Tips To Keep Wedding Costs Low

Some South Florida brides are embracing expensive tastes without breaking the bank on their big day

Making a dream wedding come true is possible without running up a nightmare bill.

Some South Florida brides are getting everything from real diamonds to designer dresses to decadent cakes for a fraction of the price – by following tips for frugal fiancées.

It’s not just the rich or royal who get to wear real, beautiful jewels at weddings anymore.

Shannon Ford of Miami wanted real diamonds on her special day.

“Wearing real diamonds was amazing. It was one of those things where I’ve never had that type of piece of jewelry and I wanted something special on my wedding day,” said Ford, who is a former Miss Florida USA.

If you’re ever going to wear real diamonds at an event, the day to do so is your wedding day, she said.

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Ford turned to Adorn, one of several companies that lets brides rent real gems. Ford loved a $10,000 diamond bracelet and matching earrings. They were sent to her home for less than $300.

“You know, if the celebrities can borrow special jewels for the Oscars, why not for your wedding day?” Ford said.

Frugal fiancées are embracing their expensive taste without breaking the bank.

Penny-wise Jahmena Brown wanted a one-of-a kind dress without the boutique price. She is renting a custom-made gown from All Bridal in Hollywood for $285.

‘I want the pictures to be amazing, because when I look back on it in 10, 20 years from now, I’ll be like, ‘Aw.’ You know?” Brown said. “But at the same time, I am realistic and that it is one day.”

But if owning your dress is important, All Bridal will create a lookalike of your dream designer dress for about $700. The real ones can cost can cost thousands.

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Of course, no fairytale wedding would be complete without a spectacular wedding cake, but elaborate fondant cakes can easily cost $1,000 and much more. That’s why most of Ford’s wasn’t real.

“I saw the design, but the only way I could afford the cake was to make a fake cake. So, the cake for the most part was Styrofoam, which we saved for ourselves for our first-year anniversary,” Ford said. “The bottom layer had a portion that was real so that we could cut into it, but the rest of it was Styrofoam.”

One Miami bride rented hers from for $225 – and her husband loved the idea because guests were actually served Publix cake, his favorite. The faux cakes come with a secret compartment stuffed with real cake so the couple can take that perfect picture.

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Wedding planner Eileen Morales said no one will ever know.

“This is in fact a secret when it comes to your wedding guests and yourself,” she said.

The process is seamless, said Morales, who urged people to embrace using such cakes.

“Because you can save hundreds of dollars that you can utilize somewhere else in your wedding,” she said.

The wedding planner said one of the easiest and best ways to save is not a new idea.

Morales said to rethink inviting all of your coworkers, because they might not even be in your life for very long. She said the smaller the guest list, the more you can do with the money you saved – including giving yourself a fabulous honeymoon.

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