If you are like most brides today, your wedding budget is, at least, a bit tight. However, even on a low budget, you can still have the wedding of your dreams. The secret is focusing money on the “dream” part of the wedding and being creatively frugal in the other areas. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
1) Understand What is Important to You:
There can be a tendency to overthink every minute detail no matter how important to the overall success of your wedding. This can lead to overspending. Before you do anything, take some time to reflect on what exactly defines your dream wedding. There are likely two or three elements you see vividly and are most important. What are they? A jaw-dropping gown? The location? Your entrance at the reception? These elements are what will move your wedding from a lovely dream to a beautiful reality. These elements are what you should focus on and make your priorities and, if needed, spend the most money. The savings opportunity is in the less-significant details; save money by bargain shopping and thinking outside the box.
2) Do “Double-Duty” Wherever Possible:
Take the concept of recycling to the next level. Find ways to repurpose, reuse, or combine functions. For example:
- Make centerpieces of edible favors. Examples: a favor cake or cake pops arranged as “flowers” in a unique container.
- Buy shoes you will use again. Colorful shoes are becoming the norm. It is perfectly acceptable to buy gorgeous red, purple, pink, or other colored shoes you can wear again and again.
- Many people put up clear Christmas lights during the Holidays. Repurpose them as wedding decorations–twist with gossamer or tulle to adorn the head table or string into mason or other jars to make your own rustic or elegant lighting.
3) Rethink the Guest List:
This one can be tough, but very possibly necessary for containing the budget. The recent trend is to have a bit more intimate-sized wedding limited to close friends and family. This not only brings the total cost down, but lends itself to another trend: a more informal, party-like atmosphere.
4) Save on food and drink:
You will most likely hire a caterer, but you can work with them on which elements they will handle and the ones you will handle yourself. Note that if you are renting a reception hall, this may be against policy. In this case, choose lower-priced options or consider having the reception at an unusual place such as a nearby farm, field, or other open area.
The bar is another area for potential savings. One huge opportunity for saving is to offer only non-alcoholic drinks if this is acceptable in your circles. You could also hire a bartender for the evening and buy your own alcohol for the occasion which is cheaper than using the catering service. If the venue doesn’t allow this, you may also opt for a limited bar with the choices of beer, red wine, and white wine.
You may also opt to forego the expensive cake, much of which is often wasted. Instead, go with a trendy dessert station filled with homemade goodies instead. If you feel strongly about the tradition of cutting the cake, buy or make a small one for the ritual.
5) DIY (Do It Yourself) Where it Makes Sense:
There are two general areas where you can do it yourself: foregoing service providers (i.e. photographer, DJ, caterer, etc.) and making the various items that go into a wedding yourself (i.e. decorations, centerpieces, floral arrangements, etc.).
In the service provider areas, remember that expertise and experience do matter. So scrimp here with your eyes wide open. You do not want to be disappointed with the sound quality of the music or end up with poorly taken and shadowy pictures.
DIY is common these days and is expected to become even more popular. So with that in mind, here are some ideas to consider:
- Make your own chair covers rather than renting expensive ones.
- Give handcrafted, meaningful gifts to the wedding party.
- Create your own favors from bulk candy, tulle, and ribbon.
However you choose to go about saving money in your wedding planning, keep in mind that individuality is not only trendy, it is what will put the “dream” into your dream wedding!
About the Author
Bobette is the owner and publisher of MyOnlineWeddingHelp.com, which helps those planning a wedding get the best use from online, product-related resources. You can find tips, tutorials, and videos, as well as free, downloadable budget planners and checklists. The site also houses a unique search engine where you can simultaneously find items from hundreds of merchants ranging from well-known department stores to unique boutiques. Visit us today to plan your budget-friendly wedding!