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How to Find Chic, Cheap Wedding Dresses and Wedding Music at Affordable Prices

DRESSES

For most brides, choosing the wedding dress is the most important part of the wedding planning process. Brides who are planning weddings on a set budget often worry that they will have to compromise on the wedding gown of their dreams- but this is not the case. Just because you want to look like an angel doesn't mean you have to pay prices that are sky high. Follow these suggestions to find cheap wedding dresses that won’t reveal your tight wedding budget.

  • Shop around in some less likely places. There have been thousands of brides who found their dream gowns at the most unthought-of spots such as thrift shops, fundraisers, consignment stores, and end of season sales. Several praiseworthy organizations have even turned designer gowns into cheap wedding dresses by offering expensive gowns at a fraction of their real value. Brides Against Breast Cancer, for example, sells fabulous gowns, many of which were donated new by bridal stores and designers, for $89- $799. All of the proceeds from the organization’s “Tour of Gowns” events go to help those struggling with breast cancer to have their final wishes fulfilled. When you're finished with the dress, the organization will gladly take it back to pass on to the next searching bride.
  • Consider using your mother’s (or aunt's, or anyone else who saved their gown for decades) old-fashioned gown, and embracing a vintage look. A seamstress making a few alterations to a dress will cost much less than an original store bought gown, and can turn a classic style (and sentimental gown) into a dress that will remembered forever.
  • Bridal shop display or sample pieces are often sold at publicized clearance sales throughout the year. As soon as you get engaged, keep your eyes open for one of these. If you are an average size, you can very often find a cheap wedding gowns that were once quite expensive.
  • As funny as this sounds, there's always E-bay. If you are persistent on these types of sites, you can buy leather couches for $75, antique glassware for $50, and, yes, even wedding dresses for amazingly low prices.

A word about shoes: If you are thinking about spending a lot of money on a beautiful pair of wedding heels, don't. Ask yourself truthfully, how often are you going to wear those pristine white high-heeled shoes with the sparkles (especially when they're not so pristine from a whole night of dancing)? 99% of wedding gowns cover your shoes, so they won't be seen anyway. Save your money and put it towards other wedding expenses (or use it for buying a latte at the end of your hard day of shopping). Another side point, do your feet a favor. If you must wear heels for their added height, do it only for the pictures and walking down the aisle. Buy an inexpensive pair of ballet slippers (Payless, get more!) or other comfortable shoes for dancing. Your feet will thank you later.

MUSIC

Choosing a band or DJ for your wedding may not be as exhausting as choosing the gown, but it will likely be more expensive. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can procure the sound that you want for your wedding at a price that is music to your ears. Keep in mind the following tips for finding affordable wedding music:

  • The number of pieces and the amount of hours will create your total sum. A 5-piece band for the entire wedding is not only expensive, it is often unnecessary. Many guests get frustrated when trying to shout over a loud band just to have a friendly conversation. By limiting the size of your band you can save hundreds of dollars.
  • Brides who really love certain instruments can often find bands whose members play multiple instruments. For example, many clarinet players also play the flute or French horn. Many keyboard players know how to make their keyboard sound like another instrument. By finding multi-talented musicians, brides on a budget can enjoy a multitude of sounds without spending a fortune.
  • Here's an interesting tip: The more glass or marble around a room, the better the acoustics. If your hall has good acoustics, you can cut down on the number of players you'll need.
  • College bands or local up and coming talents will cost a fraction of what the professionals want. Dispel your fears about the possibility of a poor performance, by auditioning several young bands and listening to their audition tapes. When possible, try and see each band give a performance (of at least 30 minutes). New bands are quite eager to make a name for themselves and will likely give your wedding all of the effort they can. And, don’t forget- even the most established, talented band can have an off night. If you feel comfortable trying out a new sound, you may just start the next hot trend!
  • Recorded music is anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 cheaper than a live band. Better yet, if you know someone who has a knack for DJ-ing, you can get away with great music for next to nothing. Organize your play list before hand and check that all the music and equipment is at the hall early on the wedding day. (Friends are also great at adding personal touches, subtleties, and throwing in fun surprises.)
  • Don't go into overtime. There's lots of fun to be had during the hours set for the wedding. If you think that you and your friends will want to party all night, arrange an after party at a friend's house or a local outdoor area. The price of the band, caterer, waiters, and hall multiplies dramatically when you wander into overtime charges.

 

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