Thanks to magazines, Bridezillas and Kim Kardashian, planning a wedding has become a feared stress-monster sure to gobble up all your money and sanity. In reality, there’s no reason why planning your wedding can’t be both fun and cheap. As long as you’re flexible and willing to put some extra time in, your ideal wedding can be better than any extravagant un-reality we see on television — for both your pockets and your memory. Here are 10 tips to save money on your wedding without skimping on the experience itself.
Choose a Non-Traditional Location
Typical wedding reception halls can be extremely costly — and are pretty cliche, anyway. A wedding in a beautiful botanical gardens, atop a scenic overlook, on the beach, or even in your friend’s backyard (assuming they have a nice one) can save you thousands of dollars. Choosing a non-traditional location can also increase the fun of this event, since reception halls are usually stiff and extremely formal. There are endless options when it comes to the location of your reception, and many of them are just as (if not more) beautiful than renting an expensive hall. And by implementing the rest of these tips, you can transform almost anywhere into a location just as wonderful and attractive as a traditional reception hall.
Avoid a Weekend Wedding
One of the easiest ways to save money on your wedding is by opting to schedule it during the weekday and not over the weekend. While this may cause somewhat of an inconvenience for your guests who have 9-to-5ers, you’ll save money on multiple fronts. And besides, anyone who really cares about you can take a day or two off, unless they work at FOXCONN. Scheduling a weekday wedding will cut the costs of waitstaff, the fees at whatever location you’ve chosen, and transportation fees for you and your guests (limousines are most coveted during the weekend).
If you don’t want to sacrifice having a lot of flowers, do your research before purchasing and make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. It’s wise to avoid regular retail flower outlets, especially ones geared toward weddings, since their prices are the highest. Instead, look toward flower wholesalers and compare prices in that area instead. Purchasing wholesale flowers can save you a ton of money, although you may have to create the arrangements yourself. However, that doesn’t have to be a negative thing — employing the help of family and friends for a day can make the activity fun. It may even make your wedding a little more special, since you know that yourself and your loved ones put a lot of time, effort, and most importantly, love, into making the place look special. You can also cut costs by deciding on three types of flowers instead of seven, and making sure that the flowers you choose are in season.
If you’re open to the idea of arranging the flowers yourself or with the help of those you know, you might want to consider working on the decorations in this manner as well. There are a whole lot of helpful websites entirely based around DIY wedding projects, from table centerpieces to invitations to makeup tips, and more. Not only will you save hundreds of dollars by giving your wedding that personal touch, but you’ll also know that your final product will be exactly what you wanted — there’s no depending on a wedding planner to ‘get it right’ and hoping that it works out well. Again, if you make these projects into a fun event for your friends and family, it can strengthen your bond with them and also the meaning of your special day.
Paying for a professional wedding photographer and videographer can cost thousands, but there are plenty of just-as-qualified photography students who will gladly document your wedding for a significantly cheaper rate. You’ll definitely want to review the portfolio of the person you’re considering — but this may help you to see that sometimes, qualifications on paper don’t always imply the success or failure of that person’s performance. Plenty of film and photography students already hold jobs as wedding photographers/videographers on the side, and as long as you’re confident that the person is competent, caring, and responsible, you can get professional results for half the price.
Take Online RSVPs
One stamp is cheap, but what about 100 stamps? By asking your guests to RSVP online, you can save a significant amount of money in postage and paper goods. Not only does using a digital RSVP save you some cash, but it also helps you to stay organized.
What are you putting in your party favors? Will your guests really use all the things you’re including? Does each couple truly need two favors? You can have fun party favors without breaking your bank — but this means thinking about what is and isn’t necessary. It might be a good idea to pick one or two items that are somewhat universal, and include a picture of yourself and your partner along with the gift.
Limit the Open Bar or Suggest BYOB
If you don’t care about receiving a wedding present from every single person on your guest list, it might be a good idea to suggest that they BYOB instead of gifting at all. While your closest friends and relatives will bring gifts they know you’ll like, the rest of your attendees can help you supplement your already costly bar.
Another way to cut down on the cost of alcohol is to choose a drink menu instead of an open bar. Limiting the options to two types of wine, two or three types of beer and one or two cocktails can save you wads of cash. Don’t worry about compromising the fun — your drunken guests won’t really mind, we promise.
If you haven’t fallen victim to the sham idea that your wedding dress needs to be new to be special, preownedweddingdresses.com offer used wedding dresses at affordable prices. They are stain and rip free, no one will notice, and you can even keep it afterwards if you so choose. There’s really no reason that you should spend the equivalent of a used car on just a dress, especially if you aren’t bent on the idea of bestowing it to your future children.
The best way to save money on your wedding is to give yourself ample time to plan for it. Not only do you want to avoid being stuck three weeks before your wedding with the stress of a million decorations left to print, floral arrangements to construct, and limos to rent, but making last-minute decisions may force you to settle on more expensive services just because you don’t have time to branch out. Making sure you have enough time to examine all of your options, choose the right services and organize all of your details (whether they be the DIY decorations or the party bags) can save you both grief and cash. Stress leads to rash decisions, and rash decisions are often costly. Besides, you’re going to need some extra time for all that DIY stuff — which will undoubtedly be worth it in the end. Overall, your wedding will be more personalized and special than any expensive stranger could have made it for you.