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April 11, 2009


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I am actually getting married this summer and looking for ways to cut cost. Our estimated cost is about $22,000. We were able to cut costs by about 20% due to some relationships I had build while a student. I used to organize a lot of parties and had a good relationship with caters and musicians, I was able to use this relationship to cut some costs.

One way I saved on flowers is when after the florist showed me the bouquets of I don't know how many flowers literally shoved into the bouquets, I asked her what it would look like if she used LESS flowers (mine were roses). I thought it looked better since you could actually see them as opposed to have tons of them squished together (which apparently is standard in Australia where I got married). And it was HALF the cost because she used half the flowers.

I also had a cocktail style reception with heavy hordeorves rotating on trays with waiters. The same with the cake once it was cut. It not only cut down on the cost of food, but nobody had to sit next to someone they didn't or wait in line for food.

We did lots of other things to trim costs. Our wedding was still gorgeous and a fantastic time though...people still talk about it, seven years later. Our anniversary is tomorrow actually. :).

Since May of 2008, my wife and I financed our wedding for about $7,000-$7,500, went on a honeymoon to Turkey and Cyprus, paid off my student loan of $25,000, have almost paid off her student loan of $7,000, and through the combination of savings and a little help from my parents, purchased a short sale house for a very good price.

Though we still want to build up our net worth, we have accomplished quite a lot as a result of living below our means. I can't tell you how great it will feel for both of us to be non-mortgage debt free.

I had my wedding in 2001 for $2,000. I tribute most of the savings to asking advise from my pastor. He does 4-5 weddings per summer, so he knows who is the best and who is the least expensive.

1. I found someone to make and decorate the cake who does it out of her house.

2. I made my own veil (it's a family tradition and really easy).

3. I got a HUGE discount on my wedding dress, which was brand-new.

4. I went to a country club for the reception, which was served family-style. It was half the price of doing the food ourselves.

5. I went to the best florist in town, but did daisies as my theme flower. Daisies are really inexpensive.

6. I had a cousin do the wedding pictures because usually I've noticed that wedding pictures don't turn out when they're done by a professional. The pictures were perfect.

7. I had a DJ, but nowadays I would have just compiled an MP3 player to last for a few hours.

8. Candles were my centerpieces.

9. Went to Claires for my jewelry.

10. This is the honeymoon, but we went to Canada instead of a pricey resort. It was summer, and we figured we'd rather be comfy than in sweltering heat. We rented a cabin for peanuts.

I think a big reason for the outrageous wedding costs is that most people get married before they really learn to be financially responsible. This brings up the averages and consequently raises the prices that people deem acceptable. Our wedding, in 2003, cost a few thousand I think. We had a lot of help from crafty relatives. But we still put a bunch on credit cards that eventually got added to a HELOC that still isn't paid off (in fact it grew). I would definitely change a lot if I had it to do all over again. As I watch friends and relatives who are slightly younger go through the same thing, I realize that it takes a lot more than friendly advice to stop the snowball of fiscal irresponsibility until they actually experience it first hand.

Our solution: DIY.
Keep it very homey and simple, You dont have to have a really formal wedding for it to be memorable and unique.We cooked ALL the food ourselves, we outsourced photography, clothing alterations, decorations, flowers and MANY other small tasks to creative, and talented friends and family for much lower costs, and, I bought my dress on E-bay.... Scary thought but it turned out well. Total wedding cost for 100 guests was $6,000. (Well below our $8000 budget)

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