by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - Planning a wedding can be hectic.
"Don't waste time. If you have 7 months to plan it, it will go by fast," Clayton Swan said.
Tying the knot on a budget during a recession can be tough. Everything from flower arrangements to invitations all adds up, but for Clayton and Allison who are planning their November wedding, it's all about finding bargains.
"We found places in Lubbock that were asking $15 for each flower arrangement, but where we're going is only $7," Allison Pipes said.
The struggling economy isn't stopping couples from walking down the aisle, but more of them are just going about it a different way.
"People are using credit cards instead of checks. They're choosing to make payments instead of paying up front," Kay Battes, Co-Owner of The Willows, said.
Clayton and Allison say there are plenty of ways to cut back on things that normally come with a big price tag, like the wedding cake.
"We're going with someone who can do it in their private home. So we can save money on that," Swan said.
Wedding announcements and invitations can cost a lot, that's why Clayton and Allison decided to do most of the work themselves.
"There's like a kit and we're going to have to do things on our own. For 450 invitations, we save half the money than ordering them from someone else," Pipes said.
"We'll have to put the ribbons on ourselves, but our labor is a lot cheaper than most people's," Swan said.
The couple says it's all about taking the time to shop around for the best deals. "It's just having to look a little more than if times were better," Pipes said.
Some places like The Willows are willing to work with couples.
"In December, January, and February, we are offering a special rate. Hopefully that will help. Normally a Saturday is $2,200, but now it's $1,600 for any day. So we are making some cuts," Battes said.
For Clayton and Allison, the recession has taught them that their wedding should be about them, and less about the fancy decorations with hefty price tags.