Money Matters

Weddings are expensive. How much so? The average affair in the United States is more than $18,000, according to BRIDES magazine. But luckily there are some creative budget savers to keep you (or your parents) from busting the bank, according to WeddingChannel.com and MSN Money.

  • Receptions (food, music, venue) are about 50 percent of your total budget. To save money here, try for a less demanded day. Friday or Sunday weddings (instead of Saturday night), for instance, could save you big.
  • Also, try for pasta and chicken entrées instead of beef and fish.
  • Use flowers that are in season and locally available.
  • Order all your printed materials together, and order extras just in case. Going back to the printer for just a few invitations could cost more than you think.
  • Use a budgeting tool (many are found online) to keep track of your purchases. Set up an amount you want to spend before you actually start passing around the credit card.
You don't have to shovel out the money for a big-budgeted Hollywood wedding. Actor Kevin Costner and his bride Christine Baumgartner Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004 (AP Photo/Rogers & Cowan, Lara Porzak)