This is the moment you have been anticipating. You got engaged and now you are marrying the person you love. You want the wedding of your dreams, but then you have to consider reality. Let’s face it, weddings are expensive, but there is no need to break out the tissues just yet. Here are ten ways that you save money while planning a wedding. With these tips, you will still get a beautiful wedding that you will cherish forever but at a lower cost.
Budget First, Plan Later
The worst thing you could possibly do is start your married life with a mountain of debt from having the wedding of your dreams. That usually happens when you start planning first and then start thinking about how to pay for it later. The most realistic way plan your wedding is to start with a budget that you can afford. First you can list where the funding will come from, and then you can plan a wedding that will fit into that budget.
List your Priorities and Learn to Compromise
Remember that old adage, you can’t have it all? That’s certainly true when planning for a wedding on a limited budget. Make a list of your musts and wants and then allocate a portion of the budget for them. Prioritize paying for the musts and compromise with the wants.
Get Married During the Off Peak Season
Being a June bride can be expensive because the demand for venues and services are very high during the summer months. Consider setting a wedding date during a less popular month. Not only will you get the venue on your chosen date, hotels and restaurants will probably be willing to offer packages at a special rate.
Keep Your Wedding Party Small
Nobody will be offended if you don’t ask you third cousin once removed on your mother’s side to be a bridesmaid. With the economy the way it is and with most people affected by the recession, they will definitely understand that you want to keep costs at a minimum by having a small wedding party. You can take it even further, and you don’t have to invite the whole town to your wedding. Just invite those people who truly matter to you as a couple.
Ask the Wedding Party to Pay for their Outfits
In lieu of wedding gifts, you can just ask members of your wedding party to pay for their outfits. This has actually become more popular in recent years. It takes the cost of outfitting your bridesmaid and groomsmen off your back, and they would not have to think of what gift to give you. Just choose styles and colors that they can wear again in other formal occasions.
Make Your Own Invitations
Chances are you already have a computer that has some graphics software installed, and there are lots of great looking DIY wedding invitation ideas on the internet. You can easily go to the craft store and buy whatever you need. Making your own wedding invitations is often cheaper, and it is more personal as well.
Buy in Season and Buy Local
Choose flowers that bloom during the month of your wedding. Also choose a menu that features ingredients that are in season. As much as possible, choose items that are locally produced or made within the region. Buying in season means that supply is plentiful and prices are cheap. Buying local is cheaper because the transportation costs are lower.
Recruit Your Friends
Your friends are the best manual labor out there because they will either work for free or work for food (or booze). They can be put to work from delivering invitations and to helping decorate the venue to running errands and making the wedding souvenirs. If your friend works at a company that you can use for your wedding, you might also be to score some discounts. Your friends will most definitely help you out because they will probably have the same idea and recruit you for their own wedding.
Consider an Amateur Photographer
You don’t need to hire the best wedding photographer around, and there are many amateurs that are just as good. They’ve probably even invested in the same equipment. The difference is that amateur photographers are in it for the love of the art and do not really make a career out of it. They also work cheap with some small trade-offs like maybe entering a photo in an amateur competition. If you have a friend who is an amateur photographer, that’s even better since you could possibly ask for his or her services as a wedding gift. They might even be able to throw in wedding photo books for free.
Use a Coupon for Your Honeymoon
In the past, people took lavish month-long honeymoons in exotic places like Fiji or Bora Bora. You don’t have to jet off to far off places to enjoy your honeymoon. Chances are you won’t be leaving your hotel room anyway. If you plan early, you can score some great deals on airfares and getaways from online coupon sites. You can save as much as 50-60% off when you buy these deals. However, you should always read the fine print before you use these deals.
Weddings don’t need to be super expensive. What’s important is that you get to spend your life with the person you love.
In what ways were you able to save some money while planning for your wedding?