Wedding Savings

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Save the date cards and wedding invitations are arriving in my mailbox now that the Christmas tree is down.  I have five weddings in 2010 and the year just started.   As a newlywed, and a "go-to" bridesmaid I understand that even though weddings are touching events they can be a very costly and socially confusing event for both the couple and the guests.   Let me share a few ideas to get you started and save some cash.

For the Couple

First congrats! Second, you probably know once vendors hear the word "wedding" dollar signs flash in front of their eyes.  There's no shame in cutting corners in certain places to have the wedding of your dreams.  Doing things yourself, asking if prices are fixed and really doing your research prior to signing contracts are great ways to save some money.

Stationary adds up.  It may be important to have nice invitations to some since  people do keep them as a keepsake  but how many people hold on to the save the date or your thank you note?  I've seen save the date cards & magnates from Vista Print which looked great.  My April bride this year told me about Overnight Prints.  I bought a full stationary kit from the craft store Michaels which has amazing do it yourself items at good prices.

My most frugal bride of them all even did her own flowers because she couldn't fathom paying a florist price. With eight bridesmaids and kind neighbors whom shared their fridges for the night they were done. Fifty Flowers delivered fresh calla lilies and hydrangeas in her budget and on time!

Everyone remembers how beautiful the bride looks on her wedding day.  There are so many items a bride wears on her special day and all those items can make a bank account frown.  Sample sales, bridal outlets and good ole' haggling can help you save some money.  One of my favorite places I've gone with brides (and for myself) is Filene's Basement Running of the Brides! Crazy brides, crazy deals! Oh yeah, been there, done that 6 times, and even have a t-shirt from one of my trips!  For great prices hair accessories check out Hair Comes the Bride!

For the Guests

Going to a wedding often means dancing like an idiot and shelling out money. Travel, gifts, getting fancy, hotel costs are some things that can add up quickly.  If you're invited to an engagement party and bridal shower you need to bring a gift there too.  Use this wedding guest guide from the knot as a wedding reference guide!

Gifts - Money is always nice to give but there are times where you may not have enough money to give to the lovely couple.  With my busy season ahead I have decided to start looking at different stores that couples may register at. So far found 4, need to find the other one while there are amazing post-holiday deals.  Macy's, Bed Bath and Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Target, & Williams Sonoma are some of the more common store I've seen wedding gift registries at.   If there's a higher priced item you would really like to get the couple try seeing if a friend or two would like to split the cost with you. Still confused? A traditional wedding gift is crystal which isn't exactly cheap. The Crystal Company sells brands such as Waterford and Lenox at discounted prices.

Attire - For most weddings a nice suit for men or a cocktail dress for women works. If you're confused on how formal you need to be don't be shy and ask the bride or someone close to her. If you don't have any fancy attire in your closet look at department store like Nordstrom, which has a tool to find attire under certain prices.

Travel & Hotels - Most couples will block off rooms at a local hotel near the wedding at a discount group rate. If you find that the nightly rate is too expensive try seeing if the hotel will let you use another discount on top of what they gave to the bride and groom.  If you call the actual hotel itself were you'd be staying they can be more flexible with the nightly rate.  As always compare travel rates on sites such as Priceline, Travelocity and Expedia.

As always look on Be Frugal for coupons to save money while you prepare for your wedding season!

Image courtesy of mcamcamca

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