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How to save on your wedding, 10 Tips from Brit on how to help you save!

Getting married can be relatively cheap. Think Las Vegas drive-thru chapels or visits to your local town hall. Weddings on the other hand, can become expensive and can quickly burn a whole in your pocket.

According to our friends at The Knot, in 2010 families spent, on average, almost $28,000 per wedding. And with most couples waiting to marry and three quarters of marriage partners living together first, many couples are paying at least part of that bill. Another reason they’re pitching in, mom and dad and aunty and uncles may have far less saved coming out of the recession.
wedding costs couple

Here are a few things to keep in mind when paying for a wedding.

Walking down the aisle can be pretty spendy, but here are some ways to slim down the costs.

Divide the expenses with friends and family. Tradition is, the parents of the bride would cover the cost of the wedding; those ancient traditions are gone – not anymore. Weddings are family occasions, for at least two families.

  • The couple contributes. According to The Knot, The average age for a bride climbed to 29 in 2010 from 28 in 2009 and the average age for a groom to 31, from 30. Almost a decade out of college and even more from high school, most couples are ready, willing and able to contribute to their own celebration.
  • Cash flow. Encourage friends and relatives to give cash gifts. There are several web friendly sites that are cash friendly to apply for your gift registries. It’s more common on the coasts but a few hints about the frugal couple may persuade the more gift-minded to write a check rather than wrap another blender. Non-cash gestures, like hosting a party, providing flowers, purchasing entertainment, or loaning a vacation house, are as good as cash in your book.

Cut costs on the big day. It’s not as hard as you think. I tell my couples this all the time, the number one way to save is simple: cut the guest list! You’ll still want a dress, entertainment, flowers and food, but a few fewer mouths to feed is hardly noticeable except on the bill.

  • Destination bound. Oddly enough, destination weddings are a great way to cut costs and mix in a great honeymoon as well. Celebrating in your hometown or where one or both of you grew up is a sure fire way to keep adding more quests to the guest lists. “ Get out of Dodge”
  • Consider the day. Caterers, florists and venues survive on weddings and are hungry when nuptials aren’t in the air. They’re more likely to charge less for weekday and off season — think winter in most locations.

Cash not credit. No one wants to jump into holy matrimony with an unholy amount of debt. It sounds basic, but pay for as much as you can with cash, even if it means delaying the wedding.

  • Work for it. Get an extra job or work overtime to save more. A lot of brides sell Mary Kay and other products for extra cash.
  • Live together to save. The Knot says that Three quarters of American couples now do, live with one another. Engagements also have gotten longer to give couples more time to save and plan.
  • Borrow smart. Do it sparingly and carefully. Home equity lines of credit are much more difficult to get these days because lenders want consumers to retain at least 20% of the equity in their home even after the loan. But is your wedding really worth your home? And, if you must make up the gap with credit cards, use ones with low interest rates and lots of mileage points that could be used for the honeymoon.

What not to do when paying for a wedding.

  • Don’t go into debt. It’s easy to get carried away with so many things to buy but no one wants to start married life with marital debts.
  • Don’t stray from the budget. If you blow the budget on the dress, there won’t be any money left for cake.
  • Don’t ignore a compromise. You want your wedding to be special but that doesn’t mean that you can’t substitute peonies for roses.