Many of us want that picture-perfect wedding. The one where the guests all arrive and “oooh” and “ahhh” at every teensy detail…. The one complete with the white horses and the carriage riding off into the fairytale happy ending….
Depending on the theme and style of your wedding, you may wish to cut different corners. For example, if it’s very important for all your extended family and college friends to be at your wedding, a destination wedding might not be for you. (They can be surprisingly less expensive than you would imagine!) If, however, the thought of a big pouffy white dress and miles of tulle make you want to gag, it might be just the ticket.
Regardless of your style and theme, shopping smart and cutting corners that don’t really matter much at all can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Here are just a few ways to save:
If the month of the year doesn’t matter:
1. Plan your wedding during off-peak season. This is typically November through February.
PRO: You can get a great discount on the overall cost of your wedding reception.
CON: Depending on where you live, you may have to worry about snow and ice, colder weather (if you aren’t fond of it), and other similar elements.
If the day of the week doesn’t matter:
2. Plan your wedding for a Friday or a Sunday.
PRO: Discounts for choosing an off-peak day are often quite generous.
CON: Many people have to work on Mondays and Fridays. If you plan your wedding on either a Friday or a Sunday, you might lose some guests due to scheduling conflicts. Also, for a Friday wedding, that puts the rehearsal dinner on a Thursday. In many people’s cases, especially close family and the bridal party, it may require taking an extra day or two off from work.
If the day matters, but the time of day does not:
3. Plan your wedding for a Saturday afternoon.
PRO: You can still cash in on a day when most people have off the following day, and you’ll have more of your night to yourselves as husband and wife.
CON: If there is another event at the same venue after yours, the staff may “rush” you out.
It’s all in the details…
4. Make your own invitations.
PRO: You can save megabucks doing the invitations on your own.
CON: It’s time-consuming. It can be stressful. Did I mention it’s time-consuming?
5. Rely on friends to help with creative tasks in their areas of expertise.
PRO: You can save a LOT of money this way. This is great for calligraphers, gardeners, various crafters, videographers, and so forth. If you receive significant assistance and you so desire, you can tell your friend not to worry about a gift.
CON: Sometimes asking a friend for help when you didn’t invite her to be in your bridal party may seem awkward. Try to spin it so it’s a chance for the two of you to spend some special time together despite that.
6. Look into getting your flowers done at a Vo-Tech school or at a local college that has a floral design program.
PRO: You could save yourself a bundle!
CON: They’ve only got one chance to make it right.
If the type of food doesn’t matter:
7. Have an hors d’oeuvres reception.
PRO: This route is definitely more affordable, and can still include a wide variety of foods, from cheese and cracker and veggie and fresh fruit trays to mini meatballs, mini crabcakes, small strombolis, and the list goes on.
CON: This is not the most traditional route, but it is becoming more popular for couples on a budget or those who wish for a different style of party. Just make sure you don’t run out of food!
8. Host a dessert reception.
PRO: This reception can be a blast when paired with the right atmosphere, the right alcoholic beverages, and the right music. Think about it….
CON: Many people have come to expect the whole meal deal. If you host things strategically, and opt for a shorter reception, you should be able to pull it off.
Forego the extras…
9. That means no chocolate fountain, no whiskey sour and cosmopolitan fountains, no ice sculptures – you get the idea.
PRO: You can save a bundle if you bypass the more expensive wedding entrapments. And, you can always find a less expensive, just as suitable alternative, like a table full of cookies baked by all your favorite aunts.
CON: No chocolate fountain, no beverage fountains – you tell me the negative here.
10. If applicable and if available, borrow a parent’s fancy sports car instead of a limo for the end of the night.
PRO: Who wouldn’t like to ride off in style in a fancy-schmancy sports car, an eye-catching muscle car, or a classy classic?
CON: Your groom had better be sober enough to find the pedals and not take any chances on this all-too-special night.
There are dozens of ways to cut the costs on your wedding. You just need to get a little creative and think outside of the lines from time to time. Remember that your day is as special as you make it, but mainly because you are sharing such a momentous life event with the ones you love. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!