It's the year of the wedding — for me at least. This year I'll be a maid of honor twice and bridesmaid once. (Yes, it's a bit Jane. ) Not to mention I'll be a guest at a slew of other marriage celebrations.
When you're fresh out of college, it can be difficult to find the money you need for the basics (like rent, utilities and your student loan payment), let alone adding in a budget category for dresses, tux rentals and gifts. It can be a bit overwhelming. At first I was definitely wondering how to survive.
However, with a little creativity on my part and some thoughtfulness on the part of some brides (thanks to a recession-friendlier industry ), I've been able to lessen the overall costs. Here are some slices of buttercream-frosted savings cake for thought:
- Showers and parties — When you're in the wedding party, chances are you'll be hosting or helping with a shower or bachelorette/bachelor party. These, my friends, can get extreme. Think food, favors, game prizes, transportation...it all adds up. But thinking outside the box (a backyard BBQ, do-it-yourself invitations, etc.) can help you save. I was able to put together some cute favors for an upcoming shower with some items I found on sale. And instead of renting a bus for a bachelorette party, we're heading to places within walking distance of each other in Omaha's Old Market.
- Gifts — Here is where being creative can not only be cheaper, but more memorable, too. Staci once told me that while she was on a strict budget working in Washington, D.C., she gave couples an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol on their wedding day. She also gave me a great idea for what has become my standard wedding gift: a basket of blessings based on a quote from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." Here's how it breaks down:
- Bread... that this house may never know hunger (a gift certificate to Panera Bread® or your local bakery)
- Salt ... that life may always have flavor (coarse salt in a cute shaker)
- And wine ... that joy and prosperity may reign forever (this one's pretty self-explanatory)
So despite my initial thoughts, I think I am actually going to make it through this year of wedded bliss and may even still want to have a wedding of my own one day!