The cost of a wedding can get out of hand in the planning stages if you don’t keep a close eye on your budget and look for places that you can make sacrifices to save some money. If you’re trying to plan a budget wedding (or just avoid breaking the bank), here are some great wedding cost saving strategies. Obviously you probably won’t use all of these tips, but implementing just one or two of them can help you save big on your upcoming wedding!
- Trim the Guest List Down
- Do Invitations Online
- Wear a Secondhand Dress
- Opt for an Inexpensive Venue
- Have a Cash Bar
- Have a Friend or Family Member Marry You
- Skip the Photographer
- Forgo the Little Extras
- Make the Cake instead of Buying It
- Send Thank You Emails or Call
While planning a wedding the tendency is to get carried away with the guest list. Instead of inviting everyone that your family thinks should get an invite, just keep the guest list small and invite only the most important people to you and your spouse-to-be. This will ensure that your special day is a close-knit intimate affair and save you a lot of money.
Invitations can get expensive (especially if you decided to ignore tip #1), so instead of opting for the fancy printed ones, why not just send online invitations. There are plenty of great e-invite companies that offer lovely formal invitations for you to use. You can choose your template and customize them as much as you’d like (sometimes even adding photos and other artwork to make them even more personal.)
Hand-me-down dresses used to be seen as cheap and tacky, but they’re really making a comeback. Why not wear your Mom or Grandmother’s old dress? A vintage piece like this often has a lot more sentimental value and meaning than one you would pick out at a dress shop anyways!
Some wedding venues cost a fortune to book and then they require that you use their vendors (caterers, decorators, florists, etc.), which tend to cost a lot more than if you were able to find your own vendors. Instead of getting trapped into overpaying, choose a less expensive venue and make sure that they’ll give you the freedom to shop around.
Getting married outside is very popular in the spring and summer. In fact, barn weddings are one of the most popular trends in outdoor weddings right now. If you plan on having your wedding in an outdoor area, be sure that there are plenty of bathrooms for guests to use so that they don’t feel like they’re camping. Renting luxury restroom trailers is a good way to keep that formal wedding feel even while outdoors!
An open bar can be the most expensive part of a wedding, so opting for a cash bar is one of the best ways to save money! If you decide to go the route of a cash bar, be sure that there are plenty of complimentary non-alcoholic drinks for guests like pop, lemonade, and iced tea to give guests a good selection of beverages.
If a cash bar just isn’t going to be an option, consider offering a limited open bar. Some venues will give you a big discount if you decide to just offer beer and wine because then they don’t have to have experienced bartenders and a variety of liquors on hand to make fancy mixed drinks. Also, if you’re paying a per guest rate for an open bar of any sort, be sure to inquire about whether or not you have to pay for underage guests as well. Being able to avoid paying for children in the head count can also provide some savings.
Priests and other clergy people/religious figures charge a fee to marry you. In many cases it’s less expensive to have a friend or family member get certified to perform the ceremony online. This is really a win-win because it makes the whole event more personal! Want to entice a guest to marry you? Let them know that that can be their wedding gift to you!
With just about everyone carrying around quality cameras in their pockets thanks to smart phone innovation in recent years, a professional photographer has become a nice add-on rather than an essential. If you want to cut out some expenses, skipping the photographer is a good way to keep your wedding budget-friendly.
Favors and floral centerpieces are nice, but they are by no means necessary. To keep your wedding on budget, cut out the frivolous extras. It may not seem like much to splurge here or there on small decorative items, but those costs can really ad up and get you further away from your target wedding cost.
If you plan on inviting a family member or friend who is a great baker, why not ask him/her to make the cake instead of buying one? This is another place where you can cut costs while making the whole event more intimate. Don’t think anyone is going to be up for the pressure of making a lavish three-tiered wedding cake? You can always choose to go a different route than cake – opting for cupcakes, cookies, or pastries. This idea is enough to have your Grandma lining up to make the wedding dessert!
It’s important to thank your guests (and anyone who couldn’t attend but sent you a gift) after your wedding. But instead of buying expensive thank you notes, you can always thank your guests in a way that won’t cost you anything – like via email or phone. What matters the most is the fact that you remembered to say thank you and took the time out of your busy newlywed life to offer kind and genuine words to the people who were a part of your special day.
If you simply can’t bear the idea of not sending a thank you note in the mail, buying cards at a department store like Target will cost a lot less than ordering personalized ones online. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can always make them as well to save money and add some personal flair.
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