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A wedding is usually the best day of many people’s lives. However, the trick comes with having the best time you possibly can while trying not to spend too much. The cost can quickly skyrocket, and care is needed to ensure overspending doesn’t occur. It can be quite a stressful time. Some people take to it and enjoy every minute, others tend to let the stress overpower them. There are ways in which you can keep both the costs down and relax as you are doing so. You will have to put in some work, yet it many cases it is work that you won’t mind doing as it is fairly easy and will benefit the day as a whole.

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In the first instance you should think about the things that are completely necessary. Food, for example. You can tone it down to save some money but usually it isn’t something people tend to skimp on. You can find a fairly reasonably priced catering company with ease these days if your venue doesn’t already have some sort of package deal for food. A lot of times, you can even work with the caterer to switch out items you may not be crazy for for something you want. I think Kendall and I are switching out pass apps for a sushi bar, for example.

Another huge cost is obviously the venue. This is where you can get more creative and save some money. In this day and age it doesn’t need to be in a church. Granted, you may be religious and it could be important to you. Yet you could save some money by forgoing this. With some creative insight you can make anywhere your venue. Twinkling white lights, bright throws, flowers, these can achieve anything. You can get married on the beach, in a pretty glen, the possibilities are endless. You can also mitigate the venue issue by doing the ceremony and reception it all in one. There are certain places you can get married while still having the party and meal in the same place, keeping everything clustered into one location.

The amount you spend on the attachments and fixtures might be less than you spend on a venue that has everything, but it truly depends on the situation. A friend of mine got married at a summer-camp that she turned into a fairy tale, on a budget, but by the same token when I looked into a venue that on the surface seemed to cost a little less, it would have actually cost more than the one I chose that included everything on the spot. Just do your research and visit the space so that you can really weigh your options!

There are other ways you can save too. It may be convenient, but maybe look into not to get married on a Saturday. Know what peak season is for weddings too- spring and summer. If you like fall or have interest in a cozy, warm winter wedding check into that too! You can still get great wonderful weather, yet you are being wise and saving cash. You can be savvy too, create your own flowers. The personalization can make everything more special. Look at the cake. Consider getting a smaller one so you can still cut it but with less tiers, saving you money. Your best bet is buying wedding items at places that aren’t wedding retailers- I’ve been finding a lot of great stuff on Etsy!

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Wanting to look absolutely perfect is one sure-fire way to feel miserable. This can breathe life into the bad habit of thinking you’re not what you should be. Despite what modern media and marketing would have you believe, happiness is not a body shape. If you don’t escape this mindset, you may shed a few pounds, but you’ll also make yourself pretty miserable! Here are some great tips for loving your body, and yourself as a person.

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Take a Break from Social Media

One of the most effective ways to feel happier in your body is cutting down the time you spend on social media. While there’s a lot on there, social media often ends up being just a highlight reel of other women, and not much else. You’ll rarely see tough times and the stories of how women overcame them. Instead, you’re much more likely to be bombarded with perfect abs and exquisite home-cooked meals. This, in turn, can lead to you comparing your own life to these superwomen, and thinking about it negatively. Try cutting back on the time you spend on social media, or unfollowing accounts that tend to get you down about your own situation.

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Trade Stressy Cardio for a Morning Walk

Hardcore cardio is very popular with adult women who are looking to lose weight. While setting your alarm early and going for a run is always a slower process than a trip to clinics like the Bel Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery, many women see this as the more natural, accessible option. However, it’s not always a positive. While it’s good to want to be a healthy weight, starting your day off with the blare of an alarm and a strenuous run can often kick up a lot of unhealthy stress. Subbing it out for a more peaceful walk can make all the difference to how you feel for the rest of the day.

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Get a Date, a Pet or Both

Seeing someone or taking care of an animal can help tremendously with your overall mood, regardless of your weight loss and beauty goals. Getting to know someone on an intimate level will allow you to talk about your goals and dreams, all the while getting a look into the lives of another person. As you realize how little you think about another person’s (or animal’s!) weight and eating habits, you’ll become less conscious of your own. There’s a handy guide for getting yourself out there on Your Tango.

Dress for Now

Are you still holding onto the swimsuit you had when you were a size 4, hoping that you’ll fit into it again one day? If clothes like these are hanging in your wardrobe, acting as constant reminders of your weight loss goals, it may be time to ditch them. Filling your closet with clothes for now, not clothes for then, will make you much more satisfied with your current body, and cut out one of the many harmful reminders that things “need” to change.

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When you’re planning a wedding, it’s often essential to try and find a balance between scrimping and splurging. There are certain things you’re probably not bothered about spending a fortune on, but you won’t want to compromise on others. Budgeting is all about identifying priorities and planning a day that is perfect for your taste, style, and budget.

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When not to scrimp

There are certain things every bride has on her list that take preference over others. When you’re planning your budget, make sure you have enough money available for the perfect dress and a fantastic photographer.

The dress

You may think that it seems absurd to spend thousands of dollars on a dress you’re going to wear for approximately 12 hours. However, this is your wedding day, and the only time in your life you’ll get to wear a dress as important and symbolic as this gown. Set a budget for your dress, and try and be flexible. If you find the dress of your dreams and it’s a couple of hundred dollars over the budget, don’t say no. There are bound to be other areas you can make small savings. Of course, for many brides, money is an issue, so don’t go into a salon and start pulling dresses that are far too expensive off the rails. Tell the assistant the figure you’d like to stick to, and then you can make sure that you’re trying gowns that you can afford.

The photographer

Blurry phone shots won’t suffice on the most important day of your life, so set a realistic budget for an experienced photographer. There’s no other day in your life where photographs will bear such significance. It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on on your wedding day when you’re caught up in the moment, and you have guests to greet and cakes to cut. Photographs are a way of commemorating and celebrating the day long after you’ve retired to bed on your wedding day.

When not to splurge

Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation where you have to add and subtract funds from certain items on your list. If you’re looking to save money, here are some cost-cutting tips to bear in mind.

Dressing your bridal party

If you have a large bridal party, costs can soar. You want your bridesmaids to look incredible, but you also don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on dresses they’ll probably wear once. Try and avoid buying dresses from bridal salons, and opt for formal dresses from normal high street stores or online retailers. When you put the prefix ‘bridesmaid’ in front of a dress, it will boost the cost significantly.

Choosing the date

Unless you’re desperate to get married on a Saturday in the summer, being flexible with the date can save you a huge amount of money. If you’re all about having the day of your dreams without making too many sacrifices to bring it in on budget, consider getting married in the spring or fall and choosing a weekday or a Sunday.

Budgeting is one of the most stressful aspects of planning a wedding. When you’re drawing up plans, think about your priorities, and don’t scrimp on them. If you need to make savings, always take them from areas that come low down on the list. This way, you’ll get everything you want without breaking the bank.

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We get bombarded with the notion of perfection, we see what others accomplish and how they live, and we can’t help but compare ourselves to what we see. This is what leads so many of us to always second guess ourselves, to always doubt and always drive ourselves to do better without giving ourselves credit for what we’ve achieved so far. Well, enough is enough. We all have to learn some self-love and see just how better and how much more we can accomplish when we stop being so hard on ourselves.

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Make time for yourself

When was the last time you gave yourself a chance to be happy by yourself? Break out of the cycle, shut the computer down, turn off the phone and give yourself some ‘you time’ Take yourself on a date, whether it’s going to the cinema to see a movie you’re excited about or going on a city break to place you’ve always wanted to go. Take a class and start a hobby. Get creative with no goal but exploring your own mind. Every now and then we should take a day of looking after our mood.

Stop the self-neglect

Loving yourself as you are is important, but we are all works-in-progress. No-one feels like they are ‘done’. We all recognize we have some potential, so we should neglect it because we don’t think we’re worth the time. Don’t focus on your flaws and how others might see them, but work on improving yourself for your own sake. If you don’t like your smile, look at modern dental solutions so you can feel confident in your own smile. If you want to lose weight, then find manageable solutions for your own health, not how you worry people think you look. Whatever your goals for self-improvement are, make sure that it’s about the self. That’s the key to confidence, not the perception of others.

Keep your boundaries

When your self-esteem is low, it’s all too easy to let people walk all over you. You squeeze your feelings into a little, dense ball of lead that just weighs on you from the inside. It’s time to put your foot down. This doesn’t mean being nasty, it means recognizing your boundaries. Make a list of what’s important to you and what hurts you the most. Don’t tolerate people that continuously cross those boundaries. The truth is that most people will check their behavior when they realize that it can be so personally hurtful to another. They don’t share your perspective or all of your values, so simply laying the boundaries can cause them to be more respectful and allows you have a more honest relationship with them.

As a final note, the next time you feel like being hard on yourself, talk to the person in the mirror. Treat her as if she was someone different from you. Does she really deserve kind of scorn you can show yourself? Would you say it to her? Treating yourself as well as you treat other people is the minimum we can expect from ourselves.

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One of the hardest things that you will ever learn in life is how to love yourself. There are many life lessons that can be taught as we grow up, and even more so into adulthood, but the day that we truly accept ourselves for what we are, whether good or bad, is monumental; it is something that most people get to the ends of their lives without doing. Sure you can give love to other people and show it in abundance, but it’s Number One that you need to look out for.

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With that in mind, here are some great ways to get back in touch with yourself…

Make a Date

Spend some time alone. Take yourself for a coffee, or even dinner if you’re feeling brave enough. There is some weird arbitrary notion that these are things that you have to do with people, sort of as a socialisation process; this isn’t the case at all. Keep a date with yourself and sit with your own thoughts; the more time you spend with other people, the more you are aware of what you are doing. Have you ever thought about what the other person is ordering to influence what you are choosing? You may want something huge as you haven’t eaten in ages, but you tried to keep up appearances by picking a smaller dish just because your companion had? It’s not on. Stick by your own decisions and honor them.

Make a Change

If you really aren’t happy with something that’s on your body, take the step to get it sorted out. Whether this is something as simple as the colour of your hair or something that needs a tad more consideration such as implant surgery options, there are ways and means to get around it – especially with such open availability to get any change seen to at a time when is convenient to you. You shouldn’t feel pressured by anybody else to make these changes; don’t let anybody bully you into what you should be doing with your body.

Make a Point

Surround yourself with those who are in the same frame of mind as you. If you are insecure about your weight, get involved with the Body Positive/Fat Community – once you start using the same positive language and take the same stance on life with a plethora of people doing the same things and thinking the same thoughts around you, you won’t feel so alone with loving yourself. There are some great examples of people out there to follow to instigate a loving relationship with yourself; you just have to know where to find them. Danielle Vanier is a really body-confident person to follow on Instagram, and Bethany Rutter is a glorious example of kick-ass positivity on Twitter; but these are just two social platforms to get involved with. Do your own research online on the social media of your choice and using the keywords that interest you or are relatable to you to click in with those who will matter in helping you realize just how much you matter too.

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