You're excited about getting married, but the idea of paying for it all can be overwhelming. How can you save?
The July/August issue of Bridal Guide magazine lists 25 ways to cut wedding costs. Here are the top five:
-- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Wedding vendors practically expect you to haggle on the price of everything from your band and photographer to the reception site. The key is to arm yourself with negotiating power by comparison shopping.
-- Remember the phrase ''something borrowed.'' Asking friends and relatives to loan you gently used items saves time, stress and money. Think about things that you won't necessarily use again: earrings, purse, even toasting flutes. Loved ones are happy to put them to good use again.
-- Forego floral arrangements. Who says you have to use flowers for reception-table centerpieces? Candles are very romantic and much less expensive. Or create a theme: holly leaves and berries during the holiday season work well, or pussy willows and branches in the spring.
-- Think about timing. The day of the week and time of year you're getting married will greatly affect costs. The more popular, the more expensive. With some venues, getting married on a Friday or Saturday can save you up to 40 percent. Midweek weddings are even more budget-friendly.
-- Don't go overboard. You don't have to spring for all the traditional wedding accessories and add-ons. Instead of buying a $75 cake knife, ask the caterer to supply it or bring the family's silver one and entrust it to someone. Aisle runners? It's a question of personal preference, but they do cost money and your gown can get lost in the photos when it is white on white.
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