Who doesn’t love a wedding? The whole event is just amazing: the dress, the cake, the oaths, and the joy make them such a beautiful experience. However, there’s a question that lingers in all weddings that is quite concerning: how much will the wedding cost?
Paying for a wedding is arguably the most unsavory part of it. The cost of arranging one is very hefty: the decorations, the food, and the venue, just to name a few, cost a pretty penny.
Fear not, because here you’ll find helpful tips on how to save money while planning one of the most important moments of your life.
The most effective ways to save money on a wedding
There are several ways to save money on a wedding, but did you know you can tighten your bell before the actual arrengement? Here’s how.
1. The guest list
You’ll be surprised at how much 10 to 20 people can increase a wedding’s cost. For example, considering that catering is $70 per person on average, 20 people would mean $1.400, just considering the food.
Now, if you cut your guest list from a whopping 300 to 150, or 100 to 50, it could save you $10.500, or $3.500 respectively. The average cost of a wedding is $33.500, so you’re saving 10 to 30% of the final price.
Don’t invite everyone you know: you can make do with your close friends and relatives. First, include the people you definitely want to be there, then set a limit of guests.
2. The invitations
What if I told you that you can actually spend nothing on invitations? Doesn’t that sound great?
By reducing the number of guests, you’ll economize the cost of invitations, but it won’t make them cost 0. Is there another way to save money on a wedding, then? Yes, and it’s quite simple: hand out paperless invitations.
Whether you cut back on the people to come or you design your own digital wedding invitation. It all depends on your preferences, though. Nevertheless, the results are quite different. The first option simply reduces the costs; the former only costs time.
Making your invitations paperless may seem difficult at first, but it sure isn’t. You can find several websites, like Canva, that allow you to design your invitations. In fact, sites like this one make managing and sending invitations a lot easier!
If you prefer a more personal approach, you could send invitations via e-mail, too. Going paperless will save you money and help reduce paper consumption, it’s a win-win for everyone.
3. The budget
We’re finally ready to make a comprehensive budget to plan an affordable wedding.
Make a list of all the things you need for the wedding and their estimated costs. The result will be a threshold of what you’ll spend. By all means, do not go beyond that limit.
This budget will tell you how much you should spend, where you can cut corners, and where you can’t. Look for a service that fulfills your needs and your budget, and, if you manage to save some money, make an emergency budget out of it.
4. The unexpected expenses
No matter how meticulously you have planned the wedding, problems will always crop up at the most unexpected moments. It could be cake-cutting, corkage fees, your DJ’s equipment, or a photo booth breaking down.
Don’t let yourself be fooled! Some newlyweds accept paying for these complications despite the fact it’s not their responsibility. Ask thoroughly what’s included in your venue, the catering services, and all the other services you’ve hired.
The emergency budget should cover any minor inconvenience that arises. Don’t resort to money at a first glance: it’s your last resort. Not using the emergency budget is a huge win, provided that you’ve destined ~30% of the main budget there.
5. The wedding flowers
Wedding flowers cost, on average, $2.379. Quite the number, indeed.
Fortunately, there are some tricks you can pull off to cut costs. For instance, instead of buying flowers for both the ceremony and the celebration, you could reuse them, saving a considerable amount of money.
This is not the only way to save money on weddings. The following tips can lighten your wallet’s burden without resulting in a frugal wedding.
Ask for excess of inventory
It’s not unusual for floral designers to have their warehouses with excess inventory. You can buy these flowers at convenient prices due to their low demand.
However, you’ll need to first place an order and then ask for low-selling flowers.
Use seasonal flowers
Waiting for the right season is not only a great strategy to beautify your marriage, but it’s also one of the best ways to save money on weddings.
Seasonal flowers vary a lot in price. Why? During blooming seasons, there’s an excess of flowers, which lowers their price considerably. Bear in mind that supply and demand are essential elements of a bouquet’s vale
What’s more, if you add regional flowers to the mix, you’ll also deduct transportation fees. For instance, Dutch tulips are expensive thanks to shipping charges. They are even more so during their off-season.
6. Save money on alcohol
Simplify your drink options
Instead of having a cocktail cart full of signature and expensive drinks, you can make do with two or three plus regular beer and wine.
Most guests will try every cocktail or drink available to them, regardless of their quality. To avoid buying too much, narrow down the number of drinks while making sure everyone stays “hydrated”.
Establish a cocktail hour
It hasn’t to be restrictively one hour: it can be two, three, or more. Steering clear of an all-time cocktail hour will save you a lot of money.
Not offering cocktails all the time doesn’t mean any alcohol at all: you can replace it with beer or wine.
7. The wedding venue
Consider an off-season date
You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars just by picking an off-season date.
Most weddings tend to be in the spring or summer, which are the most expensive seasons by far. During the least popular seasons, the weather may not be optimal, but the price sure is.
The best moment to make your dream wedding is when venue rent prices are at their lowest, which is in late winter and early spring.
Saturday is the best day to carry out your wedding: most people don’t have to work that day. It’s convenient for everyone, even for venues.
That’s what makes Saturday the most expensive day to rent a venue. Saturdays are highly demanded days that skyrocket the prices. Additionally, booking a Saturday is a nightmare.
By arranging your marriage on a weekday or Sunday you can save a lot on rent. Some places offer much lower places on low-demand days, too.
Try a multipurpose venue
Having both your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location will reduce the time between the two events. This will also make it easier for guests and will save you a considerable quantity of money.
8. The wedding cake
Order a smaller cake
This could be a great trick to save money, you only have to order a smaller cake, like a two-tier, for the cake cutting moment. After the photos, all guests will be served a slice of a larger sheet cake.
Guests get their fill and you, your profit.
Keep ornaments to a minimum
What makes wedding cakes expensive isn’t the number of tiers per se, but their decoration. The decorations and ornaments a cake includes are the main reasons why wedding cakes are so hefty.
The simplest your cake is, the cheaper it will be.
9. The wedding entertainment
Limit your photographer’s hours
A great way to save money on your wedding is to hire a photographer for ewer hours that only covers key moments. There’s no need for a photographer at the after-party.
Consider hiring a photography school student
You may think that a “photography student” sounds like an amateur photographer, but they are very capable.
Some students are great photographers already. Weddings are a great opportunity for those looking to enlarge their portfolio, reason why they won’t fair much. They value the experience way more than their monetary gain.
Do check their previous works to see if they match your needs for the wedding.
Book an Associate
Sometimes, some services like catering work with an associate, or have recommended persons for other services. These associates tend to charge you less than if you hired them on your own. Always ask for associates or recommendations as you hire the services, it could save you some money.
Hire for more than one service
If you hire a DJ for the two main events, you could ask for a bundle price. Rather than paying the full price of services for both events, you can get them with a discount. This deal is very common and will save you a lot of money.
Beware, though! Certain services are not the same for different events. Photographers, for example, will not focus on the same things in the ceremony as in the celebration.
This applies to all hirable services, so always ask for a bundle price.