A Beautiful Wedding On A Budget

I attended a friend's wedding over the weekend. I don't know how much it cost and I wouldn't ask, but having heard about various stages of the wedding planning, I know she did a lot of the work herself and it probably saved her a bundle. Despite this, it was still a gorgeous wedding. Check out these creative ways she and her husband were able to put together a great evening for everyone involved without blowing a ton of cash:

-Held the wedding and the reception at the same place: this eliminated the need to hire a limo or rent a fancy car, not to mention saving time and reducing the stress of traveling from one location to another. Who wants to worry about traffic more than once on their wedding day?

-Had a casual theme: My friend said that she just wanted everyone to be comfortable, and as a result the guests wore everything from dress shirts and slacks to dresses to jeans. No one had to buy a new outfit to attend. Her husband didn't wear a tux and neither did the groomsmen, who wore color-coordinating pants and shirts. If any of them had to go out and buy the attire, it would have been easy to spend as little as $50 to buy everything new. And since my friend comes from a family of talented artists, she actually dyed the fabric for the bridesmaids' skirts herself. None of her bridesmaids had to spend a fortune on dresses and now they have a unique skirt with a matching solid-color shirt that they can wear in everyday life.

-Made their own engagement and wedding rings: my friend's husband has the skills to make rings. They aren't traditional silver/gold/diamond rings, but they serve the purpose and have meaning to my friends. Plus, it's safe to say that no one else has the same rings.

-Had a limited open bar: everyone could get free unlimited drinks, but by controlling the brands and selection of alcohol available, they were able to have a wedding reception luxury for less than it might have otherwise cost.

-Had family members provide ceremony music: The father of the bride learned how to play guitar so he could play and sing a song during the ceremony, and the groom's mother played the piano and sang another song. Not only was this less expensive than hiring, say, a string quartet, it was also a lot more meaningful.

Measures like these not only saved money, but also created a more personalized and more meaningful wedding. And by cutting back in some areas, they were able to afford luxuries in other areas, like a killer location and free valet parking for guests. The average wedding may supposedly cost $26,000, but there's no reason why it has to cost that much to be beautiful and fun.

Photo by Manassas Cakery

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