Friday, June 17, 2011

Fab fridays: How to Have a Wonderful Wedding Without Being Knee Deep In Debt

Every bride has her pwn dream vision of her dream wedding.. And most of the time when planning a wedding, not everytime a bride gets everything she ever wanted. At some point there are some things she gotta forgo if she wants to have 'That Vera dress' or ' That Jimmy shoe' or even the ever-dreamy pelamin or that-gorgeous-wedding altar. Well, here's some thought - we found some insider tips on how to have a a gorgeous wedding without tightening your belts too hard or giving up on the other. Read on for more...

1. The economic factor
We all heard the naysayers in the last few months predicting an economic recession for this year. You’re scared and you know it’s true. With everything going up except your salary, you’re both wondering if there’s anyway to keep costs down at your wedding. Well, the best solution is to postpone (but the longer you postphone, the costs still goes up) but you probably can’t wait to start your new life together. So that leaves us with the next best option – "Cost Cutting measures". So buckle up your seatbelts, as what I’m going to share below is probably not going to win a Nobel prize for Economics, but I’m quite sure it’ll save you enough money to get a dream wedding you ever wanted or perhaps to go on a decent honeymoon. 

2. Trim the fat

As you go about preparing your wedding, first keep a watchful eye on stuff which are going to blow your budget. Obviously there  will be some certain items you can't help it to splurge (such as wedding attire, photographer, venue, food etc) and some items you might need to be stingy about. Create a budget and be firm when comes to spending. Itemise the items which you have to purchase and mark out priorities for these items. I’m sure you can do without the 2 turtle doves or an elaborate fireworks display or the ice sculpture (is it tradition?). When it comes to trimming the excess off your budget, you can never go wrong repeating "the three mantras – Beg, Borrow & Steal." 

If there’s anything you can have without purchasing it, just do it. Do some networking with your relatives and friends to see if there’s any help you can garner from them with regards to them contributing to your wedding plans. Never be shy to ask your friends or relatives to help you out on your big day. Good friends & close family are more than welcome to be a big part of your special day. Keep your options open as this could be in terms of financial or physical aid. If you’ve been a nice person all these while, I’m sure aid will come pouring in once you’ve opened your mouth. So in this case, better start being extra sugary & sweet from now on.

Look out for mundane objects such as ring pillow, wedding accessories, decorations or even traditional customs (trays, merenjis, wedding savors etc) which you could do without buying or renting or get other's expertise (relatives) in cheaper way. Make sure you make your requests known early so that once word gets around, your relatives and friends can keep a lookout for you. Its especially important as there might be some sales or offers which could help you out. Delegate if you got a long list to handle. Get bridesmaids or a helper that can help you sort out these small petty things. If you're on a tight nook, dont sweat on the small stuff.

3.Friends in high places

Forget about pride when comes to big bucks you may able to save. It’s time to open up your phone book and see which friends you’ve got in high places. By that I mean people who are in the marketing industry or have a large network. It also helps if you’ve got friends who are into trading or premiums as they seem to be able to source great ideas and gifts at cheap prices. These friends probably have connections to people who might help you out in your wedding plans such as florists, wedding planner, event crew, freelance photographers, musicians/singer, classic car collector and etc. Plus you might even get good bargains + great ideas all together at once!

You’ll soon begin to realize the power of networking will help reduce your wedding bill by a big margin. Every penny saved is a penny kept for a rainy day or romantic honeymoon. Heck, you might even be lucky enough to get freebies.  Needless to say, some wheeling-dealing and a big personal recommendation from  friends got me beautiful floral arrangements, candle stands and d├ęcor for my wedding venue completely free! Of course I bought my friend a good dinner for his help! The best part is sometimes you find the least expecting resources in people you least expected.

4. The internet Age

Needless to say in the age of blogs and forums, every bride-to-be has scoured the internet for the best tips and resources. They find refuge in fellow netizens who are walking the same journey towards their big day.
Other than collating information on the best deals in town, it doesn’t hurt to find out if there’s any common ground which both of you could share on. If you want to find the best tips around, do your homework and don't be lazy to read wedding blogs, forums & reviews. For all you know you may learn from their experience and not repeat their mistakes.

Scout for new talented people (amateur or semi-prefessional photographer, videographer, singer/ musician band, emcee, photoshop, designer, makeup artiste etc) The semi-s costs much lesser since they're still building up their names. Just make sure its based on recomendation or testrun first (if makeup artise, hair etc). Who knows perhaps in 5 years time, they gona be well-known and then you can say "Hey i pick em' first before they got huge" Our April 2011 issue featured bride chose makeup artise Deq' Sha & designer Jovian Mandagie before they got famous! Also dont be shy to open your mouth and ask friends who are also in the same boat to book the vendors together. As there are some service providers that do provide discounts if they get multiple bookings (eg photographers, videographers, etc).

5.Think smart, not hard

Trade secrets can be useful when planning your wedding. Did you know that flowers generally cost more during the period near festivals and important occasions like Mother’s Day & Valentine's day? So it is also important to note that your selection of flowers should also tie in with those which are in season. Costs for hiring musicians, wedding band and emcee also rise due to the increase in demand on such dates. Plan your important day away from these occasions if possible. Another important dates are the school holidays seasons. Notice that wedding season always fall during school holidays. Consider that it might be good to have your wedding when everyone (relatives & children) can be around but on the other hand, it also can be difficult to book venues when everyone else is also eyeing on those dates the same time.

It’s becoming common knowledge that wedding lunches (perhaps buffet style) are much cheaper than dinners. Moreover, the restaurant can cater to the same menu as the dinner banquet at a lower cost since it’s all about economies of scale for them. This means good news you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your wedding banquet. Look at the bride side; wedding buffet style is much more relaxing as it allows guests to mingle around and ample time for traditional ceremonies.

Wedding dresses and night dresses all have a fashion lifespan. If you plan to buy a dress, be sure to ask when is the new batch of dresses coming in. Chances are the old batch of dresses will be sold at a considerable discount once the arrival for the new season’s fashion is in. Make friends with the outlet supervisor and she might even throw in a staff discount (up to 30%) for you if you’re nice to her. I’ve done it before and you can do it too! Don’t be shy to ask for a favour from a stranger, they’re probably too nice to refuse you if you can convince them their help means a lot to you.

6. A person learns best from history

A practical way to save some money is to ask your married friends! Especially the fresh newlyweds whom has just went through the same load from wedding planning. And no doubt everyone has a no. 1 regret on their wedding budget and wedding dos. Just round them up and ask them this question – If they could cut a cost from their wedding, what would it have been and what was their solution to it?
You would be surprised at all the nuggets of information you could get from them to help you with your budget. I’ve heard about stories of invitation of too many guests, improper allocation and unnecessary flowers or decorations which no one took much notice in the end.

7.Already planning for your honeymoon?

Paris or Malaysia
How about the Twin Towers instead of this one?

A little budgeting goes a long way to keep you out of debt. We came to realize that the money saved could have extended our honeymoon by a few days or gotten us to a more exotic destination. Remember, your big day goes by in a flash and you probably will not recall much of it until you watch the video. If you invested your savings into that new king size bed or fabulous silk satin sheets, you would have looked back and thanked me for it. Hope this helps! cheers :)

1 comment:

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