Wedding dreams can have no limit, but the budgets usually do. Here are some ways you can save a few dollars and still have the wedding you want.
Figure it out. Once you have decided how much money you have to spend on your wedding, it’s important to know where it will go. On average wedding budgets are broken down as:
45% Reception venue, dinner and drinks
35% all other wedding items including dress, decor and professional services.
Prioritize. One of the biggest mistakes brides make, is not prioritizing their wedding budgets. If you have your heart set on a particular wedding item, it should be listed as a top priority. This allows you to cut other expenses as necessary to keep that element. (Click here to learn about other top wedding mistakes.) You should also consider other elements that are low priority and cut them immediately. Most people won’t notice if you don’t offer personalized cocktail napkins and matchbooks, but your budget will be better off.
So where do you make the cuts? Here are 30 ideas for saving on your wedding day.
- Cut the guest list. This will save money on catering, invitations, guest favors and centerpieces.
- Think off-peak season and save thousands!
- Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot — it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour and eliminate the need for bridal party transportation.
- Consider a Friday wedding – or Sunday for even bigger savings.
- Have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.
- Shop the off-season for extra decor — get red vases on sale after Christmas and pretty pink ones after Valentine’s Day.
- Use more greenery than flowers.
- Swap out costly flowers
- Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers.
- Buy flowers that are in season.
- Include non-florals, like lanterns, mirrors and candles in your centerpieces.
Food & Drink
- Skip midnight snacks.
- Shorten your cocktail hour to a half-hour.
- Offer beer, wine, and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar.
- Serve comfort foods like barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, and corn. It’s fun and often cheaper.
- Skip the champagne toast.
- Order a small one or two-tiered cake and then supplement cake with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen).
- Keep the add-ons simple.
- Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones.
- Reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table.
- Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango.
Stationery & Favors
- Get single-page invites to save on postage.
- Give out one favor per couple.
- Make your cake the favors.
- Have favors double as escort cards.
- Email your save-the-dates.
- Make your own menu cards, escort cards, and wedding favor packaging.
Photo, Video & Music
- Hire a photographer who will give you a copyright release which will save printing costs.
- Hire a single maned camera videography team.
- Hire a DJ who can do both the ceremony and the reception.
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