When planning a wedding, all you really need is the bride, groom, officiant and LOVE! The other "stuff" is just fluff and so not important or necessary. Even tough this is the case, majority of us still insist on torturing ourselves by planning these big ol' elaborate weddings. If you're wedding planning and doing it on a budget, get ready because you're going to have to make several tough financial decisions over the next few months.
Here are 7 tips and tricks to planning a budget wedding.
It's pretty simple math, more guests equals more money. Think about it, for every additional person you invite it increases your cost for food, beverage, chairs, linens etc. Having a large wedding also means you will need to book a venue which can accommodate everyone. These types of venues not only cost more, but the selection is limited since the majority of wedding venues are built to hold 100-200 guests. If you are planning your wedding on a budget, stick to inviting immediate family and close friends. You have to draw the line somewhere! This will not only save you some cash, but it also allows you to enjoy this special day with the ones who mean the most.
You don't really need every friend you've ever had standing up for you. Especially since it is expected you give a gift to your bridesmaids (for all their help and hard work!). Save your budget (and the drama) by having a smaller bridal party.
If you are pinching pennies to pull this off then consider a less traditional wedding date. When planning your budget wedding keep in mind June, August and September are some of the most popular months to marry, these are the months you should avoid. Another way to save some money is to pick a non-traditional day of the week. Everyone and their brother gets married on Saturday, so why not get married on Sunday? Most vendors will offer a discount for their services when your wedding is on a day they usually have nothing else booked. Some venues will offer discounts for Friday weddings, but with this becoming a more popular option your best best is to completely avoid Friday and Saturday dates.
A secondhand wedding gown is a great way to get that designer dress you are dreaming of at a fraction of the cost. Sure this may not sound super glamorous, but what's more important...where you got the dress or wearing the wedding dress of your dreams? For more money saving tips, check out this post on how to save money on your wedding dress.
Believe it of not, wedding DJ alternatives are available! Create a wedding playlist and load up your Ipod. I do want to caution you with this one, music sets the tone and can really make or break your reception. Don't be too cheap here! Instead, cut back by not hiring that fancy string quartet for your ceremony.
Listen carefully to this one (because I didn't when planning my own wedding), go for the fake cake! What?! If you haven't met with your baker yet you probably think I'm nuts, but this is an actual way to save money. Here's how it works... the bottom layer is real cake so you can cut into it and the rest is just frosted styrofoam. Your guests will be served from a secret sheet cake hiding in the back. No one will know the difference!
Skip them, they are corning and usually end up in the garbage. Instead, during your reception make a point to visit with each table and personally thank them. Another option is to donate money to charity in honor of your guests.
Tip: Don't skimp on your photographer or the alcohol. Hire the BEST photographer you can afford. I promise you will regret it if you try to cut corners here. As for the alcohol, please don't have a cash bar. Instead, offer a limited selection of liquor or just do beer and wine.
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