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How to save money when planning a wedding?

I am an extreme saver. I am always looking for a good bargain and the same was with my wedding as well. I also practice minimalism but it doesn't mean I only own like 100 things. I like to donate or sell things that don't serve me, and when I need something - I try to buy used.

I know how expensive can a wedding be. I have seen the posts on Facebook where some brides have 5x bigger budgets than others. I have also been a photographer on both ends of a wedding budget. Here are some tips on having the dream wedding for less.

-be resourceful

see in your group of friends who is particularly talented at something, like making invitations or decore, or can bake a cake. Maybe someone has a cool car or an amazing property. Don't be afraid to ask if they would be willing to lease it. Also, be respectful and offer them money for the inconveniences your wedding might cause.

-buy secondhand

Facebook has dedicated groups where you can buy things from other people's weddings. And also It can be anything from flower arrangements, table decorations, chair covers, and more. Those things when buying new all can easily sum up in thousands. So why not by used if it's as good as new?

-start booking in advance.

if you start planning like 2 years in advance, I can guarantee you will save a ton of money. When I just opened up, my prices were really really low. I still created amazing work, but because I was new, I undervalued myself. This is with all vendors. So look for a new business to work with, if you wish to save some but always check if they are not too cheap and have safe business practices.

- Search for hidden talents. This is like hiring someone to work at your company. Look for potential, if you judge only by their price, you can only expect what you paid for. But there is a tone of new talents that undervalue themselves.

-get married in an off-season. Yes, my price doesn't change depending on the month, but wedding venues are more available and can be cheaper during the off-season. Also, check when wedding salons have big sales. You might get your dream dress for a bargain.

-buy abroad.

No, I don't mean you should order your dress from Aliexpress. But I know for sure we have much cheaper wedding dresses in Latvia. We even have a street where there you can find several wedding salons that offer amazing dresses for much cheaper than here. And a lot of times they have it right there in the salon. So make a shopping spree with friends outside Norway. And alcohol - it's a well-known thing, that you can buy alcohol from swedes for less.

-downsize the number of guests or elope. Yes, having people at your wedding is expensive. You will need the appropriate size of venue for all the people and the catering will be expensive. So if you already are budgeting, maybe inviting your childhood neighbors or all the girls from your elementary school isn't that necessary. Also if you really downsize the wedding to a maximum of 10 people, you are more flexible with locations. It can be a mountain cabin or a beach house. Or if you feeling adventurous - you all can go to a different country.

But don't sacrifice the quality of your wedding over a few kroner. If you want good food, you will need to save for it. If you want your venue covered in flowers, you better have someone who knows what he's doing to make it tasteful. And if you are really going all-in with everything, you better have a decent photographer to capture all of it. Imagine spending 200 k on your dream wedding and having very few if any good images from your dream day.

Have I missed something? What tips you have for planning your own wedding? What was the biggest save you had, also the biggest waste of money?

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