Planning a wedding is both exciting and overwhelming. Before you make any major decisions make sure you have thought everything through. Most importantly, if you have a strict budget it is important to know ways to save money on your wedding.
Image from Evermore Imaging.
Check out the ways to save money on your wedding!
There are a variety of creative options that you can adapt to your budget and needs.
1.Guest list – As I have mentioned in my previous post, draft a guest list. Most venues charge per guest, so you have to make a decision based on the affordability of a large wedding vs. small wedding.
2. Date – Similar to when you’re booking a vacation, there are peak and off peak wedding dates. Fall weddings have become very popular over the last few years, so off peak for most venues is November – April. If you and your fiancé are not set on marrying during a specific time of year then you should consider an off peak date.
3. Limit plus ones – Consider only giving plus ones to those that live with their significant other or are engaged. It is not necessary to give everyone a plus one, especially if they are not in a committed relationship. This is a major way to save money on your wedding. Plus ones can add up quickly!
4. Seating Chart – This is an opportunity to save money on your wedding. Hop on Pinterest and check out wedding seating chart ideas. There are so many creative DIY projects for every theme that will add a wow factor for your guests. Do not spend money on seating gift items that guests will throw out at the end of the night.
2. Dress & Accessories
1.Trunk Show – Take advantage of trunk shows! Bridal stores are constantly hosting trunk shows every week and weekend. On average there is a 10% off discount during a trunk show.
2. Social Media – Research bridal stores and follow them on social media. This is the best way for you to instantly hear about sales, events, etc. I saved on my wedding dress by taking advantage of a Black Friday promotion.
3. Sample Sales – Throughout the year bridal stores sell their wedding dress samples to make room for new inventory. You can majorly save money on your wedding dress by purchasing a sample. If you live in the New England area check out VOWS bridal store. They only sell designer sample dresses. Note: take alterations in to account before purchasing!
4. Borrow – Talk to your family and friends about borrowing their jewelry. Also, pay attention to sales throughout the year. I purchased my earrings and bracelet for our wedding on clearance at Bloomingdales for a combined total of $45. If you have your heart set on wearing high ticketed jewelry speak to your local jewelry store. They may allow you to rent items at a percentage of the items cost.
3. Flowers & Centerpieces
1.In Season Flowers – This might be stating the obvious, but you can save money on your wedding by using in season flowers. Avoid choosing flowers that have to be special ordered or that are considered exotic.
2. Greenery – Check out greenery and filler options. There are a variety of eucalyptus leaves that are so elegant for bouquets and centerpieces. I purchased a significant amount of seeded eucalyptus from our local florist for $18. It was more than enough for our centerpieces.
3. Facebook – There are so many opportunities on Facebook to save on your wedding. Take advantage of wedding resale groups in your area. Utilize Facebook Marketplace for wedding decor and centerpiece items. If you like something inquire quickly because items sell fast!
4. Venue resources – As I mentioned in last weeks post, take advantage of free centerpiece and decor items that your venue offers. On average most venues offer votive candles, hurricane globes, mirrors, easels, etc.
1.No signature drinks – Chances are a significant amount of your guests will not order your signature drink options. Venues usually charge based on your guest list, not by consumption, so you will pay a lot for signature drinks.
2. Bar options – I highly recommend providing some form of an open bar if it is within your budget. Check out the different open bar packages. Discuss with your venue if there is an option to only serve wine and beer. This would definitely help save money on your wedding if you want an open bar option.
3. Remove wedding package items – I personally do not think it is necessary to have a champagne toast. Most venues usually use inexpensive champagne and charge $4 – $6 a person. Most of the time the champagne is flat once you are supposed to drink it. See if you can remove the champagne or table side wine from your package for a credit towards your wedding cost.
5. Cake & Desserts
1.Smaller cake – Consider a one tier cake if it is not a priority of yours to serve wedding cake. You still have the opportunity to cut the cake together and have pictures taken.
2. Outsource cake & desserts – Take advantage of bringing in your own cake or desserts if the venue permits you to do so. As I have mentioned in a previous post, we purchased mini Italian pastry from a local bakery and served them at our wedding. Also, get creative and have a cupcake bar, candy bar, etc.
3. Negotiate – Depending on the venue they may charge for every piece of cake they have to cut. Ridiculous right? Discuss your options with the venue and try to come up with a compromise that makes each party happy.
6. Favors & Stationery
1.Keep it simple – Take it from me, favors can add up quickly! A fantastic option in lieu of favors is donating to a charity. Truthfully, if the favors aren’t something that can be reused, eaten or drank it is another item that will end up in the trash. Take your theme or time of year into consideration and fill a jar with a yummy treat or snack.
2. Invitations – Everyone loves opening a beautiful, detailed wedding invitation, however, take a moment and remember where it will end up, the trash. We used Shutterfly for our save the dates and wedding invitations and received many compliments on both. Best part, they have sales weekly.
3. Wedding Programs – There are items that add a special touch to your big day, such as wedding programs. Pick up some paper at your local office supply store and print them at home. I created ours in about two hours. Going through a printer will cost so much more!
4. Menus – I toyed with the idea of having a menu at each table setting for our wedding. I realized 200 menus that would end up in the trash was not necessary. If you are dead set on having menus, then a creative way to save money is by printing one menu for each table. Place the menu in a beautiful picture frame for an extra touch.
7. Entertainment & Photography
1.DJ vs. Band – On average bands cost more than a DJ. Also, most contracts require you to feed your entertainers which costs anywhere from $50+ per person, so keep that in mind.
2. Photographers & Videographers – As you research your photographers and videographers you will find the more experienced and full time professionals charge more. Reach out to friends and family members to see if they have any contacts that have a side business.