Practical Ideas for Having a Cheap Wedding

    Wedding is a big issue not only because it starts marriage life but also it may be costly and be stressful. People go with caterers and wedding planners to save themselves stress so they can just enjoy things. But many couples are on a tight budget. Trying to save money or have a cheap wedding will have to cause extra stress. But it's totally doable and it's easy if you do it right. There are many ways to cut costs and save money. But generally, keep your wedding simple, casual & personalized, DIY as much as you can and buy at cheap. Let's see more detailed ideas.
    Save on the venue by not picking a normal wedding venue. If you go to a church, some churches have great deals or you may even not have to pay to rent it. My friend had hers at her mother-in-laws church and it is $300 for the rental of the church, to walk down the aisle, reception room, stereo system, projector plus 6-foot tables, table cloths, plates, glasses, decorations and people to come in and set it up, and take it all down. So try to look into something like that, where you can save a lot of money.
    Try having your wedding in a friend/family members back yard or if you know someone who has a big place with a large estate, or a landscaped yard where you don't have to pay for the rental of the lot, like a gazebo or a local park. Call to see if you need to rent a pavilion or get a permit; these fees are usually cheap. A deck or large porch could be decorated beautifully, and you could use lawn furniture and steps as seating so you wouldn't have to rent chairs.
    You can also get married at the court house by a judge in his chambers that's what we did then we have an actually formal ceremony that night. Most court houses have a list of ministers that do it in their homes for donation only or at your home for a small fee. Go to your local court clerk's office for info about a judge marrying you.
    Attire & Beauty
    Shop online for a wedding dress to get a great discount. There are a lot of websites offering discount or cheap wedding dresses. Advertise on the radio or the newspaper. Let sellers know that you're looking for a wedding dress. Tell them what size, style, color, and type of material. Or you can have a seamstress make your dress or get one a little cheaper.
    If you are not concerned about being too formal, let the bridesmaids and groomsmen pick something with your colors in mind to wear, make sure to have a time to see their choices because at the end it's your wedding.
    Have a friend who is talented do the hair and makeup or just do it yourself. I swear by mineral makeup it works wonders.
    On the cake don't go with an actual baker, go to your local food store to their bakery and ask about their cupcakes or enlist the help of family/friends to bake a cake for you. Cupcakes are also another way to go. Most importantly research what you want and price around to save money.
    You can go to the Wilton cake decorating website and learn how professionals assemble cakes (it's easy). Then you can buy round cakes in different sizes and assemble them. Much cheaper than even the cheapest professional wedding cake, and still professionally made and decorated.
    Other simple ideas will also help you save on the cake. Order a small one or two-tiered cake and then supplement cake with a larger sheet cake. Keep the add-ons simple. Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones. Reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table. Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango.
    On flowers, a big budget breaker believe it or not. Silk flowers, silk flowers, silk flowers. Make the bouquets, boutonnieres, etc., get permanent keepsakes and don't have to pay the labor costs of a professional florist.
    If you want real flowers, you can get them cheaply at the supermarket, Sam's Club, etc. Use flowers that are in season when you are getting married. If you want cherry blossoms you need to get married in the spring. Also go with colors that are easy to find. White, reds, purples...etc. If you want ivory roses you're going to pay to have them shipped in from another country. Also find out from whatever florist you go with what flowers cost per stem. Calla Lilies cost more than Orchids and Orchids cost more than roses. Roses cost more than a carnation and so on. Make sure if you want lots of flowers you are picking one that is cheaper per stem or you could end up with a $250 bouquet just for the bride... then you have to match it to the rest of the bridal party. For orchids and calla lilies our flower bill topped $2500.00. That's JUST flowers. Many of your local florists can help you with a budget on your flowers. Go to them and see what flowers are available in your colors. Use 1 flower for most things, because the more flowers you use the more expensive it will get.
    Centerpieces & Decor
    Decorations for your locations will also be costly. I went to one wedding where they had it in her father's backyard, in the gazebo overlooking a pond. They decorated with tulle, had fold out chairs, an isle runner, with fake petals and the front of the altar decorated with potted flowers. After the ceremony these potted flowers were rushed to the reception area and decorated the head table. That saves whenever you can do a two in one decoration. Try using 2 or 3 fake flowers in vases for your centerpieces. Or how about renting bowls and filling them with water. Add a few colorful stones to the bottom, and a few floating flowers and floating candles. You can also fine bowls and/or vases at rummage sales and antique shops. They don't have to match as long as they match the theme somewhat. Mix and match are really in. You could have brass ones, mosaic ones, glass ones, and silver ones and it would still go together. Candles are always a cheaper way to go. You could do three pillar candles of varying sizes on a mirrored tile as well.
    Reception, Food & Drink
    Cutting the guest list is the biggest thing. More people you invite the more chairs you need, tables you need, invitations, centerpieces, mouths you have to feed, favors you have to get, postage, paper, time and MONEY you will have to spend! Cutting the guest list to fewer than 100 will give you a much better shot of staying at or under budget right off the bat.
    Pick a place that will provide a lot of things for you so you don't have to rent tables, a tent, etc.
    Instead of hiring caterers, you can also have it be a potluck reception. I know, sounds lame, but everyone can bring a dish and that creates conversation, and a wide variety of dishes. Then, it won't seem too formal, but semi-formal so you won't feel too high strung.
    Instead of picking a big venue for the reception pick a family members home with enough room in the house or outside for the event, ask family members to pitch in with food like have kind of a pot luck dinner (guest will love the buffet type feel) for the ceremony if you are not going for a religious ceremony you could have the wedding and reception at the same home.
    Ask for help from family & friends with donating chairs, tables. Use recyclable plates, utensils, and napkins instead of renting china. I say if it's recycled it's still more than acceptable.
    Meat and cheese tray or sandwich trays, shrimp cocktail trays, fruit trays, etc., can all be found at supermarkets and in some cases getting them is worth it when you consider the time you save by not doing the work yourselves. But you CAN make these kinds of things yourselves to save money.
    For food I would say keep your menu simple and do as much as you can on your own. Skimp as much as possible on the alcohol it'll cost a ton! You can go to Sam's club and get large quantities of finger food for cheap and all you have to do is warm it up. Or you could do a buffet with food made by family and friends. Either of these would be much cheaper than going with a caterer.
    You might also want to think about an early ceremony and lunch time reception where you just serve tea sandwiches and it would be early enough you wouldn't have to worry about alcohol. Other simple tips you should follow: think off-peak season and save thousands; hold your ceremony and reception in one spot and skip the Saturday wedding.
    Photo & Music
    Found a cheap photographer and just checked around for prices on everything else. You can find photography students if you have a university nearby that would be willing to do your pictures for way cheaper than a professional. Or you could enlist the help of a good friend or family member with a high quality camera to take them for you.
    Even though they are not professional they can be just as beautiful. If you look online at professional pictures taken, you can get an idea on how to pose them and then you can take them and print them at a local Walmart supercenter and they do all sizes for a reasonable rate not to mention you will have a hard copy on the memory card from the camera to put on your computer and keep and do what you wish with...
    Dancing isn't necessary, but if you really want it, a friend with a good laptop does it, or using an iPod playlist instead of hiring a DJ. You'll have to research how to hook it up to speakers and what hookups and cords you'll need but much cheaper. Then you just have to pick out a play list of songs you want played. Start with the first dance, daddy daughter dance, mother son dance, etc... Have someone manning the station so they can start and stop the songs at the right time. Then just let it play on shuffle for the remainder of the reception. You can do the same thing with the ceremony. Figure out how long you need which songs to play for your party to walk down the aisle cut your songs and play them on the iPod over speakers.
    Stationery & Favors
    Invitations get expensive. I would recommend purchasing card stock on your own from a craft store or online. Getting it cut to the size you would like and then using a good printer to print your own. You can also find already made ones on eBay. All you have to do is run them through the printer. Walmart or Sam's Club can do prints for about.20 cent per picture.
    You can make your own invitations. You can do this with creativity even cheaper than the ones from the kits. DIY is big on budget weddings.
    For favors, Hershey kisses and bit sized candy bars wrapped in tulle with a bow are easy to make and cheaper than going with anything engraved.
    Other simple tips can also be saving: get single-page invites to save on postage; give out one favor per couple; make your cake the favors; have favors double as escort cards.
    Although planning a cheap wedding is hard job, but just following these real wedding saving tips, do it right and smart, you surely have a cheap but chic wedding on your big day.

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