Today’s delightful and super practical guest post comes to us from Kacey Bradley of The Drifter Collective! Enjoy:

Falling in love and getting engaged is something that society upholds everywhere you look. It’s not just your friends and family popping the question to their significant others. TV shows and movies always have a dramatic and romantic engagement plot line going, and if you’re not watching TV, celebrity weddings are plastered on the front of magazines for months before the actual event. It’s no wonder that so many people spend their lives looking forward to their wedding being an amazing milestone.

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There’s no doubt that your wedding is definitely that, an incredible milestone that should be celebrated and cherished. It’s just that the level of celebration isn’t going to be the same for everyone, and there shouldn’t be pressure to make it that way. Even for those who say they don’t have a wedding budget, everyone has an idea in mind of what they’d like to spend for their wedding and what figure crosses a line. And then you get to actually planning, and those numbers are blown through the roof.

Weddings are crazy expensive but don’t get discouraged if you’re starting to plan and feel overwhelmed. There are easy and creative ways you can save on the biggest wedding costs. You don’t need to spend a large amount of money to have the traditional wedding. As long as your ceremony showcases the love you and your fiancé share, you’re going to have a great time celebrating with your friends and family.

DIY Invitations and Reminders

There are so many businesses out there that make wedding invitations and save the date reminders that you’ll have a lot to look over if you want to compare prices. Why not go for the most budget-friendly option and make them for yourself? Free online programs will let you design them however you want without any surprise charges or fees. All you’ll have to pay for is the printing!

You might also want to consider sending out invitations through email or social media to save on even the printing costs. As social media becomes more popular, it’s being used more to take headcounts for events and invite people to places. It could at least be a good way to get an idea of how many of your friends and family would actually be able to make it to the wedding before paying to send them the actual invitation.

Go Prom Shopping

Ask any woman and she’s probably seen the TV shows where women shop around to find the perfect dress and realize they’ve found the one when they try it on and can’t stop crying. That can be a great experience, but it costs a lot to buy a dress from a designer store. Not only do you buy the dress itself, then you have to pay for the fitting when it gets shipped in.

Instead, focus on the facts. You’re only going to wear your wedding dress one time for a few hours. Then you’ll probably change into something more comfortable for your reception. Why not hit up the prom dress stores? You’ll find something white and elegant you can wear for a much smaller price tag than a dress from a name brand store. Ultimately, what’s important is that you walk away from your wedding in a state of bliss and not head over heels in debt.

Book Everything Ahead of Time

From the moment your proposal happens, you’ll be giddy to start planning your big day. Don’t hold yourself back! Booking as much as you can ahead of time is what’s going to save you money on the big things like your venue and catering. Something else that future brides don’t really think about is booking hotel rooms for your guests. Yes, that’s a thing you have to add to your checklist!

The most important thing you need to learn about how to block hotel rooms for your wedding is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources online that will connect you with agents who will deal with all of that for you. They’ll coordinate the best offers and give you the final prices. You get to decide to either go with what’s offered or try for an even lower price. You won’t know your official room total until you get your final guest count, but don’t forget to get the bidding started early.

Make Your Own Cake

Buying your wedding cake is a big deal, mostly because of how much it costs. You have to go in for consultations and cake testings, and then there are the actual baking and delivery fees. Skip all that by making your own cake instead. You know what you like so just bake what you know you’d enjoy on your big day. If you aren’t good at baking, ask a friend who knows how to! Buying the cake mix and ingredients will be much easier on your budget than any price a bakery could offer you.

Donate to Charity

Before your guests leave your reception at the end of your big day, they’ll know that they’re supposed to leave with a gift bag in hand. Depending on how many guests are attending your wedding, putting those gift bags together will take away another big chunk of your funds. Instead, make it clear in your invitations or on your wedding website that instead of giving or getting gifts, everyone can donate to the charities of your choosing instead. Spread the love to those who need it!

Celebrating the love you and your fiancé have for each other is something that’s exciting to think about and plan for, but traditional wedding ideas can cost much more than any couple originally intends to spend. Don’t let yourself get sucked down the rabbit hole of wedding costs! Get creative and save money by switching things up. Make your own cake and book everything far in advance. With a little extra effort, your wedding could be easier on your wallet and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Porch.com, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!