Be a Budget-Savvy Bride

It seems that since the beginning of time, weddings have been occasions of celebration, feasting, and dancing. In Biblical times, the wedding celebration lasted seven days. Throughout the ancient world and for centuries beyond, wedding festivities were designed to impart feelings of happiness and plenty to all who attended, not just the bride and groom.

Somehow along the way, the word "camaraderie" has been displaced by the word "elegance". The happy couple, prince and princess for a day, plan their wedding not around their families and friends but around each other. Having an elegant affair is an obsession. They will go into debt for it; they'll even sacrifice the happiness and comfort of their guests for it. This is why cash bars (guest pay for their own drinks) and dessert receptions (bon-bons and wedding cake are the only items on the menu) have evolved. I say" Let's go back to the good old days! Let's eat, drink, be merry - and married - debt free!" But how do you do it on a budget?

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Note: The reception is the largest expense of your wedding. Here 's where you will budget the majority of your wedding dollars and where you need to save the most money! If you do not keep within a rigid, self-imposed discipline, your reception will be out of control and you will experience financial hardship. I can't tell you how often I have heard, "I hope we make a lot of money at this reception or we're in big trouble." A little common sense and practical planning will prevent you from falling into this trap. Don't begin married life heartbroken - and broke.

The Elegant Wedding and Budget-Savvy Bride. Copyright © 1999 by Deborah McCoy. Reprinted with permission from Penguin Putnam Inc. All rights reserved.

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