30 Oct 10 Budget-Saving Tips for Your Wedding
Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. But there are ways you can save money here and there and still have the wedding of your dreams! Here are ten large and small cost-cutting tips to keep in mind as you’re planning your big day:
Prepare a budget and do your research.
Take the time to put together a realistic budget. It’s important to know what you have to spend and the various allocations you can focus on for each expenditure. You will set yourself up for a lot of undue stress and unplanned debt if you don’t know what you can spend. Comparison shopping can be stressful, but keeping a spreadsheet or a notebook detailing the costs of different vendors can easily save you big bucks. Do your research ahead of time and reap the savings!
Choose an alternative date.
Often you can save on the venue rental and other vendors by having your wedding on another day besides Saturday. Fridays and Sundays are great alternatives and vendors often provide discounted rates on these days. Occasionally the day before a national holiday can also work in your favor, giving you, your guests, and your vendors the next day off. If you choose to marry on or near a holiday, though, be sure to inquire about any additional charges you may be facing because it is a holiday weekend. Vendors usually have to pay their staff more on holidays and that gets passed along to the customer.
Trim the guest list.
Removing guests from the list is THE easiest way to put some relief on your budget. There are guest list flow chart tools that can help assist you in determining if someone is “guest list-worthy” or not. To give you an idea of the savings, here’s an example to consider: Let’s take a guest list of 175. If the cost for catering and bar is $40 per person, by trimming the list by 10%, or 18 people, that’s a savings of $720. Those 18 people do not have to be just from your part of the list. Divvy that number up among you, your fiancé, and both sets of parents lists and you’ll get there quickly. To prove the point even more, there will be additional savings. Those 18 people represent at least two more table settings; tables, linens, chairs, centerpieces, glassware, flatware, stationery, etc. This averages about $250 per table, at least.
Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue.
You’ll save on things such as transportation and venue costs. In addition, multiple venues require additional time built into the timeline which can also require additional photography time.
Skip the liquor.
Instead of having an open bar, serve beer and wine only to save on your alcohol bill. If you just have to have liquor, consider a signature drink or champagne display to greet guests at the reception for a little something extra. This results in a finite amount a liquor needed rather than an open-ended bill paid at the conclusion.
Choose alternative flowers.
Ask your florist for less expensive flower options for the bridesmaids bouquets. Keep those blooms that you adore so much in your bouquet, but you’ll be surprised to learn of the lovely alternatives available in a lower price range for all those bouquets and centerpieces. Another idea is to ask your floral purveyor to find ways to repurpose your flowers and decor from the ceremony to the reception.
Let people help.
Have a cousin who’s a talented with a calligraphy pen? Need an arch for the ceremony and have an uncle who’s quite the handyman? Take them up on their offer of services for your wedding day. A word of caution though on key “friendor” options… leave the highly involved areas of your wedding to the pros. These folks are very experienced and paid to deliver on your wedding day. Their reputation for delivering outstanding service is just as important to them as it is to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask.
Be sure to ask all of your vendors for ways to save. Asking your caterer for ways to stretch your food budget is a smart move. Check with your venue on items they may have in their inventory that could be used to cut down on rentals. Trust me, all of your vendors have tricks up their sleeves. You just have to ask!
Shop the big sales and borrow your accessories.
Inquire with the bridal salons in your area about any upcoming sample or designer trunk sales they may be featuring soon. You can seriously save big if your timing is good. Some brides have even saved a lot of money by buying bridesmaids dresses at Black Friday sales (they were holiday dresses, but made perfect wedding party attire). If you have family heirlooms or items you love from your friend’s wedding (i.e. that gorgeous veil you saw go down the aisle), ask to borrow it. This will not only save you money, it will count towards your “something old” and “something borrowed.”