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Put on a Memorable Wedding without
Spending a Small Fortune:

(ARA) -
A wedding is perhaps the most expensive endeavor many people will ever face. Some couples get lucky and the bride’s parents agree to pick up all the expenses, but more often, the bride and groom are footing at least a portion of the bill themselves.

Once you start adding up the cost of invitations, the reception location, flowers, entertainment, food, the cake and mementos for your guests, the numbers can become astronomical.
According to Bride’s Magazine, the average cost of a wedding today can easily exceed $19,000.

Since most couples have a tight budget for their special day, they end up improvising, and don’t necessarily achieve the memorable celebration they have dreamed about. “A wedding is the most important day in a couple’s life and should be a joyous event, not something that breaks the bank,” says Loann Campbell, a wedding buyer who works with Michaels Arts and Crafts stores -- one of the nation’s largest providers of wedding supplies. “There’s so much you can do on your own to save money and Michaels stores around the country have the little details, as well as the ideas and inspiration to help you create the perfect wedding.”

Among the possibilities: you can create your own invitations, place cards, thank you cards, decorations that will adorn the reception hall and cake, wedding favors, and even the bride’s veil.

* Invitations

The style of your wedding invitation will set the tone of your wedding, letting guests know if it’s an elegant, formal affair or a more casual gathering. According to “Bride’s Millennium Report: Wedding Love & Money,” you can expect to spend about $327 on invitations, announcements and thank you notes if you purchase them from a custom printer. Making them yourself will cost just a fraction of that amount and allow you to express your personal style.

“We have a large selection of decorative papers, inks and rubber stamps at Michaels that allow people to include a personal touch on their invitations,” says Campbell. “You can create something yourself that will have a custom look, at a fraction of the cost.”

Depending upon the type of paper you choose, including card stock, sheer vellum, or hand-made styles, you can get 50 invitations and response cards for as little as $30. The invitations can either be hand-written, printed on your home computer, or stamped, eliminating the need for an expensive printing service.

* Flowers and Decorations

With the improved quality and wide variety available, silk flowers are a great option for brides today. Instead of ordering live flowers, which cost an average of $750 for a wedding, consider purchasing silk ones. They won’t wilt, don’t need to be kept in water, and look great in everything from bridal bouquets to table centerpieces and cake decorations.

In addition to flowers, many brides choose to include candles on the tables. The softness and warmth of candlelight has an incredible effect on floral centerpieces while providing a soothing atmosphere for guests. “Votives placed in plain glass candle holders can easily be etched with the couples names and the wedding date, which makes for an inexpensive yet wonderful, personal touch,” says Campbell. * Bride’s Gown and Veil

One of the most frequently overlooked areas to save money is on the bride’s wedding gown and veil. Check out consignment shops for vintage or second-hand wedding gowns. If you find one there, you can expect to spend between $200 and $600 versus $800 minimum for a new dress.

Bridal veils can be created inexpensively with a minimum of time and effort. Combine a length of tulle with a beautiful tiara or headpiece to create a picture perfect bridal veil for one-tenth the retail cost of a pre-made veil. Beads, silk floral picks and ribbon can be easily added to any veil, made or store bought, giving the bride the opportunity to include her own style.

“Making a bridal veil not only saves money but also gives you the chance to design the perfect complement to your dress,” says Campbell.

* Mementos for the party guests

It is customary for the bride and groom to leave small tokens of appreciation on each table for their guests. This is another place where the bride can add her own personal touch. Among the more popular do-it-yourself favors: handmade soap nicely wrapped in tulle and tied with ribbon, etched champagne glasses, embossed candles, and reusable picture frames, which can be personalized with a removable photo of the bride and groom, or used to hold place cards. Look for more innovative favors and decorations at

* Keeping the Memories Alive

The wedding day is the culmination of months spent researching, planning and scheduling. Brides not only pour their heart and soul, but also a little blood, sweat and tears, into creating the event they hope to remember for a lifetime. Wedding planners agree that photography is one area of your wedding where quality should come before budget. Photographers capture unique, memorable moments on film, giving the bride and groom and their family keepsakes of the momentous celebration.

When it comes time to preserve all the memories of your special day, consider custom framing. Custom framing offers many benefits over traditional store bought frames, such as a wider variety of mats, glass and frames, as well as conservation glass and acid free mats if you choose. These custom details will seal your wedding photographs from moisture and prevent yellowing over time. To ensure that your photos are preserved appropriately, select a certified custom framer such as Michaels to handle your treasures. In addition to ensuring your photos are handled appropriately, certified framers can also help you select from an extensive selection of innovative frames and mats, to help you create the perfect wedding masterpiece.

One more way to capture all of the important moments of the wedding day is to create a personalized scrapbook of the entire event. Scrapbooking is a unique way to capture not only the pictures from the wedding but also lets the bride preserve the feelings and emotions from her special day, utilizing handmade papers, decorative details and the use of handwritten journaling.

Courtesy of ARA Content
The Average Cost For Wedding:

Invitations, Announcements, Thank You Notes, etc.,

Bouquets and Other Flowers,

$1,311 and up based on demand, experience, features, etc.

Photography, $1,500 and up based on demand, experience, features, etc.

$750.00 (based on 5 hours)

$250.00 and up.

$393.00 and up.

Attendants’ Gifts,

Wedding Rings (Bride and Groom),
$1,016 and up.

Engagement Ring,
$3,044 and up.

Bride’s Wedding Dress,
$823 and up depending on quality and designer.

Bride’s Headpiece/Veil,

Bridal Attendants' Apparel (5 attendants),

Mother of the Bride's Apparel,

Groom's Formalwear (Rented),
$95 and up.

Men's Formalwear (Ushers, Best Man),

Wedding Reception,
$7,635 and up.

Grand Total $20,548 (amount will vary by state, and metro areas.)
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