Here are a dozen tips on how to save money while planning your wedding or special event on a budget:
- Avoid the Peak Wedding Season and/or Weekends. Consider setting your wedding or event date in late Summer or almost any time in the Winter to save up to 20% off on your venue selection. Or you can save thousands of dollars at your favorite venue by simply planning your wedding day for a Thursday, as opposed to a weekend day.
- Embrace All-Inclusives. You actually save about $25 per person by choosing a venue with catering packages to choose from. Packages deals are almost always cheaper than purchasing or renting items, services and/or venues separately. You may think the 5-star backyard barbecue will save you money, but by the time you purchase everything you need, your costs will run at least what a venue would run before even considering the food! If you want to be outdoors, consider a venue with an outdoor or beach-side option.
- Limit your bridal party. Consider the costs that go into what is needed for bridesmaids and groomsmen, including flowers and wedding party gifts. Cut your party down to two and save big.
- Remove people from your guest list. Removing eight to ten people thereby removes from your costs one full guest table and chairs, leading to savings on eight to ten invitations/response cards/envelopes and stamps, one table linen, eight to ten linen napkins, eight to ten linen chair covers, eight to ten linen tie backs, eight to ten favors, one centerpiece and eight to ten meals and cake off your budget, as well as the savings on beverages. On average, cutting one table from a low budget wedding or special event is a savings of around $600 and it goes up from there.
- Do NOT invite people for gifts. People spend an average in the area of $50 or less on any gift, be it for a wedding, milestone birthday, anniversary, retirement… Hardly seems appropriate to invite guests for the gifts when the cost to you is at least double what they’ll spend on your gift. Save money and go out and buy your own microwave! Only invite those that you have relationships with on a regular basis.
- Go digital for your stationary. Using the ever fabulous letterpress makes for a lovely design, but the time and process, as well as the weight bringing postage costs to a rise, can be a budget buster. Stick to digital print and regular size for a huge cost savings, right down to the postage.
- Go easy on the hors devours. Keep your choices few, yet delicious and stick to the basics to save several dollars per person.
- Be selective and talk with your venue coordinator regarding meal options. You can alter any menu they introduce by choosing a lesser quality cut, but as delicious to save big. (i.e. hanger steak in place of filet mignon or grouper over salmon or cod)
- Limit your bar. If you choose an open bar, choose wisely what your guests have access to. Limit choices to wine and beer and a couple of specialty cocktails. This will cut your costs by 25%. And remember, guests can toast just as easily with Prosecco or their beverage of choice, saving hundreds on a champagne toast.
- Select a simple design for your cake. Remember, the more intricate the design, the more cost per slice. Sugar flowers, intricate piping and gilding come with a hefty price tag. And consider asking your baker to only provide half-slices for each guest. Serving half the size requires only half the amount of cake, which leads to half the cost.
- Choose seasonal flowers. They will be in stock at your local florist, saving you hundreds on specialty orders and delivery charges.
- Choose your vendors wisely; shop around. There are likely numerous bridal shows or wedding expos throughout the year in your area (peak times will be January thru March and again from September through November). Be sure to shop around for the personality, the quality, the style and the price that you are looking for in a vendor (wedding planner/coordinator, venue, photographer, DJ/band, videographer, baker, caterer, stylist…). The cost of exhibiting at a bridal show is expensive, so you can be sure that only professionals are willing to pay the price. Use your search engine to find those in your area.
You can have everything you want within your budget, you just have to know how and where to shop for it. Now you are ready to get your shop on!
For more tips on budget cuts and vendor connections, or if you are looking to get twice as much done in half the time, contact your local wedding and event planner. He/She is there to help you do all this and more, and within your budget!