Lower wedding budgets are today's reality. Can a bride-to-be still have the wedding of her dreams? Absolutely. The secrets are prioritizing and being conscientious about what you spend.

Prioritizing Wedding Expenses

When dreaming of the perfect wedding, there are likely two or three elements you see vividly and are most important. What are they? The gown? Decor? Location? A jaw-dropping cake? Whatever the aspects, these are where you should put your priorities. Similar to purchasing a dream home, every small detail of your original vision will not likely survive a small budget. But focus on the few elements that make the dream a dream and you will soon forget the insignificant pieces that did not happen as originally anticipated.

Be Both "Penny and Pound Wise"

Most all of us have heard the phrase "penny wise and pound foolish" as a description for someone who watches every little cent, but is wasteful when it comes to larger expense decisions. You can be wise on both fronts! Consistently saving dollars on the smaller expenditures adds up, as does making wise decisions on larger costs. Here are some tips:

Personalized service providers.

Pick and choose what you hire someone to do. Top contenders for personalized services are (1) aspects of your wedding most important to you (as mentioned above) and (2) those things you do not have the time or talent to do yourself.

Cut costs in areas you are less passionate about and/or are able to accomplish without the help of a professional. Before doing so, however, evaluate what quality you will give up by having your cousin do the videography or Uncle Walt running a boom box (for example). Expertise and experience domatter, so scrimp here with your eyes wide open.

Venue & catering costs.

There are two approaches to saving money here: guest count and cost for the space. In 2011, more couples began having their receptions in unconventional spaces like empty buildings, barns, or the outdoors and many used the space for both the ceremony and wedding. That trend is expected to continue for 2012. Depending on the location, this can save on rental fees.

On the guest count side, the average number of guests at the wedding is decreasing. Couples are opting for a more intimate group of family and friends.

The visual details.

Do it yourself is trendy. Making your own chair covers rather than renting expensive ones is perfectly acceptable, as is giving handcrafted and personally meaningful gifts to the wedding party. What you do purchase, harness the power of the Internet to keep costs down. Not only is the selection much larger than what you find locally, but lower priced options are more plentiful as well.

Examples of areas where you can save by shopping online (each link goes to a page of inexpensive online items in that category):


Discount Veils




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