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Fit Big Ticket Items Into Your Wedding Budget

May 21, 2008

Viewers who watched the Desperate Housewives‘ fourth-season finale on Sunday nearly saw a marriage fall apart over an ice sculpture. Mere hours away from their ‘commitment ceremony’, Wisteria Lane residents Bob and Lee clashed over the latter’s demand for an enchanted ice castle with a vodka moat surrounding it.

If you’re married, or are planning a wedding right now, you’ve probably felt the sharp sting of a bridezilla’s (or groomzilla’s) totally unreasonable request that they’ve “dreamed of all [their] lives.” But in a struggling economy, there’s less wiggle room in wedding budgets for flights of fancy.

Don’t cross the vodka moat off just yet, though. There are plenty of painless ways to cut corners in order to save the extravagances in the master plan:

  • Fewer Flowers: Really, do you need them all? And they’re not going to last.

  • Bargain Hunt: If the bride is a savvy shopper, she can find a dress she’s in love with at low, low cost.

  • Review the Menu: Check out the other offerings provided by your caterer and see if the Kobe beef and shiitake Wellington in a red wine reduction is really the only entree that will satisfy your guests.

  • Rethink the Honeymoon: Right now, the cost of European honeymoons is astronomical thanks to the value of the Euro vs. the US Dollar. To save a few thousand bucks, consider changing the locale to somewhere just as romantic but a bit less bank-intensive.

  • Do Yourself A Favor: Wedding favors are the most memorable thing about a reception, so you can’t skimp. But you can shop around and find the best deal, or even make them yourself. When I got married, we gave our guests personalized jars of honey as wedding favors. We bought bulk orders of small mason jars and honey drippers, haggled with a local beekeeper for they honey, and had my husband design the labels and favor tags in Photoshop. They were a huge hit – without hitting my checkbook.

Finally, think about your guests are really going to remember about the reception – typically, it’s the cake, the wedding favors, the good times, and anecdotes about open-bar abuse. Budget for those things accordingly, but be sure to shop around when it comes to everything else.

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Erica is an 11 year veteran of the wedding industry and is the owner and founder of advice has been featured in the books: How To Plan Your Wedding and Enjoy It! Experienced Wedding Professionals Share Their Secrets and Planet Wedding.Follow her on Google +
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