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Marriage and Money

Tips for weddings on a budget

Weddings and budgets don't always get along, but it is possible to keep the peace if you manage expectations. When planning the Big Day, keeping an eye on your new financial future will help. Read on to find out how weddings on a budget can help you and your new spouse start your marital bliss off on sound financial footing.
A wedding can really put a strain on your finances. When you consider the cost of booking a venue, feeding your guests, setting up the decorations and everything else needed for the event, it's easy to spend thousands of dollars and most people do. According to TheKnot.com, the average cost of a 150 person wedding is around $26,000. If you want to put together your dream wedding without ruining your wedding budget, here are a few money-saving tips you can use.

Schedule wedding venues during off peak times

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One way to save on nearly every aspect of your wedding is to schedule the event outside of peak wedding season. November and January through March are the least busy months for weddings. So reception halls, caterers, florists and photographers are all looking to give discounts. Most couples also get married on Saturdays. If you can schedule for another day, you might also get a deal.

Consider a nontraditional venue

Traditional venues like event halls, hotels, and country clubs aren't the only places you can hold your wedding reception. You could save money by holding the event at a park, a restaurant or the large backyard of a friend or family member. An outdoor wedding could also save money on the decorations because if there are gardens, they will already be setting the atmosphere. Just make sure that the venue is equipped to handle your reception. You may need to set up tents in case of rain or bring in portable restrooms if bathrooms aren't already on-site.

Be reasonable with food and drinks

During your wedding reception, you'll need to feed a small army of people which is why food will probably be your biggest expense. Each course adds to your bill so see if you can simplify the menu. You can also save by switching to a buffet instead of hosting a sit-down meal. Remember, it's not a requirement to serve dinner. Depending on what time you hold your wedding, you could serve a lunch, tea, or dessert instead.
Another strategy is to cut back on the alcohol served at your reception. Consider serving just beer and wine, having open bar only for an hour or two, or even just not offering alcohol at all.

Decide what you really need for photos and flowers

When it comes to photos and flowers, it's easy to get locked in to more than you really need. With flowers, you can save by using seasonal and local flowers instead of imported, exotic ones. You could also stick to one type of flower rather than using a variety because then the florist would give you a discount for ordering in bulk.
Photographers charge by the hours spent at your wedding. Try to schedule all the main events during a set period of time so the photographer will spend fewer hours at your wedding. You can also reduce the number of photos taken during the event, for example asking for 500 photos instead of 1000.

 

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