Volume 75
Volume 76
Volume 77
Volume 78
Volume 79

A wedding doesn’t mean you have to break the bank

Published (Volume 78, No. 20)

So you’ve found that one special person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. You’ve gotten the ring, and now the only thing left is getting together to plan the big day.

The only problem is, how are you going to pay for everything?
According to the National Association of Wedding Ministers, the average cost of an American wedding is $22,000. You want to have the fairy-tale wedding you’ve always dreamed of, but you and your future to-be are still in college, and money is tight. So what do you do?

Thankfully, there are endless tips that any bride will share that can help you save money in the long run.

“Hire a wedding coordinator,” says Melissa Johnson, a junior Secondary English major from Kenton who took a walk down the aisle last year. “It will save you time and money.”

Other tips that you should check out at www.fool.com suggest that you hold your reception in a non-tradiotnal place, such as a public park. Don’t spend $800 on a dress, which is what the National Association of Wedding Ministers says is what the average bride spends.  After all, you’re only going to wear it once, so what’s the point of spending thousands of dollars on it? Watch for sales at places like David’s Bridal, which is where 20 percent of all brides buy their dresses, according to the National Association of Wedding Ministers, and that percent is increasing. With annual $99 gown sells, its easy to see why.

Also, www.fool.com says to think twice before getting married on a Saturday or in June. These are the most popular times for couples to get married, and people tend to get charged more when they plan a date on those times. And the biggest tip that www.fool.com can give you is to make the most of your wedding registry. register for everyday gifts, like dinnerware,  silverware, sheets and blankets. That way, you won’t have to buy them later.

But that’s only part of a wedding. What about other things, like flowers and cakes?

“Find someone who will make you a cake instead of going to buy one from a bakery,” Johnson says. “And serve snacks like vegtables and fancy cheese and crackers instead of dinner. Even then, don’t get too fancy.”

And what about invitations, save-the-date cards, thank you notes? These are yet another wedding essential that can leave your wallet empty. One tip is to make your own. There are a number of software programs that will allow you to simply buy the cardstock you want and let your computer do the rest. Stores like Hobby Lobby have a large assortment of cardstock for you to turn into a beautiful wedding invitation. Other place, like Wal-Mart and wedding stores like David’s Bridal have invitations already made. All you have to do is print on them. This is also a great way to make wedding programs and menu cards.

Then, there’s flowers, which is one of the biggest concerns any bride—-and groom—-can have. You probably want something nice, but not too expensive. Where can you get your bouquet made? What about flower petals for the flower girl?

Erin Smith, an English major who helps plans weddings, says to use silk flowers. “If you go to the right place, no one will be able to tell the difference. They look just as good, you’ll be able to keep your boquet forever and they’re a lot less expensive.”

These are just a few of the tips that you can find by checking out websites and talking to any bride. If you would like more tips, you can check out sites like www.weddinchannel.com and www.theknot.com.

Just remember: the wedding industry is a $50 billion a year industry, and if you’re planning to get married while you’re still in college, $22,00 is nothng more than a number.

So have fun, plan early and get ready to spend the rest of your life with that special someone.