I'm a real estate broker and I work with many young couples buying their first home. I have a friend who just recently married and learned (the hard way), that the advice I gave her a year ago proved to be true. She spent almost a year and about $68,000 on "the perfect wedding".
I had told her long ago that the best advice I could give to her as a friend was to have a small conservatively priced wedding and to spend her real cash on a down payment for their first home. She and hubby-to-be paid for this wedding themselves from their savings and a small inheritance. It was beautiful BUT after their honeymoon, she called me to begin looking for houses only to find they would have to compromise their "wants" and future "needs" in this new home because they didn't have enough down payment to buy the size of home they really wanted. They seemed to take this information in stride although I know she's reconsidering the "value" of her big perfect wedding.
The bad thing is that after all that planning and expense, she and the groom were both so tense and stressed on the big day that she says most of the day (including the ceremony), was a blur. I can't imagine choosing one day over several years of contentment. Not to mention that her almost $70,000 wedding is money spent while using that money toward their home would have given her a considerable return on her investment in the long run.
I think in our society, girls are raised on what I call the "Cinderella principle" and taught that the wedding day is the most important day of our lives when, in reality, having a big wedding does nothing for our future let alone ensure that the marriage will last.
If we could begin teaching our young girls to prepare for the future and to invest while they're young, maybe they would be better off in the long run! Just makes sense to me!
By Angela from Central Florida
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You don't have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful wedding. Here are tips from the ThriftyFun community for saving money on wedding costs. What advice can you add?
For my daughter's wedding, she wanted to use lots of white lights. At this time of year, you can't just go out to your local department store and buy them so we decided to borrow as many as we could.
I saw the following tips on Oprah and Dr. Phil long before I needed them, and filed them away in my head for the appropriate time.
Use skills that you and your family's have to save money and to make your day and your memories extra special.
Wedding cakes can cost $500 or more. A hairdo (including color) on your wedding day, that would normally cost $120, costs around $230. Don't tell your vendors it's for a wedding.
I enjoy working on weddings. Letting my imagination go results in delightful lovely decorations:
Major life changes require some major planning. Instead of digging out of the financial hole that a wedding leaves in your bank account, prepare to hurdle across it.
My biggest tip for wedding decorations is borrow, borrow, borrow! We borrowed as much greenery, lights, tulle, gossamer, etc. as we could. We also borrowed dishes, punch bowls, serving bowls, etc. for the reception.
I found tree topper bows at Michael's that were 70% off! These will serve as our pew bows for a "winter" wedding in 3 weeks.
Last week, I was lucky enough to marry the most loving, caring, mature, unselfish, and honest man in the entire world.
When planning a wedding, watch the paper for auctions of floral shops, bridal shops, etc. My daughter and I did this and found a florist who's business was being auctioned off.
If you are planning to have a Christmas church wedding then this tip may help save you some money and time on decorations. Most churches decorate for the holidays and it is quite beautiful. So plan your wedding during the time that they have their decorations up for the holidays.
Save money by having your wedding between November and April. As it's considered 'off season'. All wedding related services are less busy. Ask for 'off season' discounts.
A great, charming, and usually wildly inexpensive venue for a wedding (especially a small/medium size one) is to check for small, hole in the wall Bed and Breakfasts or inns in very small towns in the mountains or other rural areas.
Get married on the beach. Have a very casual wedding outside and then have a reception at your home. Just make sure the weather is going to to good. Less expensive and very enjoyable.
We have compiled numerous links to resources to help you save money on your upcoming wedding. Feel free to add your own ideas and resources.