Get ready to meet our Budget Brides all June long

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’ve been talking with savvy brides across the country who threw the wedding of their dreams without breaking the bank.

How’d they do it?

You’ll find out over the coming month.

We’re going to celebrate June with a daily tip on how to save on virtually every aspect of getting married, from the wedding gown and flowers to the dinner and music.

You’ll see that having an affordable wedding doesn’t mean it has to be a “cheap” wedding. You’ll read soon enough that quite the opposite is true.

These brides simply didn’t buy into the whole wedding industrial complex, which equates overpriced and expensive with elegance and eternal wedded bliss.

And guess what? They still had a beautiful, memorable day.

If anything, these are some of the most creative weddings we’ve seen, with a significant amount of time and energy spent planning a day that was a true reflection of the bride and groom’s desires and personalities.

The average cost of a wedding in 2011 was $25,631, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.

Quite honestly, we think that’s ridiculous.

It’s why the ”Apple vs. Your Wedding” calculator we wrote about last month made so many couples cringe as they recalled how much they spent getting married.

Wait till you hear our first “Budget Bride” explain how she saved thousands of dollars on her wedding dinner.

We bet you’ll wish you’d scored an invitation when you see photos of the incredible spread at her reception.

This isn’t about scrimping or sacrificing. Or settling and making do.

It’s all about being smart.

You’re going to hear from dozens of happy brides who are completely satisfied with how their weddings turned out.

If they could go back and do it all again, they wouldn’t change a thing – or spend a dollar more.

Maybe we should have called them “Brilliant Brides.”

Editor's Note: The month is now over. Here are all of the "Budget Bride" tips for 2012:

Budget Bride Tip for June 1: Throw a potluck dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 2: Say 'yes' to an affordable dress

Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Budget Bride Tip for June 4: Put dad to work

Budget Bride Tip for June 5: Turn your reception into a barbecue

Budget Bride Tip for June 6: Take the ceremony to the beach

Budget Bride Tip for June 7: Cupcakes make tasty wedding favors

Budget Bride Tip for June 8: Hold down the guest list

Budget Bride Tip for June 9: Feed your guests wedding cake from Costco

Budget Bride Tip for June 10: Decorate your reception with Craigslist

Budget Bride Tip for June 11: Buy dishes for the wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 12: Go with a lunch instead of a wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 13: Buy your wedding veil online

Budget Bride Tip for June 14: Rent a summer camp for your reception

Budget Bride Tip for June 15: Hire a friend to make your wedding gown

Budget Bride Tip for June 16: Tie the knot on a Sunday

Budget Bride Tip for June 17: Take a pass on gift bags

Budget Bride Tip for June 18: Ask guests to RSVP online

Budget Bride Tip for June 19: Hire a one-man band to provide the music

Budget Bride Tip for June 20: Build, stock and staff your open bar

Budget Bride Tip for June 21: Decorate with locally grown flowers

Budget Bride Tip for June 22: Skip the champagne toast

Budget Bride Tip for June 23: Let guests pour their own drinks

Budget Bride Tip for June 24: Create a homemade photo booth

Budget Bride Tip for June 25: Make the invitations a family project

Budget Bride Tip for June 26: Schedule your wedding on a Friday

Budget Bride Tip for June 27: Wear a bridesmaid dress instead of a wedding gown

Budget Bride Tip for June 28: Find an affordable hairstylist online

Budget Bride Tip for June 29: Let them eat pie

Budget Bride Tip for June 30: Shop for flowers at the farmers market

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