By Alicia Thorne, PBC – Owner/Planner YOUnique Weddings
Need to reduce the cost of your wedding, but don’t want to sacrifice your dream vision? Below are several tips I share with my clients on how they can do just that!
Theme. This may sound simple, but choose a venue that already matches the look you’re going for so you don’t have to spend as much money decorating it.
Choose a Non-Peak Date. By hosting your wedding on a Friday, Sunday, or during the Off-Season, you’ll likely receive discounts from many of your vendors. For an Off-Season wedding, choose a date in January, February (not Valentine’s Day), or March. If your heart is still set on a July wedding, consider having a morning ceremony and a brunch reception.
Decorate Strategically. When designing your floral concept, plan to re-use ceremony florals for the reception. The ceremony florals can easily be brought into the ballroom during the cocktail hour and your guests will never know! You can use your arch’s floral spray as a centerpiece or use chair/pew florals like hanging pomander balls as decoration for the DJ table or buffet table.
Cut your Guest List. This one may be hard to hear, but there is no easier way to lower you wedding cost than to pair down the number of guests. The biggest cost will be reception food and alcohol so by limiting the number of people, you can greatly reduce that expense. Plus, the cost of your cake, invitations, florals, and favors will be lower. To cut down the guest list you may consider having a destination wedding, not inviting children, not inviting your single friends to bring a date, etc.
Room Layout. Fewer tables = lower cost for table rentals, linens, and centerpieces. Try to minimize the number of tables at your reception by having larger rounds with 10-12 people per table or seating your guests family style on long rectangular, feasting tables.
The Cake. For your cake, choose to have only a small “cutting cake” displayed for your guests and purchase a less expensive sheet cake that will not be seen by your guests, but will be pre-cut and plated in the kitchen by the caterer. This will not only save you money, but your guests won’t have to wait for cake; as soon as you cut the cake the caterer can serve it! You may also consider having a candy station, dessert table, or chocolate fountain in lieu of the cake.
Location. Host your ceremony and reception at the same location. This will not only save on transportation costs, but will also reduce the number of hours you’ll need to hire your photographer and/or videographer for. You won’t have to pay them for their driving time and you’ll have more time for photos!
Fewer Attendants. This will mean a lower flower bill, less attendant gifts that you’ll have to purchase, and a lower cost of the bridesmaids luncheon and rehearsal dinner. If you have a few friends you don’t want to leave out, you can still invite them to the bachelor/bachelorette party and you can consider giving them a job (program attendant, greeter, usher, etc.) on the day of the wedding to make them feel included.
The Dress. Shop around and see if you can find the same designer look for less. Or, consider hiring a seamstress to create the same look as the designer dress you love. Attend trunk shows; these almost always mean special discounts for brides purchasing from a specific collection during the show. Plus more gowns will be available from that designer than the boutique can normally carry, so you’ll get to try on more dresses!
Hire a Planner. They will save you money by helping you avoid making costly mistakes, they can often get you discounts with vendors they’ve built relationships, and they will offer more cost effective alternatives and solutions like these. Plus, think of a wedding planner as insurance for your wedding day…..after all the money you’ve spent, a wedding coordinator will be there to ensure that everything goes as planned!!
I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing on how you can lower some costs!