1000 Best Wedding Bargains

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Have the wedding of your dreams on a budget that you can afford

Wedding expert Sharon Naylor shows you:

— 17 ceremony locations that will save you a fortune
— Creative serving tricks to cut your food bill
— Save up to 85% on designer wedding gowns
— Plan ahead to save on last minute expenses
— 63 unique favors that won't break the bank
— Cut expenses without cutting corners on your photos
— ...

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1000 Best Wedding Bargains

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Have the wedding of your dreams on a budget that you can afford

Wedding expert Sharon Naylor shows you:

— 17 ceremony locations that will save you a fortune
— Creative serving tricks to cut your food bill
— Save up to 85% on designer wedding gowns
— Plan ahead to save on last minute expenses
— 63 unique favors that won't break the bank
— Cut expenses without cutting corners on your photos
— Cost-saving secrets from floral industry insiders
— Elegant centerpieces for under $20

Have a celebrity-style wedding without paying celebrity-style prices

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402202988
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Series: 1000 Best Series
  • Pages: 351
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 4.48 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Naylor is the author of twenty-five wedding books, including Your Special Wedding Vows, Your Special Wedding Toasts, 1000 Best Secrets for Your Perfect Wedding, The Complete Outdoor Wedding Planner, The Mother of the Bride Book, The Groom's Guide, and The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book. She has also written for Bridal Guide, Bride's, Self, Health, Shape, and Good Housekeeping, among many others, and she answers real couples' wedding-planning questions on www.njwedding.com. She has appeared on Lifetime, Inside Edition, Fox 5 News, and in the wedding idea section of the Bed Bath & Beyond website. She is the founder of the first national book club for brides, which you will find on her website www.sharonnaylor.net. She lives in Madison, New Jersey, and is at work on additional titles in the Sourcebooks wedding series.

If you would like to share your bargain secrets for a perfect wedding (which we may include in future editions of this book) or find out more about the author, visit www.sharonnaylor.net.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1
Size, Style, and Formality

Call these the Big Three. So much of what your wedding will cost depends-obviously-on how many guests you will invite, the type of wedding you'll have, and how formal it will be. When you make these decisions, you're laying the groundwork for every one of your decisions about the wedding. For instance, a formal wedding will call for a formal full-length gown, which is extremely likely to cost a few thousand dollars more than the pretty white sundress you'd wear to your informal outdoor wedding. Inviting three hundred guests to your wedding means you'll spend more than if you invited twenty-five or fifty guests.

But it's a lot more complicated than these simple formulas, as you'll soon find out. If you plan an informal wedding for twenty-five guests all accompanying you to Belize, it could still cost more than a formal wedding for one hundred back in your hometown. See how that works?

All the puzzle pieces fit together differently, with each of your big decisions working together in the way that fits your wedding dream best. Not every category has to be "the least expensive option possible." That would leave you with ten guests eating hot dogs in your backyard. Not your wedding dream, I'd imagine. So go through all of the options in each of the next few chapters, fit your puzzle pieces together, and lay the groundwork for a wedding that allows you more for your dollar in all of the remaining categories.

Your Wedding's Size
We've established that it's not an automatic guarantee that you'll save more if you have a smaller guest list, because the second half of that equation is how formal a wedding you're planning. You can spend a fortune with the most elegant, formal wedding decorated in a sea of white imported roses, the finest champagne, a designer dress, and only fifty wedding guests. Once that's established, then you're dealing with the original question of how many guests you will invite. That's where you get the price per person, and that's where your totals start adding up.

Once you have all your ducks in a row and find out, say, that your price-per-head is $55, then you can look at the number of guests you want to invite. Obviously, at this point, two hundred guests will cost you more than one hundred guests. That's where the pure math comes in. But what's important for you to realize is that you must not sacrifice the most important part of your wedding just to save money. And that most important part is the people with whom you want to share it. People are more important than money. For many brides and grooms, they'd rather have a less formal wedding than even dream of cutting certain relatives and friends from their guest list. They'd rather have their friends from college with them than buy a designer wedding gown.

Consider your guest list to be a defining factor for your wedding plans, not the other way around. At minute one, right now, you should create your desired guest list and then use the following tips to make your budget work.
1. If you're considering planning a destination wedding, it might already be in your mind that your guest list will be limited to just a few close family members and friends. Most brides and grooms limit this guest list to under twenty-five people, which obligates fewer of your loved ones to shell out for a trip to the Cayman Islands to join you (or saves you a fortune if you're offering to pay for their airfare and lodging!), and also costs you less for those per-guest catering fees at the reception site.

2. Don't forget that the wedding reception is not the only event for which you will be paying a per-guest price. With the spread of wedding weekend events, like cocktail parties, brunches, and picnics, you can wind up paying a small fortune for the other events you'll invite your guests to. So keep that added expense in mind as you decide on your total guest tally-you will be paying for more than one party for each of them.

3. Choose a smaller bridal party with fewer bridesmaids and ushers. With four bridesmaids in your party instead of eight, that's four fewer presents you'll have to buy, perhaps even four fewer gown purchases and tux rentals for the guys if you're among the couples who generously pick up their bridal parties' expenses.

4. A smaller guest list can open doors at less expensive wedding locations, like restaurant party rooms that can hold only eighty-five guests as a matter of size and safety standards. At sites like these, catering costs and wedding packages are much more likely to be lower-priced per guest than at the cavernous ballrooms that can hold your 300+ wedding guests. At some of these smaller-sized, but still equally beautiful locations, it can be as much as 45 percent less per person.

5. Leave kids off the guest list for the official reception. Hosting kids other than the flower girls and ring bearer adds up when you consider that caterers will often charge you a full guest fee for each child in attendance. Even a caterer's cut-rate children's fee is often too pricey to justify. Why pay $50 per child when that child is just going to pick on a few bites from the buffet and then run around with the other kids? Your guests' kids can be invited to other, less expensive wedding weekend events like picnics and cookouts. You can pay for a kids-only pizza party and DVD movie night with hired babysitters during the wedding celebrations for less than what it would have cost to pay for just one or two of those kids to attend the reception. It's a huge savings for you, and parents will enjoy the kid-free night.

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Table of Contents


Part One: Setting the Stage for Big Budget Savings
Chapter 1: Size, Style, and Formality
Chapter 2: Paying for the Wedding
Chapter 3: A Wedding Coordinator Can Save You Money
Chapter 4: Selecting Your Wedding Date
Chapter 5: Some Locations Cost Less
Chapter 6: Timing Is Everything

Part Two: What to Wear on the Wedding Day
Chapter 7: Getting Your Gown and Veil
Chapter 8: Take It Easy on Your Bridesmaids
Chapter 9: The Men Have to Look Great, Too!
Chapter 10: Kids Can Be Expensive
Chapter 11: Savings on Rings That Sparkle and Shine
Chapter 12: Flowers for Your Wedding Day Look

Part Three: The Essentials
Chapter 13: Invitations, Programs, Place Cards, and Anything in Print
Chapter 14: Getting It All on Film
Chapter 15: Wedding Day Wheels
Chapter 16: Travel and Stay for Less

Part Four: Planning the Ceremony
Chapter 17: Ceremony Expenses and Decor
Chapter 18: Post-Ceremony Expenses

Part Five: Planning the Reception
Chapter 19: Pre-Reception Details
Chapter 20: Reception Decor
Chapter 21: The Menu
Chapter 22: The Cake
Chapter 23: The Bar Tab
Chapter 24: Entertainment
Chapter 25: The After-Party

Part Six: A Token of Affection
Chapter 26: Wedding Favors That Don't Cost a Fortune
Chapter 27: Gifts for Others

Part Eight: Last-Minute Expenses
Chapter 28: Wedding Weekend Events
Chapter 29: The Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
Chapter 30: Don't Forget the Tips!

A Note from the Author
Your Budget Worksheet
About the Author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Congratulations Austin

    Congrats on your fake wedding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013


    She rolls Forrest's asleep body in. "WAKE UP! YOU GOTTA BE DE BEST MAN! Buhbye." She walks out.

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