Do you dream of having a perfect wedding that still adheres to your wedding budget? It may seem impossible, but with some smart thinking and educated planning, you will be able to have a beautiful wedding that is not expensive.
I hate using the word cheap, but if you were to cut down your expenses and follow some of the below money saving tips for your wedding, you will be well on your way to having a cheap wedding and a lasting memory that will always make you smile. Remember, a cheap wedding does not mean a tacky or bad wedding!
So what are the primary costs of a wedding?
A wedding has many costs, ranging from necessities like a venue to that of extras such as gifts for your guests.
Here is the essential items that will cost you the most money:
- Alcohol and Drinks
- Guest List
- Time of Year
How can you save on these wedding items?
Lets look at each of the above items and discuss ways in which you can save money on your wedding, as with a little bit of pre planning, you will easily be able to save a great deal of money.
Speak to a wide variety of caterers and ask them what they can do for you. Leverage off your original discussions with each new caterer as the industry is very competitive and they are known for matching prices and discounting service fees to win business.
Food at weddings also tends to be overdone and overly flashy. Why not stick to lean meats and vegetables that are presented nicely? I am almost certain 90% of the guests would prefer a really well made steak and vegetables that is nicely presented over the oyster chicken couscous with caviar toppings. This will greatly decrease the cost of your wedding food and should be brought to the attention of the catering company on first discussions, as it will allow them to have a price range that can fit your wedding budget.
Wedding Alcohol and Beverages
Wedding drinks and alcohol can drain a large portion of your budget very quickly. This is why it is crucial that the first thing you do is limit the drinks available to your favourite select few. For example; Wine and Beer, Wine and Spirits or a combination in between, as an open bar tends to finish very quickly when people can order any style of drinks they want.
Some venues also let you supply the alcohol yourself, whether it is for each table or a general bar. This can also help you save money on your wedding as spirits and wines when bought in bulk can save you a great deal of money, while not holding back on the brands you want.
Saving money on wedding invitations can be quite easy to do. These days we see a great deal of invites hand made with beautiful rice paper and multi coloured papers. All you need is a printer and a wide range of papers and rice papers so that you can design and develop your own invites. This will save you a lot of money from printing commercially, as the commercial printers will charge a premium for the papers and the construction of the invites once printed.
Why not sit down with your family one night and put them together over a movie?
The venue for your wedding and reception can be one of the larger costs associated with your wedding. You will most likely have to book a church or venue that allows for wedding to take place, and remember to keep your initial dates open when booking the venue as different days cost more.
Recently I went to a wedding that was held in a botanical garden in a shady utopia in NSW, a very nice venue indeed and had no costs except entry for guests (which was prepaid by the couple before hand).
Why not consider also having your reception at the family home? That way you only have to pay for the church of actual wedding location and your family and friends will have the comforts of using your existing family home.
Wedding Guest List
Do not feel you have to invite everyone! This is your special day and it is 100% understandable if you cannot invite everyone you have ever known just for the sake of manners.
Why not invite people to your wedding and only invite a select bunch of people to attend the reception? This is a polite way of letting people know that your budget is limited, and you wish only family and super close friends to attend the after event.
Try to trim down the numbers, ask yourself when was the last time I saw so and so? Do i forsee them as friends/family in the future? If the answer is no or you haven’t seen them in ages – reconsider whether they are worth inviting. Be ruthless as after all it is your special day!
Flowers make your wedding beautiful; they also make your wallet lighter. Less is more with flowers, so ask your local florist whether they can arrange some beautiful displays that match the theme of your wedding, keeping in mind the colour scheme and the look you are after.
You can save money on wedding flowers by booking well in advance and arranging what flowers you are after, you will soon learn that certain flowers cost a lot more (white tulips are very expensive!).
Time of Year to Get Married
This plays a large role in the costs of your wedding. Summer is especially expensive, with many weddings happening also in spring. Why not have a non conventional wedding in winter at a lovely water side restaurant or lodge?
Music is what keeps the party alive, do not feel that a Moby Disc DJ will do the trick! Why not get an oldies cover band to rock the night away? The performance fees for some of these bands tend to be far less than 5 hours of a DJ plus the character of the night will be defined by the music you play.
When it comes to saving money on wedding photography, there are multiple ways of going about it.
You can hire a professional photographer that has a good rate, but remember to make sure you get all the film rolls after the event for your own printing – as some photographers will charge very little for the actual night, but charge a lot of money for the printing of the photos.
You can also provide 5 disposable cameras per dinner table. This lets the guests take a few happy snaps that may produce a few keepers. Disposable cameras range from about $8 to $25 each.
Another method is to get a family friend to do the photography for you, providing they have the experience and ideally the quality DSLR camera that will help the photos look amazing.
Saving Money at your Wedding Tips
Here are 5 quick final tips on things to avoid to help you save money;
- Wedding Gifts/Favours to guests
- Huge Wedding Cakes
- Cut back on mementos
- Too many bridesmaids and Groomsmen (limit to 6 in total)
- Limit your guest list
How are you planning to save?
We would love to hear some more ideas on saving money at your wedding and how to best save on costs. Let us know your thoughts!