Elsewhere in this
planning section, we've discussed the importance of
prioritizing those items that are more important to the
overall success of your reception and apportion your budget
accordingly. We understand that many are struggling with an
especially tight wedding budget but still want to stretch it
as far as possible but still have a great reception. The
money you save on some of these items can be used on higher
priority expenditures. Through
our years of experience, we've seen some great cost-cutting
ideas that might be useful for you to consider;
1. Consider your
date. Prime wedding season in our area of the country is
April through October. Saturdays are the prime dates. Many
venues and vendors offer discounts for dates other than
prime days. Consider a Sunday wedding. Look at the Calendar
and see where the holidays are. A holiday (when most
everyone is off work) that falls on a Monday could be a
great day for a wedding. Winter weddings (November through
March) can be very beautiful and unique. You can save a
considerable sum too. Don't be afraid to think outside the
2. Your Reception
Venue. Think about what you really need from your venue.
Those fighting a budget battle might want to consider
than a "full service" venue. If you and your families don't
mind doing some of the set-up and clean-up work yourselves
you can save by choosing a less expensive venue that doesn't
have all the frills that a Country club or Banquet center might offer. Some
allow outside alcohol and food which can be another area for
savings. We have seen some creative decorating (draping some
tulle and effectively placing some mood lighting) transform
an ordinary church hall into a gorgeous reception site.
There are a number of ways to save here. One of our recent
Brides had a brilliant idea for her Bridesmaids dresses. She
simply decided on black dresses and allowed each of her
Bridesmaids to purchase whatever style they preferred (some
may have already had one). The benefits were that each of
the ladies was able to choose a dress according to their own
specific tastes (and figure!) and after the wedding, they had a dress they
could wear again and again. The ladies looked awesome! We have
seen the same thing with the guys, wearing a nice black suit
(again, that they would own and be able to use afterwards).
Add matching ties and your Groomsmen will look great too.
(If you plan on renting tuxedos, we can help. We have
friends in the tuxedo business and can help you score a
great deal. Just ask!) We
have even heard stories from brides on how they saved money
on their dress. Most bridal shops have trunk (clearance
or sample) sales where brand new dresses can be purchased
for a fraction of the cost. We have also heard about Brides
acquiring dresses and accessories from places like Craigslist, eBay or resale shops. Even more money saved.
4. Limit the
menu. Ask your caterer about less expensive menu
choices. Most wedding guests will not remember what kind of
food you served as long as it was good! A couple of entree
choices is fine.
Let them eat cake. Really good cake too! Buy a sheet
cake from Costco or Sam's Club to serve to your guests. You
can buy (or have someone make) a fancy cake with a topper
for display and for the two of you to slice at the
reception. This can save hundreds of dollars alone over the
cost of a huge wedding cake. Serving cupcakes is another
popular and money saving option.
Limit the bar choices. When working with a tight budget,
there is nothing wrong with limiting the "open" bar to beer, wine
and soft drinks. You could also offer a "signature" drink (or two)
that could be made "well style". Guests who want something
more than what you are offering can opt for the "cash" bar
option. If you're hosting your own bar, you can actually
save money by hiring an experienced bartender who will save
you money by utilizing "portion" control.
Do yourself a favor... and forget the wedding favors.
Many couples spend hundreds of dollars on little trinkets to
give away to their guests. This ends up being items that the
guests don't even want. Your money can be better spent
Forget the Table cameras. Here's another unnecessary
expense that you can eliminate. Instead, encourage your
guests to use their personal digital cameras (who doesn't
have one?) and snap away all evening long. They can upload
their pictures to a wedding web page (created by you) or
even to a Facebook page so everyone can see them. This is
way more fun and effective than table cameras and costs
Leave kids at home. This is a touchy subject for some,
but having children at your reception is another expense and
often detracts from the event. We've seen major distractions
at wedding from unsupervised children running through the
room. To tactfully un-invite children, simply put the words
"adult reception" on your invitation and pass the word to
your family and friends with kids that they'll need a
babysitter for the night.
Centerpieces. If you or someone you know is crafty,
consider making your own table centerpieces. Using items
like 12 x 12 mirror squares, candles, vases with silk
flowers, etc., you can create first class centerpieces for
minimal cost. Centerpiece items can also be rented from
venues or party supply shops. If you know someone else who
is planning a wedding near yours, consider sharing costs and
using decorative items for both weddings. We have even seen
some brides sell all of the decorations from their completed
weddings on Craigslist for a fraction of what they
originally paid for the items. It's worth a look!
Have more questions?
We've seen many great money savings ideas over the years and
will be glad to tell you more about them in detail. Give
us a call today!