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List: Posted: 02/08/11
Affording your dream wedding can be a major headache in these tough economic times. However, thinking of creative ways to finance your big day might help you achieve the wedding of your dreams. Here's how...
One great way to get help with wedding expenses is to ask friends and relatives to pitch in to fund certain parts of the ceremony instead of giving a gift. Maybe they could pay for the wedding DJ instead of buying you an expensive wedding gift, as a way to help you afford your big day. Many people will actually be relieved to hear they have this option, as it will save them the time and hastle of scouring the shops for the perfect wedding gift for you.
Another great way to fund your wedding is to barter with vendors or wedding catering services to see if they can cut down prices or trade for their services. If you have a skill that could help their business, offer your skills in trade. For instance if you're a PR expert or promoter, offer to help them promote their business for one month and place a monetary value on what your services would've otherwise cost them. If you're a writer, offer your wedding photographer a personal advice session to help him get that book he's always wanted to write off the ground.
It's also possible that businesses could allow you to pay for wedding services in installments, so never be afraid to ask. Most people do these days, and they won't take it personally in any way
Financing your wedding might be a lot easier if you ask for cash gifts. By saying simply "no boxed gifts" on the invitation, you are cluing in the guests that you'd prefer cash, which you could use to pay for the big day. Another great way to save up for your wedding is by cutting as many expenses as you can leading up to the big day. Stop eating out, eliminate unnecessary clothing and entertainment purchases, and live on a strict budget. A beautiful wedding will be your reward.
Finally, if you're really strapped for cash - keep it in the family! Put a note up online listing the things you need and send it out to close friends and relatives. You'll be surprised at what people will offer you to help your big day run smoothly. Maybe a friend with a big house and pool can donate her back garden for the ceremony. A friend who loves to bake could enlist your parents to help them do the catering, or your Uncle who has a beautiful classic car might be persuaded to loan it to you for the short drive away from the church - with him at the wheel, naturally.
By turning to your family and friends for help rather than trying to hide your financial situation from them, you'll end up with a wonderful 'shared' wedding that everyone you love will feel they helped you to bring to life - rather than a costly affair you'll end up resenting.
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