8 Wedding Tips That Will Save You Money
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You want a beautiful wedding. That's totally reasonable.
What you don't want is to spend all your life saving for a giant day that will probably mostly be forgotten about in a few months.
When you're planning a wedding, things can get really expensive really quickly. But they don't have to be. Wedding professionals have plenty of tips and tricks for saving money on your wedding so you can still have the fairy tale wedding you've always imagined but with a slightly smaller financial commitment.
Weddings are expensive. it's something that has been drilled into our brains since birth. it seems like almost every magazine, blog, and friend is telling us it's supposed to cost this much or that much.
The wedding industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with the average cost of an American wedding being over $30,000. But weddings do not have to be so expensive.
The truth of the matter is, no two weddings are the same. the costs will differ depending on your priorities. but one thing can be said for everyone: set a budget (ideally in writing) and cut costs where you can. There are ways you can incorporate your personality into a wedding without spending so much money, and this article will help you get started.
If you're willing to cut corners here and there, you can enjoy your special day without having to sell your soul to the devil or call off your honeymoon plans because you went slightly over budget. If you plan right, you can cut the cost of your day by a third or more. Whether it's cutting back on real flowers and switching to silk ones, or nixing the printed invitations in favour of electronic ones, there are many ways to save money on your wedding.
Here are 8 genius tips for cutting down on your wedding costs.
1. Weekday Weddings
Think about having your wedding on a weekday. 📅
Venues are typically less expensive Monday through Thursday versus Friday or Saturday. When you get married during the off-season or mid-week, vendors tend to be less busy, which makes them more likely to give you a discount.
Plus, vendors such as photographers and musicians often charge less for services during the week than they do on the weekend.
Avoid rush fees and delays by planning as far in advance as possible and setting your own deadlines a week in advance of when they are actually due. For example, if your final payment is due from a vendor two weeks before the wedding, ask for it four weeks ahead of time.
If you're paying for your own wedding (or even if one of you is contributing), get a checking account just for wedding expenses so you can separate business from personal spending and keep track of what you've spent so far (and what's left to pay).
2. Rented/Pre-Loved Wedding Dress
Buy a rented or pre-loved wedding dress. It's very likely that you will only wear it once anyway and there are plenty of places where you can buy or rent one for less than half the price of normal.
Shop around for your dress. Don't limit yourself to bridal stores or boutiques that only sell dresses from certain designers. Looking for white dresses that aren't specifically wedding dresses is another great way to cut costs. You might find your dream dress at a thrift store or on eBay.
3. Get flowers and food that are "in-season"
Most flowers are actually imported, which means they have to be shipped in from other countries and typically sprayed with preservatives. These costs are usually hidden within the price of the overall arrangement, so you may not even realize how much you're paying for shipping and handling. And what's more, if your wedding is in a season that doesn't match up with where your flowers are from (like tulips in the fall), then it's likely that those flowers have been shipped by air, which is an even bigger cost.
The solution? Choose flowers that are in season when you get married.
Not only will this save you money because the demand for these types of flowers goes down, but it will also be kinder to the environment. If possible, try to purchase your flowers from local vendors — that way, you can cut out as much shipping from your floral budget as possible 🌷
Plus, seasonal blooms are more likely to be available at your chosen venue on your big day, lowering the risk of last-minute substitutions or additional fees.
4. Create your own wedding favours
Creating your own wedding favours is a cost-effective way to personalize your wedding, and it's not as hard as you think.
Wedding favours are a great way to show off your personality, but they're also an expensive extra to add to the budget, which is why we're all about this do-it-yourself option.
If you have a crafty side and love getting creative, creating your own wedding favours will allow you to cut costs and make sure everything is in your exact aesthetic. Just grab a group of friends, family, or whoever is down to help you and have a craft night.
5. Opt for a dessert table over a 4-tiered cake
The cost of a wedding cake can be hard to swallow. There's a reason that so many couples are opting for alternatives like sweet tables, cupcakes and doughnuts in lieu of their cake. For example, a traditional four-tiered, buttercream-frosted wedding cake for 150 guests can start at over $1,000. That's not to mention the added costs if you want anything out of the ordinary, like unique flavours or fondant decorations.
So how can you still get your cake and eat it too? Here are some budget-friendly alternatives to consider:
Cupcakes or mini cakes.
These options offer flexibility for guests who have dietary restrictions (gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free) and allow you to try multiple flavours without committing to one flavour per tier. They also make great favours!
Donuts are an inexpensive alternative to a tiered cake and are easier to serve than cupcakes (no slicing required!). A mix of mini donuts is another fun way to offer lots of different choices without making guests wait too long while each person makes a decision. 🍩
6. Offer signature cocktails
Alcohol is probably going to be your biggest wedding expense. And you don't have to have an open bar all night to quench your guests' thirsts. There are plenty of smart ways to make sure everyone has fun without breaking the bank.
Skip the open bar.
Some venues require couples to purchase a minimum number of drinks, which can easily add up to thousands of dollars by the end of the night. Others charge per drink, which can also get expensive when Aunt Linda has had one too many glasses of wine. A better option is offering beer, wine and a signature cocktail in lieu of a full open bar. This reduces your overall costs while also giving your wedding a more personal touch.
Signature cocktails are your answer to a good-time, party-friendly reception without breaking the bank. 🍸 You can keep your guests happy while also benefiting from all the perks of an open bar. The idea is to choose drinks that aren't overly expensive — and not just because they're cheaper than other drinks — but also because they're less likely to be poured into a glass with a dozen people (or several hundred) milling about.
Not only can it be relatively cheap (on average, a cocktail costs $10 or less), but by giving each guest something personal to drink, the gesture will show that you really care about their experience.
7. Create your own photo booth
A photo booth is a great idea for any wedding, but it can be expensive if you hire a professional company. Instead, you can easily create your own photo booth and get props from your local dollar store. This will keep your guests entertained and give them some great photos to look back on.
Here's how to get started:
Buy or rent a camera with a timer
You need something that will automatically take pictures at regular intervals. This way, you don't have to rely on someone else operating the camera. A DSLR is ideal if you want high-quality images, but if you're on a tight budget, an old point-and-shoot might do the trick. If neither of those options is viable for you, a smartphone will also do the trick.
Create a backdrop
This is really important if you want the pictures to look good. There are lots of ideas online for how to make a decent backdrop on the cheap — usually, just a piece of fabric tacked up somewhere — which means it has been done before, so it shouldn't be too hard for you either! You can also use your own walls or furniture as a backdrop.
Some of the most common items for your photo booth are feather boas, party hats, wigs, silly glasses, and mustaches on sticks. You can also add in some unique elements of your own. For example, if you are having a tropical wedding, you might want to include leis or Hawaiian shirts to go with the theme. If you need some inspiration on props, check out Pinterest as well as our blog post on fun ideas for photo booth props at weddings.
Another idea is to create a hashtag for your photo booth so your guests can share their photos on social media. Then you will be able to see all of the fun that was had at your wedding!
8. Digital save the dates
When it comes to wedding planning, stationery is often taken for granted. Between the save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards and thank-you notes, there is a lot of paper that goes into a single wedding. It's a necessary evil if you will. Most brides and grooms want to send out their gorgeous paper save-the-dates, but they don't realize how much they cost. One way to cut costs is by opting for digital save the dates instead of traditional printed ones. This can save you money because you won't have to pay for printing or postage. Plus, it's better for the environment!
Here are two ideas for digital save-the-dates:
A fun way to announce your big day is with an animated GIF. You can use a free online tool like Gifmaker to make your own GIF or hire someone on Fiverr to create one for you. Either way, your guests will love the unique format!
Video Save the Dates
Want to have a more personal touch? Make a video save the date! 📹 It is easy to do with apps like Animoto or iMovie. Just record yourself giving all the details and send it off in an email or text message.
If you choose to go this route, use an online RSVP system like Evstry. They allow you to send invites, track RSVPs and send reminders.
Rather than having guests call your parents' house or return a card in the mail with their plus one status and dietary preferences, digital invites and RSVPs for the engagement party, bridal shower and wedding itself are the way to go.
This will allow you to have a more accurate count of people attending, which, in turn, will help you not only with seating arrangements but also with food costs.
Yes, weddings can be expensive. With that said, they don't have to be. If you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that the wedding day itself is just one part of the big picture. Weddings last much longer than a single day, and those costs will continue to add up long past the ceremony itself. The wedding industry is just that, an industry.
As you might guess, the people who run it are out to make a killing. They can have every little thing wrapped up in bows for you for seemingly not much money and quickly too. But don't be fooled. By paying attention to the tips mentioned above, you can save a lot of cash and give some of it to yourself and your spouse. Happy Planning!
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