10 Wedding Budget Busters

Wedding Cake
Don't let hidden wedding costs blow your budget. Check out our money-saving suggestions for the unexpected big-ticket items on your big day.

Watch Out for Accessories

From the headpiece to the earrings and a strand of pearls, you want your jewels to dazzle on your big day. But these aren't your average earrings and tiaras. Many are handmade and real which equals big bucks.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Borrow! Accessories are the perfect place to fit in your "something borrowed." Wear your grandma's pearls or your mom's diamond earrings. This will save you a few bucks and add a sentimental touch to your wedding ensemble.

Buffets Can Be Pricey

You may think that it's cheaper to get an all-you-can-eat buffet verses a pretty plated meal for your guests, but often buffets are more expensive.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Make sure to ask your vendor for the price-per-person for the buffet as well as the price-per-person for plated meal. You'll be surprised.

Spendy Stationery

The invitation sets the tone for your wedding and it's the first thing your guests see. Let's face it, you want your invitation to be custom. Two colors, a bow at the top, an inner envelope -- but those extra details add up fast.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Do it yourself. Even though it may be a lot of work, you'll get a product you love, and you'll save money. If you don't have time to make your own invites, ask your stationery store for some suggestions to cut down the price such as choosing a smaller invitation or using just one ink color.

Beware of Bridesmaids' Dresses

Even though bridesmaids' dresses are sporting trendier styles, they also come with a bigger price tag. Your bridesmaids will love you if you choose a bargain dress for them to dazzle down the aisle in.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Let your girls have some say, especially if they're paying for it. Choose a collection of dresses that come in the same color but have a lot of different styles. Then each of your girls can choose a dress that she'll wear again and that complements her figure. Also choose colors that are timeless. A girl can always use another black dress.

Alterations = Big Bucks

If you think you've found the perfect dress and it's in your price range, but watch out; tiers, bustles, and buttons (just to name a few) can send your alteration bill through the roof.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Ask before you buy. If you fall in love with a dress and you know you're going to have to have serious alterations, get an estimate before you buy the dress. This will save you from the shock factor when you come in for the final touches.

Alcohol Adds Up

Everyone knows that alcohol can get pricey, and even if you plan to spend a lot on the booze, make sure you leave more cushion in your budget than you anticipate.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Stick to a specialty. Whether you choose a signature drink or you serve beer and wine, the fewer options there are the more money you'll save. Another way to save is to select a specific amount of time for free cocktails (cocktail hour is prime time or while dinner is being served). Then, have a cash bar for the rest of the night. Ask your caterer or reception site about the best options to save you money.

Spendy Wedding Albums

While you may want a beautiful coffee table wedding album, they can get quite pricey (we're talking a thousand dollars in some cases).

Our Suggestions to Save:

Make your own album! Whether you love to scrapbook or prefer to make photo books through sites like shutterfly.com, you can personalize your album to your heart's desire and save yourself big bucks. Ask your photographer if he will provide you with digital copies of your photos and so you can print your own book.

Pricey Veils

You may not think that a piece of tulle would cost you big bucks, but a veil is an item that surprises lots of brides when they look at the price tag.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Craft your own veil. They're really simple to make and it'll save you some major dough.

Getting Perfect Hair and Makeup

Hair and makeup wouldn't be that expensive if you only had to do it once, but you must do a practice run to make sure everything is perfect for the big day.

Our Suggestions to Save:

Ask your hair stylist and makeup artist if they give a discounted rate on the practice run. If they don't, you still need have a practice run. Just make sure to leave a little extra cash in your budget so you can achieve the look you dream of.

Cake Cutting and Corking Fees

Beware of extra reception fees. Cake cutting and corking fees often catch couples by surprise. Make sure you ask your vendor if you these services are included in your quote.

Our Suggestions to Save:

If your vendor charges these nasty fees ask, if you can do it yourself. Bring in your own drinks and ask your friend to be the bartender. As far as the cake cutting, consider having a small cake for you and your hubby to cut, and then treat the guests to a tiny treat like cupcakes.

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