Weddings are, hands down, one of the most expensive events in a person’s life, bride or groom. What started out as a simple contest between middle class fathers to see who could hold a bigger and better wedding for their daughters has turned weddings into the one event that modern society drives us to spare no expense on.
But these days, its becoming more and more common to want to save money on weddings, and as you’ll see below, its completely possible to have a grand wedding without the grand bills that usually accompany it.
1. Limit the Guest List
Most popular wedding venues charge you for each person you plan on inviting, so if you’re looking to save some cash, don’t invite every friend and acquaintance to your wedding. Instead, prune your guest list to include only close friends and family, and to make it easier, have both families contribute and agree on the guest list before booking venues.
2. Avoid Wedding Season
Though it differs in most states, most would define the “wedding season” to be between April and October. This period of time usually sees the highest number of weddings, and everything from venues to catering is more expensive during this period, so by scheduling your wedding outside this period you stand to save hundreds of dollars on venue and catering related expenses.
As an alternative, you can call and book well in advance of your wedding date. Most businesses will allow you to “lock in” the price at whatever the current rate is, so the earlier you call, the better.
3. Do-it-Yourself to Save Money!
Do you have family members who are good with arts and crafts? Maybe you’ve got family ties to people like professional chefs, photographers, or graphics designers. Take advantage of these ties to get discounts (or even freebies) on the things you need to help make your wedding special.
4. Rent, not Buy
You could save a great deal of money on tuxedos and wedding gowns by renting instead of buying one. Find a store that will let you browse their available selection of suits and gowns so you can pick the best ones that matches your budget, and ask if they’ll let you store it away for free until your wedding date (most do).
5. Borrow from Friends
Instead of buying stuff brand new, ask married friends and family if they could lend you the stuff you need for your wedding. More often than not, they already have stuff like cake servers, knives, table decorations, that they used for their wedding and are still in good enough condition that they can be used for yours too. If you’re lucky they might even give the stuff away for free!
6. Shop Around
For the things you absolutely cannot do without, at least try to get the best possible price on them. Keep every mail-order catalog you get so you can compare prices, and whenever possible, request free samples of products before you buy it to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
7. Crowd source your Photography
A good photographer is a must-have for your wedding day. Most people believe that you shouldn’t skimp on the photographer, but when it’s unavoidable, you can improvise by getting your guests to help you out. Simply place a disposable camera on each of your guests’ tables and encourage them to take photos during the reception. At the end of the day, you can collect the cameras, have them developed, and have a large collection of photos that cover the whole event from every possible angle.
8. Buy Only What You Need
It can be tempting to purchase every little favor and decorative item simply because it looks good, and its easy to tell yourself that you’ll find a use for it, but you shouldn’t give in to such impulses. Instead, for every potential impulse buy, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can this money be better spent elsewhere?
- Can this item be found cheaper elsewhere?
- Will it add value to the reception?
Following these tips will help you ensure that your wedding is not only memorable, but affordable as well.