Weddings are expensive! Here are 12 tips you can use to try and keep costs down while planning your big day.
While we all wish we could have an infinite budget and create the dream weddings we see on TV, its just not realistic for most of us! Here are some of our favorite tips for cutting wedding costs:
Set a budget and stick with it - We have a blog post on how to figure out what your realistic wedding budget should be. This is a great place to start... Figure out what is feasible for you and your situation and stick with it! It can be so easy to get carried away - don't let unrealistic inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram cloud your expectations.
Have an off-season wedding - Many venues and vendors are willing to give you discounts if you get married on a Thursday/Friday/Sunday or on off-season.
Cut the guest list - the easiest way to save is by keeping your guest count down. If you're able to keep it a little more intimate, you spend less on catering, you can have a smaller venue, and price per guest goes down significantly.
Work with vendors that are newer to the industry - Many vendors that are newer to the industry are less expensive due to the fact that they have less experience and they want to get their name out there. This is a great way to save money, but be sure to consider any risk in doing this... Do your research, ask for some reviews and examples of previous work.
Skip the Save the Dates - Send your invites a little earlier instead and avoid the extra postage and stationary fees that come with sending save the dates. Every little bit adds up!
Don't host a fully open bar - You can totally opt for cash bar only - this is the norm in the midwest! We've also seen a lot of people order in kegs, or just pay for beer wine, and/or a signature cocktail. Do what suits you (and your budget!) best.
Thrift or DIY decorations - There is something to be said for DIYing decorations if you're crafty! It adds a more personal, intimate touch. You can also choose to thrift your decorations. There are some really great wedding groups you can check out... Shout out to our MN Brides Buy/Sell group! And remember, while it is an expense now, you can always try and sell your decor after the wedding to make some of your money back!
Cut the favors or programs: Let's be real most of your guests probably aren't sentimental enough to keep these items. Maybe have a few real programs made for parents or close family members otherwise just skip them all together and create a large sign with a program. Favors, unless its some kind of candy or food will often be left behind by a lot of your guests.
Cut the floral costs- There are lots of ways to save on floral! Choose styles that use more greenery, rather than blooms. Talk to your florist about what flowers are in season and what flowers can achieve the same look you want for cheaper. You can also have a florist make your bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres for you and then DIY your centerpieces with bulk floral from somewhere like Hyvee, Costco, or the famers market. Remember that fake florals aren't necessarily always going to be the cheaper option, but you could always try and sell them after your wedding is over. It is always good to weigh all of your options!
Ask a friend to officiate your wedding: Save on the cost of hiring an officiant by having a close friend or family member get ordained! There is a cost associated with getting ordained but... its pretty minimal and whoever you ask to do it will likely be happy to do so as a wedding gift to you.
Set aside envelopes for each vendor payment and make a goal to add so much to each one every week/month. You can also do this for tips as well, as you approach your wedding date!
Avoid unnecessary/surprise expenses - Don't jump the gun on a purchase or booking a vendor unless you've thought it out and you are fully ready to make the commitment. Make sure your decision fits in with your budget and vision. Avoid surprise expenses by making sure you are asking the right questions... Is there a service fee or any other fees not included in the quote? Transparency and thoughtful planning is key.
Hopefully these tips will help you stay within your budget and still have the wedding day of your dreams! Happy Planning!