Clean Your Dress
Even if you're undecided about whether to preserve your dress, have it cleaned ASAP. The sooner you get it cleaned, the more likely it is that the stains will come out. If you do decide to have it preserved, be prepared to spend anywhere from $100-$500 (or more). Many local dry cleaners can take care of this for you—I paid a little over $200 for mine. If you don't feel comfortable using your local cleaners, the store where you purchased the dress may be able to help... for a price. I purchased my dress from Kleinfeld, and they charge $500 for cleaning/preservation.
Schedule Your Thank You's
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Swirls of buttercream, cascades of iced ribbons and blossoms — wedding cakes are the stuff of dreams, and it’s the rare guest who doesn’t look forward to the prospect of that magical last course. But there’s no sugar coating it, the cost of confection perfection can soar. Especially these days, with desserts (and dessert tables) such a major trend.
(The national average cost of wedding cakes and desserts will be $451 in 2013, jumping to $466 in 2014, up from 2012’s $437. In areas like New York City and Napa, CA cakes can run as high as $1,200-plus.)
No worries! We’ve gathered loads of ways to slice your costs.
Yield: 3 dozen filled cookies
I spent seven months planning my wedding. My cousin Julia spent nearly a year. When my brother got married, he and his fiancé had been engaged only a couple of months. Yet all three of us had one crucial thing in common: a two-week prewedding countdown time, crammed with unanticipated planning tasks, lots of stress and moments of pure panic.
Choosing your invitations and other printed matter is often the first taste of all the creative wedding planning to come. You’ve entered a world filled with rich colors, regal monograms and shimmering papers—and wide-ranging costs. According to wedding industry survey site theweddingreport.com, the average price for 150 invitations and response cards is $245. Factor in save-the-dates ($114) menu cards ($114), programs ($108), thank-you cards ($92) and place cards ($77) for an average grand total of $750 (before postage).
Yet it’s possible to spend as much as — gulp! — $3,300 for a set of 150 engraved invitations alone. Clearly, some serious shopping around is in order. Get started with our guide.