As you are about to discover, holding a wedding is an expensive proposition. Excluding the people on those fantastic wedding television shows, statistics show that many couples spend between $16,000-$28,000 dollars.
It can be done for a lot less! But it’s vital for the two of you to sit down—without interference from your parents or others—and construct a plan.
What’s important to you!
Before you even attempt to formulate a budget, take a piece of paper and write down what things are absolutely important to you, either one or both of you. As you go through your planning process, you will figure out what items you can cut to make room for these “musts.” Here are some free wedding tips to help you along the way.
Make certain you check out every bridal show within driving distance. Vendors always give away freebies at these. Engaged couples invariably come away from them laughing and with lots of good new ideas.
Create a new email account for yourself—for free through providers such as Google or Yahoo. As you go through the planning process you will visit many websites where it’s necessary to leave your email address in order to obtain their information. If you give the new address, then all emails directed to that account will relate to your wedding. Having a separate account will keep you wonderfully organised, and your main email address will remain free of extraneous advertisements.
Templates and Tools
Next, you should visit a website called www.docstoc.com. Create an account for yourself; this is the first place you can use your new email address. Docstoc is a website with a vast array of totally free forms uploaded by people who simply want to share ideas; most of them are business oriented. However, there are two that we recommend highly.
The 1st is The Brides Master Budget This will help you prepare a wedding budget. You will find a worksheet that itemises expenses according to category. It has columns to write in your chosen vendors, the amounts, who will pay, budgeted variance, deposit paid, and balance due.
Another form from Docstoc that’s fun, free, and useful include one for the groom—who says he has nothing to do with planning a wedding? It’s called The Grooms 12 Month Planner You’ll also want a worksheet for your photographer so that he knows what photo opportunities are most important to you called the Bridal Worksheet
You can also find an example of a wedding itinerary to copy and email to everyone in your wedding party the week before the wedding, and a sample seating chart so you can decide who sits next to Aunt Minnie at your reception.
Just do a search in Docstoc for the above forms. Another resource you may want to check out is our Downloads page. This has plenty of templates, song lists and other useful stuff for your wedding planning.
Learn Networking for Weddings 101
It’s all about who you know. Does your Aunt Louise manage a business office? With a few clicks of her mouse, she’ll probably be happy to create a wedding program for you. If you know someone who cooks, or even if your neighbour knows someone who cooks, contact that person. He or she probably does catering on the side. The same applies to a wedding cake. Just about half of a wedding budget goes toward the reception and the food, and this is a great way to save money.
Save with Offers
Before you purchase anything online, go to your browser and type in the name of the vendor plus the word “coupon.” Just about all online vendors offer discounts if you know the code to type in at checkout.
Save Save Save!
Don’t be afraid to visit dollar stores or even thrift shops. Many dollar stores sell inexpensive champagne glasses, or candle holders for use on the centrepieces. And many brides donate their gently used bridal goods to a charitable thrift shop after their weddings; there might be great finds awaiting you there!
Take advantage of the Sunday newspaper coupons for your local thrift store. You can go there armed with 40% off coupons and buy paper for invitations, ribbons or artificial flowers, flower petals, or many other items helpful for weddings. Get each of your bridesmaids to save their coupons for you, and make several trips—or have a fun outing as a group!
With a little bit of ingenuity and lots of patience, you can find many free wedding tips to save dollars on your wedding, and it will still be the magical day you always dreamed about,
Wishing you easy planning and a great wedding day,