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ways to reduce marriage expenses

Tip #1 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Avoid “wedding season”
Avoiding "wedding season" will help cut your wedding costs. That is, if you are still planning on a date of the event. If you are set with your date, than, obviously, skip this advice. But what you can still do is avoid the highest-priced time charged by reception halls, which is Saturday, 7 p.m. Reception is about 50% of your total wedding cost, so this could save you a chunk of "wedding money".

Tip # 2 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Limit the wedding's guest list.
Most catering halls and restaurants charge by person, so every person is an expense to you. Before inviting someone you’ve never even seen before to your wedding, think if you want to take that wedding cost upon yourself.

Tip # 3 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Consider a wedding buffet, wedding luncheon, wedding brunch, or a wedding dessert reception instead of a multi-course wedding dinner.
You might also buy the liquor for the wedding yourself, which would be much cheaper than the catering hall providing it. This way, you are cutting two wedding costs at once.

Tip # 4 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Location, location, location.
Local or national parks, as well as your own or your relative/friends’ back yard are low-cost wedding locations. That's a beautiful way of cutting wedding cost!!!

Tip # 5 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Flowers and decor
Flowers and decor are 8% of an average wedding cost. You should bond with other brides to share decorating costs at catering halls, which usually use the same decoration for several brides, but charge them separately. Also, make sure to use the flowers that are in season since they will be cheaper. Avoid Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, and other holidays when flowers are in high demand. Check out local grocery stores since they usually change significantly less for flowers. You might also consider the wedding to take place in a garden or an art museum, to save on decorations cost all together. Also, consider doing flowers and decorations yourself.

Tip # 6 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Attire
Attire is 10% of an average wedding cost. Consider renting a gown and a tux for your wedding in order to reduce this wedding cost. Also, you might want to check out sample sales, department stores and outlet stores. Consider cheaper fabrics. Remember that you will wear that gown only once (on your wedding day)!

Tip # 7 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- desserts.
Don’t go overboard with desserts. After all the eating and drinking, people will not have that much spare space in their stomachs for deserts.

Tip # 8 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Music.
Music is 8% of an average wedding cost. You might want to go for a DJ instead of a live band to reduce this wedding cost.

Tip # 9 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Photo and Video.
This is a tricky one. Although its 12% of an average wedding cost, most couples want to leave memories and would want the best possible professional photographer/videographer at their wedding. However, if you are a risk taker, you might consider hiring an amateur for your wedding, who will change less. Another idea is leaving disposable cameras on tables so that the guests could take pictures. At the end of the wedding, you collect the cameras, and guess what? You have all the wedding pictures from all the angles possible at no cost!

Tip # 10 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- wedding invitations
Consider wedding invitations that will only require one standard stamp and a standard envelope. Include the reception information on the wedding invitation instead of sending a separate response cards. If your relatives/friends are internet savvy, you might even send a wedding invitation by e-mail. There are many different cards on internet cost-free. Also, you might design your own wedding invitations.

Tip # 11 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Reduce the number of bridesmaids
Reducing the number of bridesmaids or letting them wear attire of their choice that they will personally pay for will also reduce wedding cost. Let men wear nice suits instead of tuxedos.

Attire
1. Visit bridal shops and explore their discount racks. You are likely to encounter exceptional deals. For example, I found a previous year's model of a wedding dress, originally selling for $490, on a clearance rack for under $100. Unfortunately, you can only choose from the dresses and sizes that are available on the rack. These dresses cannot be ordered in another size for the sale price.

2. Try to avoid dress shops that ask for your preferences and then find you a dress. They may have a less expensive dress that you like, but you may never see it. You only see what they show you. Instead, visit shops that have all of their dresses displayed on racks. This way you can see all of the options in your price range.

3. Ask bridal shops if they will store your dress for you for free until your wedding date. Many shops will do this if you ask.

Invitations
4. Send in every postcard for free mail-order stationery catalogs that appear in bridal magazines and search online for stationery companies. You can usually find the same invitation that you found elsewhere for substantially less money. You typically pay less with mail order, since you do not have to pay for the middleman.

5. Before you order your invitations, request an invitation sample from the company. This will allow you to examine the paper quality and determine if the invitation is exactly what you want before you place your order. This might save you the cost of reprinting invitations.

6. Consider including reception information on your invitations in the bottom left corner ("corner copy"). This will save you in printing and postage costs.

7. Consider thermographed invitations instead of engraved ones. Most people will not notice the difference.


8. Have several people proofread your invitation order. Most invitation companies will charge you full-price to reprint invitations if you made the mistake.

9. Do not order your invitations as soon as you create your invitation list. You are likely to revise this list in a few days. Instead, write your invitation list and then have both families look at it. Wait a few
 days and repeat this process. You will find that you will have a more accurate list. This can save you the cost of reprinting invitations if you need more.

10. When you do order your invitations, order 25 extra. This will only add a few dollars to your invitation bill. If you later revise your list again and add a few extra people, you will already have the invitations. Otherwise, you will have to pay full-price to order a few more.

11. Decide how many people that you can afford to attend your wedding. Then make two invitation lists-the "must invites" and the "would like to invites." Send out an invitation to a person on the "would like to invite list" every time you receive a "no" from the "must invite" list.

Reception
12. Make a list of the items that you need for your reception and include these items on your bridal registry. You might obtain most of what you need for your reception at your bridal shower.

13. If you do not receive most of the needed reception items as gifts, ask a married friend if they still have theirs. Many reception items, such as a cake knife and server, are not used often after the wedding, so they won't be missed if you borrow them.

14. Consider purchasing some of your wedding and reception supplies (aisle runner, favors, etc.) through mail-order or Internet sites. Since the middleman is eliminated, you will often receive the same merchandise at reduced prices.

15. Consider a lunch reception instead of a dinner reception. This can be just as elegant for a fraction of the cost.

Photography
16. Instead of ordering additional gift folios for your families and your bridal party, consider giving these individuals a few of the photos that are already included with your photography package. Some "standard" packages give you more photos than you really need.

General
17. Consider getting married on a weekday instead of on a weekend. Many wedding professionals offer discounts for weekday weddings.

18. Consider getting married at an off-peak time of the year. During off-peak times, you may receive substantial discounts from florists and other wedding professionals. This can also
 reduce your honeymoon cost since you will not be traveling during "tourist season."

19. Consider getting married at your reception site. This can save you money on rentals and on decorations.

20. Shop around for your wedding professionals. Although it may be time consuming to call several of the photographers that are listed in the phone book, for example, your effort is usually rewarded. You may be able to find better quality at a reduced price than your first few estimates.

21. Talk to brides who have been recently married. They might be able to refer you to some wedding professionals who offer exceptional deals.

22. Let your friends and relatives know what supplies and services that you are still looking for. They might spot a "sale" in their neighborhood that will save you money.

23. Discuss your wedding decisions with your fiancé and with both sets of parents before you book anything. Otherwise, you may lose deposits and have to reorder invitations if you need to change your plans later.

24. Try to book as many of your wedding professionals as soon as possible. Many professionals will lock you in at the current rate. Otherwise, you might have to pay substantially more money for the same services as a result of inflation.

25. Beware of "final sales." You might think that a veil will match your dress, for example, but you really won't know until you take it home. If you cannot return merchandise, you may have to purchase some items twice.

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