10 Areas Where You Can Save
Guest List: Each time a name is added to your guest list, you are increasing your expense. Each guest will add to your cost in the following areas: catering, food, beverages, rentals, table centerpieces, invitations, postage, etc. Don't invite anyone you haven't spoken to in five years. Avoid feeling pressured to invite all your work colleagues. You can also decide whether to include categories such as relatives further than first cousins. This will help to prevent hurt feelings.
Invitations: It is not necessary to use engraved invitations. There are many choices today that you can find to fit in your budget. Regular printed invitations work just as well. For a casual wedding, you can consider printing invitations from your own computer. Stationery stores now offer paper meant to be used at home for wedding invitations. Also, along these same lines, Save the Dates, although very popular these days can definitely be seen as an added cost. They can be a nice touch if you are planning a 3 day wedding event or a destination wedding but are not a necessity. There are a variety of wedding invitations on the internet as well. Find out more about the different types of wedding invitations in our previous blog..."Wedding Invitations".
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Ceremony Decor: For church weddings, you may want to consider having your wedding close to a holiday. The church will already be decorated saving money on flowers and other decorations. Other ways to save money is to look for simplicity. A candlelit ceremony can be romantic, gorgeous and inexpensive. Or use ferns and greenery instead of floral decorations. If there is a nursery you use in your area, they may be willing to rent ferns/plants at a discounted price which could save on costs compared to purchasing plants. Other ideas for saving money is to consider having the ceremony in a beautiful park, college campus or other lovely outdoor site. You will need to check on regulations for holding your ceremony but this could save money on flowers and other decorations. My nephew and his wife chose the campus of the college that they both attended for their ceremony. It was a beautiful backdrop for their wedding and held very special memories for them as well as their families.
Catering: Be honest with your caterer on your wedding budget. Ask them to provide different menu options for your reception for you to chose from that fit within your budget. The time of day of your wedding will also affect your catering costs. If your reception is held at a regular meal hour, you will be expected to provide a heavier menu. If not, it is acceptable to go with a lighter menu. In such case, a lighter menu is less expensive than a full meal. If you are planning on serving alcohol, ask the venue and/or caterer if you are allowed to purchase your own. You can serve beer and wine rather than a full bar.
Wedding Cakes: Wedding cakes are anywhere from $2-$10 per slice. So one way to save money, if you are having more than 100 guests, have a display cake that serves 75-100 people. Then buy several different flavored cakes from your local bakery or from an individual to display. Or you can have a sheet cake in the back, to serve the extra guests. With either option, your guests will enjoy a sweet treat and there is still a wedding cake on display. There are also non-traditional ideas you can use instead of the traditional wedding cake that could be money savers. Also, if you are inviting less than 100 guests it is not necessary to order a large cake because it will look more impressive. If height is a priority, use separate sets so flowers or decorations can be added between layers. At one wedding we coordinated, the bride's aunt made the wedding cake as her gift to the couple. This was a great gift and a huge money saver.
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Help from Others: Think of a musician you know or a crafty friend who could help you with the decorations. They are usually honored to be a part of your special day.Look for money saving tips everywhere. Check out websites such as www.frugalbride.com, www.weddingsavingsnut.com and www.weddingbee.com. Ask friends and family suggestions for how they saved money on their big day.
|It's Your Party!|
Flowers: Since flowers will be needed for such things as bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, decor be sure to choose flowers in season to save money. If there is a certain color you have in mind, discuss the options with your florist. Then choose the one that fits within your budget. You can also consider using wholesale flowers. If you do, be careful they may not be as fresh as the ones from the florist. You also need to be able to put the flowers together or know a friend or family member who is adept at this task and is willing to help.
Favors: Wedding favors can be a nice gesture to thank your guests but chose wisely. They can be a nice touch but not a necessity or a requirement for your big day. If you do decide to give favors, a nice idea is to make a donation to a charity, a food favor, a small keepsake from your hometown or from the place the wedding is being held. We have also coordinated weddings where the photographer offered with their package wallet size photos of the bride to use as a favor. Whatever favor you decide to give, watch your spending and make sure it is something that has special meaning for you.
Mementos: The wedding industry loves to sell you items that they say will be necessary keepsakes. Having some mementos on your wedding day is nice but your don't need many. It can really hurt your budget if you go overboard.
Spending less on your wedding and staying within your budget doesn't mean you will no have the wedding of your dreams. Chose the elements that are the most important to you as a couple to have for your wedding. Decide to spend on those areas and find ways to cost in other areas. Remember deciding on a budget before planning your wedding will help you save money in the long run.
If you have any comments or additional money saving tips, please share to help others with their big day!