So you want a luxurious, elegant wedding on a Budweiser budget? Don’t worry; it is easier than you think! There are several ways that you can plan the wedding of your dreams without getting a second job or going into debt.
The main way you will save money on your wedding is if you prioritize. What are the most important aspects of your wedding? What are the least? By prioritizing, you immediately know which areas you need a little more money, attention, and creativity. The other details of the wedding that are not as important (think table place settings, transportation, etc.) is where you will cut and save money. Here are some ways that you can cut and save on your wedding. If any of them are important to you, then put them on the higher end of the priority list.
Cut the Videographer: Lets face it; how many times do you plan on watching your wedding video? Wedding videos are a great memento of the day, but they can also be long and not what you wanted to remember of the wedding. A really good professional photographer will capture all of your magical moments. Cutting back on a videographer will allow you more money for a photographer. If the videographer is important to you then put him in your budget. You can save a lot of money on quality videographers by hiring professional family members or friends, film students at a local college, or even film professionals just starting off in the business.
Cut The Cost of Your Wedding Attire: For brides, there is no doubt about it. You want to look beautiful and to wear the best looking wedding dress there is. You do not need to buy an over the top designer wedding gown to look gorgeous. Visit bridal shops during sales or look online at Ebay.com or Craigslist.com. Keep in mind any shipping costs or dress cleaning costs. These costs can add up to $200 to the dress if you are not careful. There are several brides that just got married in a gorgeous gown but do not want to keep the dress hanging around. It is easy to save money on shoes, jewelry, and a veil. Unless your dress is short, your shoes will only show once the garter is being taken off. Therefore not a lot of money needs to be spent on shoes. Plain white heels can be found at almost any store for a variety of different prices. If you can borrow jewelry for your big day, that will also save a lot of money. There is no better way to add sentimental value to your look than to wear a relative’s beautiful jewels. Most veils look the same because they are made from the same material. However, between bridal shops and cheaper shops, the price difference is quite noticeable. A plain veil can be purchased for very little money then decorated to make it look like it came straight out of a magazine. The point is to look beautiful while keeping your wallet full.
For the groom, you have life a little easier when it comes to your attire. Many tux or suit rental shops will allow you a free rental if you have five paying groomsmen rentals. Many groomsmen consider this to be their present to you, so there is no need to feel guilty.
Cut Your Guest List: Initially, cutting your guest list sounds like a cruel thing to do. However, just eliminating your guest list of twenty to fifty people can save you anywhere from $500 – $1000! Each person is the cost of a table setting, meal, invitation, favor, and sometimes even more. Who should you cut from your guest list? Try starting out by cutting you and your fiancé’s co-workers, distant relatives, friends you have not talked to in years, and friends of your parents that you do not know well. You can also save money by cutting down your bridesmaid and groomsmen list.
Still feeling torn about cutting the list? Try an open ceremony and a private reception. Explain to co-workers and acquaintances that it pains you to have such a small, private reception due to money issues, but you would love for them to share the day with you at the ceremony.
Cut Meal Costs: If the meal is good, does it matter if it cost $5 a person or $20 a person? Unless the meal is really gross, people will forget about what they ate at your wedding. A simple way to cut the cost of your meal is to serve chicken or turkey opposed to steak, lamb, fish, or other seafood. Instead of having a traditional dinner, opt for having a buffet style dinner. You can also increase the cost exceptionally by having a lunch reception or even just a dessert reception. Another way to save money is to hire teenager/college age servers instead of professional servers.
For my wedding, we had a place called Stone Fire Grill cater. If you live in the area, you already know how tasty it is. They charges $8.99 a person! It was buffet style, but we received delicious chicken, tri-tip, mashed potatoes, salad, and bread sticks.
Cut Alcohol Costs: It is not required of you to have an open bar. You will save significantly if you only pay for the first glass of champagne to toast with. Also buying wine or champagne in bulk will help you save money. The only problem with this is the corking fee a caterer might charge you. If you do choose to have an open bar, limit the drink selection. A unique and creative way to do this is to have a custom drink made for the wedding and for the bartender to only serve that.
Again, for my wedding, I planned on having just champagne for the toast. However, the venue had several rules if any alcohol was going to be on property. These rules included hiring security guards and paying more for the venue. It was an easy decision just to serve a sparkling cider for the toast.
It is your wedding and it should be what you have always dreamed of. However, you do not need to make your dreams come true on royal sized budget. Just following a few of these steps will save you a few hundred dollars or more. The best way to save money is to take time and do your research. Get price quotes from several different vendors and entertainers. Look for the people who will help your dreams come true without leaving you in a financial nightmare. Never give a second thought about recruiting professional family members or friends. They will be happy to be a big part in your big day. The most important thing to remember on any budget is to not waste all of your time thinking about the money being spent on the wedding. Instead, focus on the real reason for marriage: love.