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WEDDING CEREMONIES

Celebrated Your Way in Southern California

How To Save Money Planning Your Wedding

Here are some tips to help keep your budget in line. The key is to be creative as you plan. As you make decisions, question everything to see if there is a way to find it cheaper. Consider these options and you may even think of some additional ways to save money on your own. Have fun and watch your beautiful event unfold.

Wedding Attire

  • Consider wearing a ready to wear ankle or tea length dress that needs no alterations.
  • Look for sales on wedding dresses. Start looking as soon as you become engaged so you can watch for sales. Many stores have sales at the end of each season. Look for sample dresses, or a wedding dress line that has been discontinued.
  • Order your bridesmaids dresses from a catalogue. These prices can be very reasonable. You will need to order early to ensure prompt and timely delivery.
  • See if the dress style you like can be made in a less expensive fabric. Some polyester fabrics resemble silk now and are a beautiful alternative.
  • Buy a dress that you know you can wear again.
  • Borrow shoes from a friend or family member.
  • Buy shoes that you can dye another color and wear again after your wedding.
  • Look for a formal wear shop that offers the groom's tux free or a discount when the other tux are rented from them.

Accessories

  • Make your own bridal purse. It can be done easily with a draw string.
  • Make your own garter. Cover elastic with satin fabric and trim with lace. Add a piece of jewelry for a personal touch. Borrow a piece of jewelry to attach as a sentimental touch.
  • Make or borrow a ring pillow. Remember, most brides who have married will have a ring pillow as a keepsake.
  • Borrow toasting glasses or purchase them through the mail. Most thrift shops or antique shops have wine glasses where you can find a pair. Decorate the stem with ribbon and jewels or beads.
  • Borrow or rent a cake top or decorate with fresh flowers. If you decide to decorate with fresh flowers, contact your local cake decorator for advise on non-toxic flowers. Many flowers must be places on a platform away from contact to your cake.

Invitations

  • Invitations can be much cheaper when ordered from online companies or mail order.
  • Buy pre-packaged cards or use stationery and print your own invitations. If you do not have a computer or are not computer savvy, ask a friend to help you print them.
  • Order invitations that only will require one stamp. Some heavier weight invitations are more costly to mail

Reception

  • Have the reception in your home's backyard or in the backyard of a friend.
  • Reduce the size of your guest list.
  • Decide on a morning or afternoon reception. It will save money to have your reception earlier in the day and not around dinner time.
  • Serve punch and cake or cocktail and hors d' oeuvres in the afternoon rather than a luncheon or dinner.
  • Prepare the food yourself or invite friends or relatives to help. Serve it buffet style.
  • Borrow items like a punch bowl, serving dishes and coffee pot instead of renting them.
  • Buy food and liquor from a wholesaler.
  • Use paper plates along with plastic cups and utensils rather than renting china, glasses and silverware.
  • Have a friend or relative bar tend and help with the setup of tables.
  • Check culinary and bakery schools in your area. Many will prepare food for cost.

Flowers and Decorations

  • Carry a small bouquet, one flower or cut flowers that you prepare yourself with ribbon to match your colors. Do the same for your attendants.
  • Use cut flowers that are in season. Decorate with potted plants or flowers in pretty baskets.
  • Look around your home for decorations that can be used at your reception. Ask for a friends help too.
  • Use one flower in a bud vase as a centerpiece for the tables
  • Buy silk flowers and arrange them yourself. These can be reused in your new home or given away as gifts.
  • Carry wild flowers that can be tied together with colorful satin ribbon.
  • Use the same floral arrangements for both the ceremony and reception. If your wedding and reception are at different locations, enlist the help of your wedding party to help transport the arrangements to the reception.
  • Check for floral schools in your area. Many will have students make the arrangements for the cost of the materials.
  • Make your own decorations. You can get ideas from craft shops, check out books from your local library or ask a friend for help.
  • Rent equipment to fill helium balloons yourself rather than having a florist do this.

Music

  • Have a friend play the organ, guitar or harp for the ceremony
  • Have a friend sing the songs for the ceremony. If you are having a church ceremony, check with the clergy to see if they have a church member who will sing for your wedding.
  • For the reception keep the musicians to a minimum. Only have them play for a couple of hours.
  • Use taped music with a friend as the disc jockey.
  • Pre-record your own favorite music. Transition to recorded music that is set to repeat.

Photographs

  • Hire a professional photographer to shoot the main wedding photographs and order the smallest package. Have friends and relatives take candid pictures throughout the day.
  • Have a friend who has good equipment and is an experienced photographer to take all of the wedding pictures.
  • Check for a school which has advanced photography classes. Many experienced students will take the pictures for a flat fee and give you the photos on a disc where you can print your own. Have prints made by a discount store.

Cost savings can come in many forms. Remember many items can be borrowed. Only purchase the items that will mean the most to you that you will want to keep as memento. Friends and family members know how costly it is to plan a wedding and will be willing to help you if you ask.

Congratulations, and happy planning! From: Julie Pritch and Park Avenue Prints. www.parkavenueprints.com

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