Budget Bride: Brilliant Ways To Save On Wedding Costs
There’s no doubt about it: Planning a wedding is expensive. Although we can’t all splurge on celebrity entertainment and 24-carat wedding favors, you can make your dream big day possible. While a typically pricey affair, it’s much easier than most imagine to stretch a wedding budget. You don’t even have to sacrifice the things you love. Instead, you need only compromise on the elements you have little feelings towards. Find a few places to trim the budget, and you can easily save big bucks. With that in mind, here are sixteen brilliant ways to save on wedding costs.
- Limit Your Guest List
An element that has a huge influence over your wedding budget is the guest list. The more people you invite to your big day, the bigger the venue must be. You also have to serve more food, order more alcohol, and much more. Because of this, you can easily lower your wedding costs by limiting your guest list to only close friends and family members. Spend time thinking about who you really want at your big day and don’t feel obligated to offer every adult a plus one.
- Wear Off The Rack
Although the guest list affects many elements of a wedding, one that it doesn’t touch is the dress. Unfortunately, that won’t make your wedding dress any cheaper. Some brides spend more on their wedding outfit than they do on food, photography, and entertainment combined. Thankfully, there are countless ways to cut the cost of your frock. Renting the wedding dress is a popular option, but if you’d rather keep your gown, you could buy off the rack or second-hand.
- Go For Customizable Stationery
Completely custom wedding invitations are an expense you simply don’t need. Instead, you should order customizable stationery. There are numerous websites online where you could customize your save the date card and wedding invite to feature your own names, the wedding date, and a personal photograph. There are other elements you can alter too, like the color and material. Doing this will allow you to have unique wedding stationery but at a fraction of the cost.
- Ditch The RSVP Cards
Adding stamped envelopes and RSVP cards to wedding invitations is an added cost you might not be able to afford. The good news is, it certainly isn’t a necessity. There are several ways your guests could inform you of their response to your invitation. Including a phone number and email address would allow them to send you a message quite easily. You could even include a link to your wedding website, which could feature an RSVP response form, making matters easier still.
- Schedule Your Day Wisely
A long gap between the ceremony and reception could cause huge problems on your big day. Not only might guests get frustrated at the slow transition, but certain vendors can charge you extra too. Musicians and photographers are just two examples. These vendors won’t be able to work during the gap, but they can’t do anything else either. Rather than make them wait, you should ensure that the wedding reception is being set up during the ceremony or can be set up quickly.
- Have A Standing Ceremony
Outdoor weddings are a popular option, especially during the summer months. While an outdoor wedding could lower your wedding budget, there are additional costs to consider too. Some outdoor venues charge for seating or simply don’t offer it, meaning that you would have to rent your own. Having a standing ceremony would eliminate this expense entirely. Just make sure that you keep the ceremony brief and that you have seats available for guests who need them.
- Bring Your Own Booze
Everyone knows that weddings are a place where copious amounts of alcohol are typically consumed. What makes this an issue is that you’re the one who has to pay for it. While many wedding venues serve alcohol, they don’t often do so cheaply. For this reason, you can save money by picking a site that allows you to bring your own. Since you’ll need a large amount, you should buy your beer and wine at wholesale. You can then add your own labels to each bottle.
- Recycle The Bridesmaid Bouquets
After the wedding ceremony, most bridesmaids ditch their bouquets to work up a sweat on the dancefloor. When the time comes to go home, these bouquets are usually left abandoned and thrown away. Instead of allowing this, you should make use of them. Flowers are a surprisingly large wedding expense. This means that you would benefit greatly by reusing what you have. Bridesmaid bouquets can be placed in vases and then used to decorate the tables and bar.
- Enlist Friends To Help
Talented friends can make planning a wedding much easier. Although you shouldn’t expect your pals to offer their services for free, most are willing to do so. At the very least, they might give you a discounted rate. A keen musician could provide music for the ceremony, while an avid baker might offer to make the wedding cake. However, you must consider your friend’s skill level before asking them to help. The last thing that you want is to be disappointed by their efforts.
- Hire A Student Beautician
Cosmetology students are always looking for opportunities to improve their talents. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty good already. Rather than head straight to an expert, you should contact a local beauty school and ask to see examples of their students’ work. Many beauty students are willing to offer their services for cheaper than a professional would since they have to build a client base. Booking a trial first is smart, as you can check you like the student’s work.
- Dress In Family Heirlooms
Along with something old, new, and blue, you might decide to wear a borrowed accessory on your big day. This could be anything from shoes to earrings. Rather than stop at one item, you could dress in various family heirlooms. Borrowing your accessories from loved ones will not only protect your budget, but it makes your outfit more special too. Because every item belongs to your family, you can be sure that no other bride has accessorized in quite the same way.
- Serve A Wedding Buffet
A buffet-style wedding meal has countless benefits. For a start, you might have several picky eaters among your loved ones. This would mean that deciding on a wedding menu would be quite difficult. With a buffet, there are options to choose from, which makes life easier for everyone. Perhaps the most significant upside, however, is the cost. Depending on your guest list and food choices, picking a buffet over a sit-down meal could shave hundreds off your catering expenses.
- Cut That Cake Early
After a large buffet meal, most people don’t need a huge dessert too. This means that your wedding cake could easily serve as that additional sweet treat. Rather than wait hours to cut the cake, you should do so before or soon after the meal. Waiting hours to cut the cake will mean that the photographer and videographer have to hand around longer. Unless you’ve already paid for them to stay the entire night, they will likely charge you extra for having to wait.
- Miss Out Wedding Favors
Most guests won’t mind that you didn’t shell out hundreds on pointless wedding favors. After all, they came to your wedding for you, not for free goodies. For that reason, you should seriously consider ditching the tradition altogether. If you believe that your guests would care, then come up with inexpensive ideas instead. There are countless cute and cheap trinkets you could offer, like sweets, key rings, and seed bombs. A quick search online should reveal plenty of options.
- Avoid The Wedding Season
Venues are much more expensive throughout the wedding season, which runs from mid-April to mid-October. That is because this time of year is popular among betrothed couples. If you don’t mind the chilly weather, then tie the knot before or after these months. A date just a few weeks before or after the wedding season will cost you significantly less. Anyone not wanting a winter wedding should look for unconventional times, like Friday the 13th, to book their big day instead.
- Skip The Wedding Planner
Hiring a wedding planner certainly has its benefits. With their help, you can save plenty of time and frustration while organizing your big day. Sadly, this help doesn’t come for free. Most wedding planners charge thousands for their assistance, which might not be a fee that you can afford. If you’re great at organizing and multitasking, then you could plan the wedding by yourself. However, anyone who couldn’t imagine taking on this task should work with an expert.
Everyone knows that weddings aren’t cheap. In fact, most couples invest tens of thousands into their big day. The good news is, you don’t have to. With the brilliant ideas above, you can lower your wedding expenses, without sacrificing your dreams.