Tricks to Save Money on Your Wedding Day!
If you’re like me, we don’t have an unlimited amount of money to dedicate to our wedding day. We may have the help and support of family and friends, but let’s face it, weddings can quickly become pricey! Don’t allow your budget to get in the way of making your childhood dreams come to life. If you are looking to have your dream wedding on a budget, here are 16 helpful tips to keep you out of the courthouse and save money along the way!
- Take advantage of “off season” at your venue
If you want a wedding on a budget, your biggest asset will be to take advantage of slower months at your venue. Many times, day time slots will be less expensive than evenings if the venue does more than one wedding per day. Stay away from Saturdays as they are usually the most expensive.
- Consider their vendors
Becoming a vendor at an established venue is typically very difficult, which means the vendors on the vendor list are more than likely legit. So don’t be afraid of using them. If a venue is “all inclusive,” chances are the DJ, photographer, florist, etc. is contracted to that venue for a particular price, which means they cannot up-sell you. Look at their pricing first, and do your research. Chances are these vendors will be less expensive than bringing in vendors from other companies.
- Skip the party favors
*gasp!* “But party favors are just so traditional! How could you not have party favors?” Believe me on this one, if your family and friends had a wonderful time at your wedding, they are not going to leave and think, “hmmm I’m upset I didn’t get a favor!” Give them great food, alcohol, a crazy fun environment and no one will leave feeling deprived. If you feel like you must give something to your guests, keep it edible! Consider doing a simple, candy station integrating your wedding colors or a popcorn station with flavored popcorn ~ something creative, different and fun. If neither of those options sounds appealing, choose something you could pass out to couples or families rather than one per person. Give away the centerpieces/floral arrangements from the ceremony to really say “thank you” to special guests.
- Bridesmaids dresses in bulk
If your bridesmaids are wearing the same dresses, talk to your bridal shop about options to buy in bulk. Sometimes there are discounts depending on the amount of dresses you buy at once. Rather than having everyone order their own individually, see if you can place an order for all 6 at one time!
- Don’t rush the planning process
Part of the reason people exceed their budget is because they rush. Rather than weighing all their options, they jump at the first choice they have due to their lack of time. Do your research, ASK QUESTIONS, and weigh all possible options.
- Keep an eye out for sales
If you are a DIY kind of person, sales at your local craft stores happen almost weekly to reduce small costs that can quickly add up. Also, Wedding dresses can be one of the most expensive pieces of a wedding. Most people don’t know that bridal boutiques have sales as well. Shop around for your wedding dress and ask about purchasing the sample dress from the store. Now, this isn’t for everyone, but there are options to buy an already-worn dress. There is a huge market out there to buy designer dresses for hundreds of dollars!
- Have your ceremony and reception at the same place
Paying for one venue for a longer amount of time will be less expensive than paying full price for 2 venues! If you are high-school or college sweethearts, talk to your school about integrating their venue for wedding options. Typically they will give alumni a discount and will add for a personal touch on the whole day!
If you want a wedding on a budget, multi-purposing is the key to saving money! Use the centerpieces for things like the altar decorations or line them down the aisle along the chairs instead of a runner or rose petals. Toss your bridesmaids bouquet for the bouquet toss instead of paying for an additional one! (they won’t save it anyway!) Make signs that are double sided. For example, one side could direct guests to the ceremony space and the other can say “love is sweet, take a treat” for the dessert table! Your day-of coordinator can adjust them accordingly!
- Use the beauty of the venue
Pick a venue that has natural beauty so you can spend less money trying to decorate it. Top of a cliff overlooking the ocean or on a yacht cruising through the Newport harbor, use the scenery to your advantage and let it shine!
- No Kids
This will reduce your overall head count and therefore decrease your costs as well. If you do have kids in attendance, you should not have to pay for anyone under 21 in the open bar costs!!
- Make a payment schedule
Many times there will be a credit card fee (typically 3%-5%) on any transactions made. Knowing this can help plan out your payments. Use cashier’s checks when possible or make payments monthly. If you are going to use a credit card, try and use one with great reward benefits and try to reduce it down to one transaction! Those fees add up quick!
- Stick to a buffet
Overall, buffets tend to be less expensive than sit-down plated dinners. Not only do you get more food with a buffet, you don’t need as many staff members to serve it which will reduce costs!
- Be smart with the bar
Know your crowd. People tend to drink what is free. If you have a drinking crowd, host beer and wine. If you want hard alcohol, offer a hosted signature drink rather than a full open bar for everyone. See if the bar will allow you to preset an amount for a tab and serve drinks until it runs out. Sometimes this is less expensive than paying for a bar package through the venue.
- Assign Seating
This might take time to do but it will save you in the amount of tables you will need for your reception which will then reduce your costs for linens and centerpieces. If you have open seating, the venue will probably tack on a few extra tables because it’s just the nature of it that not every table will fill every seat. People just don’t work like that. If you account 8 people per table, you will be able to keep everyone account able and reduce the number of tables to the smallest amount possible.
- Be creative with dessert
If wedding cake isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Talk to the bakery about making a faux cake with only a certain layer that is real. Use that layer for your cake-cutting photos and no one will know! (This is actually more common than you would think!) If you have family and friends who want to help, use their help. Have everyone bake a batch of their favorite cookies and make a big “cookie buffet.” Honor the person who made that cookie with their name or even the recipe for a nice touch! The gift that keeps on giving! Donut bars are trending right now and can be a less expensive option than wedding cake.
- No champagne toast
If you have to pay for champagne to be passed out to guests before the toast, DON’T! This can get expensive. Let guests toast with whatever drink they have in their hand and they won’t think twice about it.
Don’t allow money to stand in the way of your dream wedding. With these helpful tricks and tips, you will be well on your way to having a wedding on a budget.