By Catherine Chenault

Age 17

Hiram Johnson High School student

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Getting married is a special moment in a persons life, for many it is a once in a lifetime event. We all dream of having a wedding that celebrates the love and unity that comes with getting married, but to make ones dream come true shouldn’t create a nightmare of debt. Some might say U.S. couples often times overspend on their weddings even though there are so many ways to save in different areas of a wedding.

The five main areas of a wedding are the reception, dress/attire, flowers/décor, food, and the honeymoon, with the reception taking up fifty percent of the total wedding cost. The average wedding costs around twenty thousand dollars, but many brides exceed this by fifteen percent or more. Neal Frankle’s “How much should a wedding Cost?” article says that “There is no one step that will save you the big bucks. But as you see, little steps add up to huge bucks that stay in your bank account.” To save on a wedding in the U.S., you have to plan out an array of small steps to create big savings, and marital bliss.

For a soon to be bride the most important part of her big day, other than her soon to be husband, is the dress she will wear walking down the aisle. For an American bride in 2012 the average cost of a wedding dress was $1,121. While this is not an outrageous amount to pay for a wedding gown there are definitely still ways one can save on this price. For example, a bride can always rent a gown instead of buying one. A bride will likely only wear their gown once, so there is no reason why it should sit in a closet collecting dust.

Another option to consider would be looking in the eveningwear or bridesmaid section of a department store or online website. Most evening gowns and bridesmaid dresses can be ordered in white or ivory and the shipping period is a lot shorter. A downside to this would be that evening gowns and bridesmaid dresses often come with less embellishments and embroidery then a wedding gown would have, but this can be an easily be fixed through proper accessories placement. “Also hitting the clearance racks or catching a sale can be very beneficial to you budget as well,” says wedding expert.

A couple’s big day should not be burdened by over expenses. Even though a wedding in the U.S. is not cheap by any definition of the word, a couple should still be able to save on their big day. Research and planning is the key for a couples being able to cash in on the big savings. By breaking down the five main areas of a wedding, and taking some simple steps, a couple is sure to save on their wedding budget. Then a couple will be able to have their big American dream wedding with their own special fairytale price!