No matter how you slice and dice it, weddings are expensive. Even those small, intimate weddings have a price tag. If you are like most couples, you want the nicest wedding money can buy but considering there is a budget, you know you will have to sacrifice something. The key is to make smart choices and know how to save money, which is what we will show you.
For starters, you might want to consider having your wedding during off-peak months. For instance, if you have your wedding from December through April, ecluding late November, around Christmas, and New Years, you can save as much as 60% to 70%! Think about that for a minute, if you wanted a $20,000 wedding in June, if you change it to another time of year, you would get the same amount for just $6,000 to $8,000. That is a huge savings! During this time, hotels, resorts, cruises, car rental companies, caterers, bands and DJs, and so on, are all slow and would welcome the business.
Another key is to move your wedding to a morning or mid-morning time instead of later afternoon to evening. For receptions, by far the most expense factor is the food, especially if you have a caterer. However, by switching up the menus to include day foods such as what you would expect at a brunch, you will save substantial money. Additionally, at this time of day, you might have a few cocktails such as Bloody Mary or Brand Alexanders, which cuts back on the cost of alcohol.
Plan far enough in advance, so that you can look at a number of location options. For instance, if your mom and dad, or your future spouses mom and dad are members of a specific church, consider that as your number one location. Chances are that the minister would be honored to have the wedding in his church. Other options would include historical buildings, public butterfly or botanical gardens, local parks, at a friends home, a VFW facility, or a clubhouse at someones neighborhood. The key is finding facilities that can accommodate the size of your reception and your needs. This might be a kitchen, restrooms, plenty of room for dancing and mingling, good lighting, and so on.
For the bridal gown, there are websites on the internet that have yearly sales where you can buy a designer gown for as little as $99! Stay away from department stores and bridal shops if you can. Instead, look at consignment shops, eBay, and overstock stores. You will truly be amazed at the incredible savings.
Rather than buying expensive flowers and decorations for the tables at your reception, why not have a party with the bridal party, other close friends, and family members and make your own. With a little creativity, you can make some amazing things at a fraction of what it would normally cost. For the flowers at your wedding, choose species that are grown locally and in season. While the hibiscus and orchids are beautiful, they are also very expensive. If you have a good florist, he or she can take simple flowers and add in greenery, ribbon, lace, pearls, and so on, to create a masterpiece.
Decide on a theme for your reception that is fun but affordable. For instance, rather than a formal sit-down dinner with prime rib and seafood, choose a Mexican fiesta, a Chinese buffet, or a dessert or appetizer bar. Now, when it comes to things for both the wedding and reception, this is the time to utilize your friend and family members talent. You probably have musicians, vocalists, decorators, and all types of skilled people that can offer help at a discounted price. You might even know someone that has a computer and some artistic skills to create your invitations and wedding programs.