Save the day

Spend your wedding celebrating your love and future happiness, not worry about the cost.

  • Story by Veronica Johnston

Spend your wedding celebrating your love and future happiness, not worry about the cost.

A budget planner helps determine your wedding priorities by detailing every cost from the invites to the honeymoon. But as every bride is different, so is her budget. Even the most organised bride will find more expenses than she bargained for, adding as much as an extra 10 per cent to the total budget. So it pays to prioritise your costs from the start. You and your fiance will need to be realistic and focused when determining where you most need to save and where you can splurge. 

Doing it yourself may help save money in areas while adding a personal touch. For instance, you can create your own invitiations with a computer, printer and some creative flair. Bulk-buy ribbons and paper then deliver those you can by hand. This way you avoid any hidden material, design and postage costs. Another do-it-yourself tip is to choose a reception venue where you can supply the drinks. Purchase the amount you will need during sales. You will avoid paying corkage and mark-up fees. And you can bring unfinished bottles home. Burn your own CDs or play your iPod on the venue's sound system rather than pay for a band. Nominate a friend to keep an eye on the tunes who can change the song order if you are suddenly inspired to switch the mood on the dance floor. Make your own wedding cake or create small cupcakes instead. Cupcakes are easy to make and can double as dessert and name-card holders. This helps you avoid spending extra on layers of cake that might not get eaten. 

Spend smart simply by marrying and celebrating at the same venue. Keep in mind that getting married in a church can have many hidden costs. For example, you'll need to decorate the church with flowers and candles, possibly donate money to the church and design wedding programmes for you guests. 

While opting for a couture gown may be more expensive than buying off the rack keep in mind you may need to make alterations and buy your veil separately. Why not decide on purchasing your bridesmaid gowns from the same shop if possible? Dress designers may give you a discount if they make all the wedding party's gowns.

Ultimately your budget is a work in progress. Don't stress if you spend more or less than you had hoped. Keep a tally of each cost to minimise surprises down the track. It's natural that you may pay a bit more than originally anticipated. If you overspend in one area, try cutting back in another.

Remember what is most important - you have shared a special day with those you love and who love you. All the money in the world can't buy that. 

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