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Don’t go broke on wedding

The Pinch

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Wedding season is around the corner, and many soon-to-be brides are in the midst of planning a day to remember for their significant other, family and friends. Wedding costs can add up quickly, but there are some ways to reduce expenses and future debt before walking down the aisle.

For soon-to-be brides or those who are newly engaged, here are some of my tips for saving on your wedding day:

-- Consider getting married during off-season wedding months, such as January and February. May and June are the busiest wedding months, and October has also become popular, said Joan Christensen, the owner of House of the Bride in Surrey Center.

During off-peak seasons, you’re more likely to get discounts on your reception site, catering, photography and flowers.

-- Consider consignment shops for your wedding dress. Some consignment shops have new wedding gowns for a fraction of the cost of dresses at bridal shops. Many women rush to buy a dress when they get engaged, but they often change their minds and get stuck with an extra dress. Some try to recoup some of their money at consignment stores, such as The Perfect Dress at 138 Davis Road in Martinez.

At The Perfect Dress, most wedding gowns are $250 to $300, said owner Janice Pipkins. Many dresses are $99 to $199, and no dresses exceed $500. Some of the wedding gowns are brand new, and others have been worn for only a short period of time, she said. Dresses are available in sizes 2 to 20.

-- Find sales on designer wedding gowns at bridal shops. Bridal shops have two major buying seasons in April and October, so they’re trying to make room for new dresses, Christensen said.

-- For bridesmaids dresses, instead of asking everyone to purchase matching dresses, choose a color and allow your friends and loved ones to buy a dress they are likely to wear again. Or, they might already have a dress in their closet that fits the color scheme.

-- Allow the groom and his groomsmen to wear suits rather than rent tuxedos. They can still get matching ties and handkerchiefs.

-- Before hiring a professional wedding planner, determine whether someone close to you has wedding-planning talents. Or, do the planning yourself with the help of family and friends.

-- Skip the alcohol, if it isn’t important to you. If you want to serve alcohol, choose one drink or purchase it from a warehouse store.

-- For the wedding day, ask a friend with hair and makeup skills to take care of the beauty needs for the bridal party.

Coupon savings

Today’s Augusta Chronicle has $619.39 in coupons. This includes $10 at Publix, $15 at Rite Aid, $4.61 at Kmart, $15 at Sears, $478.49 in U.S.A Weekend, $70 at Firestone and $26.29 at Walgreens.

The Publix insert has a coupon to save $5 off the purchase of one $50 gas card with a grocery purchase of $25 or more. It expires April 17,


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