Saving money is always an appealing concept, for just about everybody, but even for people who are particularly conscious of keeping costs low, there are a few occasions and types of events that seem to demand high costs no matter how hard you try. For example, even the most consciously thrifty of us tend to occasionally spend a good bit on significant purchases or major events.
One such event that comes to mind is weddings, which can always get very pricey very quickly, even if you’re trying your hardest to save money. However, you should know that there are a number of steps you can take toward having a more affordable wedding. Of course, a few things will always be expensive – for example, if you browse for a 77Diamond Engagement Ring, you’ll likely find that while some rings are cheaper than others, they’re all serious investments. However, for many of the smaller aspects of weddings, you can be quite successful with keeping costs low. Here are ten of Martha Stewart’s best tips to help get you thinking in the right way.
1. Have your wedding reception at a venue that is already equipped for a large event. Many people spend huge amounts of money bringing in everything from tents, tables and chairs to candlesticks and glassware. Instead of losing all of the money that this sort of preparation involves, try to find a venue, like a nice restaurant, that is already equipped for an elegant dinner and reception.
2. Shop intelligently. Because a wedding is meant to be a one-time event, many people fall into the trap of only shopping at stores with wedding themes. However, whether you are looking for decorations, accessories, flowers, or any number of other wedding objects, you can still shop the same way you normally shop to save money – utilize department stores, online shopping, etc. to help keep your budget manageable.
3. Do not restrict your options to an “in-season” wedding. There are certain times of the year that have been unofficially designated as good times for weddings. However, depending upon your own preferences and what type of wedding you’re having, you can actually save a good bit of money on venue rentals and other expenses by having your wedding during a non-peak season.
4. Consider hand-written invitations. Obviously, this sounds a bit tedious, and it can indeed mean a bit more work for you. However, having designs and fonts printed can add up quickly, and hand-written invitations are unique and genuine anyway. Unless you are inviting too many guests to manage it, doing this part by hand can save you a good deal of money.
5. DJ your own wedding. Of course, if you want live music, you will have to explore other avenues – however, for the portions of your party that would normally be DJ’d, you can simply use your (or a friend’s) iPod or computer and a well-planned play list. After all, thanks to programs like iTunes, it is now very easy to manage your own party’s music.
6. Don’t start everybody off with champagne! It’s nice for the toast, but the only essential aspect of this is that the bride and groom have champagne. If you give everyone a glass, you’ll end up wasting a lot – it’s a better idea to keep the champagne reserved only for those who specifically ask for it.
7. Do not blindly reserve a wedding cake without considering what you’ll be wanting for dessert. Many people actually prefer other things to wedding cakes, and if this is the case for you you should take advantage of your preference, as wedding cakes can add up. One nice idea is to have a selection of different pies, so that each guest can have something he or she likes.
8. Choose your bar well in advance. Particularly if you hire a catering company or reserve a wedding party venue, your alcohol costs can become excessive without your even having had a say. If you carefully select nice but inexpensive wines, a strategic beer selection, and perhaps ingredients for a few cocktails, you can keep costs down.
9. Borrow things! Whether it’s jewelry, the engagement ring, a wedding dress, a groom’s suit, etc., you should use any acceptable family heirlooms or hand-me-downs that you can. Of course, you don’t want to take out your personal touch or preferences, but you may be able to save quite a lot of money by borrowing just a couple of things.
10. Serve family-style meals. Let’s face it, many of us tend to eat whatever is put in front of us, which means that if you plan for a plate per person, you’ll have to serve that much and more! Putting platters of food on tables for people to choose from not only encourages a communal dinner hour, but also cuts down on cost, as you provide less overall food but people still manage to fill themselves!
As you can see, there are numerous ways you can cut your wedding costs down. It just takes a bit of exploration.
If you are married, what kinds of things did you do to keep costs down?