Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2020 at 1:16 pm by Morgan
You want everything for your big day, but you still have a budget to keep in mind. Even with limits on what you can spend, you can create the celebration of your dreams with some money-saving wedding tips. From things you can do yourself to other ingenious ways to cut costs, these and other suggestions will help you learn how to save money on a wedding.
Consult these money-saving wedding tips as you plan to build your budget and create a perfect ceremony and reception without breaking the bank. Planning your big day doesn't have to be stressful, and with this guide to saving money on weddings, you'll see everything from small changes to more significant considerations that can help make your ceremony unique and cost-effective.
Start With a Budget
The most straightforward way to save money on your wedding is to know how much you can spend. Without these guidelines, you'll risk spending more than you have or going over in specific areas without saving enough for others. In this money-saving wedding guide, we'll go through these categories you should consider to help build your budget:
- The guest list
- The date of your wedding
- The invitations, save the dates and other printed needs
- The venue and decor
- The menu
- The dress
- The rings
Go through those categories and come up with rough estimates based on what you want for your special day and where it will be. Think about your priorities with the aspects of your wedding — for instance, you may put more of your budget into your venue instead of your dress, menu and printed needs. You can then think about areas where you can cut corners or save money to stay on budget. Be sure also to keep track as you spend, calculating when you go over or under budget and adjusting other categories as necessary.
The Guest List
Use your budget for a venue and the food and drinks to help determine how many people you can invite or how much you can spend per guest. Having a rough estimate of your guest list will then help you order other necessities. As you create your guest list, you may have to make tough choices for the sake of your budget, but to do so, you can:
- Stick with close family members and friends.
- Limit how many plus ones you give based on who needs them.
- Decide if you'll invite children and families or just adults.
Start with your wedding party and other beloved family members and friends, then go from there as you make your guest list. Try to keep things fair when you can — inviting all your aunts, uncles and cousins, for example — so no one feels left out. If you aren't sure how to create a narrowed guest list, think of people you have personal connections to and other close loved ones who invited you to their weddings.
The Wedding Date
Before you plan other aspects of your wedding, you need a rough idea of when you want it to be, so you can book everything. Choosing a particular day for your celebration is one of the best ways to save money on weddings. It may take a bit of compromising, but specific days and times may be cheaper than others when you book vendors and a venue.
- Off-season: December through March is the off-season for weddings because the weather is typically colder. While the weather may not be the same as a summer day, that won't be a concern if you plan an indoor celebration. You'll also be more likely to get lower prices on your bookings because vendors need business during this less busy time.
- Non-Saturday: Saturday is the most popular day for a wedding, so planning your celebration any other day of the week could help save your budget. Friday and Sunday could work better for your guests, though those days are also becoming more popular for wedding celebrations. A weekday wedding could be the most cost-effective option, but see if it's a good fit for your potential guests before booking.
- Early or later in the day: Depending on the day of the week you choose, you may want to have your ceremony earlier or later in the day. Instead of a reception dinner, have an earlier brunch after a morning ceremony, or go later, skip the dinner reception and offer cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and desserts after an evening ceremony.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box a bit if it means saving your budget. Nontraditional weddings are on-trend, so going against the norm can make your wedding appropriate for the times while preserving your budget.
Now that you know who you want to invite and the wedding date, you need to send your invitations. Help cut printing, shipping and other fees by ordering everything you need at once. Plan your theme and paper needs before you order, so you can get these printed necessities at once:
- Save the dates
- Ceremony programs
- Escort cards
Most money-saving wedding hacks are all about DIY, but unless you have design skills, you may want to stick with a professional printer for your invites and more. You can save money by filling out your envelopes yourself, instead of having them printed. Gather some friends with excellent penmanship who can volunteer to help address the envelopes, then send them yourself to save on mailing costs.
Get even more savings with a wedding website that features all the information about your wedding and allows for digital RSVPs. You won't need to get RSVPs printed or send out any printed updates or other requests to your guests as your planning continues.
The Location and Decor
A considerable amount of your budget will go toward your venue and everything that goes into it. Because it's the setting for your celebration and reception, you want the best, but you don't want to blow your budget.
One way to save money on weddings and receptions is to host them in one place. You'll find venues that offer space for a ceremony and reception, and you may get a deal for having your wedding at one location, instead of two. You'll also save on transportation needs if your ceremony and reception are in the same space.
When you have one venue for your event, you can also save on decor and other elements of your wedding, since you'll only need to transform one location. Remember these necessities as you plan your venue's decor.
- Rental tables and chairs: Repurpose the chairs you use for your ceremony in your reception to save on rentals. You'll just need to have an area for a cocktail hour or a quick break between your ceremony and reception to transform one space into a dining and dancing area. Depending on how many guests you have, it may also be more cost-effective to have one long table to gather at instead of several tables.
- Table settings and linens: Save on place settings with compostable plates that could be cheaper than renting reusable options. For the linens, consider leaving the tables bare or using a linen runner on a table for a simple option that helps save money.
- Other decorations: Use minimalistic decor for a guaranteed way to save money for your wedding. If you have a theme that calls for specific decorations, try to thrift, make your own or use items you or loved ones already have and would be willing to donate.
- Flowers: Pick what's in season, local or wild for the most cost-effective floral options. Keep arrangements in your decor small and skip some touches like boutonnieres to save every bit of money you can. Focus on your bouquet instead, so you can put a lot of your budget into one stunning arrangement.
To save more on your wedding's location, you could pick an alternative to typical wedding venues. Your or a loved one's backyard, a local park or beach are options you may want to consider. Just remember to incorporate the cost of rental equipment and decor.
Food and Drinks
When you know when and where your wedding will be, you'll be able to create your food and drink menus. A shorter guest list means a more generous budget for food and drinks, but there are still ways to save money on wedding menus. As you set aside part of your budget for food and beverages, consider the following.
- Local and seasonal: When food and drinks come from an area closer to your wedding, you could save money on your menu because you won't need to have items imported or specially ordered. Instead, you'll get cheaper options that help you support local businesses.
- Homemade: If you or one of your loved ones have any baking or cooking skills, put them to use for your wedding. Helping you cook or bake desserts for your wedding can be a gift from a loved one, which is a bit of added incentive for them. You'll also have more say in the final product, from flavors to ingredients and more.
- Buffet: Going with a buffet rather than plated service can save you money, since you'll need fewer staff and rentals. How much you save depends on how much food you need and the variety you offer, so try to keep it as minimal, yet as varied as possible, for the most cost-effective dining option that your guests will still appreciate.
- Themed drinks: Offer a few special cocktails to your guests to save money on stocking the bar. Instead, you'll only need two or so options for your signature offerings. To save even more, offer these signature cocktails at cocktail hour, then switch to cost-effective drinks like wine or beer for the rest of the reception.
Remember that an earlier wedding will save you money, not only when booking a venue, but also when planning your menu. Brunch and lunch options are often more cost-effective, depending on what you plan to offer, giving you all the more reason to have a nontraditional wedding celebration.
A wedding dress is what makes your wedding day feel like your special day. From searching for a dress to trying on styles and picking the perfect one, it all feels like an essential part of wedding planning. But with many dresses coming at a high cost, it may be challenging to incorporate this experience into your budget. Luckily, there are a few money-saving wedding tips to follow when it comes to your dress. Choose one of these to help save money for other wedding expenses.
- A family heirloom: Wearing a dress from a family member won't cost you anything if it doesn't need cleaning or alterations. Even those expenses will be less than a new dress. You could also incorporate smaller heirloom pieces, like a veil or jewelry to accessorize your wedding dress to save money where you can.
- A thrifted dress: There are plenty of pre-worn wedding dresses out there, and since they're practically brand-new, they're a great way to save money for your wedding while getting a quality dress. Go thrifting or find specific sellers that offer pre-owned wedding dresses at a deep discount. You still get the satisfaction of searching for a dress without the impact on your budget.
- A sample dress: A floor sample is what brides try on when they choose their perfect dress. When a designer discontinues a style, that sample is no longer necessary and can go on sale for a more affordable price. Sample sales often happen at the end of spring or beginning of fall when seasonal dresses rotate, but the salon you visit may have samples they want to sell even if a sale isn't happening yet.
- A trunk show dress: If you're looking for a designer dress that'll be in-season and on-trend but still at a deal, a trunk show at a nearby salon could be your best option. See new designs and buy them on the day of the trunk show for the chance at a discount.
To save even more on your wedding dress, choose a style that fits you as perfectly as possible so you can save on alterations. Buying off the rack is the cheapest option, but every bride is different, so you're sure to need at least a few adjustments. In that case, a simple dress could be cheaper to alter, since it won't have as much beading, lace or other tricky materials to work around. A plainer dress is also more likely to have a lower initial price than a more detailed one, but if you like to stand out, you can always add cost-effective accessories to your wedding dress.
The Wedding Rings
Don't forget to put your wedding rings on your wedding budget list. When you're shopping for wedding rings, you may have already booked your other wedding vendors and necessities, so keep a budget for your rings in mind at the start of your planning and don't dip into it as you book. When it's time to shop for you and your partner's wedding rings, remember to:
- Order six to eight weeks before your wedding, allowing more time if you need to special order your ring to avoid any rush pricing.
- Note that a customized option will likely be more expensive, but worth it if you can't find your dream ring.
- Choose a style that you love and that fits your lifestyle, so it lasts a lifetime.
You don't want to skimp on this part of the budget. Everything else is just a day, and while your wedding ceremony will undoubtedly be a beautiful celebration, the rings will be with you forever. You'll wear them every day, admire them and reflect on the memories of your wedding day and the love you've created with your spouse. You deserve the best with such a treasured piece of jewelry. Adjust your budget to allow a bit more for your rings, since you'll want to keep them for a lifetime and pass them down to the next generation as stunning family heirlooms.
Find Your Perfect Wedding Band at Koser Jewelers
Your wedding rings will be with you for a lifetime and generations beyond, so buy the jewelry you'll enjoy forever from Koser Jewelers. When we purchase diamonds for our elegant designs, we choose them based on appearance, not grading. You'll get brighter and more beautiful stones in a wedding band from us than you would in other stores, making our designs more cost-effective. At Koser Jewelers, we also help you choose wedding bands that symbolize your love. Say "I do," then speak without words as you exchange your stunning wedding rings.
Contact us today to learn more about our ladies' and men's wedding bands and our financing options. Find your dream wedding rings at Koser Jewelers and get pieces that will reflect your love for a lifetime.