The wedding day might not be the biggest day in the life of a modern woman. After all, we’ve got so many great things happening now that a wedding is just another big celebration. Do you want to enjoy this day or break the bank to please guests and remember it as the most exhausting day of your life? We’ve asked four women how they cut wedding expenses so take notes.
Avoid “hot season”
Mana Vakili, the freelance writer from La Prairie, Quebec, says she had “a fabulous wedding that people are still talking about five years later.” Vakili even ended up making money rather than spending. And she had many secrets to that.
Vakili spent approximately $35,000 on her wedding. Choosing the date in April, which is the low season for weddings, helped the most. The venue rent cost her $130 per head instead of a regular $165 charged throughout the hot season.
Hiring great photographer and videographer was a priority for her though. But she managed to get them for a lower price too since it wasn’t a busy season.
Go for DIY
Things that usually go right into garbage are invitations and place cards. Hence, Vakili made a wise move by ordering them through the online supplier. “I ordered them from Party Vezina which is kind of like a Party Express store. I ordered 200 invites and spent just under 150$,” Vakili recalls.
She also printed the place cards herself on her printer by investing only $20 in Staples paper. She used the same strategy to make a box where people would put their cards in. She wrapped it in a wrapping paper with a nice ribbon.
Replace wedding favors with something truly important
Wedding favors are supposed to make guests feel appreciated. But honestly, who cares to keep them? This is what Vakili also thought and decided to make a lump sum donation to a foundation instead. She “left a little note on each plate explaining it.” Seems like a much better alternative, right?
Get inspiration and ideas via Pinterest
Pinterest is in no way short of all sorts of wedding-related pins that will give you ideas on everything from decorations and invitations to even making a wedding cake yourself. So make sure you browse there too.
Start saving beforehand
Just so you don’t have to freak out about the amounts of money you have to pour into your wedding preparations when the time comes, it’s wise to start saving much in advance.
Vakili though suggests an alternative way to save on the wedding: just cut the expenses. “We didn’t buy each other Christmas or birthday presents, didn’t go anywhere on vacation and just stayed in a lot to save on money,” she says. “In the end, everything pretty much paid for itself with the money we got from the wedding.”
The couple’s families helped to cover the dress and the tux too, so in the end, they were left with “an extra 2K towards the honeymoon.”
A weekend might be the best timing for your guests, but cost-wise, it’s a trap for your budget. Keri Ann Cooke from San Diego, California, suggests to aim to have your wedding over the weekdays rather than the weekend. Her wedding was on Friday “which saved us a few thousand,” Ann Cooke says.
Find a location you can bring your own food and alcohol to
Being able to bring own food and drinks is another cost-cutting tool. Besides, you can cater to your guests’ tastes in the best way if you choose this option.
Ann Cooke says that she hired “a food truck who made a buffet setup with portobello mushroom sandwiches, crab cakes, and brisket.” She also ordered pizza delivery for kids. The whole set up saved her another few thousand. “It was better than so many other sit-down meals we’ve gone to.”
Finding a small local family-owned business to cater for you might also be a cheap option if you don’t want to get busy with food all by yourself.
Keep an eye out for second-hand items
“Thousands of people get married in your area every year and will want to get rid of some decorations,” says Christine Pavlick from Kingston, New York. Her wedding for fewer than 65 guests cost her less than $6,000.
Of course, you might be biased about getting a dress that somebody’s worn before you. But when it comes to decorations, for instance, why not take advantage of it?
Use greenery instead of flowers
Having artificial flowers might not fit most brides since wedding is a celebration of love and life. And nothing artificial can match that vibe. So in order to save on the real flowers, you can go for the greenery.
Kate Duffy, Creative Director at Curls Design Studio, says she did just that and it still looked beautiful. She suggests you can also “do a few flowers here and there, but mainly greenery,” so the decorations don’t look all too plain.
Ask family to help
There is nothing wrong about asking for help from your family. Think about someone you know well, the person who’d be most likely delighted to help you out on this special day. (Definitely not somebody you see once per year. You got our point.) You can even offer them some minimal compensation if you think it will be too much to ask for.
Close friends might help too. Somebody can bartend for you. Somebody can help giving out drinks. Maybe you have a nephew or a niece who can DJ for you. Teens seem to have great fun with DJ’ing these days. And there are plenty of other options. It won’t hurt to ask.
And the last tip from us. Stay focused on you and your needs and dreams in the first place. After all, your wedding is your time to be selfish.
Thinking about proposing to your partner? Read how these ladies nailed their proposals – I Proposed To My Partner And This Is How It Went.