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Budgeting For Your Wedding

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Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

In October this year, my partner and I have decided to finally tie the knot officially.  We’ve also made another important decision; we’re NOT going into debt to do it.  We’re going to have the wedding of our dreams for under $5000 (40-50 guests).

We’re lucky – as we’ve both been married before – we know what we DON’T want. 

First of all, we don’t want the reception to be a big sit-down 3 course meal with the whole family table/singles table/don’t-sit-her-next-to-him scenario.     We’re having a cocktail function – canapés and drinks, everyone moving and mingling.   This also is going to save us around $40 a head and it means we won’t be stuck on a “head” table looking at all our friends and family from afar.

We also know we DON’T want a professional photographer.   No paying hundreds of dollars just for them to show up, then being locked into paying a whole lot more to get the actual photos.  One of our friends is an avid amateur photographer, we trust him to capture the moment beautifully.   And since everyone has as digital camera these days, we also trust our friends to provide many wonderful shots of the reception.

The other reason we’re not looking for a professional photographer – is time away from the guests.   We both know what a whirlwind day it is, one minute you’re saying “I do”, the next minute your guests are hugging you goodbye and you’re left wondering what that big blur in the middle was.   Rather than spending a couple of hours away from our guests walking along the windswept beach or peering around a big ol’ tree at one another – we’d like to spend it those we’ve invited to SHARE our day.

If I could give one piece of advice to “first timers”, especially if you’re planning a wedding with all the trimmings – I urge you to talk to at least five couples who’ve already done it.   My bet is, if they had the opportunity to do it all over again, at least four out of five would do it differently.  Learn from their mistakes!
Our choice of reception and photographer alone are going to save us hundreds if not thousands.  I’m also looking forward to the challenge of saving on the “incidentals” – invitations, flowers, cake etc.  But more on that, as it comes to hand.

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