People are getting married every day somewhere in the world. In the United States, the vast majority of people getting married are putting themselves in a bad financial position right at the start of their marriage. Sure, everyone wants the dream wedding, but there are some parts of the dream that you need to be realistic about if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. You might as well spend it wisely, and we’re here to help you think properly about it all.

First, let’s talk about some things you definitely need to think about either dropping or reducing. Do you really need a limo? Sure, they’re nice and classy, but they’re also expensive because you’re basically paying for someone to sit around all day doing a lot of nothing except to take the time to drive you to the church, then to the reception hall, and finally back home.

Second, let’s think about the wedding dress. Yes, you need a wedding dress, but do you need a $10,000 original Vera Wang? Here’s a reality; most women don’t have any idea what to do with their wedding dresses once they’ve worn them. Almost no one keeps them for their daughters anymore; did you wear the dress your mother got married in? If you try to sell it back you’ll be lucky if you get 10% of what it cost you. Look for a discount wedding dress instead. Another idea, if you want something special, is to have a dress made that can be altered to look like a fancy events dress afterwards. You won’t save money, but if you can wear it again you’ll at least maximize your dollars.

If you’re decorating, think about paper products rather than the real thing. Paper flowers instead of real flowers; paper runner instead of satin. Even for your reception, you’ll possibly save money going paper and plastic instead of using real china.

A few things on what not to skimp on. If you want quality images that you’ll enjoy forever go with a professional photographer. You never know what you’ll get by hiring a friend of yours that likes to take pictures. There are cheaper routes to go, but quality costs.

Don’t skimp on the food. First, you want to make sure you have enough food, even more than enough. Second, you want the food to taste good. This is your chance to shine and take chances. You can save money by having the food made by a friend or even family members, and that would be memorable and save money, but it’s a lot of work. I’m not saying to go with prime rib or lobster, but have something that you wouldn’t mind eating on a regular basis. No one wants to eat ziti and sausage anymore.

Don’t skimp on the cake. The cake is the pinnacle of your wedding, so you want to make sure it’s a cake that you like. If you like it, others will like it, and remember, you’ll probably be getting that top part to eat on your first anniversary. Cake is the last thing your guests will consume, so let them leave happy.

These are only a few tips, as there are hundreds of things to consider. Don’t go into the poorhouse by making bad decisions that you’ll have to live with for a very long time.

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