18 Tips to Stretch Your Wedding Budget
Think you can't pull off your dream wedding on a budget? Think again.
Today we're sharing 18 tips and tricks to stretch your wedding budget, make the most out of your finances, and keep you calm through the planning process.
1. Learn to Love DIY
Having an active part in creating the unique details of your wedding can be fun! Having a girl's night DIY-ing centerpieces or invitations is a great way to spend time with your bridal party during this busy season. It will also help cut costs as you bring your vision to life.
2. Hire a Wedding Planner Who Prioritizes Your Budget
Hire a wedding planner who understands the priorities of your budget. We can help you craft something perfect for your needs and are your biggest cheerleader! Planners also have connections with local vendors and can recommend and get you deals for other services.
3. Give Yourself Enough Time to Plan
Shorter engagements often lead to rushed decisions and limited options based on time. With more time to research your options, you're likely to get a better deal.
4. Pick Your Date Carefully
If everyone wants a summer or fall wedding on a Saturday evening, you can bet the cost will rise for those popular times. By picking a less popular season and considering options like weekdays or brunch weddings, you can avoid that additional cost.
Maybe your dream venue is all booked for the time frame you had in mind; never be afraid to ask if they have any available dates for weekdays or even Sunday mornings! The venue may be willing to cut the cost to fill a time slot that they struggle to book.
5. Use a Single Venue
If you can have your ceremony and reception at the same site, you'll save yourself some money, add convenience to your guests, and allow more time to celebrate rather than drive.
6. Look For All-Inclusive Services
Some vendors have multiple services, like a caterer who can bake, a DJ and photographer combo, or even a venue with in-house services that they offer for a discounted combined rate. These options lead to fewer down payments and generally lower costs.
7. Consider a Smaller Guest Count
The easiest way to decrease your cost and enhance the overall experience is to limit your guest list. But this doesn't mean cutting the list to 20 people!
Instead, lovingly remove some distant relatives and long-lost friends from the list. This can be a tricky tactic if your parents have a lot of "suggestions" for the list, but if they aren't helping with the catering budget, you may need to lovingly put your foot down.
8. Smart Favors
Wedding favors are a special part of saying thank you to your guests, but they don't have to break the bank. If you want to give guests wedding favors, keep it edible or drinkable! Unfortunately, most wedding favors that can't be consumed are left behind.
9. Brunch or Lunch
Early day meals are cheaper than a three-course dinner, so having your wedding early in the day with a breakfast buffet and endless mimosas is a tasty and easy way to cut costs.
10. In-Season Foods
Sure, you may love summer veggies, but if they're out of season, they'll hike up the overall price of dinner. Be sure to consider what produce is in-season when you work with your caterer.
11. Fake the Cake
Sheet cakes are much cheaper but far less elegant. Consider showcasing an elegant wedding cake with just one real layer, ready to be cut. You and your sweetheart can cut into the cake for pictures and then have the caterer pull this cake into the back and serve sheet cake. Your guests won't know the difference!
12. Skip the Champagne
While everyone loves a good wedding toast, don't feel obligated to serve champagne. Encourage guests to toast with whatever they're drinking, so you don't have to splurge on the bubbly.
13. Signature Drinks
An open bar is out of the question for many couples on a budget, but a great option is to have two or three signature drinks. This limits the amount of alcohol you need to purchase but still gives your guests some options. Pair two signature liquor drinks with two wine options and two beer options to round out your bar menu.
14. DIY Video
Maybe you want a wedding video but can't afford the videographer. Consider renting (or borrowing from a friend) a nice video camera and set it up wherever you want to catch the most important moments, like your vows, dinner toasts, and the dance floor.
15. Consider the Linens
The tablecloth or table runner is an essential part of the reception decor, but using a shorter tablecloth is an easy way to save big bucks. The smaller linens will cost much less, and once everyone is seated, no one will notice. For even less coverage, a simple table runner over an elegant table adds a pop of color for much less.
16. Barter Services
Perhaps you or your groom own a business or can provide a service that vendors might enjoy. Consider offering your services free of charge to vendors who are willing to give you a discount.
17. Silk Flowers
Not only are they beautiful, but silk flowers can also drastically cut your costs, are automatically preserved, and can even be resold after. Keeping your bridal bouquet for years after is a very special memento, and your bridesmaids may also love the token.
18. Say Please
Sometimes we feel like asking our friends or family to help is a burden, but often they'll love to be included and can consider it their wedding gift to you.
Have an aunt who loves to bake? A best friend who is a makeup guru? A grandpa who is ordained? Including these people and their skills will make the day more special for everyone and much cheaper for you.
The truth is, stretching your wedding budget and creating an elegant celebration for less takes dedication and great attention to detail, but it CAN be done!
Interested in having Rachel Marie Events work with you to create a strong wedding budget and work with you through the process? Click here to get started.