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10 Time And Money Saving Tips For Weddings That I Wish I Knew Earlier

10 Time And Money Saving Tips For Weddings That I Wish I Knew Earlier

So you’re getting married. Congratulations! Are you planning your wedding and looking for some time and money savings tips? You’ve come to the right place. Consider this truth-telling time so that you can avoid some of the more common pitfalls. Planning your special day can and should be such a fun experience that you’d repeat if you could. Since you don’t want to say, “If I had it to do over again I’d…,” consider the following:

1. People Will Remember Two Things about Your Wedding: The Food and the Feeling

Years from now (or sooner), no one but you and your spouse are going to remember what your invitations, flowers, wedding favors, or cake looked like. So why blow a lot of money on them? In all of the weddings that I have talked with people about, not once has someone said, “Girl, I will never forget their invitation.” People WILL remember and talk about the food and how they felt attending your event. They may not remember exactly what they ate, but they’ll remember whether or not they enjoyed it. They may not remember specific details about the day, but they will remember if they had a great time and if everyone seemed happy. If you keep these two things in the forefront and make them a priority when planning your day, the decisions you make can enable you to save time and money.

2.  Beautiful Invitations Eventually End Up in the Garbage Too
Wedding Invitations

    So don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over them or paying a lot of money. If you saw the movie “Bridesmaids,” you probably remember the scene when the main character Annie Walker received an invitation to her best friend’s Paris themed bridal shower. It was a fancy pink striped box that held a candle, statue representing the bride and groom, the printed invitation, and best of all a small box that when opened had a butterfly that flew out and “kissed” her. That invitation package clearly cost some bucks. Of course most invitations aren’t that elaborate, but the point is people are spending a lot of money on something that will eventually end up in the garbage. At least in Annie’s case there was a pretty box to save, and a candle to burn.

    Today’s invitations not only set the tone for the wedding, but allow couples to show off their unique style. It should be a fun process, but not one that breaks the bank because no matter how lovely, most of your guests will eventually dispose of it. That’s good money in the trash.

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    Luckily, there are so many options available that can literally save you hundreds of dollars. From kits that can be purchased at arts and crafts stores, to online retailers like Ann’s Bridal Bargains, there’s something lovely for every budget. Designed your own? Keep costs down by using a discount printing service like Vista Print. Want to design your own, but don’t know where to go? Use a site like Fiverr to get your dream design for less. Want to save even more money? Do away with the paper entirely and send electronic invitations. Sites like Evites provide a number of free and paid options. Better yet, use a site that offers multiple services because…

    3.  A Good Wedding Website Can Help You Save Time and Money
    Wedding Mapper

      They can be super easy to set up and personalized to reflect your individual style. More importantly they can keep you organized by storing everything in one place – which will be a real time saver. Even better? There are a lot of FREE options! A good site will allow you to accept and track wedding RSVPs, display a map to your ceremony site, reception venue, and/or lodging, store vendor information, create a seating chart, maintain a ledger of costs and payments, track gifts and thank you notes, and provide a central location for contact. Sites like Wedding Mapper provide this for free. For couples who want additional amenities, paid upgrades are available. Having it all in one place can save money on aspirin too because there will be fewer headaches. You’ll both know where everything is and you can review it at a glance. To make sure it remains a timesaver, don’t go overboard with the personalization. You know, the telling of your story with pictures, videos, stories and anecdotes. It’s cute, but what people really want from your wedding website is practical information such as directions, and where your registry is located.

      4. There are So Many Ways to Get the Dress for Less
      Beautiful Wedding Dress

        Did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is $1300? That’s a lot of money for something you’ll be wearing once. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s true! Whether you plan to go the traditional route or not, there’s no reason to pay that much, as you can have your perfect dress for so much less. For instance, you can rent a dress for as little as $75 from sites like Rent the Runway. One challenge with rentals is that you can’t alter them, so consider other awesome options like buying a pre-owned dress. Brick and mortar consignment stores that specialize in wedding gowns, as well as online shops like Preownedweddingdresses.com offer a great selection and an even greater savings. Retail stores like Black House White Market and J. Crew have gotten into the wedding dress game, offering great styles at fantastic prices. Many brides have their dream dress made overseas for as low as $200! Intrigued? The book, “Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget,” by Denise Fields describes how to do just that, along with tons of other money saving wedding tips. If you can bear to part with your dress after the wedding you can recoup some of the cost by selling or consigning it for another bride to wear and love. I purchased my dress (pictured above) from a consignment store for $250 and I LOVED it.

        5. Avoid Bridal Magazines & Television Shows
        Bridal Magazine

          The first time I actually looked at a bridal magazine was after I purchased my dress, shoes and accessories. I was thrilled with my choices as they were “me.” I hadn’t decided on the hair 100% and thought I might find inspiration in a few magazines. All I can say is that I was over the moon happy that I had already purchased everything because the magazines did what they were designed to do – make me ooh, ahh, salivate and desire, regardless of the ridiculous prices. There was even a moment, a tiny one but still, where I doubted my dress and wished for one in the magazine. Don’t go down that rabbit hole. Magazines and shows about dream weddings will clue you into things that you would otherwise never, EVER, have thought about “needing” or wanting – promoting a false idea of what a wedding is supposed to be or should have. More choice is not necessarily better in this case. Pearl encrusted bridal bouquet holder. Beautiful?  Oh, yes. Ridiculous and completely unnecessary? Absolutely!

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          6. Beautiful, Money Saving Wedding Flowers are Possible and Make a Lot of “Cents”
          Money Saving Wedding Flowes

            Wedding flowers cost an average of $1200. Say what?! Someone please explain why so much money is spent on wedding flowers. To keep costs down while still having beautiful flowers, consider the following. Buy flowers that are currently in bloom, otherwise you’ll pay a premium for your dream flower that’s out of season. If you’re using a florist, don’t tell them that you’re purchasing for a wedding, at least until your final price is locked in. It’s like roses on Valentine’s Day. The price will go up.

            If you’re willing to design the arrangement yourself, consider using an online flower wholesaler like Fifty Flowers. Wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco are also great choices for pretty flowers for less. Or you can do what we did and showcase the flowers as accents as opposed to the primary décor or centerpiece. My husband and I scouted three locations, two supermarkets and a farmer’s market, that had beautiful and inexpensive flowers.  We chose three so there were options if one had a bad day. The day before the wedding we bought what we liked and spent $100, including the $5 DIY bridal bouquet. It’s amazing what a few bottles, vases, and ribbon will do! Pictured above is one of the flower accents used during the outdoor cocktail hour.  Not only did we save a ton of money, we saved time as well because we limited our choices to what was available and on hand.

            7.  Wedding Décor Can be Totally Sharp, Classy, AND Inexpensive
            Money Saving Wedding Decor

              Many couples use flower arrangements as their table centerpieces which can add a lot to your budget’s bottom line. You can slash your budget significantly by being creative and using an almost infinite number of options for your centerpieces and décor. How? Three words: Coupons, Ebay, and borrowing. Craigslist counts too. For the DYIer, arts and crafts stores like Michael’s provides inspiration, as well as 50% off coupons. White string lights which are practically a holiday time staple and are probably sitting in your basement, or can be borrowed from family and friends, can create a magical dreamscape. Tea light candles, even flameless ones, in decorative holders add romantic drama and can be had by the dozens for twenty to fifty dollars on eBay. Still want flowers? Use them as accents as shown in the photo above. Not only will you save money, but your guests will be able to see each other over this lovely centerpiece.

              8. You are Not Limited to a Specific Caterer
              Money Saving Wedding Buffet

                Since the food (and drink) is one of the things that will stand out in your guests’ memory, you want to get this one right. It’s not about your budget, per se because done well, hamburgers and hot dogs can be great wedding food. All things being equal however, if your goal is to provide a fancy-ish catered meal and it comes down to choosing between “lesser quality” food options so you can, let’s say buy the fancier decorations, spend the money on the food.  It will feel worth it when people ask when they can expect to be invited back for your next event.  As far as I know, no one has ever asked for a repeat invite because of pretty decorations. With that said, these money saving wedding tips can help you have the menu that you want and eat it too.

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                Yes, you can definitely save money on food by holding your reception during less popular times (think Friday night or Sunday brunch). It is also true that buffets are generally less expensive than sit-down meals. However, the biggest food money saver occurs when you hold your reception at a venue that allows you to cater with whomever you wish.  Doing this one thing will allow you to control everything from your price point to all of your food choices. Finding a venue that will allow you to do this may take a little work, but the savings can be immense. When working with a caterer, do not tell them that you are planning a wedding menu until your menu and price has been locked in. As with the flowers example above, wedding packages may very well be priced higher than other options.

                My husband and I saved a ton of money by using a company that specialized in college dining services. Many college food service operations are contracted out to specialized companies that may also have catering arms. Your memories of college dining hall food may not be fond, but you may be surprised at how well they do fancy. Set up a tasting to see. It could very well be the biggest cost saver of your wedding.  Other tips include renting table cloths, china, tables and chairs from party companies because it may be less expensive than through the caterer. Also, sometimes buying the table cloths is even cheaper than renting and you can sell them and recoup some of the cost!

                9. Your Wedding Cake Doesn’t Have to be Large Enough to Serve Everyone
                Money Saving Wedding Cake

                  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a cake! The wedding industry certainly knows how to get us to buy into whatever they are selling. The cake is no exception. To hear them tell it we need a specially engraved cake knife and server, as well as a floral bouquet for the knife. That’s right. Flowers. For the knife. That cuts your cake. Seriously? Novelty options such as cupcakes, small pies, ice cream sundaes, Viennese tables and more can be marvelous options which on the face of it sound like they would be less expensive than a fancy cake. Just make sure that they are. If you need to have a wedding cake, consider a small one, appropriate for the two of you to enjoy and have your yummy, yet less expensive sheet cake in the back ready to be sliced and served. Believe me, no one is going to wonder or care how all of those square slices came from a small round cake. Tip: Order a cake for half the number of guests attending and serve half slices. If you’ve ever been to a wedding you’re sure to have seen all of leftovers from partially eaten slices that were then just thrown away. By now people are up and mingling.

                  10. You Could Spend Forever Selecting the Perfect Wedding Favor
                  MOney Saving Wedding Godiva Favors

                    For once, the issue here isn’t as much about money as it is about time. There are so many cute wedding favor ideas (that your guests will actually enjoy) that you could devote hours, no days poring over all of the options. The best way to insure that your party favor doesn’t set you back a lot of money is to be open to the possibilities. People who are locked into an idea, and inflexible regarding what they will accept,  incur the greatest cost. Sites like TheWeddingShop.theKnot.com have everything from personalized chocolate covered pretzels, to olive oil, chap stick, mints in decorative tins and more for prices that will make you smile. If you can live without personalization you could save even more. For instance, we bought milk chocolate heart-shaped lollipops (pictured above) that were on sale on the Godiva website for $2 each with free shipping. Some folks “oohed” because it was Godiva, but for us it was more like, “Yummy. Awesome price. Order it. Done!” Make a pact for how much time you will spend making your favor decision and stick to it. That’ll be one less thing on your to do list.

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                    11. There’s Such a Thing as an Ipod DJ!
                    Money Saving Wedding Ipod DJ

                      Live Band or DJ? Neither, since the average price of a live band is $3,000 and a reception DJ is $1000, thank-you-very-much. Thanks to rentable Ipod DJ equipment you can have great wedding music for $500 or less. Locate a rental company that carries this type of equipment. The rental cost could be as low as $65 a day. Rent some speakers appropriate for the size of the venue. You could even bypass the Ipod DJ equipment totally by renting speakers that allow you to connect your Ipod directly to them. Either way, plug in your iPod and you’re good to go! Okay, so it’s not quite that simple. You have some choices to make. Will you develop your own playlist or pay a DJ to record a dance set for you? With some time you can pretty easily develop your own pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail and dinner hour playlists. The dance playlist can be a little trickier as you want to include songs that will appeal to everyone as well as have the right mix of fast and slow songs. If you’re confident in your abilities then what you spend in time you will definitely save in money. As far as the duties that a DJ usually handles such as introducing the bridal party and the speeches, etc., and pushing the play button on your electronic DJ, ask and assign someone in your wedding party to handle those responsibilities.

                      These are just some of the many money saving wedding tips to be had. With a little time and research you’ll find substantial savings on other aspects of your wedding such as your photographer (no, don’t use uncle Bill), transportation (are limos necessary?), ceremony programs, printed menus, embossed place settings (remember, these get thrown away like invitations), keeping the guest list small, and more. How do you plan to save? Mazel Tov!

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                      Last Updated on June 26, 2020

                      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                      “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

                      If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

                      You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

                      Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

                      As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

                      And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

                      But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

                      • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                        • food
                        • rent/mortgage
                        • cell phone
                        • insurance
                        • socializing/entertainment
                        • transportation
                        • hygiene products
                        • household bills
                      • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                        • travel
                        • clothing
                        • medication (*depends)
                        • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                        • gifts

                      Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

                      Save Money on Food

                      1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

                      Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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                      Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

                      2. Buy the store-brand version

                      Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

                      3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

                      Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

                      4. Have group dinners

                      If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

                      Save Money in Transport

                      5. Get a bicycle

                      Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

                      6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

                      Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

                      7. Find the cheapest gas

                      Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

                      Save Money in General Shopping

                      8. Shop online

                      Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

                      9. Sell your old stuff

                      Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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                      Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

                      10. Bulk buying stores

                      For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

                      Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

                      11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

                      You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

                      12. Generic brand medication

                      More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

                      13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

                      It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

                      Cut Down on Household Expenses

                      14. Printing

                      Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

                      e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

                      Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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                      15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

                      A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

                      16. Shop around for insurance

                      Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

                      Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

                      17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

                      If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

                      18. Don’t get a TV

                      Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

                      19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

                      My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

                      Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

                      20. Have house parties

                      Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

                      For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

                      21. Open festivals, meetups and events

                      It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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                      22. Volunteer

                      If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

                      23. Housesit

                      There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

                      Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

                      24. DIY beauty

                      French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

                      25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

                      If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

                      Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

                      Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

                      • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
                      • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
                      • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
                      • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
                      • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
                      • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
                      • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

                      Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

                      What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

                      Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

                      More Tips for Personal Finance Management

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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