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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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