Every bride wants a fabulous, Hollywood-style wedding. Few of us can actually afford it. For those of us in the latter category, here are 5 great tips to making your wedding day a little easier on the pocketbook.
Off Season – June/July and September/October are the busiest seasons for weddings. Consider a winter or early spring wedding. You will find it much easier to negotiate pricing when it comes to reception sites, catering and other services if you plan your wedding when these vendors need the business.
Bridal Party – The larger the bridal party, the larger the budget. Think smaller here. If you have six bridesmaids, you have to buy six bridesmaids gifts. The same goes for groomsmen. By scaling back the bridal party to three instead of six, or two instead of four etc., you can cut your budget for wedding favors in half. Don’t leave out anyone that should be in your wedding, but forget about putting those 2nd cousins you haven’t seen in five years in your cost-conscious wedding.
Photography – Consider having a friend who is into photography and has a good camera take your formal shots at the ceremony. Use caution here. You should really trust this person. If this is not an option for you, hire a professional to take pictures only at the ceremony. This can cut your photography bill in half! Put disposable cameras on each table at the reception for your guests to take. It’s amazing how often I hear that these photos, taken by friends and family, are the most prized.
Entertainment – Instead of hiring a live band at $1000+ or a DJ at $500+ to entertain your guests, dust off that CD collection of yours (and your friends) and burn your own customized music selection. This way, you are sure to have every song that’s a must, played at the time you want it. Make several CDs with different song types and label them accordingly (dance, slow, background, father/daughter, etc).
Now here’s the tricky part. Find a friend you trust to pop in the correct CDs when needed. Write up a brief outline of what type of music to play and approximately when to play it and give it to your friend. Don’t make this too complicated. If you have a reception hall for 3 hours, divide the music schedule into 30 minute sections or whatever works best for you. If you have to pay your friend $25-$50 to make sure they keep an eye on the CD schedule, do it! In the end, your guests will enjoy themselves and you will have saved yourself some big bucks!
Dessert – It’s become commonplace to have a groomsmen cake at receptions today. In fact, one of the latest trends in weddings is to have a dessert buffet, also know as a Viennese Table. Save your money and do without these extras. Let your wedding cake be what it was meant to be. Dessert. Your only dessert! It’s worked well for a hundred years and it will work just fine on your wedding day.
In summary, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When it comes to planning your wedding day, there are no written rules that you must follow. For weddings on a budget, don’t let the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses guide your decisions. Let common sense dictate your choices.