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Planning Your Wedding On A Budget

Feb 17, 2008
Weddings are expensive; there is no getting around it, with an average wedding now costing around 15,000. While instinct says 'don't budget, this is one day to splash out', caution is advisable.

No one wants to start married life in huge debt and, as money is one of the largest sources of friction between married couples, it may be more trouble than it's worth.

So try to tread the narrow tightrope between skimping and having your perfect wedding. Starting out with a meeting of all parties who are financially involved is a good idea (parents which are contributing etc) to ensure everyone has a clear idea of how much everyone else is willing to contribute.

Once that is done, you have your limit. Now it's time for you to turn that it to a workable budget. Call around and price things up, don't just go for the first price you come to. To make your ideal wedding on a budget isn't necessarily a matter of compromise as the will and dedication to work hard and search out the best deals.

Once that is done sit down and make a list of every possible expense from the big and obvious (Dress!) to the more easily forgotten (table decorations) and the best price you could source.

Now look carefully, where could you save without scrimping? Here are a few ideas :

1) Use the car of a friend or family friend instead of hiring one. You are bound to know someone with a lovely car which would look perfect.

2) Don't be afraid to haggle, especially for things that are very expensive or things you are buying in bulk. Suppliers know they are in a competitive business and would like you as a client!

3) Wedding dresses can be so expensive so there are a few ways you could save a little money. Use a family heirloom, it can be altered to fit you and a few minor alterations would personalise it

Buy from the high street, even if you don't find the perfect one consider buying one similar to perfect and getting some alterations done (lace on the arms, more pronounced waist, longer train etc). Other ideas include buying off the peg (BHS, Debenhams etc), buying dresses second hand and altering them (ebay, second hand shops etc) and renting dresses.

4) Using a friend or relative to take the photos can save a small fortune. Digital cameras have made photography slightly less of a specialised art and someone with a creative eye and the time necessary to learn to use one can take some amazing shots.

5) Get married out of season. Certain times of the year are much more expensive, an out of season wedding can give you price bargaining tools with suppliers.

If all this still leaves you far short then consider doing it abroad. No presents admittedly but there's no hassle! Wedding packages abroad can cost as little of 3,000 while still leaving you with a memorable and amazing wedding.
One idea to negate the problems associated (namely family disappointment) is throwing a party when you get back.This means all your friends and family can get to gather to celebrate without necessarily expecting you to pay for an amazing venue and dinner.

The most important thing when planning on a budget is to be realistic both with the amount you can realistically save and how far you can stretch your money. Setting up a separate 'wedding account' can allow you to save without being tempted to dip into the kitty!

So good luck and when the big day is over you will be able to go on to a life together free from debt....
About the Author
Sarah McCormack works for Simply Wedding Planners, a site where UK couples can compare the services of reputable, experienced wedding planning companies .
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