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  • Writer's pictureTraci Howard

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Couples on a budget…we see you. In fact, we see you so clearly, we have made it our mission to support you and help you to have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. It is possible. We do it all the time. Majority of our couples come to us with a tight budget. It takes knowledge of the industry, strategy, and prioritizing what is most important.

Let us speak to you and share suggestions to help you plan your wedding and staying within your budget.

Plan Ahead

Our biggest tip…PLAN AHEAD. We mean at least 12 months in advance. The more time you must plan the better chance you have of securing the venue that is within your budget on the day you wish to get married. It gives you time to research vendors, compare prices and save more money to put toward your wedding or honeymoon. A year may seem like forever in engagement years. Trust us when we say that time really does go fast.

Take A Tour…Lots of Them

Researching vendors and scheduling tours of venues gives you a better understanding of what you are spending your money on in terms of space and rentals. Majority of vendors will guide you through the venue, provide you with details of what is included in the rental and give you an opportunity to ask questions. You can also visit caterers, florists, and various entertainment companies to help you determine what you can afford and what may be outside of your budget.

Compare Services and Fees

We love visiting venues with our couples. Within the first few minutes we can read our couple’s body language and facial expressions to know if the venue is what they envisioned for their wedding. However, nothing hurts us more than when a couple has fallen in love with a venue but rush to a decision before comparing services and fees.

For example, one venue may rent you the space for ten hours for $2000. Included in that rental may be chairs and tables for 150 guests, just what you need. You may visit another venue that rents you the space for eight hours for $1500 and supply chairs and tables for 75 guests. Now the initial price of the venue may seem more in your budget. Consider the cost of renting additional chairs and tables. You may also need to rent the space for additional time which is typically charged by the hour. In the long run, the lower price may cost you more. These are the things that an expert wedding planner can help you to think through before you finalize your plans.

Consider the Day

Weddings have traditionally been celebrated on a specific day of the week, Saturday. In recent years, trends have shifted to weddings being celebrated on various days of the week. Vendors often have lower rates on Thursday and Friday which has contributed to a flux of weddings being planned on these days. It is not always possible for a couple to plan to be married on these days, but if your budget is tight and you can be flexible, consider getting married on a different day of the week.

Reuse Your Décor

One area that may help you save your budget is to reuse your décor for the ceremony and reception. Bridesmaid bouquets make amazing reception table centerpieces. Floral arrangements used at the ceremony can also be used for decorations at your reception. Having a bridal shower? Theme the shower like the wedding and give that décor dual purpose. Your guests will be having so much fun celebrating you, they will not even notice.

Faux versus Fresh

It could appear that using faux florals is cheaper than fresh flowers and this is not always the case. It does depend on your theme, the quantity and pricing. We have been a part of many celebrations and parties where there was a mix of faux and fresh floral. Much like anything else, do your research and compare prices before setting your sites on one or the other.

Do It Yourself Tricks

If you are planning to make your own centerpieces, there are certain times of the year where you could find discounted pricing on supplies and décor. It is always a good idea to shop holiday and seasonal sales. If you are planning to get married in the fall, start shopping in the winter prior to fall to catch any end of season discounts. Gold and silver are beautiful accent colors and Christmas is a great time to find various supplies in these colors. Again, the more time you allow yourself to shop, the less likely you are to overspend on décor.

Keep Alcohol Options at a Minimum

When it comes to alcohol, less can go a long way. To save on money, choose two beers and two wines and purchase in bulk. You could also use a service that allows you to return any unopened bottles or kegs. The open bar concept can be pricey, especially if you are operating with a small budget. Be smart and choose wisely.

Do Not Pay for Wedding Party Attire

It is not customary for the bride and groom to purchase the bridesmaid dresses and take care of tux rental costs. This is a gift from your wedding party to you, the couple. If your budget is tight, choose a reasonably priced bridesmaid dress and provide the cost to your bridesmaids in advance so they can be prepared to purchase their dress. This is the same for tux rentals.

Cut Your Guestlist

We know, we know, we know. This is not what you want to hear. If you use the tips stated above, this may not be an option you have to consider. However, if after taking all these tips into account and you are still tight on budget, cutting your guest list might be your only option. The more people you invite, the more tables, chairs, and food you need. Those costs add up quick. Include the people closest to you. Include an RSVP and follow up with those who have not responded by the given date. That way you can know for sure that your guest count is accurate and that your budget is solid.

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