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Tying the knot on a budget

May 18, 2009 3:17:24 PM PDT
Weddings can quickly become very expensive. But during this recession, there are ways brides can save without short-changing the big day.Choices when it comes to everything from the fabric of the dress to the kind of flowers on your cake to the print on your invitations can help you balance your wedding day budget.

"If you fall in love with the gown that's out of your price range, there are ways to save," said RoseLynn Micari-Fiumara, of Bridal Reflections Salon.

For example, if a bride loves the $15,000 St. Pucci Couture gown, but not the price tag, Bridal Reflections has a similar one by the same designer for just $3,000. It is part of St. Pucci's Sposa Collection.

"Ask questions," Micari-Fiumara said. "You can't assume that because you see it in one fabrication, that's the only fabrication it's available in."

Fewer jewels and less material will also save money. So cut back on ornamentation and spend a little more on costume jewelry, and you'll come out ahead.

For more on Bridal Reflections, visit BridalReflections.com.

It's a similar story when it comes to cake, according to Gail Watson, of Gail Watson Custom Cakes.

So instead of a custom Gail Watson cake, choose one from her simple, more affordable line. Dress it up with fresh flowers, even the bridesmaids bouquets, or get creative at the craft store. The cake will still taste the same.

"It is a different look, and it will save you lots of money," Watson said.

And since looks can be deceiving, TheKnot.com executive director Rebecca Dolgin recommends choosing thermography instead of letter press to save bucks on the invitations.

MyGatsby.com says that splurging on letterpress printing involves a special printer to literally stamp each letter into the paper. It's very hard to find printers that do this technique, thus making it costly. Also, the outer envelope on this invitation features hand calligraphy - which is extremely time consuming and therefore costly, usually around $3 and up per envelope.

To save, thermography is actually one of the most popular choices for invitations because of its value and quality. Also, you'll see that instead of hand calligraphy, the digital way is much cheaper. And you can also save a ton of money by opting to assemble these invites at home.

Finally, the Knot suggests to honeymoon affordably by staying in the U.S. Adventure in Wyoming, sip wine at Long Island vineyards or head to the Florida Keys for a nearby Caribbean feel.

Another idea is to use the internet instead of sending out wedding announcements. Use Twitter, Facebook or wedding Web sites. All offer free options for announcing your big news. By the way, the difference between fresh and sugar flowers on a cake is about $1,000.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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