Plan a wedding without going broke
If you're like me, you're an information hound. You've spend countless hours souring the web for wedding tips and ideas, especially those related to saving money and getting that $30K beast called the-cost-of-an-average-wedding down to a price you can actually afford. To be sure, that information is all out there, often for free. In fact, you can find almost anything online for free. But with millions of pages to wage through, who has time to find the best information? Sometimes it's best to pay an expert to gather all of the information for you. This is exactly what you're getting with the Tightwad's Frugal Bride by Emma Lotto.
This 63 page eBook is packed with hundreds of tips presented in easily digestible lists. Like most wedding planning books, Tightwad's Frugal Bride is organized into standard wedding-related categories: setting the date, deciding on the guest list, invitations, stationery, attire, photography, the cake, food, drinks, etc, as well as overarching guidelines for saving money on your wedding day.
Tightwad's Frugal Bride is Easy to read
In each section, Emma presents a list of bullet-pointed lists tips, making it easily scanable and allowing you to get a general overview of the things you should consider for each section. For example, in the section on flowers, Emma includes solid reminders such as "If you don't know anything about the cost of flowers, ask someone who does–like a florist." While this may seem ridiculously obvious, trust me, in the heat and emotion of planning a wedding, especially a budget wedding, it's easy to get caught up in all of that free information you're finding online and forget to ask important questions of a real expert in your area.
Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware
Other cost-cutting tips may or may not be the best option for certain brides. Let's consider again the section on flowers, Emma suggests "ditching the florist … and enlisting family and friends" to arrange the flowers. She also includes the option of growing your own flowers. Can such things save you money? Yes. But what about the opportunity costs? Is there something else you, your family and your friends might want to be doing other than arranging flowers in the days leading up to your wedding? And what about the stress of growing your own flowers.
Speaking from experience, we weren't sure that the 250 irises we were growing for our wedding would bloom in time. Or what if they bloomed "too early" and we had nothing for the wedding. We spend hours on the phone with a florist friend learning how to force bloom some flowers while slowing the blooming process for others. All this was going on the week before the wedding. It was incredibly stressful and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but the hardiest of souls planning the smallest of weddings. Yet, not a word is whispered in the Tightwad's Frugal Bride about such terrors and pitfalls.
Let's be clear, this is not a how-to book, rather it's a compendium of ideas to consider for cutting wedding-related costs. In it's entirety it's an excellent compilation of the most popular money-saving tips. It's easily scanable and will save you hours of online searching. However, implement each tip at your own risk. You certainly may save money by having family and friends arrange your flower or photograph your wedding, but you must also consider what that means in terms of time management, stress levels, and the quality of the end product.
Save Time as well as money
Still at $8.99, you can't go wrong. Emma presents hundreds of tips and ideas for saving money during the entire wedding planning process. You'll save countless hours searching for money-saving tips. Your time will be better spend taking one of Emma's tips and researching the pros and cons of each one to evaluate whether or not it's the right decision for you.
In the final analysis, I recommend the Tightwad's Frugal Bride by Emma Lotto as a starting place to generate cost-cutting ideas. Each section will give you a dozen or more neatly organized ideas for saving money. Emma has done her job of presenting you with all the options; it's your job to do your homework and decide what's appropriate and feasible for you!
- Easy to read/scan
- Affordable. The nine bucks you'll spend is well worth the tips
- The tips are basic and not all appropriate for everyone. Be sure to do your homework before diving into any suggestion headlong.
Hindsight Advice: Don't Cut Corners on Your Top Priorities
I'll leave you with a final piece of Hindsight Advice, from a woman who used many of the cost-cutting and DIY tips outlined in Tightwad's Frugal Bride. Don't cut corners on your top priorities. For example, photography was one of my top priorities. I save thousands of dollars hiring a photography student from a nearby college to shoot my wedding. When the pictures came back I was devastated. I cried for weeks and it took me over a year to get over the fact that I have a poor record of one of the happiest days of my life. If your priority is photography, or a gorgeous reception, or the tastiest food, splurge on that and use the Tightwad's Frugal Bride to help you save money on the rest!!!