Five Cost-Cutting Tips for Brides on a Budget

Five Cost-Cutting Tips for Brides on a Budget

Weddings are a wonderful opportunity for brides to showcase their style

Weddings are a wonderful opportunity for brides to showcase their style, but not everyone has the budget to make their day match their dreams. Sacrifices sometimes have to be made, usually much to the dismay of the bride or the displeasure of her guests. However, there are several ways to whittle down costs without curtailing good taste. Below are some suggestions to help you think thrifty for your big day.

1. Avoid peak prices.

Every vendor knows that a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer is the most popular time for a wedding, and thus, typically raise prices to reflect increased demand. Consider scheduling your wedding date on a Sunday, a weekday, or eve during a winter month to avoid these peak prices. This can often save you thousands, especially if you can take advantage of any off-peak or seasonal discounts. In many cases, being a June bride really is over-rated, at least when it comes to cost.

2. Edit out extras.

Ever heard of the expression “it is all in the details?” Well, when it comes to vendors, it is completely true. Details usually equal dollars, especially for things like white-glove service and top-shelf liquor. Edit out these extras in your contracts to reduce overall costs. Your guests will never notice that they are missing, and you can save the money that you would have spent for more important things, like your honeymoon.

3. Go green.

From vases to votive holders, purchasing everything new can be very expensive. To scale back a bit, try going green and buying “recycled” or second-hand items such as ring pillows and aisle runners. In most cases, these near-new accessories have barely been used, and are a great alternative for both the eco-friendly and the budget conscious couple. To find “recycled” items, try these resources:, and

4. Plan on double duty.

Decorative elements such as flowers can quickly become one of the biggest expenses for a wedding, particularly when the ceremony and reception are not held in the same room. To trim back your budget some, plan to make many of your arrangements do double-duty. Ceremony bouquets can easily be placed in plastic holders to adorn the cake table or DJ booth, and aisle and altar displays can be readily repurposed on the buffet. Have your maid of honor or wedding coordinator help you make the move, and cut down on finances, not on flowers.

5. Take time off.

Wedding days are a whirlwind of activity that can sometimes start very early and end very late. With a schedule that begins at breakfast and does not wrap until your last guest leaves the after-party, it is easy to hand over a huge amount. To save some additional cash, consider taking a little time off of your wedding day agenda.  Scale back the reception by an hour to reduce both you venue’s rental fees and your vendors’ service charges. Really, is a five-hour reception so much better than a four-hour one? The affordable answer is no.

Bachelor Parties: Who Are They Really Planned For?

Bachelor Parties: Who Are They Really Planned For?

A Scapegoat Grooms Speaks Out

Ah, the bachelor party – a time for beers, boys, and presumably, breasts. For hundreds of years, this raucous ritual has been branded as the bridegroom’s last hurrah, his final night of freedom with his friends. Just as the majority of the wedding will be “for the bride,” this day marks the groom’s moment to be doted upon, to be plied with drinks and nearly seduced by strippers. Clearly, this sometimes-wild soiree is coordinated entirely to gratify the guest of honor. Or is it? Read on for one bachelor’s revealing opinion about who the bachelor party is really planned for – i.e., his “boys.”

Having been a best man twice himself, James was already somewhat familiar with the night’s normal format, and was thus looking forward to the debauchery that was doubtless in his future. A big fan of the 1940’s and 1950’s, James was captivated by the concept of the “Rat Pack” bachelor party that was being planned by his friends. The evening would begin with a scrumptious steak dinner prepared by one of his groomsmen, then progress to drinks at a local tavern. It was at this point in the evening though, that all of James’ jolly preconceptions about the event would change. Forced by his friends to remove his crooner-style suit jacket, James was then required to don a black bow tie and a ripped button-down. Clad now as a cheap imitation of a Chippendale dancer, his buddies demanded that he collect the signature of every single lady in the locale. For James, a relatively reserved guy who had long since abandoned his need for attention, the task was terribly awkward, and one that left him with the lingering question, “Whose party is this, anyway?”

For days after the deed was done, James continued to ponder this thought, and to evaluate his real role in the evening’s proceedings. He reflected on all of the bachelor parties he had both attended and thrown, and how he too had tormented the man of the hour. Soon, a revelation struck him. At each event, James noted, the bachelor had become the buffoon, made to perform mortifying feats such as downing a dozen consecutive shots or suffering through an agonizingly public lap dance. And to what end – his enjoyment? Possibly, but more probably, for the amusement of those attending. For them, this was just a good guys’ night out, complete with their own personal public spectacle. It was a viable excuse for them to be a little wild, to live vicariously for a couple of hours, and of course, to have a good chuckle at the groom’s expense. This epiphany led James to exclaim, “The bachelor party isn’t for the groom. It’s for the groom’s friends!”

So brides, take heart – your husband-to-be’s big night out may leave him feeling less like a single stud and more like a fool for your love. All bachelors though, beware! An embarrassing public experience is likely looming in your future too, and your best buddies are sure to be the culprits.