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5 Hacks for an Affordable Wedding

5 Hacks for an Affordable Wedding

Most people tend not to associate the word “wedding” with “affordable.” There is a great reason for this. Most weddings tend to be incredibly expensive and cause significant stress to the bride, groom, and their families.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Sure, there are many expensive traditions involved in a wedding, but there are also financially sound alternatives. There are quite a few ways for creative people to have an amazing wedding at a cost that doesn’t put parents into financial crisis mode.

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Here are five hacks for an affordable, yet still incredible, wedding.

1. Buy Used

Since weddings are a one-time event, many weddings end up with everything sitting in storage or sold on a site like Craigslist. Even if you don’t usually like to buy things used, there are many wedding supplies that have literally only been used once, for a few hours, in their entire life. This is true for everything from wedding dresses to decorations. You can get essentially brand new stuff at nearly half the cost.

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2. Never Mention the Word “Wedding”

This is not in person, but in search engines. Yes, a little known fact about many companies is that when they know something is for a wedding, the price magically doubles. This is true for just about everything. Wedding dresses, honeymoon travel, reception halls, photographers, and even flowers all have a habit of doing this. That means you need to change the way you look for things. You need to use an incognito window in your browser, especially when looking for flights. This is because some sites will save your cookies and know information about you. They can use this to charge higher prices. It also means instead of typing things into Google, you need to go straight to the sites. For example, you could type this wedding dress site’s URL directly into your browser and avoid going through a search engine. This can dramatically drop your cost in just about every category of your wedding.

3. Look at Prices First

If you choose a date for your wedding first, and then start looking for venues and plane tickets, you may find yourself severely disappointed in the dates you chose. Often, plane tickets can change price by hundreds of dollars in just a few days. The same goes for venues, hotels, and other items. If you instead look around for the cheapest dates to fly, stay in hotels, and use reception halls, then you will be able to save a significant amount of money just by having your wedding a day or two earlier.

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4. Watch the Extras

Oftentimes when planning a wedding, the bride and groom will say yes to seemingly inexpensive extras. Perhaps it is paying for a hairdresser, or giving everyone some kind of Save the Date. Maybe your photographer has a bonus video option. All of these will seem inexpensive at first, but when they start to add up, you will suddenly realize that you are paying thousands of dollars more for all of the extras combined.

5. Rent

One of the biggest hassles and expenses of weddings is purchasing materials like wedding dresses, tablecloths, flowers, and more. Because these items typically only get used one time per wedding, they can be used many times over and still look brand new. Renting as much as you can will save you the hassle of having to buy everything yourself, as well as the hassle of figuring out what to do with everything after the wedding. Additionally, it saves significant money, with the average wedding dress costing over $1,000.

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Final thoughts

Many brides report that one thing they wished they would have done on their wedding day is stress less. Let the little things go. It is okay if something happens and your hair isn’t perfect. If a small rip shows up in your wedding dress, it can be fixed. If it suddenly starts to rain, chances are it will be a good memory in just a few months. If someone cannot show up because of unforeseen circumstances, then you will likely get over it as soon as the wedding is over. Don’t let stress ruin what should be one of the best days of your life.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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