy a wedding budget. Seasonal bouquets of perennials serve the same purpose and look just as beautiful in their own right. It’s possible to save even more cash by opting for candles instead of flowers for table decoration.
Eliminate the commute
Transportation costs can take up a significant percentage of any wedding budget. These costs can be kept in check by holding the wedding and the reception at the same location.
Hire photographers/videographers carefully
Recording the wedding for posterity is certainly vital. It’s why there are pro wedding photographers in the first place. So while it’s not a viable option to cut out photographers and videographers entirely, planners can save on costs by bundling packages, such as using the same organization for both video and still photos. Cutting the recorder out of the reception entirely, as well as having the photographer only shoot a few moments – cake cutting, first dance, etc., etc. – is another way to trim costs.
Curb the cuisine
Nearly half of all wedding costs are incurred at the reception – and a prime reason is due to the food. Those who want to save real money on their wedding should consider cutting hors d’oeuvres and focusing solely on the main course. There’s also no real reason to serve desert if cake is already being served. And having only beer and wine on hand rather than a full open bar will certainly save some cash.
While the above methods won’t work miracles, they should cut enough excess cost and divert enough financial resources so that an elegant wedding is not only a possible notion, but a practical one as well.
Jennifer Palmer is a professional blogger that provides financial information on savings and loans. She writes for InstaLoan.com, a leading title loan lender.