Tips for saving money on your special day

Story by Sarah Higley

Is your roommate engaged? Is your best friend engaged? Is your sister engaged? If you go to BYU-Idaho, the answer to one of those questions is probably yes.

Wedding planning can be stressful, and with a college-sized pocketbook, it can be even worse for the blushing bride.

But not to fear, a nice wedding doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg, just some good resources and a dose of creativity.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is approximately $26,444, according to the Cost of Wedding website, a pretty penny when living on an unsteady college income.

In an online survey done by LDS Living, 50 percent of those who participated said they spent no more than $5,000 on their wedding.

The key to a wedding on a budget is one simple phrase: It’s all about who you know, not what you know.

When Mr. Right finally pops the question, making a list of resources is a good plan. A lifetime has been spent making friends, and now it’s time to use them.

“My best friend designed her own wedding announcements, so she did mine for me,” said Kimber Hixson, a sophomore studying English. “It saved me a ton of money, and she did a great job.”

On average, invitations cost around $800, according to the Cost of Wedding website. When you include the cost of stamps and envelopes, the price can get higher.

Wedding announcements can get expensive, but knowing where to look can save time and money.

It isn’t always a good idea to ask someone to create announcements for free because they are a lot of work, but someone might be willing to give you a deal.

“I’m just glad that we’re saving money,” said Zak Blanchard, a freshman studying music education. “It’s just ridiculous how much everything costs. I just want to get married. That’s all I care about.”

Retailers tend to hike up prices on wedding dresses because people are always willing to buy them. The average cost of a wedding dress in the U.S. is around $1,100, according to Fox Business News.

But why spend so much on a dress when you will most likely wear it just once?

Buying dresses from online dealers such as a privately owned business or resale sites like eBay can save a lot of money.

If you are particularly picky on what you like, having someone make a dress can be a budget-friendly option. And you’re guaranteed to love it.

But going to a store and trying on dresses could also be a good idea to find out what looks good and what doesn’t.

There are some things, however, that shouldn’t be skimped on, such as photography. The one thing you will have forever is the photos in remembrance of that beloved day.

This is where the “who you know” comes into play. The average cost for a wedding photographer in the United States is $2,814, according to SnapKnot, the fastest growing online photography directory.

Brent Fisher, a member of the BYU-I Photographics Society and a senior studying communication, said students shouldn’t ever ask someone to give them free professional photographs.

“It shows disrespect for the art form and value of the product,” he said. “If someone wants to save money on their wedding, they should cut the budget in every other aspect and pay their photographer in full.”

He said many couples who try and save money on their photographs end up regretting it.

A budget can go a long way. Make your day memorable by spending less money so you can live your happily ever after without a lot of unnecessary financial stress.

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