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Adigrat (Ge'ez: ) is a city and separate woreda in the Tigray Region (or kilil) of

Ethiopia. Located in the Misraqawi Zone at longitude and latitude 1416N 3927ECoordinates:
1416N 3927E with an elevation of 2457 meters above sea level, below a high ridge to the
west, Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is
considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea. Adigrat was part
of Ganta Afeshum woreda before a separate woreda was created for the city.

Sites of Interest
Adigrat, the capital of the Agame district, has an interesting aristocratic history. In town are the
remnants of two castles from the Zemene Mesafint ("Era of Princes"),( ) one
(pictured) owned by Dej Desta, the other by the Ras Sebhat Aregawi. Other sites of interest:

19th century Adigrat Chirkos - was strategically built on a hill near Dej Desta's castle, so
that Desta could see the church from his bedroom balcony.

A few years after World War II land was obtained in the centre of Adigrat at a site called
"Welwalo". In view of the possibility that one day it might become a church, the "Holy
Saviour" was built and used regularly as a parish church. After the establishment of the
Ethiopian Catholic hierarchy in 1961 that church was destined to become the cathedral of
the Eparchy of Adigrat. After appropriate modifications were made the formal and
official consecration of the Cathedral Catholic of the Holy Saviour took place on 19 April
1969. It has an Italian design, but incorporates work by Ethiopian artist Afewerk Tekle.[3]

Italian War cemetery commemorates some 765 Italian soldiers who died between 1935
and 1938.[3]

Adigrat also hosts a market, and a newly constructed community park.

Adrigrat first acquired importance when Ras Sabagadis made it his capital in 1818; it declined in
importance after his death in 1831, although the missionary Samuel Gobat had joined countless
Ethiopians in fleeing there for safety in the days immediately after Sabagadis' death.[4] When the
missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf passed through Adigrat in April 1842, "almost the whole is in
ruins", and observed that a nearby village, Kersaber, was "much larger than Adigrate."[5]
According to Sven Rubenson, 1868, Ras Kassai (later the Emperor Yohannes IV), met with Sir
Robert Napier at Adigrat, where he agreed to provide support for the British expeditionary force.

During the First Italian-Abyssinian War, the Italians occupied Adigrat on 25 March 1895, and
used it as a base to support their advance south to Mek'ele. General Antonio Baldissera
refortified the settlement after the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa, but Emperor Menelik II
insisted on its surrender at the beginning of the peace talks that concluded the war; Baldissera

was ordered to evacuate Adigrat, which he did 18 May 1896. Augustus B. Wylde a few years
later described Adigrat as having a Saturday market of medium size.[6]
The Italians again occupied Adigrat, without resistance, at the beginning of the Second ItalianAbyssinian War 7 October 1935. The Italians were met there on the 11th by Ras Haile Selassie
Gugsa, who had been courted by the Italians to ignite a widespread defection of the Tigrean
aristocracy; instead, he had been soundly defeated a few days before by Dejazmach Haile
Kebbede of Wag, and presented himself to the invaders with only 1200 followers. Anthony
Mockler notes that despite the fact the young Ras shook Ethiopian morale, "this was the first and
last open defection to the Italians of an important noble and his men."[7]
Adigrat was captured by rebels in the Woyane rebellion 25 September 1943, forcing the
Ethiopian government administrators to flee to neighboring Eritrea. By 1958 the city was one of
27 places in Ethiopia ranked as a First Class Township.[4]
By the 1970s, Adigrat possessed the only high school east of Adwa and north of Mek'ele, Agazi
Comprehensive High School, and together with the town's Catholic junior high school, they
became centers of anti-government dissent. The presence outside of town of a large military
base, served as a focus for protesting students, and also as a source for their hopes of a military
coup. During the first years of the Ethiopian Civil War, the fledgling Tigrayan People's
Liberation Front drew support from these groups.[4] Derg forces took Adigrat during their
Operation Adwa in summer 1988. The same day that the Third Revolutionary Army was crushed
at Battle of Shire, 19 February 1989, government troops and officials evacuated Adigrat.[8]
According to Africa Watch they caused widespread destruction in the town before they left.[4]

Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia
(CSA), this town has a total population of 57,588, of whom 26,010 are men and 31,578 women.
The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 94.01%
reporting that as their religion, while 3.02% of the population were Catholics, and 2.68% were
The 1994 census reported it had a total population of 37,417 of whom 17,352 were men and
20,065 were women..

The largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Ethiopia, Addis Pharmaceuticals Factory SC,
is located in Adigrat. Opened in 1992, the plant has an annual production capacity of 1.2 billion
tables, 19 billion ampoules, 10 million vials, 500,000 capsules, 4 million ointment tubes and 9.6
million bottles of syrup. Addis Pharmaceuticals is one of the 13 companies owned and managed
by the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT).[10] Commercial Bank of
Ethiopia constructed a large branch office in Adigrat.[11]

Adigrat University Campus
Adigrat is home to the Adigrat University established in May 2011. The University consists of
the Colleges of: Engineering and Technology, Natural and Computational Sciences, Agriculture
and Environmental Sciences, Business and Economics and Social Sciences and Humanities.[12]
The first high school in Adigrat was Agazi Comprehensive High School which was established in
the 1950s.[13]

Adigrat is located along Ethiopian Highway 2, which connects the city with Addis Abeba and
Mekelle. In Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 2, turns off the main highway to the west in the
direction of Adwa. To the north of Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 20 connects the city to Kokobay
and to Asmara in Eritrea.
The wildebeests, also called gnus or wildebai, are a genus of antelopes, Connochaetes. They
belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep and other even-toed
horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black
wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou); and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus).
Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in a
northern and a southern species. The blue wildebeest remained in its original range and changed
very little from the ancestral species, while the black wildebeest changed more in order to adapt
to its open grassland habitat in the south. The most obvious way of telling the two species apart
are the differences in their colouring and in the way their horns are oriented.
In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the most abundant big game species and some populations
perform an annual migration to new grazing grounds but the black wildebeest is merely nomadic.
Breeding in both takes place over a short period of time at the end of the rainy season and the
calves are soon active and are able to move with the herd. Nevertheless, some fall prey to large
carnivores. Wildebeest often graze in mixed herds with zebra which gives heightened awareness
of potential predators. They are also alert to the warning signals emitted by other animals such as
baboons. Wildebeest are a tourist attraction but compete with domesticated livestock for pasture
and are sometimes blamed by farmers for transferring diseases and parasites to their cattle. Some
illegal hunting goes on but the population trend is fairly stable and some populations are in
national parks or on private land. The IUCN lists both species as being of "least concern".

The wildebeest (/wldbist/ WIL-d-beest[1][2][3] or /vl-/ VIL-,[3] plural wildebeest, wildebai, or
wildebeests, wildebeesties (juv)), also called the gnu (/nu/ NOO[4][5][6] or /nju/ NEW)[4][6] is an
antelope of the genus Connochaetes. Wildebeest is Dutch for "wild beast" or "wild cattle" in
Afrikaans (bees = cattle), while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words , knnos,
"beard", and , khat, "flowing hair", "mane".[7] Some sources claim the name "gnu"

originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals, t'gnu.[8] Others contend the name and its
pronunciation in English go back to the word !nu: used for the black wildebeest among the
Southern Bushmen, now generally referred to as the San people.[9]

Taxonomy and evolution
The wildebeest, or the genus Connochaetes, is placed under family Bovidae and subfamily
Alcelaphinae, where its closest relatives are the hartebeest (Alcelaphus spp.), the hirola
(Beatragus hunteri) and species in the genus Damaliscus, such as the topi, the tsessebe, the
blesbok and the bontebok.[10] The name Connochaetes was given by German zoologist Martin
Hinrich Carl Lichtenstein in 1814.[10][11] Wildebeest were first discovered about 1700 by Dutch
settlers on their way to the interior of South Africa. Due to their resemblance to wild cattle, these
people called them "wild ox" or "wildebeest". The black wildebeest was first known to
westerners in the northern part of South Africa a century later, in the 1800s.[12]
In the early twentieth century, one species of the wildebeest, Connochaetes albojubatus, was
identified in eastern Africa. In 1914, two separate races of the wildebeest were introduced,
namely Gorgon a. albojubatus (Athi white-bearded wildebeest) and G. a. mearnsi (Loita whitebearded wildebeest). However, in 1939, the two were once again merged into a single race,
Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus. In the mid-twentieth century, two separate forms were
recognised, Gorgon taurinus hecki and G. t. albojubatus.[12] Finally two distinct types of
wildebeest - the blue and black wildebeest - were identified. The blue wildebeest was at first
placed under a separate genus, Gorgon,[13][14] while the black wildebeest belonged to the genus
Connochaetes. Today they are united in the single genus Connochaetes: the black wildebeest
being named (C. gnou) and the blue wildebeest, (C. taurinus).[10]
According to an mtDNA analysis, the black wildebeest seem to have diverged from the main
lineage during the Middle Pleistocene and became a distinct species around a million years ago.
A divergence rate of approximately 2% has been calculated.[14] The split does not seem to have
been driven by competition for resources but instead by the fact that each species adopted a
different feeding niche and occupied a different trophic level.[16]
Blue wildebeest fossils dating back some two and a half million years ago are common and
widespread. They have been found in the fossil bearing caves at the Cradle of Humankind north
of Johannesburg. Elsewhere in South Africa they are plentiful at such sites as Elandsfontein,
Cornelia and Florisbad.[17] The earliest fossils of the black wildebeest were found in sedimentary
rock in Cornelia in the Orange Free State and dated back about eight hundred thousand years.[16]
Today, five subspecies of the blue wildebeest are recognised while the black wildebeest has no
named subspecies.[18]

Genetics and hybrids

The diploid number of chromosomes in the wildebeest is 58.[19] Chromosomes were studied in a
male and a female wildebeest. In the female, all except a pair of very large submetacentric

chromosomes were found to be acrocentric. Metaphases were studied in the male's

chromosomes, and very large submetacentric chromosomes were found there as well, similar to
those in the female both in size and morphology. Other chromosomes were acrocentric. The X
chromosome is a large acrocentric and the Y chromosome a minute one.[11][20]
The two species of the wildebeest are known to hybridise. Male black wildebeest have been
reported to mate with female blue wildebeest and vice versa.[21] The differences in social
behaviour and habitats have historically prevented interspecific hybridisation between the
species, however hybridisation may occur when they are both confined within the same area. The
resulting offspring is usually fertile. A study of these hybrid animals at Spioenkop Dam Nature
Reserve in South Africa revealed that many had disadvantageous abnormalities relating to their
teeth, horns and the wormian bones in the skull.[22] Another study reported an increase in the size
of the hybrid as compared to either of its parents. In some animals the auditory bullae are highly
deformed and in others the radius and ulna are fused.[23]

Differences between species

Both species of wildebeest are even-toed, horned, greyish-brown ungulates resembling cattle.
Males are larger than females and both have heavy forequarters compared to their hindquarters.
They have broad muzzles, Roman noses, shaggy manes and tails.[24] The most striking
morphological differences between the black and blue wildebeest are the orientation and
curvature of their horns and the color of their coats. The blue wildebeest is the bigger of the two
species. In males, blue wildebeest stand 150 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh around 250 kg,
while the black wildebeest stands 111 to 120 cm tall[25] and weighs about 180 kg. In females, blue
wildebeest have a shoulder height of 135 cm and weigh 180 kg while black wildebeest females
stand 108 cm at the shoulder and weigh 155 kg. The horns of blue wildebeest protrude to the side
then curve downwards before curving up back towards the skull, while the horns of the black
wildebeest curve forward then downward before curving upwards at the tips. Blue wildebeest
tend to be a dark grey color with stripes, but may have a bluish sheen. The black wildebeest has
brown-coloured hair, with a mane that ranges in color from cream to black, and a cream-coloured
tail. The blue wildebeest lives in a wide variety of habitats, including woodlands and grasslands,
while the black wildebeest tends to reside exclusively in open grassland areas.[18] In some areas
the blue wildebeest migrates over long distances in the winter, whereas the black wildebeest does
not.[26] The milk of the female black wildebeest contains a higher protein, lower fat, and lower
lactose content than the milk of the blue wildebeest.[27] Wildebeest can live more than forty years,
though their average lifespan is around twenty years.[28]

Distribution and habitat

Wildebeest inhabit the plains and open woodlands of parts of Africa south of the Sahara. The
black wildebeest is native to the southernmost parts of the continent. Its historical range included
South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, but in the latter two countries it was hunted to extinction
in the 19th century. It has now been reintroduced to them and also introduced to Namibia where
it has become well established.[29] It inhabits open plains, grasslands and Karoo shrublands in

both steep mountainous regions and lower undulating hills at altitudes varying between 1,350
and 2,150 m (4,430 and 7,050 ft).[29] In the past, it inhabited the highveld temperate grasslands
during the dry winter season and the arid Karoo region during the rains. However, as a result of
widespread hunting, it no longer occupies its historical range or makes migrations, and is now
largely limited to game farms and protected reserves.[30]
The blue wildebeest is native to eastern and southern Africa. Its range includes Kenya, Tanzania,
Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Angola. It is no
longer found in Malawi but has been successfully reintroduced into Namibia. Blue wildebeest
are mainly found in short grass plains bordering bush-covered acacia savannas, thriving in areas
that are neither too wet nor too dry. They can be found in habitats that vary from overgrazed
areas with dense bush to open woodland floodplains.[31] In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the
most abundant big game species, both in population and biomass.[24] It is a notable feature of the
Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and the Liuwa
Plain National Park in Zambia.[28]

During migrations, wildebeest spend 10 months per year in the Serengeti National Park
and two months in the Masai Mara.
Not all wildebeest are migratory. Black wildebeest herds are often nomadic or may have a
regular home range of 1 km2 (11,000,000 sq ft). Bulls may occupy territories, usually about 100
to 400 m (328 to 1,312 ft) apart, but this spacing varies according to the quality of the habitat. In
favourable conditions they may be as close as 9 m (30 ft) or as far apart as 1,600 m (5,200 ft) in
poor habitat.[13] Female herds have home ranges of about 250 acres (100 ha; 0.39 sq mi) in size.
Herds of non-territorial batchelor males roam at will and do not seem to have a home range.[32]
In the Masai Mara game reserve, there is a non-migratory population of blue wildebeest which
had dwindled from about 119,000 animals in 1977 to about 22,000 in 1997. The reason for the
decline is thought to be the increasing competition between cattle and wildebeest for a
diminishing area of grazing land as a result of changes in agricultural practices, and possibly
fluctuations in rainfall.[33]
Each year, some East African populations of blue wildebeest have a long-distance migration,
seemingly timed to coincide with the annual pattern of rainfall and grass growth. The timing of
their migrations in both the rainy and dry seasons can vary considerably (by months) from year
to year. At the end of the rainy season (May or June in East Africa), wildebeest migrate to dryseason areas in response to a lack of surface (drinking) water. When the rainy season begins
again (months later), animals quickly move back to their wet-season ranges. Factors suspected to
affect migration include food abundance, surface water availability, predators, and phosphorus
content in grasses. Phosphorus is a crucial element for all life forms, particularly for lactating
female bovids. As a result, during the rainy season, wildebeest select grazing areas that contain
particularly high phosphorus levels.[24] One study found, in addition to phosphorus, wildebeest
select ranges containing grass with relatively high nitrogen content.[34]

Numerous documentaries feature wildebeest crossing rivers, with many being eaten by
crocodiles or drowning in the attempt. While having the appearance of a frenzy, recent research
has shown a herd of wildebeest possesses what is known as a "swarm intelligence", whereby the
animals systematically explore and overcome the obstacle as one.[35] Major predators that feed on
wildebeest include the lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard, and crocodile, which seem to favour the
wildebeest.[28] Wildebeest, however, are very strong, and can inflict considerable injury even to a
lion. Wildebeest have a maximum running speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph).[36][37] The primary
defensive tactic is herding, where the young animals are protected by the older, larger ones,
while the herd runs as a group. Typically, the predators attempt to cut out a young or ill animal
and attack without having to worry about the herd. Wildebeest have developed additional
sophisticated cooperative behaviours, such as animals taking turns sleeping while others stand
guard against a night attack by invading predators. Wildebeest migrations are closely followed
by vultures, as wildebeest carcasses are an important source of food for these scavengers. The
vultures consume about 70% of the wildebeest carcasses available. Decreases in the number of
migrating wildebeest have also had a negative effect on the vultures.[38] In the Serengeti
ecosystem, Tanzania, wildebeest may help facilitate the migration of other, smaller-bodied
grazers, such as Thomson's gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii), which eat the new-growth grasses
stimulated by wildebeest foraging.[39]

Interactions with nonpredators
Zebras and wildebeest group together in open savannah environments with high chances of
predation. This grouping strategy reduces predation risk because larger groups decrease each
individuals chance of being hunted, and predators are more easily seen in open areas.[40]
Wildebeest can also listen in on the alarm calls of other species, and by doing so can reduce their
risk of predation. One study showed, along with other ungulates, wildebeests responded more
strongly to the baboon alarm calls compared to the baboon contest calls, though both types of
calls had similar patterns, amplitudes, and durations. The alarm calls were a response of the
baboons to lions, and the contest calls were recorded when a dispute between two males

Breeding and reproduction

Wildebeest do not form permanent pair bonds and during the mating season, or rut, the males
establish temporary territories and try to attract females into them. These small territories are
about 3000 m2, with up to 300 territories per km2. The males defend these territories from other
males while competing for females that are coming into season. The males use grunts and
distinctive behaviour to entice females into their territories. Wildebeest usually breed at the end
of the rainy season when the animals are well fed and at their peak of fitness.[24] This usually
occurs between May and July, and birthing usually takes place between January and March, at
the start of the wet season. Wildebeest females breed seasonally and ovulate spontaneously.[42]
The estrous cycle is about 23 days and the gestation period lasts 250 to 260 days. The calves
weigh about 21 kg (46 lb) at birth[7] and scramble to their feet within minutes, being able to move

with the herd in a matter of days.[28] Groups of wildebeest females and young live in the small
areas established by the male. When groups of wildebeest join together, the female to male ratio
is higher because the females choose to move to the areas held by a smaller number of males.[40]
This female-dominated sex ratio may be due to illegal hunting and human disturbance as higher
male mortality has been attributed to hunting.[43]

Threats and conservation

Today many wildebeest populations are experiencing rapid declines. Overland migration as a
biological process requires large connected landscapes, which are increasingly difficult to
maintain, particularly over the long term, when human demands on the landscape compete, as
well. The most acute threat comes from migration barriers, such as fences and roads. In one of
the more striking examples of the consequences of fence-building on terrestrial migrations,
Botswanan authorities placed thousands of kilometres of fences across the Kalahari that
prevented wildebeests from reaching watering holes and grazing grounds, resulting in the deaths
of tens of thousands of individuals, reducing the wildebeest population to less than 10% of its
previous size.[44] Illegal hunting is a major conservation concern in many areas, along with
natural threats posed by main predators (such as lions, leopards, hunting dogs and hyenas).
Where the black and blue wildebeest share a common range, the two can hybridise, and this is
regarded as a potential threat to the black wildebeest.[21]
The black wildebeest has been classified as of "Least Concern" by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in its Red List of Threatened Species. The populations of this
species are on an increase. There are now believed to be more than 18,000 individuals, 7,000 of
which are in Namibia, outside its natural range, and where it is farmed. Around 80% of the
wildebeest occur in private areas, while the other 20% are confined in protected areas. Its
introduction into Namibia has been a success and numbers have increased substantially there
from 150 in 1982 to 7,000 in 1992.[29]
The blue wildebeest has also been rated as being of "Least Concern". The population trend is
stable, and their numbers are estimated to be around 1,500,000 - mainly due to the increase of the
populations in Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) to 1,300,000. However, the numbers of one of
the subspecies, the Eastern white-bearded wildebeest (C. t. albojubatus) have seen a steep
decline. Population density ranges from 0.15/km2. in Hwange and Etosha National Parks to
35/km2. in Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.[31]

Uses and interaction with humans

Wildebeest provide several useful animal products. The hide makes good quality leather and the
flesh is coarse, dry and rather hard.[13] Wildebeest are killed for food, especially to make biltong
in Southern Africa. This dried game meat is a delicacy and an important food item in Africa.[24]
The meat of females is more tender than that of males, and is the most tender during the autumn
season.[26] Wildebeest are a regular target for illegal meat hunters because their numbers make

them easy to find. Cooks preparing the wildebeest carcass usually cut it into 11 pieces. The
estimated price for wildebeest meat was about US$0.47 per kilogram around 2008.[45] The silky,
flowing tail of the black wildebeest is used to make fly-whisks or "chowries".[13]
The wildebeest benefit the ecosystem by increasing soil fertility with their excreta. Now they are
economically important for human beings as they are a major tourist attraction. They also
provide important products like leather to humans.[46] The wildebeest, however, can also have a
negative impact on humans. Wild individuals can be competitors of commercial livestock, and
can transmit fatal diseases like rinderpest and cause epidemics among animals, particularly
domestic cattle. They can also spread ticks, lungworms, tapeworms, flies and paramphistome
The black wildebeest is depicted on the coat of arms of the Province of Natal in South Africa.
Over the years the South African authorities have issued several stamps displaying the animal
and the South African Mint has struck a two cent piece with a prancing black wildebeest.[47]

10 Time And Money Saving Tips For Weddings That I Wish

I Knew Earlier
So youre getting married. Congratulations! Are you planning your wedding and looking for
some time and money savings tips? Youve come to the right place. Consider this truth-telling
time so that you can avoid some of the more common pitfalls. Planning your special day can and
should be such a fun experience that youd repeat if you could. Since you dont want to say, If I
had it to do over again Id, consider the following:
1. People Will Remember Two Things about Your Wedding: The Food and the Feeling

Years from now (or sooner), no one but you and your spouse are going to remember what your
invitations, flowers, wedding favors, or cake looked like. So why blow a lot of money on them?
In all of the weddings that I have talked with people about, not once has someone said, Girl, I
will never forget their invitation. People WILL remember and talk about the food and how they
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will remember if they had a great time and if everyone seemed happy. If you keep these two
things in the forefront and make them a priority when planning your day, the decisions you make
can enable you to save time and money.
2. Beautiful Invitations Eventually End Up in the Garbage Too

So dont spend a lot of time obsessing over them or paying a lot of money. If you saw the movie
Bridesmaids, you probably remember the scene when the main character Annie Walker
received an invitation to her best friends Paris themed bridal shower. It was a fancy pink striped
box that held a candle, statue representing the bride and groom, the printed invitation, and best of
all a small box that when opened had a butterfly that flew out and kissed her. That invitation
package clearly cost some bucks. Of course most invitations arent that elaborate, but the point is
people are spending a lot of money on something that will eventually end up in the garbage. At
least in Annies case there was a pretty box to save, and a candle to burn.
Todays invitations not only set the tone for the wedding, but allow couples to show off their
unique style. It should be a fun process, but not one that breaks the bank because no matter how
lovely, most of your guests will eventually dispose of it. Thats good money in the trash.
Luckily, there are so many options available that can literally save you hundreds of dollars. From
kits that can be purchased at arts and crafts stores, to online retailers like Anns Bridal Bargains,
theres something lovely for every budget. Designed your own? Keep costs down by using a
discount printing service like Vista Print. Want to design your own, but dont know where to go?
Use a site like Fiverr to get your dream design for less. Want to save even more money? Do away
with the paper entirely and send electronic invitations. Sites like Evites provide a number of free
and paid options. Better yet, use a site that offers multiple services because
3. A Good Wedding Website Can Help You Save Time and Money

They can be super easy to set up and personalized to reflect your individual style. More
importantly they can keep you organized by storing everything in one place which will be a
real time saver. Even better? There are a lot of FREE options! A good site will allow you to
accept and track wedding RSVPs, display a map to your ceremony site, reception venue, and/or
lodging, store vendor information, create a seating chart, maintain a ledger of costs and
payments, track gifts and thank you notes, and provide a central location for contact. Sites like
Wedding Mapper provide this for free. For couples who want additional amenities, paid upgrades
are available. Having it all in one place can save money on aspirin too because there will be
fewer headaches. Youll both know where everything is and you can review it at a glance. To
make sure it remains a timesaver, dont go overboard with the personalization. You know, the
telling of your story with pictures, videos, stories and anecdotes. Its cute, but what people really
want from your wedding website is practical information such as directions, and where your
registry is located.

4. There are So Many Ways to Get the Dress for Less

Did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is $1300? Thats a lot of money for
something youll be wearing once. Im sure youve heard it before but its true! Whether you
plan to go the traditional route or not, theres no reason to pay that much, as you can have your
perfect dress for so much less. For instance, you can rent a dress for as little as $75 from sites
like Rent the Runway. One challenge with rentals is that you cant alter them, so consider other
awesome options like buying a pre-owned dress. Brick and mortar consignment stores that
specialize in wedding gowns, as well as online shops like Preownedweddingdresses.com offer a
great selection and an even greater savings. Retail stores like Black House White Market and J.
Crew have gotten into the wedding dress game, offering great styles at fantastic prices. Many
brides have their dream dress made overseas for as low as $200! Intrigued? The book, Bridal
Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget, by Denise Fields
describes how to do just that, along with tons of other money saving wedding tips. If you can
bear to part with your dress after the wedding you can recoup some of the cost by selling or
consigning it for another bride to wear and love. I purchased my dress (pictured above) from a
consignment store for $250 and I LOVED it.
5. Avoid Bridal Magazines & Television Shows

The first time I actually looked at a bridal magazine was after I purchased my dress, shoes and
accessories. I was thrilled with my choices as they were me. I hadnt decided on the hair 100%
and thought I might find inspiration in a few magazines. All I can say is that I was over the moon
happy that I had already purchased everything because the magazines did what they were
designed to do make me ooh, ahh, salivate and desire, regardless of the ridiculous prices. There
was even a moment, a tiny one but still, where I doubted my dress and wished for one in the
magazine. Dont go down that rabbit hole. Magazines and shows about dream weddings will clue
you into things that you would otherwise never, EVER, have thought about needing or wanting
promoting a false idea of what a wedding is supposed to be or should have. More choice is not
necessarily better in this case. Pearl encrusted bridal bouquet holder. Beautiful? Oh, yes.
Ridiculous and completely unnecessary? Absolutely!
6. Beautiful, Money Saving Wedding Flowers are Possible and Make a Lot of Cents

Wedding flowers cost an average of $1200. Say what?! Someone please explain why so much
money is spent on wedding flowers. To keep costs down while still having beautiful flowers,
consider the following. Buy flowers that are currently in bloom, otherwise youll pay a premium
for your dream flower thats out of season. If youre using a florist, dont tell them that youre
purchasing for a wedding, at least until your final price is locked in. Its like roses on Valentines
Day. The price will go up.
If youre willing to design the arrangement yourself, consider using an online flower wholesaler
like Fifty Flowers. Wholesale clubs like Sams Club and Costco are also great choices for pretty
flowers for less. Or you can do what we did and showcase the flowers as accents as opposed to
the primary dcor or centerpiece. My husband and I scouted three locations, two supermarkets
and a farmers market, that had beautiful and inexpensive flowers. We chose three so there were
options if one had a bad day. The day before the wedding we bought what we liked and spent
$100, including the $5 DIY bridal bouquet. Its amazing what a few bottles, vases, and ribbon
will do! Pictured above is one of the flower accents used during the outdoor cocktail hour. Not
only did we save a ton of money, we saved time as well because we limited our choices to what
was available and on hand.
7. Wedding Dcor Can be Totally Sharp, Classy, AND Inexpensive

Many couples use flower arrangements as their table centerpieces which can add a lot to your
budgets bottom line. You can slash your budget significantly by being creative and using an
almost infinite number of options for your centerpieces and dcor. How? Three words: Coupons,
Ebay, and borrowing. Craigslist counts too. For the DYIer, arts and crafts stores like Michaels
provides inspiration, as well as 50% off coupons. White string lights which are practically a
holiday time staple and are probably sitting in your basement, or can be borrowed from family
and friends, can create a magical dreamscape. Tea light candles, even flameless ones, in
decorative holders add romantic drama and can be had by the dozens for twenty to fifty dollars
on eBay. Still want flowers? Use them as accents as shown in the photo above. Not only will you
save money, but your guests will be able to see each other over this lovely centerpiece.
8. You are Not Limited to a Specific Caterer

Since the food (and drink) is one of the things that will stand out in your guests memory, you
want to get this one right. Its not about your budget, per se because done well, hamburgers and

hot dogs can be great wedding food. All things being equal however, if your goal is to provide a
fancy-ish catered meal and it comes down to choosing between lesser quality food options so
you can, lets say buy the fancier decorations, spend the money on the food. It will feel worth it
when people ask when they can expect to be invited back for your next event. As far as I know,
no one has ever asked for a repeat invite because of pretty decorations. With that said, these
money saving wedding tips can help you have the menu that you want and eat it too.
Yes, you can definitely save money on food by holding your reception during less popular times
(think Friday night or Sunday brunch). It is also true that buffets are generally less expensive
than sit-down meals. However, the biggest food money saver occurs when you hold your
reception at a venue that allows you to cater with whomever you wish. Doing this one thing will
allow you to control everything from your price point to all of your food choices. Finding a
venue that will allow you to do this may take a little work, but the savings can be immense.
When working with a caterer, do not tell them that you are planning a wedding menu until your
menu and price has been locked in. As with the flowers example above, wedding packages may
very well be priced higher than other options.
My husband and I saved a ton of money by using a company that specialized in college dining
services. Many college food service operations are contracted out to specialized companies that
may also have catering arms. Your memories of college dining hall food may not be fond, but
you may be surprised at how well they do fancy. Set up a tasting to see. It could very well be the
biggest cost saver of your wedding. Other tips include renting table cloths, china, tables and
chairs from party companies because it may be less expensive than through the caterer. Also,
sometimes buying the table cloths is even cheaper than renting and you can sell them and recoup
some of the cost!
9. Your Wedding Cake Doesnt Have to be Large Enough to Serve Everyone

Heck, it doesnt even have to be a cake! The wedding industry certainly knows how to get us to
buy into whatever they are selling. The cake is no exception. To hear them tell it we need a
specially engraved cake knife and server, as well as a floral bouquet for the knife. Thats right.
Flowers. For the knife. That cuts your cake. Seriously? Novelty options such as cupcakes, small
pies, ice cream sundaes, Viennese tables and more can be marvelous options which on the face of
it sound like they would be less expensive than a fancy cake. Just make sure that they are. If you
need to have a wedding cake, consider a small one, appropriate for the two of you to enjoy and
have your yummy, yet less expensive sheet cake in the back ready to be sliced and served.
Believe me, no one is going to wonder or care how all of those square slices came from a small

round cake. Tip: Order a cake for half the number of guests attending and serve half slices. If
youve ever been to a wedding youre sure to have seen all of leftovers from partially eaten slices
that were then just thrown away. By now people are up and mingling.
10. You Could Spend Forever Selecting the Perfect Wedding Favor

For once, the issue here isnt as much about money as it is about time. There are so many cute
wedding favor ideas (that your guests will actually enjoy) that you could devote hours, no days
poring over all of the options. The best way to insure that your party favor doesnt set you back a
lot of money is to be open to the possibilities. People who are locked into an idea, and inflexible
regarding what they will accept, incur the greatest cost. Sites like
TheWeddingShop.theKnot.com have everything from personalized chocolate covered pretzels, to
olive oil, chap stick, mints in decorative tins and more for prices that will make you smile. If you
can live without personalization you could save even more. For instance, we bought milk
chocolate heart-shaped lollipops (pictured above) that were on sale on the Godiva website for $2
each with free shipping. Some folks oohed because it was Godiva, but for us it was more like,
Yummy. Awesome price. Order it. Done! Make a pact for how much time you will spend
making your favor decision and stick to it. Thatll be one less thing on your to do list.
11. Theres Such a Thing as an Ipod DJ!

Live Band or DJ? Neither, since the average price of a live band is $3,000 and a reception DJ is
$1000, thank-you-very-much. Thanks to rentable Ipod DJ equipment you can have great
wedding music for $500 or less. Locate a rental company that carries this type of equipment. The
rental cost could be as low as $65 a day. Rent some speakers appropriate for the size of the
venue. You could even bypass the Ipod DJ equipment totally by renting speakers that allow you
to connect your Ipod directly to them. Either way, plug in your iPod and youre good to go!
Okay, so its not quite that simple. You have some choices to make. Will you develop your own
playlist or pay a DJ to record a dance set for you? With some time you can pretty easily develop
your own pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail and dinner hour playlists. The dance playlist can be
a little trickier as you want to include songs that will appeal to everyone as well as have the right
mix of fast and slow songs. If youre confident in your abilities then what you spend in time you
will definitely save in money. As far as the duties that a DJ usually handles such as introducing
the bridal party and the speeches, etc., and pushing the play button on your electronic DJ, ask
and assign someone in your wedding party to handle those responsibilities.

These are just some of the many money saving wedding tips to be had. With a little time and
research youll find substantial savings on other aspects of your wedding such as your
photographer (no, dont use uncle Bill), transportation (are limos necessary?), ceremony
programs, printed menus, embossed place settings (remember, these get thrown away like
invitations), keeping the guest list small, and more. How do you plan to save? Mazel Tov!

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