Watching The Wedding Budget in 11 Easy Steps
To follow on from my previous blog post on wedding budgets, weddings are more often than not, incredibly expensive and many couples will go over their allotted amount. The aim is a happy medium between overspending and starting married life under the cloud of debt and under spending while regretting not investing in a professional service. It primarily comes down to what is and isn’t important to you and agreeing to compromise where you can. If you really want to come under the average wedding spend, check your ‘must-have list’ at the door and have a read of these top cost-saving tips.
Keep it intimate. It is really the main way to keep your costs at an all time low. Caterers and venues charge by head so it goes without saying that the smaller the guest list, the less you need to worry over budget. If you find the whole approaching-the-guest-list topic awkward, choose a venue that will naturally limit your numbers such as a cruise ship or a destination wedding. You don’t have to fly half way across the world either.
If you can’t afford the fairytale castle, why break the bank. I know it is disappointing but don’t lose sight of that fact that the act of marriage is what is important, not the location. There are plenty of smaller, intimate boutique style venues that are half the price. There are also plenty of budget and eco-friendly venues you could also consider such as a local barn, park, beach or your even own garden or backyard.
Using local vendors, venues and other suppliers will cut down on transportation, delivery costs and your own petrol too. Local vendors are also often happy to recommend other service providers, which could save you considerable time and money.
2 in 1
Choose a venue where you can celebrate both the ceremony and reception. This will save on transporting your guests, yourself and your other half from one place to another and having to organize flowers for two different set-ups. Simply have a wedding planner or family member help relocate flowers from one room to another to maximize your use of them.
Keep It Low
Tall table arrangements will definitely cost more than small ones. Keep things low key to keep budget down. Add a little pizzazz with candles, tea lights, pearls, mirrors and even birdcages. All these you can even source yourself and bling up as necessary.
Embrace the modern world
Cut out the cost of printing and mailing save-the-date cards, invitations, RSVP cards and thank you notes by going electronic. It is amazing how these small costs all add up. Consider yourself a modern bride dancing in a new era of electronic correspondence and those relatives in the land of Aus won’t have to wait three weeks for their invitation or after-wedding-photo; it’s win-win situation all round. E-invitations can be just as pretty as printable and there are some easy and free to use graphic design programs if you want to do the design yourself. Alternatively there is always a freelancer who is ready to do it for you. Fancy taking it a step further and wowing your guests with your technological prowess? Create a wedding website with everything your guests need to know right at their fingertips.
It might seem somewhat contradictory but choosing a photo package to include engagement and post wedding photo shoot will mean you get the most out of your photographer. Ok, so you might have to pay a little more but you will get better value for money. After all, photos are there to last a lifetime so booking a good professional is always advisable even if this means having to compromise elsewhere.
Dresses off the rack are always more affordable than custom made or designer labelled. This being said, there are always designer dresses available for a discount buy. Keep an eye out for bridal fairs and seasonal sales such as post summer and after Christmas stock clearance. You will be surprised what bargains you can pick up with a little time and patience. If time is of the essence, you may want to consider something second hand or an online purchase.
Canapés and Cava
If your wedding is fairly small or you really need to keep costs at that all time low, there is nothing in the rulebook to say you have to have a full sit down dinner. Cava is currently on par with champagne when it comes to the popularity race and a cava and canapé reception is perfectly acceptable for intimate gatherings. Keep the sit-down dinner to immediate family. Alternative suggestions include a buffet dinner, a wedding breakfast, a vintage chic afternoon tea affair with a desert stand or a rustic outdoor boho inspired celebration complete with a food van. The point is, there are plenty of options out there from classic to quirky to suit all budgets.
Don’t feel you have to compete with anyone. Favours are a token thank you that can come in the form of sweets, chocolates, candles or a small flower or a small succulent plant. Opting for favours that are edible or user-friendly means they wont get thrown in a draw. Favours do not have to cost a fortune. Be inspired and get creative!
The easy answer to this is to make your own. Making your table place cards, seating plans, floating candle arrangements or other centrepieces will cut costs down considerably. You will be amazed at how much you can save.