| Feb 12, 2009

Back to HomeThe Bridal Issue - February 12, 2009The Bridal Issue

Create A Ceremony that Works for YouBy Rev. Judie Diamond

Managing Wedding Costs: Is it Need or WantBy Connie Howes

How to Save Money & Not Look CheapBy Connie Howes

LegalesesNot Everyone Can Marry

Recession Rings

How to save Money & not look cheapBy Connie Howes

Buy your dress used or buy a bridesmaid’s dress in ivory or white. E-Bay, Craig’s list and Kijiji offer lots of bridal wear at a fraction of the cost of new. After June 30th, there will be prom dresses on sale. If you’re not stuck on white – you might find a real deal on something gorgeous! Wal-Mart has terrific accessories like Tiaras and sparkly jewelry on the cheap.

Use fewer flowers – 3 amazing roses with some greenery will be a nice arm bouquet and cost a LOT less than a large, hand-tied bouquet of 18 roses.

Invitations - Use your phone number for RSVP’s or an e-mail address, and save yourself the expense of a separate RSVP card, envelope and return postage.

Dollar store, dollar store, dollar store. The dollar store is your new best friend. They sell cheap table cloths, coloured napkins, craft supplies for centre pieces, organza favour bags for your guests and even ring bearer pillows. Shop there FIRST, before you head to the specialty stores. Also, check out yard sales (a perfect place to find a basket to put flowers in for a flower girl).

Question almost every expense and see if there is a reasonable alternative. Do you really need rented table clothes, chair covers, etc? I can tell you that your guests will not care if they sit on a covered chair or not, as long as they have a good meal and a great time. The same with cutlery and dinnerware. I’ve been eating off of paper plates and using plastic utensils every summer and it’s never done me any harm – and it won’t hurt your guests, either.

Facility rentals: For budget conscious couples in small communities, I’m a big fan of non-profit spaces. You may have a Lion’s Club hall, a Legion Hall or snowmobile club that has a space that you can rent very reasonably. You’ll save money and you’ll help out your community too. It just doesn’t get much better than that. If you have your wedding at home, be aware of space considerations, washroom limitations (few septic systems and wells can accommodate a crowd all at once) and that you need a place in case it rains. Home weddings are best as small, intimate affairs.

Where not to go cheap:

Keep in mind; your guests are just that: guests. They drive to get to your wedding, often buy a new outfit for it, maybe rent a hotel, get a pet sitter for the weekend, etc – and then they give you a gift! Treat your guests like guests. Feed them and show them a good time, just the same as if they were guests in your home.

Hire a caterer. Do not try to cook the food yourself or get friends and relatives to do it. No one has fridge space for food for 30 people, let alone more than that. Transporting it safely will also be an issue, as will finding large enough bowls, patters, etc.

Seating and shelter – have enough seating for everyone, at all times. Chairs can be rented cheaply. Make sure you’re covered if it rains. Trust me, it does rain (remember last summer?)

Music – a great DJ or band makes the party. A lousy one – well, it’s not much fun is it. You are paying for the DJ or musician’s talent in reading the crowd and playing the music that gets them dancing.

Photos: those disposable cameras SEEM like a good idea, but they are an expensive way to get a lot of pictures of people’s elbows – or as the night wears on - worse. Hire a professional photographer; even if it is for the least expensive package they offer and you’ll l be happy you did. Grandma and Grandpa will not be around forever, little kids won’t be little for long – capture them now, while you have the chance.

Thank you notes. Say thanks. Put it in writing. Mail them or hand deliver them, but DO them.

Tip! If you can afford it, a bit of extra cash for someone who has helped make your day really great is always appreciated. If your budget is really tight, a handwritten note of appreciation is a thoughtful gesture, too. Be sure to recommend the service provider to your friends and family too, for their events!

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