Your house and your car are probably the most expensive items you’ll ever buy straight out, but you or a loved one’s wedding will undoubtedly rank among the most expensive single days in your life. You may wish to cut down costs because you have a budget in mind, or feel that any area in which you can save results in other areas where you can afford to spend more. A penny saved is most definitely a penny earned in these circumstances, so while you want the special day to be perfect, you’ll be delighted to balance the books. With these 10 essential tips for saving in your wedding planning, you’ll be perfectly poised to do just that.
1. Make the Guest List a Priority – And Stick with It
Among the largest expenses at a standard wedding are the guests themselves, who invariably expect to be fed and watered throughout the day – while the larger the venue and the more people it can accommodate, the costlier the resulting plan. Obviously, the smaller the guest list, the cheaper the wedding will be, although we would not want to leave anyone out that you feel should be there. Instead, focus on who should attend from each side and draw the line before you start to reach more distant relatives and everyone at the office. Those that do not make it to the ceremony will generally attend the evening event anyway.
2. Decide How Much You Want to Spend
Most of the features here at 10tips that deal with money specifically mention a budget and a wedding should be no different. We spoke about spending less in one area to potentially address something else more lavishly, and this is where the budget comes in handy. If you know how much you have available before you spend anything, together with a good idea of how much each component of the wedding will cost, you should have no issues with fitting in everything you want.
3. Supply and Demand Matters – Aim for the Off-Season
The more people want a service, the more providers can afford to charge for said service, and there are various times throughout the year where you’ll pay more for the same venue than you would at other times. Summer months are popular for obvious reasons, while the sheer number of weddings that take place each year ensures that this demand continues into September and October. You might not want to miss out on that weather or have a date in mind for all sorts of reasons. Either way, if you go for peak times, you can expect to pay peak prices. If you can avoid such times, then you stand a far better chance to make immediate savings.
4. Put In the Legwork to Find the Perfect Location
Weddings are big business, and there is no shortage of potential destinations at which people can get married. You may have dreamed of a certain location since you were young, at which point there is little room for manoeuvre. However, there is no magic formula by which different wedding venues price their services, and there is every chance you’ll find a ‘better’ venue for a lower price if you search around.
5. Keep the Food and Drink in Check
We mentioned the guest numbers and their associated requirements already, but It is important not to overindulge those that you do choose to invite. You want people to have a great time and to make your wedding memorable, but it is important to consider that this responsibility does not rest solely on your shoulders. Most venues boast numerous options to choose from when catering, and you are under no obligation to provide the most expensive. Similarly, while it is nice to put on some drinks, such as a bottle of wine to each table, there is no need to pay for a completely open bar.
6. Shop Around on Additional Services
You’ll want your pick of photographers, videographers, DJs and bands at your wedding, but the chances are you do not have anyone specific in mind. If you have opted for an out of season wedding based on our tip above, you may well find that these providers have particularly empty diaries and may be able to pass on some cost savings. Even if not, you should not lose sight of the fact that there will always be someone willing to do the job for less than the first quote you receive. It often makes sense to steer clear of anyone provided by the venue, as they will undoubtedly receive a cut, which is effectively paid for by you and not the provider.
7. Remember a Wedding Only Lasts One Day
You want the day to be special, and the memories to last a lifetime, but there are certain elements of the wedding package that are practically useless outside of the day itself. Dresses and tuxedos are particularly expensive, and if you have no plans to wear them again in the future, a rental can make sense.
8. Try Some DIY
You can probably visualise what your perfect wedding looks like, so dig deeper and see what you might be able to do yourself within that vision. You might make your own invitations or decorations, or even work on your own dress if you’re creatively inclined in that manner.
9. Shop Around for Cakes and Flowers
Some wedding essentials are store-bought, so they adhere to the same principles as anything else you’d buy in this way. Compare prices, use reward points and coupons and cut down on as much of the associated expense as you possibly can.
10. Don’t Cut Too Many Corners
Your plans and budgets serve as a roadmap towards the perfect wedding. There will be additional expenses at points and things that catch your eye that immediately become must-haves. Remember to be somewhat flexible, as while the goal is to cut back on costs as much as possible, you do not want to cut back so far that the wedding is not as memorable as it could have been.