Want to cut down on your wedding costs, but have nightmares about a roomful of guests picking at iceberg lettuce for dinner? Brides- and grooms-to-be, take comfort: Trimming wedding costs doesn’t have to mean foregoing the Plaza suite in favor of Grandma’s spare attic bedroom. Wedding consultants around the country told us that there are plenty of ways to nip and tuck the fat in your wedding budget without your family and friends being any the wiser.
1. Must do $ Tip
Hire a wedding consultant. In theory, the consultant will do all the legwork for you, shop around for the best bargains, and use their network of vendors to get insider deals…
2. Avoid the High Season
In case you haven’t noticed, the majority of weddings take place from May through October. So you could save across the board on limos, photographers and caterers, etc., by getting married during one of the quieter months, such as January or March…
3. Bond with Other Brides
We suggest networking with other brides to divvy up the decorating costs at catering halls. “Talk to the bride who is getting married immediately before or after to see if you have similar ideas for decorations, or share a tent??”If so, you might be able to split the cost.”
4. Cut the Cake
Another unnecessary reception budget-breaker: overloading on sweets. “I think people generally overspend on desserts,” After a long evening of eating, drinking and dancing, many guests will forego dessert altogether. For smaller weddings, we recommend using a faux bottom for the lower two tiers of the bridal cake: “It will look good for the pictures, and that’s really what matters,”
And for bigger weddings, here’s another trick: Choose a smaller version of your dream wedding cake and then get sheet cake (in the same flavor as the wedding cake) that can be cut in back and served to guests. They’ll never notice!
5. Greens Are Good
And how many of the guests know what kind of flowers are in season at any given time of year? “Stay with what’s in season, use more greens and fewer blooms,” “No one will ever notice.” Roses are always available, but brides should steer clear of floral-intensive holidays such as Mother’s Day, when high demand will drive up costs. Don’t feel the need to adorn the church with fresh flowers for the ceremony. “People expect churches to be less ornate, and they’ll spend a lot more time at the reception,”
6. Dress down the Gown
Assuming that no one at the wedding will be checking out the tags on your bridal gown, the dress can be another good place to economize. Tate says that cheaper fabrics are almost always available for every dress design, and that using a lower-end satin can cut the cost by almost two-thirds. Sample sales and outlet stores are other good bets, and remember, the gown doesn’t need to fit like a glove right away: having a too-large dress fitted will still be cheaper than buying one that’s custom-made. How about this trick ” Go to a bridal shop and picked out one of their bridesmaid dresses, ordered it in white, and voila simple wedding dress,”
7. Do Yourself a Favor
According to Markel, the average number of wedding guests is 157, which means that overspending on seemingly inexpensive items such as invites and party favors can add up to a big hit on your checkbook. “If you use candy kisses in the favor instead of truffles, you’ll save about $3 per bag,” We recommend letting place cards double as favors, or incorporating the favors into a creative table centerpiece of chocolates or candles. One of our brides used assortments of giant, colorful seashells for her centerpieces; guests loved it. We’ve even seen a bride put a small bowl filled with smooth rocks and a live goldfish on each table when she got married. The guests were given plastic bags to take the fish home.
8. Save a Tree
Most brides end up overshooting their initial budget by about 15%; we encourage our couples to think twice before spending hundreds of dollars on a seven-piece hand-engraved invite. The invitation liner is completely unnecessary, Keep it to a single sheet, this saves on the costs of both paper and postage.