There aren't many things people enjoy more than a good deal, especially on a big (typically pricey) day like your wedding. But, as professional wedding planners/your internet BFFs, let us assure you that your wedding is neither the time nor the place to try and cut corners. Guests will notice, you will notice and attempting to cut costs on the wrong item or vendor could actually end up costing you more in the long run. So if you're looking for high glamour without having to break the bank, check out our cheat sheet to help keep costs low and smiles high.
It's easy to spend big on your dream venue but, remember that weddings should be about experiencing the love between two people. So focus on finding a venue that is naturally beautiful. This will help you save loads on decor + floral arrangements. Also consider getting hitched at a historical location. You can potentially claim the facility costs on your taxes #winning
A venue like the private lakehouse for Sarah + John's wedding earlier this year is the perfect way to cut cost on a venue without sacrificing personal style.
2. Drink Responsibly
Alcohol is an easy way to go WAY over your wedding budget. Try hosting a cocktail or mixer bar instead. This helps cut down on the amount of alcohol needed as guests are encouraged to add in fruits, ice, and garnish that take up the space of straight alcohol.
Or you can host an open bar during cocktail hour then switch to beer + wine during the reception.
Our favorite tip is to premier a couples signature cocktail. It's less alcohol and specific to your big day.
Remember our talk about how 'in-season is the best season?' While this is still true for florals, it's not true for basically any other aspect of your wedding. Getting married out of wedding season or even choosing to marry on a Sunday or Wednesday versus a Saturday is a great way to instantly trim your wedding budget by about 25%.
A great wedding budget includes the costs of items associated before, during and after the wedding. Skipping out on budgeting for the costs of bachelor/bachelorette parties or a honeymoon can make for a very sobering reality 2-3 months after your big day. Plan ahead! If you can, skip the long and pricey international flight and stay domestic instead. AirBnB has a TON of listings from country to city to satisfy every couples desires.
5. The Guest List + Invites
Perhaps the simplest way to cut back on costs is to invite less people. A smaller guests lists means less invites, less seats at a reception, less tables, less centerpieces, etc. If you're struggling to figure out who does and doesn't get an invite follow the unofficial golden rule: are they (active) in your life currently and are they going to attend to celebrate the couple (as a whole)? Inviting your coworker who invited your to her holiday party four years ago might seem less attractive when you realize her seat costs approx. $60.
Embrace the digital age! It's 2016, send e-invites to cut back on postage and stationary for save-the-dates and RSVPs.
Hire a Wedding Planner!
Yes, yes, we realize this is technically a 6th tip but, one of the best ways to ensure you stay on track financially and get great deals on everything from alcohol to parking permits, is to hire a wedding planner. They are in the business year round and have loads of connections/contacts that will save you time and money. If you are really set on doing most of the planning yourself, consider a Day Of Coordinator. This person can consult with you during the planning process and help keep everything organized and running smoothly to ensure dodging any last minute hiccups, fines or fees. We offer lots of packages for every bride and groom.
Remember your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. It's all about deciding what will make you, your partner, and your guests happiest. Know your budget and be choosy about what is and isn't worth shelling out cash over. Consider sitting down and making a list of wedding must-haves versus wedding would-be-nice to haves.