Saving may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it definitely is no easy feat. As soon as you get engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can afford for your wedding.

Limit your spending – do you really need to swing by Starbucks this morning? Can you give up cable for a little while and live off of Netflix (during the Packers’ off-season, of course)? Do you think you two can skip your annual Cancun vacation this year? You don’t have to live off of Ramon noodles and saltine crackers, but take a look at your lifestyle and cut back where you can. You can even consider putting some money into a higher interest-earning CD or money market account.

Stay on Budget

Now the hard part, actually staying on budget. It’s very easy to find your dream dress and justify spending the extra $600, but that can be a slippery slope. Be a stickler to your budget. There is ALWAYS another dress. The easiest way to stay on budget is to physically create a budget—that is, a spreadsheet—and track everything.

Be prepared for hidden or unexpected costs. Things like gratuities, service fees, overtime, postage, marriage license…they are easily overlooked and they all add up. The best thing you can do is have a contingency and plan to go over-budget. That way, you won’t actually blow your budget.

Smart Spending

Open up a rewards credit card and put all of your costs on that. You can opt for things like cash back, mileage, or other types of rewards. Just make sure to pay the bill each month to avoid paying fees. This means monitoring your budget and not spending more than you can afford. You don’t want to start your marriage with avoidable credit card debt.

Tips on How to Save

  1. Decide what’s most important. – Pick your top priorities and put extra money towards them.

  2. Cut the guest list. – Seriously, this is the most effective way to keep costs down. You will slash your catering costs, invitations, and even decorations.

  3. Pass on pricey details. – Do you really need the ice sculpture swan? Probably not.

  4. Consider printing costs when picking out your invites. – Traditional letterpress invitations with foil press are beautiful, no one will deny that. But the cost difference is massive compared to digitally printed invitations. Check out Etsy for easy, DIY invitations.

  5. Pick your flowers carefully. Choose flowers that are in season, or make everyone gasp by having no flowers at all! Look into some non-traditional bouquets, like lanterns or brooch bouquets.

  6. Think outside the box with food and drink options. – There are definitely ways to save money on food while still serving a delicious meal. Look into comfort foods like barbecue chicken, pasta, and mac & cheese. They’re fan favorites at a reasonable price. Instead of an open bar, serve beer, wine, and a signature cocktail.

  7. Opt for a small topper cake for you and your fiancé, and then a delicious sheet cake for your guests. They’ll never know the difference. Plus, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned marble cake? Or even better, funfetti!

  8. Get crafty. – Instead of hiring a decorator, go on Pinterest and come up with some great decorations that you can make yourself. There are thousands of DIY options for weddings these days.

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