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Not richer perhaps, but not poorer either because of the wedding celebration

A few weeks ago we talked about ways to save on Valentine’s Day. We acknowledged that it’s a tricky issue that could kill off the romance. But we thought we found some good ways you could enjoy the romance without making a date later for bankruptcy court.

Never afraid of a challenge, let’s up the ante. If there is a wedding in your near future, you can have a great time on your magic day without paying for it into your retirement years.

One website, appropriately named, relying on information it said it gathered from surveys it did, estimated couples in the United States spend an average of $25,656 on the wedding. That includes the wedding ring, something you might not be factoring into the overall cost. The reality is you don’t have to spend that much. If you or your parents will be taking on significant debt to have the wedding, look for ways to reduce that burden and minimize the impact to everyone’s financial future.

Another site,, offers 30 tips for reducing the cost of the wedding. Many of them, like not getting married on Saturday or skipping the champagne toast, might be unpalatable to you, but the list is worth a look.

A few other ideas might be worth considering as well. If you are reading this, chances are good you have been contemplating ways to save money in your everyday life anyway. Some of the strategies you use day to day could help you save on the day of your nuptials.

Are you able to offer a skill as payment instead of cash? For example, if you work construction, are a writer or a house cleaner you might be able to offer your services in lieu of paying cash. Should you find a willing vendor, that might have the added benefit of creating a new customer and word-of-mouth marketing.

As you plan your wedding, plan your purchases. Look for bargains, just as you would when you go out grocery or clothes shopping. Make a list of things you need to help you resist impulse purchases.

For everything you need for your wedding, take a day to consider how you might save money on each purchase. One of the 30 tips mentioned earlier is to opt for less costly flowers. Instead of going into a floral shop exclaiming, “I’m getting married, what do you recommend?” go into that purchase armed with research. Look at the flowers that are less expensive and consider how that might effectively add to the mood you want to create. Don’t automatically go for the cheapest flower arrangement, but find something that will work, will be remembered well and will help you save money.

Ask your potential guests if there is anything they would like to contribute, in terms of services or supplies, instead of a gift. That might make some of your friends feel like they are part of the celebration, a much better feeling than wondering how soon that toaster they purchased will get returned.

Just as it was true with the Valentine’s message, your wedding day shouldn’t be so costly that it places a strain on your relationship. Ultimately you will be happier if you focus more on the marriage than the wedding.

Published Mar 19, 2014.