Being smart about your wedding and where to use your money, doesn’t mean having a cheap event. By focusing on a few principles, you can still maintain the spirit of the day you always dreamed of. Yes, it will require you to be a little more creative, but creativity always means more unique and personal.
Here are the 5 basic principles to follow…
- Set expectations - Understand you can’t have everything, no one can
- Be militant about your budget - Get our free auto budgeting tool
- Style consideration - Modern, Minimalist, Simplicity, & Natural Beauty are super chique
- Less is more - Doing less in one area means more in another
- Be intentional about core items - Focus intensely on what is important
Begin by identifying the top two or three core items your wedding day must have. From here on out, these items are the filter by which all other decisions will be compared against. Is it the venue, a destination, or a season? Will you invest more in photography, videography, or music? Also consider which things you want people to remember after the wedding. Will it be the decorations, flowers, alcohol, food, or photo memories?
10 ways to save smart
- Trim your list. While inviting everyone you have ever known would be nice, cutting the guest list down is the single greatest way to save because it has a significant trickle-down effect. Limiting the attendees saves on all the other costs like venue size, catering, centerpieces, invitations, rentals, extra cake, drinks, and so on. It makes your wedding appear exclusive, not cheap.
- Just because it is traditional doesn’t mean you have to do it. Doing traditional things just for the sake of doing them lengthens the event, adds some costs and requires vendors to stick around longer. If it isn’t you, ditch it.
- If at all possible, avoid the prime times. Most wedding vendors have to maintain higher minimum booking fees during the busiest times of the year. Weekdays are always more affordable than weekends. Prime dates between May and October are always the most expensive so look at times between November and April.
- DIY with class. DIY only looks cheap when there is too much DIY going on. Use it in one or two select areas you’re really excited about and your wedding is guaranteed to have a personal touch people will remember and talk about. Get started with these DIY Wedding Ideas on Pinterest.
- Choose your colors wisely. Going with the seasonal colors saves money because you are also going with the seasonal flowers that are readily available in your area.
- Look for combos. Many wedding vendors have the ability to combine services. Some DJ’s also offer lighting. Some Photographers do video. Some bands also MC. Some caterers can provide drinks or cakes.
- Consider things that aren’t flowers. Just because it is outside of the norm, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. We have seen stunning arrangements of herbs, wheat, sticks, ferns, evergreens, cactus, pine cones, and even paper. Also, be sure to have a look at these non-floral centerpieces. Here are more non-floral bouquet ideas.
- Be selective on the drinks. Having countless alcoholic drinks available for guests is a huge cost. Limiting the selection turns it into a personal reception touch. If you have a favorite wine, craft beer, or cider, feature it proudly!
- Make a smarter venue choice. Look for wedding venues that have their own natural character to avoid the cost of excessive decor. Choose a venue where you can host both the ceremony and reception to cut down on travel, time, and logistical expenses. Some venues will permit outside vendors which allows you more flexibility. Many venues include their own equipment and selections of decor you would otherwise need to rent.
- Consult a bride. Who do you know that has been recently married? Brides are always eager to share insight from their wedding experience. Many things can only be learned in hindsight after the wedding so take a girlfriend out for coffee and ask what she would have done differently. What does she remember most? Was there anything she wished she had included? What things seem less important or are forgotten now?
The spirit of the wedding is you and what you put into it. The secret is to invest in the things you care about most. Guests come to support and celebrate the two of you and would rather enjoy the experience than extravagance. Remember also that some of the most elegant weddings are smaller affairs.
Are you considering an off-season or elopement wedding?