Well love is in the air and wedding season has arrived. Couples all over the world will be announcing their love for one another over the next couple months.
Just under two years ago I too was at this very spot. I was engaged and planning a wedding. Wedding planning can be fun but in most cases causes a lot of stress and for many costs a lot of money. Today I wanted to share with you some things I learned while planning my wedding that simplified things and saved us a ton of money.
5 Ways to Save on a Wedding
1. Have a small guest list. This can be difficult but is sometimes necessary if the cost per guest is going to break your budget. Cross off names on the list of guests who might feel obligated to come to the wedding if they are invited but would not have their feelings hurt if they are not asked to attend. Think of inviting only relatives with whom you have a close relationship instead of everyone related to you. Invite only the people who are important to you and your parents rather than everyone you know.
This was something we really stuck to. We sat down and examined who our true friends were and which relatives actually played a role in our lives. Doing this not only affirmed where we should continue to build relationships but it also helped us keep costs down.
2. If your wedding ceremony and/or reception will be held at a hotel or near a hotel, ask for discounts on room rentals. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests several months before the wedding for the best rates. You can do this by speaking with the appropriate manager.
We reserved a bunch of rooms for out of town relatives and friends. We included the booking code on our invitations. This created a seamless process for our guests. They were able to phone and book what they needed well before the wedding and we weren’t bogged down trying to find places for everyone to stay.
3. Make a schedule and stick to it. Musicians, photographers, and Dj’s will charge more if asked to perform beyond the time stated in their contract. If you plan a schedule ahead of time you can avoid this. We had a photography schedule, a ceremony schedule, and a reception schedule. It helped keep everyone on track with time as well as ensured people showed up at the right spot at the right time.
4. To keep things simple and save money, have your ceremony and reception in the same location. Not only does this save on transporation but it also keeps it easy for guests. Plus you only have to plan with one site manager.
We did this and we loved it. We had pictures done in the early afternoon which was then followed by a 4:30pm ceremony. After the ceremony cocktails and appetizers were served while people mingled. Eventually we had dinner and finished the evening with speeches and dancing. The whole event ran so smooth and I attribute a large part of this to having our wedding all in one place. Apart from running smooth, we also saved money by getting a deal since we were booking up the venue for a number of hours.
5. Consider having your wedding any day but Saturday. Many venues will charge you their top rate for a Saturday rental. Instead consider a Friday or a Sunday. Choosing a date between October and April also helps to avoid higher peak season rates in many areas. Our wedding was in October on a Sunday and this worked out very well.
You see, there are ways to save on a wedding; you just have to look for them. Remember, every penny you save can be used towards another goal that you have.
So, if you’re married, what tips and tricks did you discover when you were planning your wedding? Or if you are currently planning a wedding, how is it going so far? Please share.
Mrs. SPF did a 5 part series on how we tried to have a sustainable wedding. From your list we did #1, 3 and 4.
Some of the other things we did …
– Mrs. SPFs mom MADE her dress and no one could tell – it was beautiful
– My Mom made the guys’ ties and pocket corner things, did the hemming on the bridesmades dresses and made their shawls for them
– Mrs. SPFs brother designed our invitation and printed them himself (he’s good at this stuff) and made a poster for a guest book that people signed (you can see the image on our site in the “about” page)
– Mrs. SPF made her own decorations with her siblings – centre pieces and more
– we bought our suits. Sure we paid $50 more than renting a tux, but each guy went home with a sharp looking suit to use many times over
– we carpooled from Kingston to North Gower (where the wedding was held)
– we contacted distant relatives in advance to see if they could make it to the wedding. We had limited (72) seating so we needed to know if they could attend prior to inviting others
– you can use an iPod as a DJ. We didn’t but it is a frugal approach
– you can use a private property for the wedding and reception. When my sister got married it was about 25 people, in their backyard – ceremony and lunch.
– find a cheap honeymoon! After our wedding we headed to the family cottage for 3 days of downtime, just the two of us (and the dog)
I’m sure there are more, but these come to mind immediately!
@SPF. I remember the series. It was very helpful. Great idea about the ipod as a DJ. That would be pretty cool. For our honeymoon we went to Central America but it was a trip we saved over a year for. It was well worth it.
Some good suggestions. We had our wedding and reception in the same location, which definitely saved on costs. The location also had little flower vases for centerpieces normally, so we didn’t splurge on centerpieces. Also, we hired a student photographer at a local university for $200 plus tip!! We got all rights to the photos and were provided a CD so we could print them out cheaply–such great photos and what great savings!
@Frugal Confessions. These are all great. I really like how you got a student photographer. What a great idea!! Thanks for adding some great tips to the list.
We went to the court house and that was that. The Mrs. won’t let me forget it though. I promised her a lavish vow renewal on the 20th year anniversary so I’d better start saving up.
Anyway, it was all her fault because she was suppose to plan it and she got overwhelmed. heh heh.
@RB40. Lol…funny story. Simple is definitely the way to go sometimes. Last year a friend of mine got married at the commissioner’s house and I did the photos. It was just me,her, and the kids.
Cool idea for your 20th…any particular destination planned?
Aweee haha blame it on the Mrs! Is she expecting a ring upgrade too? I hear many people are expecting ring upgrades after 10 years of marriage etc.
@ Young and Thrifty. That’s funny. I have never once thought about upgrading or changing my ring. I love what I was given the first time.
Hahaha, yeah, gotta blame it on someone. Luckily, she is not big on jewelry so she is keeping her itsy bitsy diamond ring.
I don’t know… I was thinking Maldives, but we would like to invite friends so maybe somewhere closer like Santa Barbara.
5 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding http://bte.tc/pYAx #RTW