I am getting married in nearly a month and a half and have been doing lots of wedding planning up until this point. Wanted to share with users some of my ideas on how to save money and plan a beautiful wedding!
A wedding is an expensive affair that needs to be carefully planned in order to control its cost which could run anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000. Since wedding day is very expensive, planning ahead could save you tons of money without compromising on the beauty and quality of the event.
What exactly you will be economizing on depends on your wedding priorities. You have to go through your list of wedding costs and decide on the “must” and the “nice to have”. The list of the wedding expenses usually consists of: reception expense, photo/video expense, attire expense, flowers/décor expense, music expense, tips/taxes expense, ceremony expense, stationery expense, rings expense, gifts expense, and transportation/hotel expense.
How can you decrease wedding costs? Here are some tips on wedding economy:
Avoid “wedding season”
High season for weddings is between May-October. Avoiding “wedding season” will help cut your wedding costs. Avoid the highest-priced time charged by reception halls. If you make the wedding early in the day (Noon-5PM) and during “off season months”, you could save up to 30% of the reception cost. This could translate into $10,000 or more in savings.
Limit the wedding’s guest list.
Prepare an “A list” (guests you must invite) and “B list” (guests that you would like to invite). Most venues will charge you based on the number of guests you invite. Go over the lists again and again until you are satisfied that your final list of guests is what you really want and is within your budget. Your can easily cut a list of 400 guests down to 250 and save 30%-40% of the reception cost.
Consider a wedding buffet, wedding luncheon, wedding brunch, or a wedding dessert reception instead of a multi-course wedding dinner.
You might also buy the liquor for the wedding yourself, which would be much cheaper than the catering hall providing it. This way, you are cutting two wedding costs at once.
Location, location, location.
Local or national parks, as well as your own or your relative/friends’ back yard are low-cost wedding locations. That’s a beautiful way of cutting wedding cost!!!
Flowers and decor
Avoid Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays when flowers are in high demand. You might also consider the wedding to take place in a garden or an art museum, to save on decorations cost all together. Also, consider doing flowers and decorations yourself.
Consider renting a gown and a tux for your wedding in order to reduce this wedding cost. Also, you might want to check out sample sales, department stores and outlet stores. Remember that you will wear that gown only once (on your wedding day)!
Don’t go overboard with desserts. After all the eating and drinking, people will not have that much spare space in their stomachs for deserts.
You might want to go for a DJ instead of a live band to reduce this wedding cost.
Photo and Video
Most couples want to leave memories and would want the best possible professional photographer/videographer at their wedding. However, if you are a risk taker, you might consider hiring an amateur for your wedding, who will change less. Another idea is leaving disposable cameras on tables so that the guests could take pictures. At the end of the wedding, you collect the cameras, and guess what? You have all the wedding pictures from all the angles possible at no cost!
Consider wedding invitations that will only require one standard stamp and a standard envelope. Include the reception information on the wedding invitation instead of sending a separate response cards. If your relatives/friends are internet savvy, you might even send a wedding invitation by e-mail. There are many different cards on internet cost-free. Also, you might design your own wedding invitations.