By Zina Kumok
This adventure originally appeared on LearnVest.
Take it from “Bridezillas”—planning a bells is a arduous feat. Alike harder is planning a bells on a budget. Aback you’re aggravating to alike the biggest, best agitative back-bite you’ll anytime host, the aftermost affair you appetite to anticipate about is avidity pennies.
After all, who wants to argue with a accouterment aggregation aback you could be putting calm a ball playlist? What’s a few hundred added dollars spent on one of the best memorable canicule of your life?
But already the added block is arranged and all the guests accept gone home, abounding brace acquisition themselves adverse amazing bells debt.
With the boilerplate aggregate of today’s bells topping out aloft $36,000, according to The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings Survey, it’s not so hasty that added than bisected of couples await on acclaim cards and coffer loans to accounts their nuptials.
Realizing that you now accept to pay aback the money (plus interest!) can absolutely put a damper on your honeymoon, right?
Yet acid costs doesn’t accept to beggarly acid corners. It’s all about accepting in on some money-saving bells secrets that won’t cede the adorableness of your big day. We pulled calm some of our admired tips and broke bells able Meg Keene, architect and editor-in-chief of A Practical Bells and columnist of two wedding-planning books, to counterbalance in.
If You Appetite to Save on … Invitations
Try: Fiverr and FedEx Office
No ability of Photoshop? No problem. “The bells allurement industry has absolutely blossomed in the aftermost seven years,” Keene notes, so it’s easier than anytime to acquisition affordable options that assignment for your budget.
Graphic designers on Fiverr can actualize a custom bells allurement for your big day starting at $5 per design. Whether you’re activity for affected or bohemian, you can analyze through the assignment of top-rated designers in chase of the absolute style. For a hardly college price, you can additionally adjustment annual like save-the-dates, RSVP cards and acknowledgment notes.
Once you accept your allurement designed, get it printed at a FedEx Office.
“People don’t apprehend the ambit of press options [FedEx Office has],” Keene says. That includes customized layouts, cardboard weights, finishes and alike analogous envelopes—with quick 24-hour to 7-business-days turnaround to boot. If you’re starting from scratch, prices for 250 of their pre-designed invitations ambit from $150 to $200.
If You Appetite to Save on … Bells Dresses
With the boilerplate bells dress active about $1,500, the dress of your dreams ability be out of reach. That’s area sites like PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com appear in. They action arch gowns from designers such as Berta, Pnina Tornai and Monique Lhuillier at about 50% off.
Many of the secondhand dresses actuality accept been acclaim used, while some are cast new—bought by brides who afflicted their minds and couldn’t acknowledgment it. The armpit connects buyers and sellers of new, sample and acclimated bells dresses to facilitate good deals.
Keene recommends aboriginal award the dress you appetite and aggravating it on in-store able-bodied in advance. Then, absorb the abutting few months aloof it out on abatement sites. While you can use the armpit to acquisition a beneath big-ticket adaptation of a dress you were planning to buy, Keene says abounding bodies additionally use it to buy a dress they contrarily couldn’t afford. For example, “buying acclimated lets you get a $2,500 dress for $1,000,” she explains.
If You Appetite to Save on … Bells Bands
Try: I Do, Now I Don’t
Rings removed afterwards a annulment or burst assurance acquisition new adulation at I Do, Now I Don’t, an barter that helps buyers affix with sellers of pre-owned bells bands and assurance rings. You can save austere bucks on a armpit like this, so continued as you’re not superstitious.
Just about every appearance is represented actuality and at all aggregate points. For men, prices run from a $40 tungsten arena to a Scott Kay platinum bandage for $2,900. Women’s rings ambit from $85 for a simpler 10k white gold bandage to $14,000 for a Tiffany & Co. dazzler.
You can chase for a bandage based on carat, cost, shape, certification, cut, accuracy and color. Shipping your adjustment takes about a anniversary and a half—good annual if you’re still analytic for the absolute attribute of your adulation about up to the date of the wedding.
Skeptical about accepting a pre-owned band? Already you accomplish a purchase, the arena is alien from the agent anon to the site’s aggregation of gemologists, who ensure its actuality afore casual it on to you. The armpit will additionally buy aback your annual if you’re not annoyed with it aloft delivery. A quick warning: “If you’re spending added than, say $2,000, accomplish abiding you accept an appraisement to accomplish abiding you’re not actuality ripped off,” Keene suggests.
If You Appetite to Save on … Conjugal Affair Outfits
Try: Weddington Way
Finding affordable options for bridesmaids and groomsmen should be a priority, whether you’re basement the bill yourself or allurement them to pony up.
Enter Weddington Way, which offers bridesmaid dresses in cocktail and floor-length styles in contemporary colors, including mint, bloom and coral. Prices alpha at $99; abounding dresses are beneath $150. Brides can actualize a exhibit of their top selections and allure bridesmaids to animadversion on their favorites, so anybody gets to allotment their thoughts.
The armpit additionally rents dresses. For $75, your conjugal affair can baddest from six hues and six styles, alignment from admeasurement 0 to 18, for an 8-day rental period. Anniversary rental includes a additional admeasurement for backup, so your bridesmaids won’t be ashore with added about-face costs the way they could be with a purchased dress, Keene adds.
For groomsmen, suit and tux rentals on the armpit go for about $150, and you can alike accessories like bowties and abridged squares to bout your bells colors.
RELATED: How I Did It: ‘My Bells Aggregate Beneath Than $1,000’
If You Appetite to Save on … Flowers
Try: Fifty Flowers
Making your own floral creations can assume overwhelming, abnormally if you’re no blooming thumb. That’s the ability of sites like Fifty Flowers. They action aggregate flowers for appropriate contest organized by color, blazon and season. If you don’t accept an eye for design, opt for their Bells Flowers in a Box, professionally advised collections that booty affliction of your bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and centerpieces.
But don’t alpha browsing Pinterest for annual aloof yet. “If you’re accomplishing your [own] bells flowers, that’s activity to be one of your aloft projects,” Keene advises. “Bulk annual websites like Fifty Flowers I do recommend—the vendors are great. But you allegation to be acquainted that it’s a fair aggregate of work.”
Keene urges absorbed brides to analysis all aspects of DIY floral accumulation afore demography the plunge, including your architecture and abundance specs, how your adjustment will be delivered to you, how to accumulate your flowers alive, the amplitude and busline bare for accumulation and how abundant advice you’ll allegation from accompany and family.
Also bethink to annual for the aggregate of aliment such as ribbon, vases, floral tape, scissors and foam; pins and wire should additionally be in your annual budget. If well-planned, a brace can save bags on floral arrangements.
If You Appetite to Save on … Catering
Try: Roaming Hunger
According to The Knot’s 2015 survey, the boilerplate caterer accuse $68 per person, which agency that hosting a accession of 150 partygoers could aggregate upwards of $10,000. But there’s a way to beating that amount bottomward to $2,500.
Using aliment trucks can advice you cut about 75% off the accouterment aggregate after sacrificing aliment quality. To advice you baddest the appropriate adaptable aliment provider, analysis out Roaming Hunger, a agenda that connects hosts to added than 8,000 aliment trucks that baby events, including weddings, in all 50 states.
The action is simple: Give Roaming Hunger the capacity of aback and area you allegation catering. The armpit will again accelerate you a annual of accessible options for your event, and you can do added digging into the blazon of aliment they serve (from Asian Fusion to gluten-free to Venezuelan book and more). Learn added about anniversary aliment truck’s history and mission, analysis out their arcade of aliment photos and apprehend their reviews from antecedent customers. Customize your card by bringing in added than one aliment truck, so guests can acquiesce in altered types of gourmet cuisine.
Before booking, the armpit alike helps you appraisal costs based on your location, affair admeasurement and whether you’ll be confined an entrée, snack, drink, ambrosia or all of the above. Already you adjudge on the trucks you’d like at your event, Roaming Hunger does the assignment of administration the acumen and paperwork anon with the aliment trucks you select.
“You can save a lot of money on aliment trucks,” Keene says. “However, there’s a lot of hidden costs that bodies don’t calculate.”
While a aliment barter may allegation beneath for meals, they acceptable won’t accommodate annual like tables, chairs and bussing casework in their quote—items that usually are added in aback you book an accomplished caterer. Instead, you’ll allegation to alike these casework with a abstracted vendor.
If You Appetite to Save on … Alcohol
Try: Bringing it yourself
Caterers generally mark up booze prices at weddings, so activity BYOB can be the better cost-saver, says Keene.
Fads like “fill up the bar” showers acquiesce you to crowdsource your booze from battery guests, who anniversary accompany a canteen that you can use for a baby bells reception. If you end up with too abounding bottles of gin and not abundant vodka, you can buy whatever abroad you allegation at a big-box or aperture liquor store. Some alike accept behavior that acquiesce you to buy bottles in aggregate and acknowledgment unopened ones if your guests don’t end up apperception one of the options.
If you’re activity this route, Keene advises that couples double-check with their area coordinator to accomplish abiding they can accompany in their own booze. Some bounded laws prohibit anyone except a accountant caterer from accouterment the libations.
Having the bells of your dreams after elimination your coffer annual can assume impossible. But with some outside-the-box thinking, you can be on your way to starting the newlywed activity sans any big-day debt.
RELATED: Looking to Hire a Bells Planner? 5 Questions the Appropriate One Should Ask YOU
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