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When it comes to beginning your wedding planning, there is nothing worse than those first few moments when you contemplate your wedding budget. You sit down at the computer, open up a spreadsheet and before long you can a feel an alarming twitch resonating from your purse. Shortly after that twitch turns into a monetary earthquake as you finally realise how much this shindig will really cost! For most of us, we have to be realistic. Affording every must-have is simply out of the window, and we have to start looking at ways to keep our costs down. If you are a couple who wants to be thrifty with your money, here are 10 ways to cut the costs of planning your wedding.

1. Worried about graphic design?
Check out BeautifulWeddingAnnouncements.com for great pricing on Save the date and invitation templates or even customize your own. Also, the design is included in the pricing.

2. Go to a bridal shop, then go online.
When people say ‘never buy your wedding dress online’, some like to imagine what they really mean is ‘never buy online without trying the dress on first’. Though there is some risks with buying a preowned dress, finding the dress you love in a Bridal shop first and then heading to a Pre-owned Wedding Shop can be a great way to save cash.

3. Make your wedding dress.
Yes, this is possible. This crafty lady did it for just $30 while riding the bus. Probably not useful for all of us, but hey, at least we know it’s possible.

4. Book vendors way way way in advance.
Try to plan ahead so that you can book photographers, caterers and florists way in advance (like a year or so before the big day). Although you may still be in the early planning stages, booking vendors for 2015 at 2014 prices can be a great way to save money.

5. Pick up second hand wedding gear.
Ok, we get it. You want your wedding to be oh so unique and oh so you, but when you’re trying to be frugal, picking up a previous Brides old wedding gear can be a great way to save money. Plus, with hundreds of DIY tutorials just a click of the mouse away, turning dull white vases into something truly you (and truly spectacular!) at a fraction of the store cost, is so easy. Try Craigslist regularly and set up alerts for a range of wedding items like Vases, Tablecloths and decoration material. And on that note…

6. DIY center pieces and other DIY items
On one hand DIY can be a seriously cost efficient way of cutting out unnecessary price burdens. On the other hand, it can also be a COMPLETE disaster. Think carefully about your skills before taking on any DIY project and scout out cool printable items like these wedding table games.

7. Hey Mr DJ, take the evening off!
Welcome to the world of iPods, MP3 players and mobile phones. Update with all your favorite songs, make a super playlist and party away. If you’re like others and have a dubious musical library, why not ask a couple friends around for an evening of cocktails and musical playlist making. Still worried about being your own DJ? Check out DIY reception, these guys will create your playlist for you, covering a range of genres and can even create custom introductions.

8. Any day except Saturday.
A huge no-no for some; a huge saving opportunity for others. Planning a wedding on any day other than Saturday can be a huge risk, but it also comes with great savings. Whether you go for Friday or Sunday, this can be one way to get your ideal venue at great value.

9. Set up a DIY bar.
A luxury for only the luckiest of couples, having the chance to host your own DIY bar can be one way to save save save when planning your wedding. Hosting your wedding at an owned or backyard property? Find out how to pull off the ideal DIY bar here.

10. Marry in the off season.
For some – a huge no-no; for others – the chance to embrace whimsical autumnal and winter themes. Just make sure you avoid major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, then you’re all set for big savings.

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