As I've mentioned before, I am recently married. I got married to my husband on July 1st of 2007. The total cost of our wedding was $5,786. This includes all three rings but does not include the cost of our honeymoon, which we are taking in 4 days!
I would like to do a series of posts about putting together an inexpensive wedding. I heartily welcome comments from married people on how you saved money on your wedding. Please tell anyone you know who is getting married (or thinking about getting married) about these posts :)
My number one tip, which will carry over into future posts about specific costs, is to really think about what is and what is not important to you. It is ok to skimp on the areas that don't matter much to you. For example, my flowers were pretty low on my importance list. I figured they'd be dead and tossed within a week anyway. I opted for red carnations instead of red roses to be included in the bouquets. I'm fairly certain no one noticed and my bouquet still looked absolutely gorgeous in my pictures (see for yourself!).
My second tip goes right along with the first one. Have the wedding that you want. Sit down with your spouse-to-be and discuss what your ideal wedding would look like. Just because everyone has a Saturday afternoon ceremony with a dinner and dance reception doesn't mean you have to. If that is what you really want, great. But maybe you'd rather have lunch with your guests and have a quiet dinner alone with your honey. Or maybe neither of you likes to dance. Don't be afraid to break from tradition!Third, set up and keep to a budget. I know this doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but it is really helpful. This way, you decide at the beginning which things are important enough to budget more money for. When you're later tempted to spend an outrageous amount of money on a tiara at the dress shop, you can look back at your budget and remember that you only budgeted $20 for a tiara because you were pretty sure you could find a cute one at Claire's.
I signed up for free at WeddingChannel.com and used their budget calculator. It was very helpful and especially fun when I could enter in a number that came in under budget! I'm sure TheKnot.com has a similar budget calculator.
Check back over the next couple of weeks and I will break a wedding down into parts and give some ideas, most of which I used myself, to save money on your wedding.