The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and love is in the air…Yep, it’s wedding season! Unless you’re marrying your own prince this spring, planning your big day comes with a big price tag. Whether you're marrying into royalty or not, here are some easy ways you can save on your special day:
Your girls want to look beautiful without breaking the bank. Check out the dress options at Ann Taylor or The Limited. Both offer dresses under $200 and unlike other stores, you can use promo codes to drop the price (like the current 30% off Ann Taylor deal or 40% off Limited Dresses deal).
Want to glam it up without gouging your besties for the floor-length gowns they'll never wear again? Sign them up for Rent the Runway. They have their own Wedding Boutique, where you pick a designer gown that normally costs over $1000 and can schedule a 4-day rental for as little as $60. Plus, if you order the wrong size, you aren't charged the rental fee until you find the right fit.
Worried about saying yes to your own dress? Forget Kleinfeld and try Nordstrom or White House Black Market for affordable bridal gowns and accessories. Other alternatives are Milanoo, which offers low-priced gowns that can be customized to your exact measurements for a small fee, or OnceWed.com, where you can buy other brides' hand-me-down gowns. Most were worn for only a few hours, are already tailored, and cost half of what you'd pay at a bridal boutique!
Need a brand new dress it for a princess? Grab the Kate Middleton replica at Bebe. It'll cost you $2,500, but it beats the $400,000 price tag of Middleton's McQueen!
The golden rule here is "Buy In Bulk." Great sites for favors include Oriental Trading Company and the "Under $5" section at Light In The Box, which offer affordable supplies and favors that drop in price when you buy more. Plus, both sites offer coupon codes (like this $9 off $100 at Light In The Box or $10 off $69 at OTC) and shipping discounts on a regular basis.
Consider online jewelry stores, like Super Jeweler and Netaya, which offer better discounts on wedding bands and jewelry than the chain stores. A best bet is this $10 Men's Titanium Wedding Band, or this $26 White Sapphire Jewelry Set.
You're dreaming of an exotic island retreat, but the airfare to Bora Bora is giving you nightmares. Book your trip through Luxury Link. It’s an auction site for luxury vacation packages, where you bid on trips at heavily discounted prices. Most packages also offer a “purchase now” option that lets you bypass any bidding wars while still getting a deal. Plus, you can get 10% off your entire package with their latest promo!
Quick tip: for auctions, you can't reserve the room for any specific dates until your bid wins, so call the resort beforehand to make sure they have room for you on the dates you want, and you're good to go!
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Photo: Government of Alberta