LIve healthy on your wedding budget

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

The terms “wedding planning” and “budgeting” go together like two peas in a pod. If there’s ever a time in your life when it actually seems easy to tighten the purse strings your engagement is it. After all, your dream wedding is a huge reward for those months of penny pinching.

But keeping an eye on the bottom line shouldn’t mean cutting out expenses that actually matter. If you haven’t left room in your wedding budget for health and fitness, it might be time to look again.

What Not To Do To Save Money For Your Wedding

Skipping personal training sessions and downgrading your grocery list may seem like smart cost-cutting techniques in the short term, but you have to think about the bigger picture. Investing in your health and fitness will not only ensure that you look and feel fantastic on your wedding day, it will also help to reduce the (more expensive) costs of getting sick.

Of course that doesn’t mean shelling out thousands on expensive gym memberships, or only buying organic food. But it does mean finding the healthy middle ground between eating dinner at that famous vegan restaurant and buying something from McDonalds.

Fortunately you can save money and still maintain that healthy honeymoon-ready body with these 8 simple hacks.

How To Live Healthy On A Wedding Budget

Cook more at home

1. Cook More At Home

A super simple way to save money is by cooking more at home. Not only is eating out expensive (you’re not only paying for the food, but also the service, the atmosphere, and the convenience) it can also pack loads of hidden calories into your meal. Restaurants want to serve food that you can’t get enough of, which usually translates as fat, sugar, and salt.

The easy way to get started cooking at home is to choose a few simple recipes that you can make ahead of time. Having food already prepared makes it easy to commit to healthy eating, and leaves you more time for fun with your fiancé.

2. Buy Non-Trendy Foods

To save money in the grocery store you need to be strategic (and rather boring). Make a list of the essentials and be willing to swap your go-to ingredients for those on special. Most importantly, you need to waltz right on past the trendy new “superfoods” section and stick to purchasing classic and cheap (but still super) foods such as vegetables, fruits, meat, and grains.

You only have to look at photos from our grandparent’s generation to notice that almost everyone was slim and healthy — and they didn’t even have spirulina or goji berries! What?! Buying unpackaged foods in their most natural state is a win for your body and your bank account.

3. Follow the Dirty Dozen – Clean Fifteen

No, I’m not talking about your wedding night! Cheeky! The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen are two lists created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that outlines which foods have the highest amount of pesticide residue (the Dirty Dozen) and the lowest (the Clean Fifteen).

If it’s on the Dirty Dozen, you should buy it organic, or don’t buy it at all. If it’s a Clean Fifteen food you can save your dollars and choose conventional.

Eating foods that are high in chemical residue can create inflammation in the body that might lead to allergies, illness and weight gain. It’s a pretty simple switch to make, but if organic isn’t in your budget all you have to do is choose a different food. Here’s the list for your convenience:

The Dirty Dozen (plus)

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes
  • (Additional items that cause concern are hot peppers and blueberries)

The Clean 15

  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes

Cut your alcohol consumption

4. Cut your alcohol consumption in half

Drinking less alcohol means half the calories and half the cost. You might choose to have certain alcohol free nights during the week, or reduce the size of your pour when having a drink.

In addition to being a source of empty calories, alcohol is a diuretic, which can cause dehydration and water weight gain. Too much alcohol at night also affects sleep quality, and there’s nothing like a hangover to make poor food and fitness choices the next day.

Instead try sipping on low sugar kombucha, infused waters, or make a spritzer with half white wine and half club soda.

5. Walk more than you drive

Getting in shape isn’t rocket science, but it does take consistent, daily action. 10,000 steps a day is the baseline for good health and fitness, but reaching that goal isn’t as easy as you might think. A simple way to get more movement into your day is to walk more than you drive. This burns calories, saves fuel costs and is a terrific way to gently tone the muscles in your lower body.

Start by choosing to walk more often to complete errands. If you do drive, park further away from the store and get in those extra steps that way.

Find community workout classes

6. Find community workout classes

Many studios schedule lower-priced classes during off-peak hours, often called “community class”. Rather than paying a whopping $25 per session for hot yoga after work, you can join in the lunchtime flow for $8.

Other ideas for free-fitness include joining a Meetup group, or checking out local athletic-wear stores, such as Nike, Lululemon and Athleta, which often hold free classes on the weekend.

7. Make date night active

Instead of heading to the movies for date night (hello, expensive tickets and unhealthy popcorn) choose to do something active with your fiancé. You could practice your first dance, play frisbee in the park, or get your friends together for an evening sports match followed by a pot-luck.

Exercise boosts those feel-good endorphins, which can make you feel more connected — and even more in love — with your partner.

Put your gym membership on hold and try an at-home workout program

Is your current gym routine helping you reach your pre-wedding fitness goals? Or are you wasting time (and money) just walking on the treadmill? Having a structured workout program is key to getting great results in less time, and there are many great workout programs that you can do at home.

Help finance your honeymoon with a honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

Bio: Jennifer Dene is passionate about helping busy women transform their lives through simple nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle advice. She empowers women to prioritize self-care and adopt a vibrant, healthy relationship around food and fitness. She is a writer, speaker, celebrity Pilates instructor, personal trainer and health coach and blogs at jenniferdenewellness.com

Download your free 7 day wedding workout program from Mind Body Bride here: (http://mindbodybride.com/bombshell-bride-workout-calendar)

You can connect with Jennifer via email (jennifer@jenniferdenewellness.com) or socially at:

Facebook (facebook.com/jenniferdene)

Instagram (instagram.com/jenniferdene)

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed during your wedding planning process. Along with organizing, researching, and finding the best vendors for your budget, it also comes down to negotiating costs, ensuring that everything is done on time and that the big day runs smoothly – all the while ensuring that your guests are happy and enjoying themselves!

On top of all of this, many of us work full-time jobs and trying to juggle a job with a social life and wedding planning – well something’s gotta give! This is where a wedding planner saves the day.

Why hire a wedding planner

Choosing A Wedding Planner

There are 3 different types of services that wedding planners usually offer:

  1. A wedding planner only for specific tasks, ie. to help you with the catering or with the florals for the wedding
  2. A wedding planner only for the big day to ensure that everything runs smoothly so that you can relax and leave the day in the hands of a professional
  3. From the moment you begin wedding planning to help with every detail of the wedding

What To Look For In A Wedding Planner

After choosing the type of service you require, apart from your budget, below are six things to consider when choosing your wedding planner:

1. Personality and Trust

It’s important for you to find a planner that you instantly get along with. There are times when you may send 20 emails in 1 night to the wedding planner with details of your wedding, and there are more stressful times than others where the ‘Bridezilla’ in you might come out. This is where you’ll need the wedding planner to stay calm and really listen to you.

You need to also ensure that you’re able to trust the planner as there are times when planning can get difficult. Even if they may be incredible at what they do, ensuring that your personalities click and that you trust them 100% is key.

View wedding planner portfolio

2. Portfolio

Ensure that you take a look at the weddings that the wedding planner has done previously not only to be inspired for your own event, but to also ensure that their style matches yours.

Questions to keep in mind are:

  • Are the weddings small simple affairs, or are they more extravagant and luxurious?
  • If you’d like your wedding theme to be focused around colours and florals, see if the planner has done similar themes in the past and if so – to what scale?
  • Do they specialize in a certain type of wedding?
  • Are they familiar with the wedding location?
  • Do they have vendors that they currently work with? If so, would this wedding planner be able to get you a discount for your wedding?
  • What size of weddings do they usually work with?

Wedding planners are able to work to ensure every aspect of your wedding is amazing, but they each have their own skill set that they bring to the table whether it be the visuals of the wedding or the food, you need to ensure that it matches what you are looking for.

What is your planner's specialty

3. Communication

Communication is integral to planning the wedding of your dreams. This leads to considering the response time between when you call/email/text the planner and when they get back to you. Is this planner too busy? Do they take a long time getting back to their clients? The planner needs to keep you up to date with the preparations and ensuring that you know exactly when to expect a reply will help to lessen the stress.

What is your wedding planner's pricing structure

4. Pricing Structure

Every wedding is different and whether you only want the planner for specific tasks, on the big day itself, or if you’d like the planner to be with you from the beginning will, of course, make a difference in the price. The pricing structure could be any of the following:

  • A flat fee
  • A base fee plus extra charges depending on vendors and needs
  • An hourly rate

If the planner charges a flat rate, find out what exactly would be included in this. Also, find out if there is a payment structure and what the billing method is. It’s essential to be upfront with the wedding planner when it comes to the budget to ensure that both parties are happy.

5. Other Weddings

Be sure to find out how many other weddings the planner is working on, as well as if there are weddings they are planning that happen during the same month as your wedding. If the planner works for a large wedding planning company then their firm may have other weddings in the pipeline- and they will also have a large team to work with. If they are independent wedding planners, then it would be best if they could be focused primarily on your wedding.

You want your planner to be devoted to your wedding to ensure that that the planning and the big day run seamlessly.

eck your wedding planner's references

6. References

Make sure to get references of recent weddings that the wedding planner has done. It’s vital to call and check how these customers’ wedding planning and big day went. If the wedding planner does not want to give out references – it’s most likely a red flag and best not to work with them. This also ties in with building trust with the wedding planner and giving you peace of mind.

After the big event, enjoy a honeymoon financed by your Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Neha Oberoi is the blog manager for the London based international luxury Asian and South Asian wedding planning service Think Shaadi. Originally from Canada, and also having lived in London for a few years, Neha is currently based in Dubai, and loves fashion, travel and beautiful beach days!

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