Barbara Gilleece / Party Patter/ Recession Friendly Wedding Ideas

Tips on how to create an elegant wedding on a limited budget.

 With our economy in a current downturn, trying to find ways to save money for your dream wedding can seem difficult, if not impossible. I have noticed a trend this year with the couples I have been working with; brides are moving away from the traditional banquet hall, which generally runs around $20,000, and picking less costly venues as back yards, art galleries, parks or their church. I thought I might give engaged couples tips on how to stay within their budget and still have the wedding they have dreamed of.

1.Focus On Your Priorities. You both need to decide what's important to you—a great view with less emphasis on your food, or a less picturesque setting. Splurge a little on the thing that is most important to you, and save your budget for things that don't matter as much.

2. Use Negotiation Skills. Its a good idea to shop around to different venues, that way you can use your information to get the best price on the venue of your choice.  

3.Don't Get Married On Saturday. As we all know most weddings are on Saturdays; it's traditional and it's what everyone is used to. Because it is a common day its also expensive. Most venues will cut their costs up to 50 percent on a Sunday or Friday so it's a win-win for everyone involved.

4. Get Married Off-season. Everyone likes to get married in the summer, and the weather is always nice and sunny. Why not have it in an off-month, such as November through January, to cut costs. You get a double benefit on this one when you book your honeymoon at a reduced cost.

5. Get married in the back yard. My daughter did this for her wedding, and we found it to be more intimate than a banquet hall. You will need to rent a tent, but you can have a casual wedding, such as a pig roast with paper plates, or something more elegant if it fits within your budget. A plus to doing it this way is you can also have the ceremony in the tent.

6. Cut your Guest List. Another way to lower your costs is to trim down your guest list. Of course you would like to invite everyone you have ever known. But it may not be practical when you figure out what you are paying per head.

7. Food I have also seen a trend in this area. Couples are choosing to do a buffet dinner instead of the standard plated meal. Consider a morning wedding where brunch or a light lunch can be served or perhaps serve only appetizers. Another cost-saving idea would be to have a small wedding cake then have 2 sheet cakes in the back to cut for your guests.

8. Hire a Wedding Planner. One of the best ways to save money is to hire a wedding planner. They are able to get discounts, so all those savings will be passed on to you.

9. Find Somewhere New. Another way to save money is to look for a new venue that just opened. They may offer lower prices to gain some new business.

10. BYOB Find a venue that allows you to bring your own liquor. This is where most venues really inflate the prices. You can save a lot of money bringing your own liquor.

When planning your wedding start early, be careful and watch and plan for unexpected costs. Being frugal doesn't mean you have to have a second class event; focus on what is most important to you as a couple. Think about how you want to spend that extra money you will have saved on your wedding.

For more information, www.barbaraseleganttouchstaffing.com.


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