The big day is one of the biggest investments you and your better half are going to make. If your wedding’s on a budget, it’s a good idea to be prepared for things that might not go as planned. In other words, expect to go over budget. Things add up and before you know it, you’ve gone overboard with your wedding expenditure.
To prevent this from happening to you, follow some really simple money-saving practices to help you cut back and make room in your wedding budget for other important things in the list. Here are 10 simple tips for weddings on a budget to give you a head-start.
#1 Select an off-peak season for the wedding.
All of your vendors, whether it’s your venue provider, photographer, wedding planner, caterer or DJ, are swamped during peak season for weddings. They generally charge more during these months than they would in the off-season. If you selected your wedding date on an off-season month, you could save thousands.
Wondering which months are the ones to avoid? Check out this infographic showing the 2 most popular months for weddings.
#2 Save on wedding décor and venue cost by picking out unique spaces.
Places like the aquarium, vineyards, zoo or gallery come with their own environment-specific atmosphere. Because of that, you won’t have to spend much in decorating the place up to give you the feel you’re looking for. In addition, venues like these do not typically cost as much as a ballroom in a hotel would. That being said, you will have to spend on renting equipment that aren’t found in these spaces, like tables and chairs, napkins, etc. Understand beforehand which option would be less costly and choose your venue accordingly.
#3 Choose a different fabric for your wedding dress.
If the dress you’ve set your heart and mind on costs a bomb, you’d be surprised at how much you can save if you opt for a different fabric. E.g. Select poly satin instead of silk satin for your wedding dress and see the price of the dress reduce by hundreds.
For more tips on shopping for a wedding dress, click here.
#4 Trim down your guest list.
This is possibly the most effective way to reduce wedding expenses. If you are planning to invite 200 guests to your wedding, trim down the numbers to 150. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll save. E.g. If your wedding reception costs $100 a guest, taking food and drinks into account, you will save $5,000 by shortening the guest list.
How to trim down the guest list
It’s not fun excluding people from your wedding, but sometimes it’s necessary. To know who the ones to keep are and the ones to get the axe, here are just a few good questions to ask yourself:
- Have I been in contact with this non-family member in the past one year? If the answer is no, don’t feel too bad about taking the person off the list.
- Do I recognize this name? Review your guest list as a wedding couple. If the two of you don’t recognize a certain name, refer to both your parents and see if the unfamiliar guest can be omitted from the list.
- Do I have to invite all my business contacts? You don’t actually have to invite your boss, co-workers and business acquaintances all to your wedding, unless you really want to. In fact, completely leaving out a group is much easier to do than inviting only a handful from it.
#5 Select less expensive flowers.
Things really do add up when planning for a wedding. One good example of this is regarding the choice of flowers for your bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets and table arrangements. If you substitute the current flowers for a less expensive variety, you could save as much as $4 a stem. Add the numbers up and the amount you cut back can go up to hundreds of dollars.
#6 Order a small, perfect cake.
There’s a way to save on your wedding cake costs and this is how. Order the wedding cake of your dreams, and order it small. The cake won’t nearly be enough for all the wedding guests, of course. For guests, have a large sheet cake ready in the kitchen in the exact same flavor as your main wedding cake. Serve guests a piece sheet cake each that is beautifully plated. Consider decorating the plate with flavored sauce to add an extra touch. Things that add to the costs and so should generally be avoided are handmade sugar flowers and specially-molded shapes.
#7 Keep your wedding food simple but delicious.
Instead of over-complicating the menu with a 5-course meal and fancy dishes, opt to have a 3-course meal with simple yet unforgettable food. Wedding catering is one of the most important aspects of a wedding, and the main thing that most guests remember it by. Be sure not to sacrifice on quality as you forgo the quantity.
#8 Buy your own alcohol.
It will cost you a lot less if you bought the alcohol yourself, instead of using the venue’s own. Also, consider having selected alcohol (beer, wine and a signature cocktail) at the reception instead of offering a full bar. As for the champagne toast, it’s alright to use the premium bottle of your choice and then switch to something less expensive for the rest of the night.
#9 Go for a simple, clean wedding invites.
The cost of wedding invitations typically increases as the design becomes more elaborate. Things that raise the price, aka the things you should be wary of, are the quality of the paper, type of ink used, techniques used to form the lettering and the kind of envelope used to enclose the invitation. The simpler the elements, the less it will generally cost you. The best way to go with this is to select one really cool element and go simple with the rest.
#10 Choose a Lincoln over a stretch limousine.
Choose an elegant Lincoln town car as your wedding transportation and use it for just the bride or the wedding couple. If you need to take it further, consider opting out from the amenities provided by the limo service.
#11 Use your credit card to pay for your wedding, and then redeem the points for your honeymoon.
If you use your credit card to pay for your wedding expenses, you’ll normally accumulate frequent flyer miles which you can redeem for lots of great deals on air fare, seat upgrades, hotel reservations and the like. Taking advantage of this loyalty program will undoubtedly save you on your honeymoon after the wedding! Be sure to check with your credit card company first.