Every bride has dreamed of the fairy tale wedding since she was able to walk around in mom’s high heels. Most of us never think about how much that magical day is really going to cost. If the budget is a little tighter than you imagined, there are ways to make it to the ball without the fairy godmother.
- Wedding Gown
Ask around. There may very well be an heirloom dress in the family or a close friend may have a gown you can borrow. Most women would be honored by the request. One thing, be sure to get permission for major changes or size alterations you would like to have made. Also, if the dress is going back to the original bride or family member after the wedding, it is only fair that you pay to have the dress cleaned and prepared for storage before returning it.
- Bridal Party
The smaller the group you have standing up front, the less expense is involved. Even if the attendants pay for their own attire, there are still flowers, gift and rehearsal dinner expenses involved when having a large bridal party.
Instead of bouquets that bubble over with exotic flower selections from around the globe, a single long-stem rose tied with a satin ribbon for the bridesmaids is a simple and elegant choice. The bride could use a small prayer book or bible with a small bunch of lily-of-the-valley.
- Attendant Gifts
Take a casual photo of your bridesmaids and purchase inexpensive frames to give each member a memento from one of your bridal showers or a “girls’ night out”. Be sure to include a message and the date on the back of the picture for an even more meaningful touch.
Go simple! The most impressive wedding invitations are the sleek, one card type. Also, selecting a card size that does not require extra postage will save money incrementally depending on the size of the guest list.
Professional photographers usually have several options for you to choose from. You can get the album you want without breaking the budget. After you have selected the pictures you want in the formal album, ask about buying the rest of the proofs. If you know someone who takes great photos, ask them to be your photographer. Usually you can buy the film and pay for the developing yourself. At the reception, it is fun to have disposable cameras at each table to get plenty of candid and often very funny shots. Just be sure to include the development costs for each camera in the budget.
- Guest List
Keep it short. Invite the people that are most important to you, your family and friends. An intimate gathering will be more memorable for you and everyone you share it with.
Decorate the church with large bows and simple flower arrangements. Large flowers such as magnolias look beautiful at the end of long, wooden pews.
- Rice Shower
Some brides substitute rice with bird seed. Cut a yard of netting into 2″ x 2″ squares, place a small amount of bird see in the center, gather up the four corners and tie it with a ribbon. With bird seed, there’s also no cleanup necessary at most venues.
Wedding programs are not necessary, but if you want them and have access to a computer, you can easily make them yourself. Most paper or craft stores carry a variety of covers. Select your favorite and get creative. Be sure you have the correct spelling for all names.