Q: I’m planning my wedding and starting to really get stressed out about the budget. I want a simple, unique and fun wedding. I don’t want an over the top wedding, but I don’t want an ugly one either. Style is important to me, but I’m also not made of money. And buying a house is something we also want to do. So, what are some ways I can save money on my wedding without losing style?
Oh, the ultimate question! But such an important one. Unless you have unlimited funds (which is probably not you) and/or you don’t care at all about your wedding (which is definitely not you), working with a wedding budget will be one of the hardest things about planning a wedding. It can be stressful and cause anxiety.
Because no matter how big or small your budget is, you are always trying to find ways to save or cut your wedding budget, but not sacrifice the fun personalized wedding you want. So, today I’m going to share 5 ways you can save money on your wedding without losing the style factor.
5 ways to save money on your wedding without sacrificing style
1. Have a smaller wedding
I know, this is not a new suggestion. If you’ve been looking for solutions online, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about this before. Cutting your guest list is not new nor is it easy, but it is by far the most effective. There are so many items that have a cost/head and if you can bring your guest list down even a little, that can make a difference.
Think about your food and beverage costs, your rentals, your florals and other items like favors or gifts. These are all per person costs. If your guest list goes down by 10 or 20 or 50 or 100 even, that will make a huge difference. And having a smaller wedding helps your budget, but also doesn’t affect your style. In many cases, you may be able to allocate more towards the design now that you have fewer guests.
(Photo credit: Rachel Robertson Photography)
2. Choose a wedding venue with a small rental fee
If you think of your wedding budget like a pie, the bigger the piece that goes to your venue, the smaller the portion you have to divvy up for all your other vendors and items. While your venue is important and you need a venue of some sort, try to keep your rental fee as small as possible.
Now style definitely comes into play at a venue, so you don’t want to pick an affordable venue that doesn’t fit what you want because it makes no sense to work really hard to transform your venue. Instead, choose a venue that still fits your style and then bring in a few items to give it that extra flair you’re looking for. Avoid big name venues and look into local neighborhood spots and alternative types of venues.
(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)
3. Focus on one design item
Pick one design item you care most about and focus your money there. Maybe that’s your dress and you want a show stopper. Or maybe that’s your floral centerpieces. Or maybe you love cake and that’s what you want to shine.
Chose the one area you want to focus on and spend more there. Then, scale back on your other design pieces and just have it support that one item you really care about. By choosing this one focus, you’re not sacrificing style, but instead just spending where it matters most. *BIG HINT – Pick not only the item that matters to you but also the item your guests will see and interact with most.
(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson)
Now, what is a wedding without alcohol? The bar is always a biggie and very important to most couples and of course their guests. Because let’s be honest, alcohol makes a party fun! And one big way to save money is by bringing in your own alcohol.
As you’re looking at venues, try to find a venue that doesn’t require you to use their bar. These are typically private estates or non-hotel type wedding venues. These are also usually venues where you’d bring your own caterer in. So, you’d work with the caterer to still provide your bartending service, but you’d provide the alcohol. You can work with an alcohol supplier or just do it DIY at Costco or Bevmo. This doesn’t compromise on service or what you serve, just the cost of the beverages themselves.
(Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)
We as humans tend to overcomplicate things and add more when we don’t always need to especially when it comes to weddings. One way to save money while not sacrificing style is just to simplify. Simplify everything.
Hire one person to handle all your music instead of three vendors. Go with one photographer instead of two. Use the chairs at your venue instead of renting them. Repurpose your flowers from your ceremony to your reception. Make your favors double as your seating cards and a décor piece. Go with paperless RSVPs. Pick what makes sense for you. You’re not sacrificing style, just making it simpler not just to manage, but for your budget as well.
(Photo credit: Strotz Photography)
Utilize these 5 ways to save money on your wedding so you can stay in budget and not have to sacrifice your fun style.
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