It’s no secret. Weddings can get expensive. The gowns and the reception, the catering and the entertainment, the hundreds of guests — it all adds up. But you really don’t have to get deep in debt to throw your dream wedding. You just have to know where to splurge and where to save.
Here are 10 wedding tips that will help you get the best wedding, without the royal costs and without sacrificing on the distinct beauty of your ceremony.
1. Save paper and email your “save-the-date.”
You can get creative as much as you like without spending money.
2. Finalize the guest list.
Ask yourself this: Do I really want to share one of the most important days of my life with 300 people? If the answer is yes, then you’d better start planning for a budget around that number. If the answer is no, then start trimming off that guest list. When you’ve got a final number on your guest list, you’ll be able to budget better or save thousands and thousands of dollars.
3. Get married off-peak season.
Weddings are so much easier to organize during the off-peak season. You’ll get tons of savings, especially since vendors — from caterers to venues — will be competing to get your business. Off-peak season will vary according to regional weather so you’ll want to find out which months see the lowest number of weddings in your neck of the woods.
Getting married off-peak season isn’t just about saving money. You also get to hire the vendors you really want, from your entertainment to your limo service.
4. It wouldn’t hurt to have a Friday or Sunday wedding.
Did you know that Friday and Sunday weddings cost 30 percent less than Saturday weddings?
5. Get a romantic limo service.
Instead of renting the usual stretch limo, why not go for a sumptuous Rolls-Royce? It’s luxurious, romantic, and more intimate than a stretch wedding limo. Something you might want to think about splurging on when you get your new spouse alone.
6. Consider a unique wedding venue.
Who says you have to celebrate in a pricey hotel ballroom? Find alternate venues, not necessarily marketed for weddings (e.g., vintage movie theaters, wineries, or art galleries), and you’ll not only save money but have a wedding that stands out.
7. One venue for your ceremony and reception keeps the crazy out of weddings.
Save your guests and vendors from having to drive out to another location by having your ceremony and reception in one spot. This way, no one gets lost (especially the vendors) or gets caught up in traffic.
8. Get flowers that are in season.
Save a great deal of money by going with in-season flowers so your florist doesn’t have to import orders.
9. Skip the fancy food.
Why not serve all your favorite comfort food during the reception? Think grilled cheese served on delicate cups of tomato soup, mini sliders, mac n’ cheese cups, and for dessert, milk and cookies or mini donuts and coffee. These are just as delicious (but less pricey and more interesting) than the usual wedding food.
10. Read your contracts with vendors.
Finally, never sign on the dotted line without reading your contract. You should be aware if you are suddenly responsible for providing wedding crew meals or if you are required to serve the same meals to vendors that the guests will get.