Wedding season is upon us but you don't have to break the bank to be joined in wedded bliss. Here are some thoughts on having a frugal wedding. Please share your ideas as well!
* Have a morning or afternoon wedding to save on the cost of a more formal dinner meal and the more expensive evening wedding hall rental. If you can swing a weekday evening wedding, the costs go down even more. Saturday evening events are usually the most expensive when it comes to venue rental.
* Get creative on the venue including looking for a location in a nearby town that may be less expensive. For instance, we have a large family event in August. We are using a venue in Clayton because the rental is much less than similar venues in Cary and Raleigh.
* Borrow or rent a dress or buy a used dress at a consignment store. Why spend a month's mortgage payment on a dress that you will only wear once?
* Don't serve alcohol and your costs will drop significantly. For the event I am hosting in August, we are serving tea, soda, coffee and water. The caterer is letting me get the sodas and they will serve them.
* Do your own hair, makeup, wedding favors and centerpieces. If you have family or friends who can help, don't be afraid to ask for their assistance. Your cousin who has a knack for decorating might be the perfect person to help with creating frugal centerpieces. For our August event, I am using vases from a friend who just hosted her daughter's wedding and buying them for about 20% of the retail cost. I'll use them again when we have another similar function in 2 years and then sell them to someone else.
* Play CD's instead of hiring a live band. Have a friend DJ the party with music you have selected.
* Have a smaller wedding cake and then a less expensive sheet cake in back to serve from. That's what we are doing for our August event.
* Don't invite everyone you have ever known since the day you were born. Keeping the guest list under control will keep costs much more reasonable.
* Keep it simple and have fun!
What other ideas do you have for a frugal wedding or other large event?