Gives Tips to Save Big on Weddings

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The average American wedding averages over $20,000. Frugal living experts Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler of offer valuable tips on how to keep wedding expenses down.

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Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, founders of

Weddings represent a $160 billion dollar industry in the U.S. While this may be good news for retailers, couples continue to hunt for ways to keep a mountain of debt from casting a shadow over their special day. founders offer a savvy blend of tools and tactics to help keep wedding budgets affordable:

Be realistic. Hollywood weddings at the foot of castles are great…on a movie star bank account. Be realistic and set a budget that works for you. Around 15% of newlyweds overspend on their big day due to a lack of planning. With some foresight and creativity, an unforgettable, affordable wedding day is easy.

Think small. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to limit the guest list to close friends and family. The average U.S. wedding includes nearly 180 guests! Aunt Milly’s bridge club may be a first-rate group of ladies, but are they worth an extra $500?

For the cake, avoid an expensive, multi-tiered affair. Opt for a small cake for the cutting and photos. Then purchase an affordable sheet cake to serve guests. Likewise, pass up elaborate, 6-course meals for the reception. Focus instead on a couple favorite dishes or a buffet.

Apply the same thinking to the music. Rather than a DJ or live band, rent or borrow a sound system to play your favorite romantic songs from an iPod or custom CD.

Home team. Talk to family and friends and make use of any helpful items or skills. Somebody is bound to have a dress or a veil that can be altered (maybe even by another family member). Consider teaming up to make homemade centerpieces that use local and seasonal flowers. Vases and vintage teapots from thrift stores are one idea

Sale savvy. Sale watching isn’t just for the grocery store. Off-season weddings mean big discounts on everything from gowns to food and photography. Don’t overlook voucher sites like Living Social for deals on flowers and travel. For savings on photos and invitations, seek out trustworthy deal sites like Photodirect, VistaPrints and Shutterfly; such retailers frequently offer huge savings (often just the price of shipping).

If a designer gown isn’t in the budget, consider renting, sample sales or consignment shops. Also, take a look at Brides Against Breast Cancer—a nonprofit dedicated to providing great gowns at low prices to help fund cancer research. If you do opt for purchase, remember that you can always resell your gown to recoup some of the cost.

Shop through Ebates. Make wedding purchases through Ebates for cash back rebates (as high as 25%) from over 1,500 major retailers nationwide. Cash back automatically accrues in an Ebates account until a threshold of $5.01 is reached. At least four times a year, Ebates mails a check or transfers those funds into a PayPal account. Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s currently offer a minimum of 3% cash back; ProFlowers offers 12% on floral arrangements.

Space Saver. Large, formal venues are pricey. Consider more economical choices like city spaces, museums, parks, gardens, beaches, private residences and places of personal significance.

Stay current. If you’re struggling for ideas, turn to social media sites like Facebook or Pinterest for inspiration. also offers regular tips for saving on weddings and other special occasions.

Couples who keep these tips in mind will realize big savings on their wedding day. To find the best frugal living tips, coupons and sales, visit

Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, founders of and authors of Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey! are money saving, bargain shopping and frugal living experts. With their knowledge and savvy, they’ve sold over 50,000 books, garnered 5 million viewers per month at, over 900,000 Facebook fans and more than 30,000 Twitter Followers.

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