Have the Wedding of Your Dreams…
and stay on budget with these 15 ideas to save money on your wedding.
Don't over do it on the guest list.
It’s a difficult task to decide who makes the guest list cut. With the average wedding reception cost per person of $100, this can be a wedding budget saver though. When considering a wedding reception venue, it’s a good idea to ask the guaranteed minimum. The minimum number is the number of guests you will pay for, even if your wedding guest list is fewer than this number.
Trim your bridal party.
Each person standing up in your bridal party is a dear friend – and an expense. While you may not be paying for their attire, you will purchase their flowers, attendant gift, transportation and more. Consider limiting your bridal party to siblings and closest friends.
Consider display items.
It is common to have a display cake for the cake cutting ceremony, with one layer for cutting, and a sheet cake in the kitchen for dessert service. You can also display a fine bottle of champagne at the head table, but have a less expensive sparkling wine for the toast. No one will be the wiser.
Make it twinkle.
Candles create a sense of romance. Whether you use exquisite candelabras for an elegant feeling or simple hurricanes for a rustic reception, candles can be a beautiful and inexpensive way to make a statement.
'In season' means 'in budget.'
Choosing flowers that are in season can result in major savings. Instead of telling your florist what bouquet you want, ask for recommendations using less costly blooms for your time of year. If you want something out of season, ask to use them as accent flowers rather than the primary.
Personalize the venue.
Using photographs from your engagement session or courtship as wedding reception decor accents allows you to tell your story as a couple (and you’ve already paid for them). Select images of your lives separately and together for your welcome table, cake table or centerpieces.
Choose one location.
There are multiple benefits of combining your ceremony and reception location. In addition to the convenience, you can reduce the cost of multiple venues, transportation and decor.
Be a DIY bride.
Before taking on any DIY projects, you should calculate the cost of materials and time versus hiring a professional to handle the project. You should also consider how close to your wedding you would have to complete the task. Many brides elect to make and print paper products such as programs and table cards, but leave centerpiece creation to the pros due to timing.
Selecting smaller centerpieces allows your guests to converse easily and pass food items around the table – 14 to 20 inches high is ideal. A smaller arrangement will allow you to save on your floral budget, or add more of an expensive bloom due to the smaller scale.
It is sometimes tempting to use a friend to provide a service at your wedding. Sometimes this option works perfectly; you get exactly what you wanted for a price you can afford. But other times working with a friend can cause more stress than it’s worth and put a strain on your friendship. Not hiring a professional can also cost you more in the end if your friend isn’t in tune with wedding trends, cost savings opportunities such as in season flowers and lost chances to bundle services for savings.
Get double duty decorations.
Here’s a simple way to save money on your wedding; re-purpose the flowers from your ceremony for your wedding reception. Altar arrangements are perfect to flank the head table. Bridesmaids bouquets double as centerpieces for the bridal table when placed in a simple glass vase.
Limit cocktail time.
If your timeline allows you to shorten the cocktail hour without negatively affecting your guests, you may be able to negotiate a lower price due to the decreased volume. You can also limit the cocktail offerings to a signature drink, requiring fewer liquors.
Kids at receptions.
If you choose to invite children to your wedding reception, consider asking for budget friendly children’s dinner options such as chicken fingers or sliders. For more tips on kids at your reception, click here.
Skip guest favors.
Small tokens of appreciation for attending your wedding can add up to big budget busters. Consider making a charitable donation in their honor or a simple favor, such as chocolates.
Instead of price, consider the value your wedding vendors bring.
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