THE wedding is tomorrow. You may have heard a little something about it. Prince William will marry long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. It's one of the most talked-about events of the year, and will no doubt be talked about for a long time to come.
But how much is this royal shindig going to cost? Current estimates vary, and range from $34 million to $70 million. Whatever the cost, you can bet it will be one of the costliest events in history.
Here's where the money's going: $32 million for security, $11,000 for Kate's wedding ring, $600,000 for the receptions, $434,000 for the wedding gowns, $80,000 for the wedding cakes, $800,000 for the flowers, and $64,000 for cleanup after the festivities. That's one big check.
It's likely the British taxpayers are going to be paying for a large portion of the wedding and all its trappings. Most people don't have that luxury. So how can you keep the cost of your nuptials manageable?
• Determine your priorities. Are you most interested in the right location, the food, the flowers or the number of people invited. Knowing your priorities ahead of time can help you decide where to spend and where to not spend.
• Keep the guest list to a minimum. You don't have to invite everyone you know, and you'll save money by keeping the numbers down.
• Reduce the number of people in the bridal party. It's tradition to buy each member of your bridal party a gift, and by keeping the numbers low, you can cut expenses. You'll also save money at the rehearsal dinner.
• Get a family member or friend to conduct the ceremony, and save the money a minister may charge.
• When it comes to musicians, you can save money by calling the local college music department. Students work much cheaper than professionals.
• Have your ceremony and reception at the same location.
• Get help with invitations, flowers and programs from talented friends and family. This can literally save you hundreds.
• Work with a photographer that will provide you with all of your wedding photos on a CD for one low price – you can have as many inexpensive copies as you like reprinted.
Once you have your final wedding plan determined, but before you pay any deposits, decide where you can simplify. Simplicity saves money, and if done well, can make your wedding day much more serene and awesome.