Less informed grooms may have the idea that popping the question and buying the ring are going to be the hardest and most expensive tasks they will have to undertake with regards to their wedding. Unfortunately, the hard work and expense has not even begun. In the old days of marrying for economic convenience, it was not uncommon for the brideís dowry, or her parents, to pay for the whole wedding. Fortunately, modern marriages tend to be more a reflection of the romantic love between two people than of the uniting of tribes, but with this advancement there comes a significant disadvantage to most couples: the cost of the wedding is primarily your responsibility.
Grooms used to have it easy. You bought the ring, asked for her hand, and showed up when and where she told you to be. Now you have the much important task of reigning in your brideís spending. Even if sheís usually a pretty thrifty spender, please believe that a wedding will bring out the extravagance in the best of girls. Her childhood dreams of a fairy-tale wedding coupled with the goading on of her friends, relatives, advertisements and vendors to buy the best of the best will surely empty out both of your bank accounts if you donít pay attention.
Our first money-saving tip is to suggest a winter or fall wedding. Your bride will think youíre trying to be unique and romantic, but the truth is that the competition between venues, bands, and wedding caterers reaches its peak during the off-season months. Not only will you have the pick of the litter, but youíll also be able to strike a good bargain with a company thatís short for jobs.
This is a good place to mention that choosing a natural setting for the ceremony and reception can save you some of that hard-earned cash, as well. Have a clam bake for your reception if you live near the beach, or book a local ranch for the day. An outdoor setting eliminates the need for lavish decorations and the guests will be more able to relax and have fun. Just imagine dancing for the first time with your wife under a starry sky. Youíd be the hero of the day.
Something else you can save a lot of money on is the rehearsal dinner, especially since itís usually your parents that will foot most of the bill. Instead of a costly and fancy sit-down affair at a restaurant, consider doing something at a family memberís home. A wine tasting with a spread of nice but inexpensive nibbles would be a way to keep it classy but low in cost. For a more relaxed alternative, have a movie night with your closest friends and family. Everyone would appreciate a break from the stress of the wedding, and some junk food. Consider inviting everyone to join you and your betrothed at your favorite pizza or burger joint, or don your BBQ Gear and fire up the grill for a more personal (not to mention cheaper) alternative to the traditional steak house.
And now we get to the fun part: time to play hard-ball. Since your blushing bride is probably more inclined to consider the suggestions of vendors as the only option to ensure she has the perfect wedding, it will be up to you to try to get the best deals possible.
The best tactic is to never even mention that itís a wedding youíre planning. Pretend itís an anniversary party, a going away party, a bar mitzvah, or anything else that you can think of. Not that we want to encourage you to go around town lying, but a little vagueness can do you a world of good. Just mentioning the ďWĒ word makes dollar signs appear in the eyes of caterers and florists alike.
Consider getting a membership to a wholesale club. A little extra effort and storage room will be required, but you can save a ton of money buying wine, snacks, decorations and more in bulk yourself.
You can even get a great price on your groomsmen gifts by watching for our monthly sales items on our main page. GroomStop.com frequently runs special coupon codes to make groomsmen gifts more affordable, too. And don't forget to check out the extreme discounts on our Closeouts page...
In keeping with the do-it-yourself spirit, donít be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Why hire a wedding planner when your brideís best friend planned her own beautiful wedding last year? Recruit teenaged relatives to help put up and clean up the decorations at the reception site. Trust us, there is someone in the family whoís baking skills far exceed those of any commercial baker, and who would love to help out by baking rolls, or even the cake, for the wedding. Making your own mix CD with your bride would be a great cost saver, and score you brownie points in the romance department.
With a little effort and thought, you can save yourself from financial doom after your vows are said. Not only is there no reason to waste your money on things you can do yourself, but you might just have fun doing it, too. Your bride will appreciate your involvement and your relatives will feel important having been asked to help. Just think of all the cheesy souvenirs of the honeymoon youíll be able to buy with the money you saved.