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Staying on a budget after the "YES!": Part I

Date posted:  3/22/16 09:00:00 AM

After announcing your engagement and receiving congratulatory wishes from your friends and family members, it’s time to get down to business. While the wedding is the major party, there are plenty of events leading up to the big day that you should also be ready for. If you and those involved in your wedding are working with a budget, finding affordable solutions while still celebrating requires planning.

Prior to any of the scheduled events, you and your special someone should register at a few different stores to make the gift-giving easier for your guests. Making a registry can be both fun and overwhelming, so selecting some items ahead of time can help the process along. After creating your wedding registry, you and your partner can get started on the celebrations, but always be mindful of your budget.

Kick-off without kicking your budget out the window

The engagement party is the first celebration of many to come between engagement and your wedding day. Because there aren’t really any rules for this event, you and your fiancée have flexibility which can make budgeting for the event simple.

While engagement parties are traditionally hosted by the parents of whoever is getting married, anyone can host the event. Explain budget constraints to the party organizer before planning is underway. A dinner at a local restaurant or intimate party at someone’s home can help save a little money. It may also be worthwhile to have this event during the late morning or early afternoon and host a brunch instead of a dinner to make the event more affordable. Some couples choose to forego an engagement party, whether for budget reasons or timing, so discuss it with your significant other before diving into the details.

Budget for an affordable bridal shower

Another event that takes place in the months leading up to a wedding is the bridal shower. Traditionally, this party, is a time for female friends and family members to “shower the bride with presents.” Oftentimes the gifts are intended to be used in the home that the bride and her fiancée, or will, share, noted the Bridal Guide. Several other variations of bridal showers are now popular, including versions where you open gifts together, instead of just the bride.

“For showers, there are usually three key components: refreshments, fun activities, like games or quizzes and the bride opening her gifts in front of her guests,” said Karen Bussen, a celebrity wedding and event planner, according to Bridal Guide.

The host can hold the event at her home or another residence to save on event space costs. Consider a pot-luck-style spread to alleviate some of the costs associated with this celebration.

In addition, offering only two or three different types of beverages can help cut expenses.

Bachelor party tips

Considering the budgetary constraints of everyone involved in an event is especially important for the bachelor and bachelorette party. If you want close friends and family members to join you, it is critical to keep money in mind. However, The Knot noted a cheaper celebration doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good time.

For a bachelor party, consider keeping it simple. Figure out what you and your buddies enjoy doing the most. Ordering a pizza from your favorite place and enjoying a couple local brews with the buds can be just as worthwhile as an extravagant trip to Las Vegas. Remember, it’s all about celebrating with the people who have always been there for you; not how much money you can blow on a crazy adventure. Some additional affordable and fun ideas include:

  • Hosting a backyard barbecue
  • Enjoying a karaoke night
  • Tailgating
  • Playing baseball at the park

Another way to save some dough on this celebration is to use coupons for a fun adventure. Boating or skydiving with the crew can be far more affordable if you search for deals online ahead of time.

Bachelorette party tips

Close friends of the bride are also working with varying budgets, so when it comes to planning a fiesta with friends make sure you make smart financial decisions during the process. U.S. News & World Report noted transportation can be one of the more expensive aspects, so picking a nearby location and organizing something that works for everyone is imperative.

Road tripping is a fun way to keep travel costs low while keeping the fun factor at an all-time high.

If you want to keep the cost even more affordable for all your gals, consider having a slumber party at someone’s home. Create a night of nostalgia with ghost stories, late night pranks and plenty of snacks and treats.

Pre-wedding celebrations should be a fun and enjoyable time for everyone. By keeping budget constraints in mind and planning accordingly, you and your future husband or wife can ensure everyone can join. In addition, by not draining your bank accounts early on in the wedding process, you can have a bit more money to spend on your honeymoon and starting a life together.