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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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