You can save a ton of money off the top by not having a wedding consultant to help you plan. Do you have a very organized friend? Do you have an open relationship with a relative that withstand the tremendous stress of planning a wedding? Do you have a group of friends that will follow through with tasks if you delegate different things to different people? All of these are great options for getting your wedding planned, although I must emphasize that your personal relationships must be able to hold together through this experience because as beautiful as wedding can be, they can also get very ugly if someone harbors hurt feelings. Trust me! I have been there.
Now, some locations require that you use a wedding consultant or may even require that you use THEIR coordinator. Be very careful in these situations. I was in that situation when I married Bill and we were forced by contract to pay the coordinator who then did nothing but cause problems. If your location is like this, ask around and make sure that the person assigned to your wedding is worth the money you are forced to pay before you sign the contract. If you get negative feedback, no matter how much you love the location, look for another venue.
Speaking of locations, how can you save money where you have your wedding and reception? The first obvious answer is to pick an inclusive location where you can have both the wedding and reception. Many venues do not charge extra for this situation and others only charge a small fee. I have seen some beautiful weddings were everything happened all in the same room.
Another money-saving option is to pick a national park, a public garden, or even a beautiful backyard. Do not hesitate to be original either. Martha Stewart even featured a wedding in a barn once. The photographs were lovely. Who could have guessed?!?
If you are a member of a church, some churches will allow you to use their facility for free, leaving you to only pay for the staff to clean-up, operate sound, and/or a coordinate.
Okay, so now I have to tell you about a not-so-popular but extremely frugal option that some brides prefer. If you want to save mega-bucks, get married at the courthouse and then have a huge reception. Bill and I have friends who did this and the couple was able to put more money into the party and had none of the wedding-planning stress, nor the ceremonial bills.
If you have been a part of a frugal wedding and have some ideas to share about the consultant or location, please share them in the comments. We would love to hear from you!
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