Here comes the bride ... and the bill: Saving money on your wedding

Many married couples tell soon-to-be newlyweds that weddings are more for family members than the bride and groom, and this advice often results from their understanding of the cost of a wedding.

In some cases, the veterans tell young couples to elope, but some still opt for the big ceremony and reception. Whether because the lovers want a wedding or are giving into family and societal pressure, there are some costs involved. From the flowers to the venue, someone's checking account is going to take a big hit by the time the vows are exchanged.

Rather than straining your finances, follow these tips to save on your wedding expenses:

  • Get married during the off season. Reserving a wedding venue is more expensive when you're opting for warmer months of the year. If you think you can handle colder weather, go for an autumn or winter wedding. Not only can you spend less on your venue, but you can also have less competition for your ideal wedding date.
  • Explore all venue options. Country clubs and hotels are common but expensive sites to host a wedding. Rather than shelling out for a high-end location, explore more affordable options that can be just as magical. A public park, for example, is a less expensive alternative. Just remember that you have to factor in table and chair rentals for some locations, which could bring the price back up.
  • Reduce the guest list. Do you really need 400 people at your wedding? Consider how much it costs per person for your wedding and look at your guest list to determine who doesn't need an invite. Your childhood friend who you haven't spoken to in a decade is a good example of someone who can be cut.
  • Forget the DJ. While DJs serve more purposes than playing music during the reception, you can save money by using an MP3 player instead. Simply create an appropriate playlist and plug the device in to some speakers. Sure, this isn't the fanciest alternative, but it can be just as effective.
  • Get crafty. Make your own invitations, centerpieces and other items that come with the wedding. If you shop at a warehouse store, you can get many of the supplies in bulk for an affordable price. You'll have to engage in a few hours of manual labor, but you won't mind too much when you see how much you've saved.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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