Planning a wedding can be fun and exciting, but it can also come with a bit of sticker shock. With the average wedding costing around $36,000, many couples try to find every way possible to reduce costs while still enjoying a beautiful celebration. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a fun and classy wedding. There are great ways to tie the know without going broke.
Select the Right Venue
For most weddings, the venue is the budget maker or breaker. It certainly sets the financial tone for everything else—you can’t start to plan until you have a venue lined up. In most cities, there are long lists of venues available, making it a buyer’s market when it comes to selecting a location. This means that you can negotiate pricing and spend less on the venue. Whether it’s wedding venues in South Jersey or South Dakota there’s a great one within your budget.
Trim the Guest List
The guest list is another area that can sink the budget, so it helps to keep it manageable in order to save on costs. Remember that each guest needs a chair or two, a plate of food, drinks, a slice of cake and a favor. You have to send each one an invitation and a thank you note. The more tables you have the more centerpieces you need. The more people, the more alcohol you need, and so on and so forth. Trimming the guest list allows you to not only save on costs but hassle as well. Consider a smaller or even micro wedding.
Cut Back on Extras
Another way to save on your wedding costs is to cut back on the extras that won’t change the wedding experience drastically, but will make a difference in your budget. This includes things like programs, upgraded invitations, favors, specialty table linens, escort cards, designer blooms, five-tiered wedding cake and specialty carving stations.
Instead of spending money on these extras, opt for a program sign instead of individual printed programs, simple invitations and a simple cake. Replace the expensive wedding cake and go for a simple sheet cake and have a small cake for your display. Dress it up with a fancy cake topper or some floral decorations. Your guests will likely not even notice if you don’t have a specialty cocktail, a roast beef carving station, high-end table linens or a cigar smokeout.
You can also save on your wedding photography by having your photographer shoot only the ceremony and part of the reception instead of the entire day. Booking for a 6-hour day instead of a 10-hour day will save you hundreds of dollars. You can have friends or even local photography students shoot footage of you getting dressed before the ceremony.
Save on Décor and Flowers
Florals can be expensive when it comes to your wedding. Between the bridal bouquet, the bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, mothers’ corsages, and table centerpieces, you can easily spend an extra $1,000 on flowers alone. This is not to mention fresh rose petals. Skip the boutonniere, the groomsmen won’t miss it. Get a simple bride’s bouquet and arrange for the bridesmaids to carry kissing balls instead. The guest book table doesn’t need a floral arrangement. Instead of expensive floral centerpieces, go for a few candles instead.
Save on Food and Drink
Food and drink are significant parts of a wedding budget. Cutting here will save you thousands. Go for a buffet instead of a plated meal to save on the cost of servers. Consider serving only beer and wine instead of a full bar. Ask for discounts on childrens’ meals and serve a simple menu instead of offering multiple options. Go simple with your cake. Instead of opting for an intricately decorated confection, buy a simple frosted cake and add your accents. Skip the champagne toast and let people toast with whatever is in their glass at the time.
When it comes to enjoying a beautiful wedding without the huge price tag, using a few tips to save on costs will help you avoid breaking the bank.