Weddings suppose to be fun. But ask any bride and you will hear about the frustrations they have experienced while planning their weddings. The reason: Hard to stay on budget.
Only if every bride could have unlimited budget for her wedding to fulfill the dreams of the most spectacular and perfect wedding. Wouldn’t be great to get all a bride might wish for, without having to think about how much would it cost? Not having to make any trade offs.
Sure. It would be great, but the reality is that almost every bride has a wedding budget. Which means hard work is required to plan and have a wedding that stays on budget. So now we know what causes the frustration many brides have.
As a San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer, I talk to many brides before and after their weddings. The ways how they all approached and solved this problem are different but a common theme emerges: Almost all of them found a way to compromise on one or other item, some on all items, for their wedding. And the most common way I heard over and over was: money saving ideas.
Frankly, bride’s ingenuity is impressive. The creativity deserves to be shared, so here comes the GUIDE! I hope many brides and their families would find it helpful. The following Part 1 of this guide, is the first part I am publishing to present 50 money saving ideas. The rest of the two parts would be published soon so be sure to subscribe to my blog and come back to read the rest of the ideas. If you would like to learn more about the topic, consider reading my other guide: How To Spend Less on Your Wedding
So let’s get started.
1. Get All Inclusive Venue:
Search and pick a wedding venue that has tables, chairs and linens all included into their price. This way you don’t have to rent these from another company. Prices for all inclusive venues is much cheaper than renting the venue and the chairs, linen and tables separately.
2. Spend Less on Shoes:
You can find cheap wedding shoes instead of going for high-end designer shoes. Chances are not so many people would see them anyway under your long wedding dress. Apart from saving ton of money, picking shoes which are more comfortable to wear would also save you from sore feet and blisters at the end of the wedding day.
3. Skip The Garter & Bouquet Toss:
Gone are the days when people believed in getting a piece of the wedding dress would bring them good luck. It was popular in the 14th century, but in today’s 21th century many couples choose to skip this part and save money. Both are basically throw away money.
4. Borrow a Veil:
Have a friend who got married recently. Ask her if you can borrow the veil for her wedding. Many would be happy to let you use it for a day and would even offer you once you share the big news with them. Don’t be shy. Ask around.
5. Shop Aboard:
Next time you visit Mexico or other foreign destination, check out anything you might need for your wedding. Shoes are less expensive there, so why not combine fun (vacation) with saving money. Store the shoes in your closet until your wedding and use the cash you would save on your honey moon vacation.
6. Save on Taxes:
Many wedding items can be bough online from states which don’t collect sales tax. Every dollar counts, so look online for deals that would save you money. Minnesota does not tax clothes, while in California you are expected to pay up to 9.5% sales tax. If you wedding dress costs $1,000 for example, this is $95 for you to keep.
7. Be Your Own Florist:
Using seasonal flowers and ribbons for a hand-tied bouquets will reduce your floral arrangements bill. Lots of ideas online, plus any craft store in your area would have the materials. Recruit someone crafty to help you with this or do it your self on the day before the wedding. You will be surprised how easy it is.
8. Use Flowers Wisely:
Feel like killing fresh flowers by trowing them around is a waste of money. You don’t have to and would save you money if you use fake flowers to make your bouquets. Fresh flowers from your local grocery store can still decorate your tables and cake.
9. Trim The Guests List:
A seat and meal for every single guest on your wedding costs your money. So be smart and practical. Cutting down your guest list to your immediate family and close friends would make your wedding more intimate. Not to mention the savings you would get. This is by far the biggest saving you can get for your wedding as accommodating, entertaining and providing meals for your guests is the largest expense you would have.
10. Tie The Knot Off-Season:
Many wedding venues are in high demand and command higher prices during the wedding season (June – September). Having an off season wedding off season translates into immediate and significant savings. Venue prices are up to 50% cheaper off season compared to the pick time of the wedding season. On a $10,000 venue, this is up to $5,000 of savings.
11. Buy and Resell Instead of Renting:
Renting linens, centerpieces, flatware, plates, paper lanterns and lighting, and spotlights for uplightingcan cost cost you lots of money which you will never get back. Some brides buy all these for a reasonable price and then resell them to revover most of the value. It will save you lots of money which you would otherwise be giving to the leasing company. Buy and resell, instead of renting everything.
12. Skip The Extra Fees:
Many stores would have an extra “convenience” or “delivery” fees. Be careful and plan ahead as this is just another way these stores are making extra money from you. If your wedding cake store adds a delivery fee for just few miles from your venue, opt to pick it up by yourself and save on these fees.
13. Skip The Limo Drive Home:
If you must have a limo to bring you to the ceremony and to the reception venue, consider skipping the pick up from the reception to your home. The limo service charges by the hour, so one more trip would cost you more. How hard would be you and your husband to get ride home but your friends or designated drives.
14. Simplify Your Invitations:
Skip the extra ribbons, belly bands or anything excessive in your invites. This just adds extra weight which means more postage to mail them. For a 200+ person wedding, this extra postage you have to buy adds up quickly. Settle down on a simple invitation only.
15. Make it Simple Rehearsal Dinner:
If you must have a rehearsal dinner (many couples choose not to and rather save the money for as well), consider ordering pizzas instead of catered meal. Save your money for the wedding day meal instead.
16. Consider Used Wedding Dress:
Instead of buying a new dress consider getting your dresses at a wedding consignment store. You can find a quality dress which can be cleaned and altered to fit you perfectly for almost 1/3 of the original price. Look around and see what’s available in your area before you visiting a bridal dresses store.
17. Choose Non Bridal Salon For Your Dress Alteration:
If your wedding dress needs alterations, look for an independent seamstress instead of a specialized bridal salon. In most cases they would do the alteration for less money than a specialized bridal dress store. Remember, all specialized bridal stores overcharge for their services, just because they can and there is so much demand. Be smart shopper and save your money for what matters more to you.
This is the end of Part 1 of the 50 Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding guide. I will be post the remaining two parts to complete the overview of all 50 ideas. You can access the rest of the parts, from the links I will post in each guide (yet to come…). Consider reading this guide, for additional ideas on Wedding Tips for Brides From Photographer’s Point of View.
Weddings are expensive and takes a lots of efforts and planning to have the perfect one. There are simple tips that could help you to stay within your budget. Most of these tips were collected by talking to brides about the ways they saved money on their wedding and how they managed to stay within their budgets. I am sure there are so many other ways, so if you have a tip, any comment or a feedback, feel free to drop me a line or two into the comments section. I would love to hear from you on how you managed your wedding budget.
About the Author:
Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site