Engaged couples know how stressful wedding planning can be, especially when costs for everything can get pretty outrageous. If you’re worried that you’ll have to choose between the wedding ideas that you want and those you can actually afford, think again. There are countless ways to cut costs and make a budget wedding the event of the year!
Incorporate these budget wedding ideas into your big day to make it everything you’ve ever dreamed of, without breaking the bank:
- Wedding Dress: Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a wedding dress, buy yours online from a flash sale site like Rue La La or Gilt. These sites often have designer wedding dresses, veils, and other accessories at shockingly low prices, up to 75 to 90% off the original retail value.
- Wedding Venues: If you get married on a Saturday in June, you’re probably not going to be able to find many discounts on wedding venues. However, by opting to get married during the off-season you can get deep discounts as these places are eager to get business during typically slow months. Choose a day during the months of January to March for optimal discounts.
- Stationery: Make your own save-the-dates and invitations on sites like Zazzle and Vistaprint. They’ll still look fantastic, but will cost a fraction of the price of fancy wedding stationery. If your guests are relatively tech savvy, email your save-the-dates to cut costs even further.
- Photographer: You’ll have your wedding photos forever, so you don’t want to hire someone cheap just to get the job done. The Knot suggests asking a respected wedding photographer in your area if they have an associate photographer you can hire to capture those special moments on your big day at a lower rate. Also, if you choose to have your wedding during the off-season you should be able to find a fantastic photographer who will give you a discount due to the low demand during that time of year.
- Food: Skip the fancy sit-down dinner and have a buffet at your wedding reception, as the latter is typically less costly. Depending upon the time of day of your wedding, you could even skip the full dinner and opt to serve heavy appetizers.
- Bar: If you want an open bar at your wedding reception, but wish to avoid racking up an astronomical bill from boozy guests, you have options. Some wedding venues will let you provide your own alcohol, allowing you both to choose what’s served and to pay for everything at cost. You can also opt to just serve a few types of beer, wine, and one signature cocktail to cut down on liquor costs.
- Flowers: Martha Stewart Weddings recommends choosing flowers that are both in-season and local to cut costs. You can also mix-and-match more expensive flowers, like roses, with cheaper but still pretty ones, such as carnations to make a pretty-yet-affordable bouquet.
- Transportation: Costs for limos or mini-buses to shuttle your wedding party and guests from the ceremony site to the wedding reception venues to the hotel can really add up. Omit these costs completely by having all events in one place, or at least within walking distance of one another. If it’s not possible to find a venue near a hotel, choose an official wedding lodging spot with a free shuttle.
Instead of stressing out about all the costs associated with wedding planning, have fun coming up with creative ways to save money. When properly planned, your guests will never even know your big day was a budget wedding!
Author: Laura Jerpi