5 Ways to Save Money on Your Gay Wedding

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” – Barbara de Angelis

Is anyone tired of all the gay marriage news? I suspect the wedding party will last most of this week and then it will taper off just like all news does.

Life will get back to normal and gay couples who yearn for a more private affair can get down to business with planning their ceremony.
Gay weddings, just like straight ones cost money so consider the expense before you get too wrapped up in planning your nuptials. Here are five tips:

1. Say “I Don’t” to wedding debt

The straight people have known this for years: Taking out a wedding loan is huge financial mistake. But just like the credit cards companies preyed on the Gen X college students, banks have targeted those of us ready to walk down the aisle. Jeffrey Strain at MainStreet writes:

Both secured and unsecured wedding loans are available, and loan amounts can vary greatly, from as little as $1,000 all the way to the high five-figures. The interest rates you qualify for will depend greatly on your credit rating and whether you choose a secured or unsecured loan. In most cases, even couples with good credit will need to pay double-digit interest rates for a wedding loan, and many will carry interest comparable to what a couple would qualify for with a credit card.
Is a wedding really worth going into tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Probably not. So don’t go overboard and only do what you can afford. This leads to number 2…

2. Budget
Yes, you can plan an affordable wedding. But the key is in the “planning” part. Stick to a budget. This means you have to create a budget first. Here’s a printable Wedding Budget Worksheet along with some Tips for Controlling Wedding Costs. Keep in mind that half of the cost of a wedding will be for the reception. So scale accordingly.

3. Capitalize on the deals

Plan now while the deals are hot. You can get married this fall, but nothing is stopping you from negotiating now. Lyneka Little at MainStreet notes the deals are plentiful and points readers to Visit California, a new Web site that highlights special deals for couples planning their wedding and honeymoon.

4. Ask for help (or at least a discount)

Gays and lesbians are great at pooling the resources of friends… after all; we’ve been putting on holiday parties and fundraisers for years with their help. So think of the photographers, musicians, and good decorators in your life and ask them to be part of your special day. They’ll be honored. Even a few celebs are offering some advice gratis these days.

5. Time-bound the open bar

If it’s free, most people will just keep on drinking. The best way to curb this expense is by having an open bar during cocktail hour and then serving wine with dinner. Otherwise you’ll have people drinking $15 martinis all night… and that will set you back thousands. Believe me.

Here are some other gay and lesbian resources for your special day:

And finally, what to do if you get cold-feet.