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18% of an Americans' income is spent on transportation.

11 Tips on cutting wedding cost

Weddings and funerals are two industries that will never die, because people get married (at least once in their lifetime) and people die. An average wedding is estimated to have an expense of 20K, and most brides exceed their wedding budget by 15% or more.

The “wedding season”, which is traditionally May through October, is coming up. Are you planning your wedding this season? Are you looking to minimize wedding costs, but not sure where to start cutting wedding cost?

Spending 20K-30K-40K-50K in one day (the wedding day) is a huge expense. This could be a down-payment on a house, or a payment on existing debt, or a full month’s honeymoon. However, people choose to spend it on a once (or twice, or three times) in a lifetime event. One thing I strongly advice against is borrowing money for the wedding, since it starts a new marriage with a debt. But I do advice to economize on a wedding and cut wedding cost.

What exactly you will be economizing on depends on your wedding priorities. You have to go through your list of wedding costs and decide what is a “must” and what you could downsize on. The list of the wedding expenses usually consists of: reception expense, photo/video expense, attire expense, flowers/décor expense, music expense, tips/taxes expense, ceremony expense, stationery expense, rings expense, gifts expense, and transportation expense.

How can you decrease wedding costs? Here are some tips on wedding economy:

Tip #1 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Avoid “wedding season”
Avoiding "wedding season" will help cut your wedding costs. That is, if you are still planning on a date of the event. If you are set with your date, than, obviously, skip this advice. But what you can still do is avoid the highest-priced time charged by reception halls, which is Saturday, 7 p.m. Reception is about 50% of your total wedding cost, so this could save you a chunk of "wedding money".

Tip # 2 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Limit the wedding's guest list.
Most catering halls and restaurants charge by person, so every person is an expense to you. Before inviting someone you’ve never even seen before to your wedding, think if you want to take that wedding cost upon yourself.

Tip # 3 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Consider a wedding buffet, wedding luncheon, wedding brunch, or a wedding dessert reception instead of a multi-course wedding dinner.
You might also buy the liquor for the wedding yourself, which would be much cheaper than the catering hall providing it. This way, you are cutting two wedding costs at once.

Tip # 4 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Location, location, location.
Local or national parks, as well as your own or your relative/friends’ back yard are low-cost wedding locations. That's a beautiful way of cutting wedding cost!!!

Tip # 5 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Flowers and decor
Flowers and decor are 8% of an average wedding cost. You should bond with other brides to share decorating costs at catering halls, which usually use the same decoration for several brides, but charge them separately. Also, make sure to use the flowers that are in season since they will be cheaper. Avoid Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, and other holidays when flowers are in high demand. Check out local grocery stores since they usually change significantly less for flowers. You might also consider the wedding to take place in a garden or an art museum, to save on decorations cost all together. Also, consider doing flowers and decorations yourself.

Tip # 6 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Attire
Attire is 10% of an average wedding cost. Consider renting a gown and a tux for your wedding in order to reduce this wedding cost. Also, you might want to check out sample sales, department stores and outlet stores. Consider cheaper fabrics. Remember that you will wear that gown only once (on your wedding day)!

Tip # 7 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- desserts.
Don’t go overboard with desserts. After all the eating and drinking, people will not have that much spare space in their stomachs for deserts.

Tip # 8 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Music.
Music is 8% of an average wedding cost. You might want to go for a DJ instead of a live band to reduce this wedding cost.

Tip # 9 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Photo and Video.
This is a tricky one. Although its 12% of an average wedding cost, most couples want to leave memories and would want the best possible professional photographer/videographer at their wedding. However, if you are a risk taker, you might consider hiring an amateur for your wedding, who will change less. Another idea is leaving disposable cameras on tables so that the guests could take pictures. At the end of the wedding, you collect the cameras, and guess what? You have all the wedding pictures from all the angles possible at no cost!

Tip # 10 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- wedding invitations
Consider wedding invitations that will only require one standard stamp and a standard envelope. Include the reception information on the wedding invitation instead of sending a separate response cards. If your relatives/friends are internet savvy, you might even send a wedding invitation by e-mail. There are many different cards on internet cost-free. Also, you might design your own wedding invitations.

b>Tip # 11 on Cutting Wedding Cost -- Reduce the number of bridesmaids
Reducing the number of bridesmaids or letting them wear attire of their choice that they will personally pay for will also reduce wedding cost. Let men wear nice suits instead of tuxedos.

And remember: A wedding should leave you nice memories, not significant bills and lost nerve cells!

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