Just because your wedding budget doesn’t exactly match that of The Donald (ok, it’s far from it) does not mean you must settle for a bland cookie-cutter wedding. Set on serving filet mignon and champagne? Envisioning an extravagant 7-tiered wedding confection adorned with swarovski crystals and a classy aperitif station? You can still have it! There are some easy, steadfast ways to create the wedding of your dreams without breaking your wedding budget. You can still wow your guests -here’s how…
Cut that Guest List
The easiest and most efficient way to slice your costs in half is to shrink your guest list. Food and beverage costs are charged per person, and whether you choose to serve filet and caviar or vegetable pasta and chicken wings, the cost is going to multiply by the number you are feeding. Also consider things such as table linens and centerpieces, chair set up fees, cake cutting fees etc. The cost of these services is based on the number of guests at your wedding. Fewer guests mean less spent on these wedding standards and more money available for a luxurious honeymoon or a down payment on a house.
Consider the Time
The most desirable dates and times (ie. Saturday nights in June) come with the highest price tags. Consider throwing your bash during the off-season – a Sunday afternoon in January can be equally elegant and romantic if done right. Along the same lines, host an event that does not coincide with a meal time and offer a menu entirely of hors d’oeuvres and/or desserts.
Enhance Your Surroundings
Expensive décor is hardly necessary when Mother Nature does the work for you. A springtime garden wedding hardly needs additional floral arrangements, while an ornate church may be breathtaking on its own. Many facilities are decorated for the holidays, so holding a December wedding may provide you with gorgeous poinsettias and garland free-of-cost.
Keep It Simple
The words “elaborate” and “expensive” go hand in hand, but “simple” does not necessarily equate to “low end.” Intricate details on your wedding cake and in your flower arrangements take more time and therefore cost more. Minimal adornments keep the presentation elegant and chic – and won’t break your wedding budget.
Enlist a Pro
Hiring a wedding coordinator to save you money sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes you have to spend a little to save a little. Once you’ve set a budget, a wedding coordinator will work with you and his/her network of preferred vendors to make your dreams come true within your budget.
Cut the Extras
With everything from photography to transportation, never surrender to the upsell. A custom photo album or cable TV in your limo might sound like a good idea at the time, but if it is not at the top of your priority list, chances are you can live without it.
Learn the Lingo
A little extra research will pay off in the end if you know what you are talking about. There are so many industry terms that are associated with everything from invitations to videography, so if you know what you are dealing with then you will know what you really need.
Something Old and Borrowed
Nowadays, anything retro screams chic, and borrowed items will help you save on wedding costs. Add a sentimental touch and honor your heritage by wearing your mother’s wedding gown, donning your grandmother’s veil or jewelry, or simply using old family photos as table décor. Not only will you add a hint of personalization to your already memorable occasion, but you’ll save a pretty penny too.
Recruit a few talented friends and family members to help fashion your wedding. A graphics guru can create your stationery, a crafty friend can assist with favors and centerpieces, and a musically inclined relative can provide ceremony music. Assigning these roles to guests will give them an important role in your wedding day and help you to mind your wedding budget.
Think Double Duty
Make your each of your wedding-day components work for you, not against you. Bridesmaids’ bouquets and ceremony arrangements can be transplanted as cake table décor, and favors can be artfully displayed as centerpieces for your guests to take home at the end of the night. Aside from cutting down on waste, you’ll also get the most bang for your matrimonial buck.