Are you over budget, or just becoming a little over-whelmed with just how much money you are spending on your wedding? These tips will help you slash your spending without compromise.
Edit the guest list:
This is one of the first areas of spending we suggest couples look at when they approach us about their budget. In the exciting early days of planning your wedding, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to invite everyone you have ever known to your wedding. But you don’t have to. And it is important to consider the overall cost of each guest when looking at your wedding budget and deciding how many people to invite.
Each guest costs far more than their meal – there are the chairs they sit on, the invitations, the transportation, the drinks, the slice of cake, the favours and more to consider. Cutting your guest list by as little as 10 people can result in big savings – for the average wedding as much as $1000-$1500 overall.
Change the day/season
Whilst mid-week weddings are becoming more popular, there are still savings to be made simply by shifting your wedding day from a Saturday, to a Wednesday. And the same goes for getting married in Winter, over Spring. Another way to save on your wedding is to host a Brunch instead of a 3 or 4 course sit down dinner. Get creative with the ‘when’ and you could potentially save thousands.
Stretch out your Engagement
If you have your heart set on a wedding that comes with a hefty price tag, but you know you can’t save enough dollars for it over, let’s say 12 months, stretch your engagement out by an additional 6-8 months. Delaying your wedding date, so you can save is a great way to give yourself more money to play with. And another tip that works well with this one, is to go ahead and book the big items now; for example, your venue. Booking in advance and being prepared to put a deposit down, can help you to negotiate a better rate.
Don’t have a live band
Simply swapping a live band with a playlist can also save thousands. Good bands don’t come cheap and you need to feed the band members too! This strategy is a great alternative if you have some friends who can do a decent job of being DJ for the night. And if you would really like a live element for your Ceremony or Cocktail Hour, hire a young local musician to do something unplugged for just a couple of hours and then go to your playlist when the party starts. This is a great savings tip especially if your venue comes with it’s own sound system.
Order all of your paper items yourself
The cost of paper goods for a wedding can really add up – there are invites, place-cards, menus, thank you cards and more to consider. But technology has made it possible for you to do these things yourself. You can order the paper online, print them yourself or get a cheap printing company to do them for you. Addressing the envelopes yourself and sending them out, rather than having a Calligrapher do them is another way you can make big savings in this area.
Another way to save on paper-goods is to carefully assess what you need. For example, does every guest need a menu, or could there be one per table? Do you need place-cards at all – or can you simply assign guests to a table and then let them choose their own seat?
Save money by using fewer vendors
Very often, the more vendors you have, the more you spend overall, because each Vendor is going to potentially charge delivery and set up fees (and the ones staying for your Reception need to be fed too). So when you start speaking to Vendors, ask them what else they do. Does your DJ do lighting? Does your cake-maker make edible favours? Could your florist under-take the styling as well as the floral design? Another reason this strategy can result in good savings is that many Vendors will offer discounts for bigger bookings.
Assess the distribution of funds in your budget
My final tip is to closely assess what your vision and priorities are for your wedding day. Budgeting isn’t just about watching what you spend (as important as that is), it’s about making sure you are spending money on what matters to you. Very often I see couples spend thousands of dollars on things that don’t matter as much to them, only to find that they don’t have the money for the things they really wanted.
At the I Do Crew we give our couples access to online planning tool, Aisle Planner. Aisle Planner comes with an excellent budgeting tool built in and once we have you set up in the system, you can access it yourself and track your own spending all the way through to wedding day – contact us to find out more about how you can work with us and make use of this handy wedding planning tool.