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A wedding can be one of the most expensive days of a woman’s life. Luckily, there are tips geared to make that special day a little less expensive for the frugal bride. For example, a wedding dress can be found at second-hand stores or even at a sample sale from pricier wedding dress boutiques. A friend with camera skills can take pictures of the wedding and reception to help save the cost of a photographer. Another idea is to hold the reception during the middle of the week instead of on a weekend, as rental halls often are cheaper on off days.
There are a few tips that a frugal bride can use to get the dress of her dreams without spending too much money. One good tip is that a bride can go to a second-hand store that specializes in wedding dresses. Typically, these dresses are a fraction of the price of a new dress. Ideally, the dress will have been worn once, and it should be dry cleaned and free from stains, looking as good as new. Along the same lines, the frugal bride could wear a wedding dress from a family member’s wedding, thus alleviating the cost of the dress altogether.
The frugal bride can shop the sales as well. Sales typically occur a few times each year. The sales can cover new dresses, used dresses or sample dresses. Sample dresses are the dresses that brides try on to see if they like the style of the dress, prior to ordering it. By buying a sample dress, a bride can get a designer dress for much less money than it would cost new.
Another tip is that the bride may save significantly if she were to expand her search for the perfect wedding dress beyond the wedding stores. Some non-wedding stores sell white, cream, or ivory gowns that could be used as wedding dresses as well. If she wants her dress to be solid colored, she may need to remove a colored sash or bow. Most seamstresses can accomplish that task.
Other tips for the frugal bride include asking non-professionals to work as photographers or to bake the wedding cake. Photographers and wedding cakes can dramatically increase the cost of the wedding. By using a highly recommended yet amateur photographer or baker, a frugal bride stands to save a significant amount of money. The only caveat is that the photographer only has one chance to catch the moment. Sometimes only a true professional can accomplish such an important task.
One of the best tips for the frugal bride is to pick a wedding and reception day during the week. Even the most expensive places are significantly cheaper mid-week. It is a matter of supply and demand. Most people want their weddings on the weekend, so event locations can charge more on those days. By having a mid-week wedding, the reception location, band, and caterer may be much less expensive.
I attended a wedding recently where the bride had a cake that only had filling between the layers. There was no frosting on it. It had berries as decoration. That's becoming very popular and is much cheaper.
Also, if your local grocery store has good bakery cakes, get them to make your wedding cake! One local sore where I live is famous for their chocolate fudge cake and there are a lot of people who order there for the groom's cake. They're usually about a third of the price of a professional baker.
Or the obvious: Just scale it all down! Limit the guest list, have the wedding about 2 p.m. and don't serve elaborate refreshments. Cake, punch, nuts, mints, cheese straws and maybe finger sandwiches are plenty. Don't serve alcohol (not even a champagne toast), don't have a full meal, dancing or a band or DJ. Keep it truly simple. You're not there to provide a full meal and entertainment for 100 people. Ideally, these people came because they love and care about you and want to see you happy.
There's no law that says the reception has to be a blowout, and since that's where people spend most of their money, that's the logical place to cut.
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