Elope. Save the money that a wedding costs and put it toward your down payment on a house.

— Christine Wisniewski Ligas of Cleveland, Ohio

I am planning for my wedding on October 9, 2010, and my fiancé and I are definitely on a budget. I have few mantras regarding my budget: 'Don't fall into the fairy-tale trap,' 'Stay true to you' and 'Focus on your life after the wedding.' I'm probably at an advantage because I'm older and have seen my closest friends have their fairy-tale weddings. So I know what makes a wedding special, and it is not a plethora of flowers, expensive lighting or an overpriced gown. What makes your wedding special is how you and your guests feel. Don't go beyond your means because you feel that having that $600 veil will make you feel like a princess. Your husband, family and friends will do that for free! 

So don't be afraid to cut back. No one will notice that you chose the $100 veil over the $600 veil. They are at your wedding to celebrate the love you found, not the money you spent. Personal touches such as handwritten notes, touching toasts or clever favors make weddings memorable and enjoyable. Those personal touches help your wedding stay true to what you and fiancé are all about. (Not to mention inexpensive).

— Alissa Cohorst of Urbana, Illinois


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