When you think of your dream wedding, what is it that you picture? Make a list. Those things are obviously most important to you. To put this all together may seem as if it would be nearly financially impossible. BUT if you make changes in some areas, there can be room to create exactly what you've dreamed of. Below are some money saving tips. If you can save even in a couple of these areas, that just leaves room in others that may be more important to you.
1. Cut the guest list.
In the list of your dream wedding did you envision your uncle's wife's daughter's best friend's boyfriend? Probably not. Limit plus one's. Have a kid-free wedding. Decide who if your old high school buddies are really important to you to be there. These are all ways to keep that list shorter and therefore save you money. Otherwise you are paying for their meal, place setting, more desserts, more chair rentals, venue space, etc. It's helpful to make a list of everyone you want to invite and break that up into a separate lists of who must attend and those you need to consider if the money spent to invite them is really worth it to you.
2. Have your wedding on any day except Saturday.
Likely, your venue will have discounts for Fridays or Sundays, but if you really want to cut costs, look into a weekday. There are holiday weekends that give us extra breaks from work and school which is the perfect time to plan a weekday wedding. Example: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, etc. Unless you have a set date you have always dreamed of, this a huge way to save.
3. Have a wedding in the off-season.
Summer is wedding season. Prices are going to be higher because the demand is higher. Fall weddings are becoming more and more popular, so prices might stay the same a while longer now, but a winter wedding can be just as beautiful, if not more so.
Sometimes the DIY isn't exactly cheaper. And other times it's just not worth the extra stress. Wedding planning can be a lot on it's own, adding in a thousand projects to get done and creating more headache for yourself probably wasn't on your dream wedding list. However, you can save money by doing things yourself. Making centerpieces, signs, flowers, etc. DIY a few things that you are good at and can handle.
5. Buy Used
More and more wedding consignment shops are opening up. Look often and watch for sales. Facebook, Craigslist, and garage sales are also great places to find used wedding items. Many brides are trying to get rid of things after their wedding, check those pages often and make offers on items you are interested in.
6. Sell Your Items
After the wedding is said and done, sell or rent your items. Again, you can do this through a consignment shop, Facebook, Craigslist, or a garage sale. If you really feel ambitious, you could rent the items out as well, however this is much more work and means hanging on to the items longer.
7. Research Your Venue
It seems like the first big thing you want to check off your list - the venue! But before you do so, be sure you are asking the right questions. Many venue's require you to use certain vendors and caterers. This can limit how you set your budget by being restricted in who you may chose. Ask these questions when touring venues and research the vendors prices before booking the venue.
8. Skip the Cake
Wedding cakes can be expensive. Not only the cake itself, but who is cutting that cake and plating it? A lot of times the caterer will charge extra for that. There are plenty of other dessert options that can save you money. Cupcakes and donuts are becoming more and more popular in weddings today, but let's think even more outside of the box. How about mini pies, cookies, or bars? Ask a local bakery or grocery store for even more savings!
9. Go Paperless
Wedding Stationary can add up quickly. Luckily, there are many ways to modify and to save in this area. Save the dates and invites are pretty standard, if you don't want to skip these and use digital invites, you can at least save on some printing costs by creating a wedding website with all information on lodging, directions, etc. You can also combine save the dates with something like your Christmas cards. For the day of the wedding, instead of printing programs, create a poster or fun display. Instead of printed menus use a chalkboard. Instead of place cards get creative! Use a mirror, use the place card as the favors, the options are endless.
10. Save on Flowers
Flowers can be one of the most memorable parts of a wedding - but so can the bill from the florist. If you are comfortable to DIY the flowers, that can definitely save you some major money. But many of us are not, so there are a few other options. You don't have to use flowers for centerpieces and other decor. There are many options when it comes to centerpieces, including faux flowers. For bouquets, reach out to your local grocery store or farmers market vendors. Costco, Trader Joe's, Hyvee all have a beautiful selection of flowers and some will still make the bouquets for you if you'd like. You can also skip the corsages and boutonnieres or DIY those as well.
These are just a few ways that you can save money on your wedding. It's helpful to make a list to find what is most important to you on your wedding day and use more of your budget in those areas. Weather that is the photographer, food, dress, it's the things you will remember and that matter most to you on your special day.
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