5 Ways to Save Big on the Wedding of Your DreamsNovember 7, 2014 by Jennifer Speer
5 Ways to Save Big on the Wedding of Your Dreams
The average American wedding in 2013 cost $28,000. For many brides, this is a completely unrealistic amount of money, and going into debt for a wedding isn’t an option. Many other couples would rather use this large amount of money towards something higher on their list of priorities such as their first home. If you fall into one of these categories, don’t think you have to D.I.Y. your entire wedding and reception in order to save money. While there are some great D.I.Y. ideas out there, not everyone has the time, skills, or desire to have a completely hand-crafted event. Here are some ways you can be frugal while still planning the wedding of your dreams.
1. Don’t Do a Saturday Wedding
Even though Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, consider planning your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. Many vendors will offer discounts for a wedding on an off-day. But make sure to think about your guests and their schedules. A Friday wedding should be held in the evening, and a Sunday wedding should end early in the day. Also, consider choosing the off-season. April through October tends to be the most popular time to plan a wedding at most venues. Opt for a month outside of peak season and you might be able to negotiate some great deals!
2. Shorten the Guest List
Most caterers, restaurants, and banquet halls charge per person. The average cost per guest is $200. This means that limiting your wedding guest list will be crucial in cutting costs. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your list:
- Friends (and parents’ friends) should know both you and your fiance.
- Coworkers should only be invited if you are also friends outside of work.
- Limit inviting “plus-ones” unless you’ve met them or consider them a friend.
Think about this tip we heard from a recent vendor. If you invite 300 guests and were to attempt to spend 1 minute with each guest, you would need over 5 hours just to talk to your guests! And that doesn’t even include some of the most traditional reception activities such as eating, dancing, and toasting! Don’t invite so many people that you aren’t able to give 1 minute to the people that love you most.
3. Keep Dinner Simple
Food is an important part of any wedding, but if you’re going to stick to a small budget, you must find a way to limit the cost of food. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Serve only appetizers or desserts.
- Don’t order extra food. Knowing your guest list before speaking to your caterer will be crucial.
- Don’t assume buffets are less expensive than plated meals. Get all the facts before deciding which option will best fit your budget.
- Creative food ideas to go along with your wedding theme are quite trendy. However, requesting special food items can get pricey quickly. Find one special food item to offer your guests, and let the rest be traditional banquet options.
- Don’t try to be fancy. Comfort food is almost always less expensive, and people love it!
4. Choose Your Vendors Wisely
Shop around. Don’t choose the first vendor you interview. You’ll want to make sure the vendor not only catches the vision for your wedding but also understands your budget. Consider finding your vendors at a bridal show or expo. The cost of exhibiting at these shows is expensive, so you can be sure that only professionals are willing to pay the price. Collect information from as many vendors as possible, and then take the time to do a little research. Check out their website and schedule a meeting with them. Many vendors require a large down payment; make sure you’re excited about them before you choose them! And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. You never know what hidden talents exist in your very own family (flower arranging, cake decorating, or even photography), and people are always willing to help!
5. Be Your Own DJ
Personalize your wedding with your own favorite music. Set up a playlist on your iPad to save money on a DJ or band. Then simply connect your playlist to the sound system at the reception site. Make sure you have enough music to get you through the night! You may even consider giving your guests an opportunity to offer their input for the playlist by adding a space on the RSVP card for requested songs. Your guests will love it!
Well, there you have it! Those are the top 5 ways we believe you can save the most money during this season of wedding planning. Of course, there are plenty of smaller ways to save money here and there. We created a bonus list below to give you just a few extra ideas.
- Hit the sample sales or buy your dress off the rack.
- Borrow items such as your veil or jewelry from friends and family.
- Limit your bridal party to simply your siblings or best friends.
- Use seasonal decor.
- Be creative with the offerings from a grocery store floral department.
- Use one type of large scale flower for bargain centerpieces.
- Handmade favors are personal and inexpensive.
- D.I.Y. wedding cake ideas are abundant on Pinterest.
- Bigger tables mean fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.
Have we left anything off? Help out other brides by telling us how YOU plan to save money! And follow us on our Facebook page for more great wedding ideas!