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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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