Vow Renewals on a Budget
There are many reasons why couples choose to renew their vows. Whereas some lovers might have experienced a less than stellar wedding the first time around, some may want to rekindle that fresh, newly-wed feeling. Others renew their vows as a way to celebrate the passing of a special milestone with friends and family. Whatever the reason is, renewals are often much cheaper than their original counterpart – but still, it is important to plan smart and budget frugally to avoid breaking the bank. When operating on a budget, it is important to consider nonconventional, practical approaches to reduce costs. Here are just a few ways you may be able to keep your vow renewals on a budget!
The setting which a couple chooses to renew their vows can play a major role in terms of affecting the budget. Today’s bride knows that it can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to secure a building months or years in advance. Therefore, it makes sense to look at cheaper neighborhoods and venues where the ceremony can be held. Parks and places of worship are common wedding and ceremony locations and, consequently, are in high demand and can demand more. Churches often require a small donation to hold the ceremony at the location, while hosting the ceremony at your home or own backyard requires only time and manual labor to clean up, decorate, and make the space presentable.
Booking ahead is important if the couple has a specific date in mind, as you may be able to negotiate a cheaper price. These are often run by the city and an application may need to be filled out to secure a spot. Holding your vow renewal ceremony at home or in one of these public spaces can help keep the expenses at bay.
Especially when planning a service of a smaller scale, paying a professional photographer can eat up a large chunk of your budget. However, there are inexpensive ways to get around this. By obtaining a new photographer just getting started in the business, couples can often receive their services at a much cheaper rate. A lot of budding professionals want to add to their portfolio for advertising purposes.
If the colleges nearby boast a photography or digital arts program, why not shoot an email to the department head and see if there is a student (s)he can recommend? Otherwise, you can always post an advertisement through creative gigs classifieds on Craigslist, as this is considered a home base for all freelance photographers looking for paid work. By booking a photographer fresh out of photography school, the couple and photographer can work out a deal to reduce the cost of the expense for use of the official event photos.
If they prefer, the bride and the groom can always wear their original suit and dress from their first weddings, provided it fits. This can save a lot of money, even if the ensemble requires a bit of tailoring or an update to the style and embellishments. If they’d prefer to wear something new and still affordable, the bride can browse online retailers like The Wedding Shoppe and compare prices for “mother of the bride” dresses and other fancy attire.
The groom can also shop around to find a brand spankin’ new suit at a discount – or the couple can decide on a more casual affair and dress up with clothing they already own! It’s easy to class up gently used clothing with some well-placed accessories. For example: Instead of purchasing a new dress shirt, how about a new tie to bring out the color of his eyes? You can just as easily give new life to a favorite dress with a new pair of heels or statement jewelry. Again, browse retailers like ShopHQ to score savings on quality gold jewelry pieces that won’t be too costly.
Even with fewer people present at the ceremony, the cost per head can be astounding when totaled. Caterers may make life easy, but they are hard on your wallet. Instead, consider asking family and friends who will be in attendance to each bring a covered dish. If the couple is looking for something more informal, they can serve hors devours or desserts in lieu of a full meal. If a sit down meal is desired, consider purchasing the ingredients at reduced rates from wholesale stores, and using fruits and veggies that are in season to lower the cost.
With all the tips here, a couple should be able to lower the expenses of this one-in-a-lifetime event. The wedding is typically a more extravagant and expensive affair, so keeping things more informal is certainly justified, and can help lower the overhead costs. The whole idea of the vow renewal ceremony is to signify the couple’s love for each other and pronounce it before their family and friends. By focusing on this intent while planning the celebration, expenses should not get far out of hand. Go through the decision-making process as a couple to keep spending in check, and everything will go smoothly!
Jordan Ellesworth is a Jersey girl making big plans for her wedding in September! She loves hiking, biking, and participating in trivia nights with her beau, and is currently assisting her parents in planning their vow renewals to celebrate an amazing 30 years of marriage.