With our wedding creeping closer and the end of our wedding budget coming to a very near end I thought I would put together a few tips and tricks on where you can save when planning your wedding. Saving a couple hundred here and there may not seem like that much, but trust me in the long run it is. Every dollar counts. And hey, who doesn’t like saving money?
1. Venue Selection
When it comes to picking a venue it’s never easy. With so many places to choose from and everywhere offering something different, things can become a bit of a headache. My advice, look for a venue that offers more than just the basics. Some places may include the chairs and tables or some may include the cake, some may even include the bridal suite. Look for somewhere you can get a little bit of bang for your buck.
2. Stock the Bar Party
Ever heard of a stock the bar party? It’s a party thrown for the couple and instead of guests bringing gifts they bring beer, wine or alcohol of their choice to help stock the bar for the wedding (hence the name). I think these parties are such a great idea! Having an open bar at a wedding can get pretty expensive, so unless your venue includes it (refer back to tip #1) these parties are a great way to have a fun get together that everyone will enjoy all while helping out the soon to be Mr. and Mrs.
Booking your photographer is probably one of the most important things you will do when planning your wedding. When the day is over you’ll have your photographs to look back on, that’s it. The one day that you planned months and months for and spent thousands on is gone in the blink of an eye. So picking a great photographer is key. With that being said, things can sometimes get pricey. Look for photographers that offer a free engagement session as part of their package. During my search I found that a lot of photographers offer this so it helps them get to know the couple. Also, be sure to compare what you get with each package. Do you get a certain number of printed photos, a wedding book, an hour longer of their time? Always compare and find what best fits your budget.
4. Friendly Help
We all have that friend that seems to be a bit more talented than the rest of us. Ask for their help! Something as simple as making a few fun signs for the reception or even writing the seating chart can save you some money. I was lucky enough to know someone who does calligraphy just for fun and was able to have her make me a few things for my wedding. I am paying for the supplies and giving her a little extra for everything she is doing. By having things made by her instead of purchasing online, we are saving ourselves a few hundred dollars.
Have you ever priced accessories at the bridal store? Whoa. A sparkly belt that ties around your waist for $200-$300, I think I’ll pass. As beautiful as they may be I can’t seem to justify spending that on a belt I will wear once. Instead, try looking online at Etsy and Amazon. You can even find some at David’s Bridal for a reasonable price, like this one here that I love!
6. Bridesmaids Dresses
It may be your big day but you also have to think about what others are able to spend as well. When it comes to your bridesmaids you know they will do just about anything for you, so when the time comes to pick out what they are going to wear make sure to be considerate of what they are comfortable paying for. Some people may be able to afford the nicest dress on the rack, while others may not. If you find a dress you absolutely love but it’s not in the price range for everyone, keep looking! I have found that 90% of the time there are less expensive dresses out there that look almost identical to the designer one. I found this amazing Jenny Yoo dress that I fell in love with but after looking further found this dress from David’s Bridal that is nearly identical but is over $100 less.
Centerpieces can turn out to be a lot easier than you think. Especially if your centerpieces don’t include flowers. A few different size candles and some fun accessories and you’ve got yourself a great centerpiece. I am a perfectionist so I have a florist doing mine. BUT my best friend just got married and we made her centerpieces. They turned out absolutely gorgeous and everyone thought they were professionally done. She bought vases from the dollar store and trust me they look exactly the same as vases from anywhere else. We used mostly white hydrangeas and then used baby’s breath and white roses to fill in any empty spots. Also, try doing some tall vases and some short vases. It adds an elegant feel to the reception.
8. DIY decor
There are so many great ideas out there on Pinterest on small DIY projects you can do to add a special touch to your wedding. For example, if you want personalized bar napkins but don’t feel like spending the money, buy plain napkins and a personalized stamp. 30 minutes of your time and a few hundred napkins later you’ve got yourself personalized napkins! Also, I love the big gold balloon letters. Spell out “LOVE” and put these just about anywhere and it will immediately add a new look to your reception space. The list goes on, there are so many fun DIY projects you can do to save you and your soon-to-be hubby some extra cash to spend on your honeymoon.
9. Wedding Planner
Not everyone wants or needs a wedding planner but if you think it’s something you just have to have, go with a day of coordinator. Leading up to the wedding you will be making the calls and arranging appointments but when it comes to the day of you are stress free. Plus, most wedding planners have great recommendations for vendors and when those vendors find out someone referred you most of the time they’ll give you a percentage off your bill.
10. Photo Booth
If you didn’t save room in your budget for a photo booth, don’t sweat it. You can reserve a corner of your reception space to make your own photo booth. I love the look of different colored ribbon or streamers hanging down as a backdrop. For your props, grab a few things that you already have at home and ask a few friends to do the same. Between all of you there will be plenty of props to go around. The photos are taken on your guests phones; now it’s even easier to upload your favorite photo booth moments right onto social media.
I hope a few of these are useful to anyone who may be doing some wedding planning. No matter where you get married or how many people you invite, it’s your day and it’s going to be as amazing as you planned!