Photo by Kurt Boomer Photo
Ready to start planning your wedding? First things first, it’s time to lay out your budget. It’s not the most fun task, but it’s necessary to figure out how much you can spend on your wedding day before you choose a venue, meet with vendors, and buy your dress. If you’re looking for ways to save money, check out a few of our favorite ideas.
Be Flexible on Date, Time and Season: A Saturday night in September or May is probably the most expensive wedding date you can choose. Vendors will sometimes charge less to couples who get married in the off-season or on off-days. So consider getting married on a Friday, Sunday, and even Saturday morning or early afternoon in January, February or March.
Be Honest: Be upfront with potential vendors. Tell them the amount that you’ve budgeted for his or her services and see if he or she can work with that, instead of asking for a proposal and trying to bring the cost down. Vendors will appreciate your honesty, and in many cases, try their best to accommodate you if there’s any wiggle room.
Cut the Guest List: Many venues and caterers charge on a per-person basis, so the fewer guests you invite, the less you pay.
Get a Planner: This may sound confusing – how can hiring an additional vendor help you save money? Well, wedding planners often have great connections with other vendors and can help you get the best deals.
DIY Wisely: Yes, creating items for your wedding yourself can help you save money. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Instead, pick one area of your wedding that you can DIY – whether it be your favors, ceremony programs, escort cards, or something else – and focus on doing a great job on that project. Check out our DIY Editor for lots of great ideas!
Enlist Friends: Got talented friends and/or family members? Enlist them to help where they can – but only if they’re truly skilled in that area. Friends and family can also donate their time in helping you with DIY projects, or even with set up on the big day. You can even have a friend or family member officiate your ceremony!
Turn Bouquets into Centerpieces: Floral arrangements can be quite expensive, but if you use them wisely, you can save a bundle. See if any of your ceremony flowers (bouquets, altar arrangements, etc.) can be used as centerpieces at the reception. This can help you avoid paying for floral décor that you don’t need.
Shop Sample Sales: When shopping for your wedding dress, check out sample sales at area salons. However, don’t purchase a dress that completely doesn’t fit, thinking that altering the dress will be inexpensive. If a dress needs a complete overhaul, the alterations can more than double the original cost of the gown!
Think Drinks: Alcohol can be a huge budget buster. Some venues allow you to purchase your alcohol yourself, which can help you save some cash. Also, you can simply serve wine and beer, along with a signature drink or two instead of offering a fully-stocked top-shelf bar.
Something Borrowed: Instead of purchasing lots of expensive jewelry and accessories to add some sparkle to your wedding day look, look to family members and friends to help accessorize. Your grandmother’s veil, your mom’s earrings, your great aunt’s necklace, your sister’s shoes – it’s so special to wear a family heirloom on your wedding day.