Planning a wedding is stressful enough without having to constantly worry about blowing your budget, so, here are a host of clever ideas from wedding industry insiders that show how you can save money on your wedding – without having to compromise (too much)…
Re-look at your timing
Get married off season
If you’re already planning on holding an indoor wedding, why not do so in Winter? As long as you’re not, erm, ‘wed’ to a particular date – or a Spring/Summer wedding, does it really matter when you marry? Off-season weddings tend to cost less than weddings held during the popular Spring and Summer months when demand – and prices – are at their peak. Everything from your wedding venue to your car hire could be a whole lot cheaper for a winter wedding.
Have a morning wedding
If you’re not a couple who likes to party, you can avoid having an evening wedding and opt for a morning wedding, which, generally, tends to cost less than an evening wedding, which is, by far, the traditional favourite when it comes to wedding receptions. Also, serving guests a wedding breakfast could be a more affordable option than some of the more extensive (and more expensive) evening dinner package offerings.
Avoid marrying on a Saturday
Saturday is the most popular day on which to hold a wedding. After all, it is the only day of the week that most everyone is off – and they don’t need to rush to work the following morning. This allows guests to relax and truly enjoy your big party. If, however, you opted for a Friday evening wedding or, even, a Sunday morning or afternoon wedding, you could save yourself some serious dosh.
Reduce your wedding planning time
Most couples are engaged for about 21 months, but if you reduce the time between your engagement and your wedding, you could find yourself some excellent bargains. For example, if you’re not absolute intent on waiting, say, 18 months before marrying, you could contact your preferred venue and ask them to inform you if they have any last-minute cancellations. If you’re flexible and able to work quickly, you could save money on your wedding costs by having your reception on a day that also happens to suit the wedding venue.
Or increase it…
The alternative is to have a really loooooong engagement. That way, you won’t be rushed and can, therefore, wait for sales of, say, wedding gowns, which will net you, potentially, significant cost-savings. Many vendors have seasonal sales on their items or services and, by having an engagement that is a little longer than may be ideal, you can pick up or book items when a vendor is holding a trunk show sale or an end-of-season sale and are more attractively priced.
Pay in cash
Many wedding vendors may be willing to give you a discount if you pay in cash. It helps them avoid waiting periods to get their money and bank or credit card charges – and helps them to pay their own suppliers more easily. So, ask if a cash payment will reduce the overall cost for various services.
Going overtime with any of your services will cost you, often, hundreds of dollars. If your reception goes overtime and your wedding car hire drivers have to wait, expect to have to pay overtime fees to both the venue and the drivers. Similarly, any videographers or photographers who have to wait around will, likely, charge you a fee. Ensure your party ends on time – or simply move the celebrations to another location.
Other ways to save include:
Choose seasonal or local flowers
By opting for flowers that are local and in season, you’ll be able to ensure your floral budget doesn’t blow out. The more it takes to source blooms – and the more exotic or hard-to-get they are – the more your flowers will cost. Flowers from your own region that are in season and, therefore, abundant, will be far more cost-effective.
Work with a local wedding planner
If it is in your budget, work with a wedding planner because, in the long run, they’ll actually save you money. They’ll keep you on track and won’t allow you to go over budget as they’ll ensure you stick to the budget you’ve allocated to them. They also tend to have excellent contacts and relationships with local wedding vendors and can, sometimes, lead to better deals than you may be able to get.
Cutting down your guest list
The easiest way to save money on your wedding is to simply cut down on costs is to cut guests. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but given that your reception is, likely, the most expensive part of your wedding, the fewer guests you have, the lower your overall cost. Perhaps you’ll have to cut out plus ones? Maybe you’ll need to be a little stricter with who your parents invite and you may have to grit your teeth and muster up the courage to not invite people you don’t know or with whom you’ve had no recent contact. Whatever your solution, cutting down your guest list is a sure-fire way to help cut your wedding costs.
Serving a signature cocktail instead of mixed alcohol
Instead of having an open bar, opt for offering just a signature cocktail that is served throughout the evening. This ensures that you won’t spend too much money on alcohol, but that you don’t have to have an entirely alcohol-free wedding.