The Ugly Side of Weddings…and A Way To Save!

As a blogger and wedding lover, I get swept up in the world of weddings and totally forget everything else. It is so easy to want, want, want, and forget that everything for a wedding requires one major thing: money. There are so many sites that tease you with gorgeous things and show you great ways to make your wedding awesome (I am guilty of this, I admit), but when you add up the cost of everything you’ve put on your wish list, the total can scare the bejezus out of you!

No one wants to talk about the ugly side of weddings: the almighty dollar. The average cost of a wedding in the US is now somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000. That’s crazy! Unless you are taking several years to put away that money, or you are independently wealthy (or your parents/in-laws are), there is no way that you are not putting yourself in serious debt over ONE day! I’m already in debt with student loans and a car loan; I don’t need any more loans to add to that.

The truth is, weddings are a business. And the proverbial “they” want you to spend tons of money on that awesome thing you just had to have. You drive the business. So if you say “no” to the expensive things and opt for much cheaper things, you will drive the average cost of everything down. Of course your wedding should be what you and your honey want, but you can absolutely achieve that without going into any amount of serious debt.

So in the spirit of this blog, I want to take a break from the pretty wedding things and talk about a way I thought of to save some money. It is rather unconventional, I admit, but it is a surefire way to turn trash into treasure…so to speak.

Don’t lie. We all drink it, or know someone who does. Did you know, in bottle redemption states wine bottles can be worth up to 15 cents a bottle? And depending on how much of a wino you or your friends are, you could be building up quite a collection. Not to mention all the beer bottles, soda bottles, and cans you probably also have.

Now currently there are only 23 countries around the world that do bottle redemption. In the US there are 11 states total. You can find out more of their specific redemption rules and regs here.

Many of the states that do bottle redemption are in the northeast, and fortunately Maine is one of them! The funniest part is, there is no sales tax on booze in New Hampshire, so buy all your alcohol there, and return the bottles for cash in Maine! Maine allows 15 cents for wine and liquor bottles and 5 cents for everything else. That may not look like a lot, but it can add up if you get numbers on your side. It’s amazing how many people don’t take full advantage of the bottle redemption. Most return their wine and liquor bottles, but the plastic bottles and cans just get thrown away.

I spoke with a friend of mine who collects bottles, and after only getting bottles from about two or three sources (as well as himself) he can collect up to $150 a year. Think about if someone was proactive about collecting and just wandered around and found random cans and bottles to collect in addition to petitioning their friends and co-workers to donate to the cause. I am hoping to send out a mass e-mail to my co workers, and set up collection boxes throughout the building.

There are so many gorgeous things to do with bottles at your wedding, but why not first think about returning them to save for your big day? Investment in saving for the wedding should come before any of the “I wants.” If returning bottles helps to get me there, than that’s what I’ll do because I’d rather enjoy my wedding day than worry about paying it back.

Are there any unique ways you’ve thought of to save for your wedding? I’d really like to hear them! Not everyone can redeem bottles, but there have to be some other creative ways to save!


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