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Financial tips for the cost-conscious couple

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Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 7:38 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Thu Feb 24, 2011.

In a recent survey released by Visa Inc., 88 percent of couples believed they overspent on some aspect of their wedding. Over the years, weddings have become a major financial commitment, in many instances ensuring a couple’s first task as man and wife will be paying off the mountain of bills they accrued to achieved their dream wedding.

In today’s economic climate, the cost of weddings is even tougher to swallow, as both the domestic and global economy remains difficult to predict. Economic uncertainty has left many young couples fearful of making a big financial commitment to their weddings. But it’s still possible for couples to make the most of their wedding without landing themselves in heavy debt once the honeymoon is over and the bills must be paid.

  • Limit beverage availability. In the Visa survey, respondents felt they overspent more on food, drink and cake than any other aspect of their wedding. The bar tab can quickly add up at the end of the night, but couples can limit the bar expense by making on a few different types of drinks available. Offer just two or three drink options instead of a full bar. Couples can also consider a cash bar for mixed drinks to help lower the bar tab by the end of the night.
  • Switch fromSaturday. Saturday weddings are not only the most popular, but also the most expensive. Couples with some flexibility can save money by moving their wedding to a Friday or Sunday. Couples who move their weddings to Friday often find they get to spend more time with their friends and families the following day, as guests are more inclined to stay in town an extra day than they are on Sunday afternoons following a wedding.
  • Forgo a traditional honeymoon. Seventeen percent of male respondents to the Visa survey felt they overspent on their honeymoon. While it’s certainly nice to fly off to the Caribbean and spend your first week as a married couple soaking up some sun, a more local getaway for a couple of days can be just as relaxing and save couples substantial amounts of money. Once the bills have been paid, couples can then enjoy a more traditional honeymoon, possibly in celebration of their first anniversary.
  • Limit the guest list. Inviting all friends and family members might be a nice gesture, but it’s also an expensive one. Cost-conscious couples can save a good deal of money by only inviting those friends and family members who are closest to them.
  • Order less extravagant floral arrangements. Floral arrangements for a wedding can prove very expensive. But couples can trim those costs using more greenery in the floral displays and ordering less expensive, seasonal flowers. When discussing arrangements with the florist, explain that the budget can only allow so much for flowers, and work together to find ways to add aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank.

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