How to plan the wedding of your dreams — on a budget

Feb. 22, 2018

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So you're having a wedding...

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It doesn't have to be outlandishly expensive. Follow these five tips and you'll be set for post-wedding bliss.

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Step 1: Budget, budget, budget

Before you make a single purchase, set your budget and figure out who will pay for what.

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Dedicate about 5% of your budget to “hidden” or “unknown” expenses like tipping the band, meals for vendors or maybe extra beauty treatments.

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Step 2: Splurge and skimp accordingly

What two to three things are non-negotiable? If the band is a top priority, spend more on the tunes and trim the budget around, say, the flowers.

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Food is often a major expense, so think about shortcuts you might take. No one has to know your cake is from Costco, right?

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Step 3: Negotiate like a pro

This doesn't mean you should always go for the cheapest option. Simply telling a vendor — nicely — that something is over-budget could work magic.

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Consider the places where you can save: Having your wedding during the off-season can save up to 30%, according to Real Simple.

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Step 4: Add some personality

Personal touches can actually help you save. Maybe that means you'll host your wedding in a free space, like a mutual friend's beautiful backyard.

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Or maybe you loved your friend's wedding dress so much, you'll ask to borrow it. These creative ways to save can add sentimental value while reducing costs.

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Step 5: Find hidden cash for the honeymoon

Make wedding purchases with a credit card offering stellar travel points. Then put those points to use by spending them on honeymoon flights or hotels.

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This option might not be for everyone — only do this if you know you can pay the card off in a timely manner.

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The only thing better than a relaxing, unplugged honeymoon? One that partially pays for itself — or comes with “free” perks like upgrades or a spa treatment.

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