Planning a wedding is a stressful undertaking for anyone. Making sure everything is perfect takes a lot of work. If you are not careful, it can take a very large financial investment as well. With some thought and planning, however, it is possible to save money, and stay on budget, while planning a beautiful, impressive wedding.
Before you begin planning your wedding, sit down together with your fiancé, and discuss what each of you would like to have in your wedding. This is the time to have fun and brainstorm. Write down everything, not just what you think you can afford. Now work together to decide which of those things you can reasonably afford, and which ones you would be willing to cross off of your list.
Now start your research to see what the very important things are going to cost. Go online, and make phone calls to check out prices. Call friends and see if they have any ideas for saving money. A friend of a friend may be able to get you a discount on something you thought was impossible to include in your wedding. Think about skills you may have that you could offer to someone in exchange for discounts.
Save on Your Reception
Schedule your wedding strategically so that your reception is not scheduled for a mealtime. Planning your wedding for right after lunch or dinner will allow you to eliminate the need to feed your guests a meal. You can save money by just giving everyone dessert and light refreshments.
To save money on your cake, order a beautiful, small cake for decoration. Then order a sheet cake with the same design and flavor to serve your guests.
Do you have a friend or family member who is a great cake decorator? They may be willing to make your cake in place of your wedding gift, or give you a good discount.
Photography can be very expensive, but it is an area in which many brides-to-be are unwilling to compromise. That is fine. Just budget for it. However, you may want to consider friends and family members. If you know someone who is a professional, or just a great photographer with good equipment, talk to them. They may be willing to offer their services in place of your wedding gift, or at greatly discounted prices.
Save on Venue
Schedule your wedding for an off-peak day. Weekends are the most common time to have a wedding, and venue rental will be more expensive at that time. If you can schedule for a weekday afternoon or evening, you may be able to save quite a bit of money. On the other hand, this could cause problems for your guests, especially if they will have to travel or take special time off work. It is something to consider, though, if you are trying to save money.
Consider having your wedding and reception at the same place. You may be able to save a considerable amount of money if you only have to rent one location. Your guests will also appreciate not having to travel from one place to the other, which sometimes results in people getting lost.
Think outside the box. Traditionally, weddings are held in churches or country clubs. But it is possible to find another, less traditional location, that will be considerably less expensive. Do you have a family member with a beautiful house or yard, that will be willing to host your wedding and reception? What about a local park that can provide a beautiful outdoor location, but also have shelter in case of inclement weather?
Save on Attire
If you or someone you know can sew, consider a homemade gown. If that is not something you would like to compromise on, consider having your bridesmaid and flower girl dresses homemade. Buying these from a bridal shop can cause the price of a wedding to skyrocket.
Save on Flowers
If you are having a church wedding, consider having your wedding during a time of year when the church will already be partially decorated, such as Christmas. You can save a lot of money on flowers and other decorations by just doing this one thing.
You can also save on flowers by arranging your own. This is one area where you might be able to call in a friend’s help. If you have a friend who is especially good at flower arranging, and who would be willing to do it for free, you can save lots of money on labor.
Make smaller bouquets. Look around your location and see what will be the smallest number of flowers you can order, and still have a beautiful wedding. Would it be possible to use alternatives to flowers, such as balloons, candles, and fabrics, in certain places?
Just remember, you wedding is supposed to be fun. With careful planning, you can stay within a budget, and still have a wonderful day that you will never forget.