Weddings are special occasions that can quickly become very expensive. While this special time should be the happiest day of one’s life, it is often marred with worries about the high costs of every detail. If you’re in the process of planning your special event on a budget, the sticker shock that comes with planning can be very stressful. Still, there are many ways you can easily cut costs and still have a showcase event that you can truly be proud to look back on for many years.
Weddings should be as unique to the couple getting married but adhering to that uniqueness could be costly. However, if you focus on the basic elements that are common to all weddings, tuxedo rental, dress, reception, and entertainment – you can find ways to curtail those expenses to produce a glorious event. Here are some basic suggestions that can help you plan your special day and still have money in the bank when you’re done.
1. Stick to Your Guest List
Start by paring down your guest list. Yes, you would like everyone you know to attend but keep in mind that the more guests you have, the higher your price tag. Create a guest list that includes only those who are genuinely important to you. This should include your dearest friends and your immediate family. Think twice about inviting co-workers, distant relatives, and anyone you haven’t seen or spoken to in years.
2. Supplement Flowers for Something Easily Attainable
Flowers are a major part of wedding decorations but they can be very costly. Choose the more expensive arrangements for those in the bridal party. But, for decorations, consider finding something local that you might be able to pick yourself. If you are lucky enough to live near a field of wildflowers great, but if you are forced to buy, look for flower wholesalers and choose only those that are in season.
3. Decide Early on Your Must-Haves
As soon as you’ve set the date, make decisions on what elements you can’t do without. The sooner you can secure your must-haves the less likely you’ll have to spend extra to get it later. Bands and caterers need to be booked well ahead of time. Later bookings often come with a hefty charge that could leave you deep in debt all because of poor planning.
4. Schedule An Off-Season Wedding
The spring and summer months are popular times for weddings so booking your venue, caterers, and bands during that time will come at a premium price. You can cut costs considerably by planning during the off-season. You could even consider choosing off days. Rather than having your wedding on a traditional Saturday, an event on a Friday or even a Wednesday will save you a lot of money.
5. Plan Your Own Wedding
It can be nice to have a wedding planner handle all the minutia of your wedding but it is not necessary. If you start early enough and work together, it is possible to plan your entire wedding yourself. If you find that you’re getting overwhelmed, enlist the aid of well-meaning friends and family members who will lend their support.
6. The Dress
One of the most expensive features of your wedding is the dress, which can run into thousands of dollars. But you can save on this cost by ordering it at least nine months ahead of time. You can also shop at a wedding show and discount store for lower costs. And don’t be above asking for the floor sample rather than having one tailor made for you.
7. Choose a Double-Duty Location
You will not only save money but time too if you choose a location that can host both the ceremony and the reception in the same place. While a church wedding might be nice, even having it in a friend’s home or backyard can save you thousands of dollars.
8. Have a Friend Officiate
Weddings are very personal occasions and what can be more personalized than having a close friend officiate the ceremony. Choose someone who cares enough to make sure that your wedding will go off exactly as planned. A true friend will be more than happy to spend the extra dollars to get licensed so your special occasion will be picture perfect.
Weddings can be very expensive affairs but they don’t have to be. As long as you start early, plan the details carefully, and think outside the box, it is easy to have a wedding that will celebrate your new life together even if you’re working with a tight budget.