Weddings are one of those crazy-expensive events in life. Everyone knows that wedding services are overpriced, they but can’t help buying into the vision of that one special, priceless day.
The truth is that you can have a beautiful wedding without becoming indebted to the powerful wedding industry. Here are 10 tips:
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A budget is a must for any couple planning a wedding, but it should be more detailed than one number. Break your wedding budget into how much you want to spend on the dress, the venue, the flowers, the cake and other elements of the day.
While you are budgeting, ask yourself what is most important to you. Some brides love the thought of being surrounded by flowers, while others have dreamed their whole lives about a designer dress. You can cut back on your expenses by recognizing where you want to invest most of your available money.
Once you have established your budget, don’t allow yourself to look at things you can’t afford. The risk is too big that you will fall in love with an idea and spend more than you intended.
Use your networking skills to help you find deals on wedding essentials. Post on social media and ask everyone you know if they have a connection to a venue, a caterer, a DJ or some other wedding service.
You never know whose best friend used to work for an incredible florist, or whose uncle is in an awesome cover band. These connections can lead to discounts and deals.
Have your ceremony and reception at the same place.
You can save all kinds of money by not having to travel between locations for the ceremony and the reception. Many hotels will set up the room for your ceremony and then funnel guests into a separate room for appetizers and cocktails while they redecorate for the reception. This arrangement means you don’t have to book two different venues or pay for transportation for you and the bridal party to different locations.
Flowers are considered a key element of any wedding, but they can be quite expensive. There are a few ways to save on flowers, depending on your individual needs and preferences.
One way to save money on your floral arrangements is to use them for more than one purpose. For example, you can use your bridesmaids’ bouquets to decorate your cake table or use decorative arrangements from your ceremony as centerpieces at the reception.
You can also consider using fewer flowers and supplementing the arrangements with candles or pretty objects. A single bloom in an antique-looking vase can be simple and stunning. You can also combine various vase sizes with a bloom in each.
There’s no rule that says a wedding has to include a meal. Have your wedding in the afternoon or late in the evening to avoid having to serve an entire dinner.
Instead, provide guests with a variety of creative appetizers and then wow them at the dessert table. You can even throw an all-dessert wedding with a celebration of sweets.
An open bar can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of your wedding. Many people find a cash bar tacky, although you shouldn’t let what other people think stop you from having the wedding you want.
You can solve the alcohol problem by simply offering beer and wine. Signature cocktails are also popular and won’t break the bank.
Many couples choose not to have alcohol at their weddings at all. You can serve champagne during the toasts, or just go with sparkling juice.
If you haven’t priced wedding cakes yet, prepare yourself for a shock. Those beautiful creations cost hundreds of dollars. Make that thousands if you are feeding a large crowd.
Save some money by ordering a smaller cake that you can use for pictures. Then have the bakery, or the grocery store, or a friend make sheet cakes to serve to your guests.
Some bakeries will even create a faux cake made of cardboard or other material and decorate it for you as if it were your wedding cake. Bring sheet cake out from the back when it’s time to eat, and you have the best of both worlds with a much smaller price tag.
The majority of weddings are held on a Saturday, so that’s the day venues charge their highest prices. Choose a different day of the week, and you will instantly save.
Sunday weddings can be beautiful and are becoming more popular. Choose a Sunday before a Monday holiday, and your guests can still party into the night. Friday night can also be a perfect choice.
The least expensive option is to wed on a weeknight. Your guests may not want to stay late because they have to work the next day, but you can still have a pretty ceremony and shorter reception.
All of those wonderfully addictive television shows have long preached that several thousand dollars is the rock bottom price for a decent wedding gown. This simply isn’t true.
Your wedding gown does not have to cost as much as your car. Shop sales and trunk shows to get deep discounts on gowns. You can also ask about buying store samples.
You can slash your wedding gown budget down to practically nothing if you are willing to give up the commercialized idea that you have to have one expensive gown for one day, and that it has to come from a bridal shop.
Chances are you have friends who were recently married who have expensive gowns they have packed away. It makes perfect sense to borrow one, so ask around. You can also find beautiful, stylish pre-owned gowns at consignment stores.
Bridesmaids gowns and prom dresses can make fantastic wedding gowns, and they are far less expensive than wedding dresses. Do a little shopping to see what’s out there. You may just find your perfect dress for a lot less money.
If you do buy a wedding gown, don’t pay a fortune to have it preserved in a box, where no one will ever see it again. Instead, try selling it to a consignment shop. Don’t wait, because these stores want gowns that are no older than last year’s style.
“Wedding” is a magical word that makes everything instantly shoot up in price. There is no reason you have to tell vendors that you are shopping for your wedding. Instead, tell a florist you are looking for three or four pretty spring bouquets, or ask a DJ about emceeing your party. See what kind of prices you are quoted before you let on that you’re getting married.
Some vendors do have different prices for weddings than for other occasions, so it makes sense to keep the word wedding out of it until you know.
Once you get a quote from a vendor for a particular service, do be honest and let the vendor know that you are planning a wedding. If you don’t reveal that information, they may charge you extra on the day of the event.
If the price goes up once they know your event is a wedding, ask them why. If the service is exactly the same, they will often back down when you call them on the price difference.
You can save a lot of money on your wedding by thinking outside the box and planning ahead. The main trick to getting your perfect day at a budget-friendly price is to carefully consider what is important to you. If your dream wedding includes a fabulous party, spend less on the dress and splurge on an open bar. On the other hand, cutting out alcohol will give you more money to spend on incredible food. Alternatively, you can have a simple courthouse wedding with your two closest friends, and spend thousands on a one-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. It’s all up to you.