[singlepic id=21 w=240 h=160 float=center]With weddings, it’s all fun and games until someone mentions the word “budget.” Even with financial contributions from friends and family, paying for a wedding is a daunting task! In addition to the weddings rings, there are dresses, flowers, venues, food, and favors to think of. The wedding industry is huge, and designed to make you spend money on your wedding, and the biggest hurdle many brides and grooms will face is how to plan a meaningful event that will not land them in debt for the first few years of their marriage.
Now that the New Year is upon us, and with it the spring and summer wedding seasons, brides everywhere are trying to figure out how to stay afloat financially without sacrificing their style or vision.
Here are the top five tips for getting the most bang for your buck when planning a wedding:
- Get your friends and family involved in the planning process. Chances are excellent that if you need something for your wedding, someone you know can either do it or knows someone who can do it. This is a great opportunity to help your friends and family feel involved by having them print the invitations or programs, help you make decorations, or bake and cook food for the reception. Many brides say their favorite memory is of working with loved ones to create things for the wedding!
- Go local and seasonal for your flowers and food. Local flowers grown in-season are much less expensive and have the added benefit of being eco-friendly. Same thing with locally grown fruit and vegetables. If you’re choosing a caterer, make sure the caterer will design the menu around the foods that are available at that time of year. Imported flowers, fruits, and vegetables are much more expensive.
- Hit two birds with one stone. If something in your wedding can serve two purposes for the cost of one, take advantage! Personalized water bottles are one of our favorite ways to save money at weddings. Customized water bottles serve two purposes (refreshment and wedding favors) for the cost of one! Our “Spring Lily” design, shown above, is brand new and perfect for a spring wedding favor or summer wedding favor. Another great idea is to choose a single venue for your ceremony and reception. This will cut down on decoration, transportation, and rental fees. Even though it seems more expensive up-front, it’s often more cost-effective to use a hotel ballroom because they supply many of the things you would have to rent anyway (like chairs, tables, table cloths) and often have decorations you can use for free.
- Schedule your wedding and reception to occur between meal times. This way, your guests won’t come expecting to be fed a huge meal. Many weddings are scheduled to wrap up around 5 or 6 at night, leaving guests plenty of time to go seek nourishment elsewhere.
- Appoint a trusted, and obsessively organized, friend or family member to serve as your wedding coordinator. Provide him or her with vendor phone numbers, wedding ceremony details, family flight and accommodation information, and other useful details and let him or her make all the day-of details smooth for you. This will save you the cost of hiring a wedding coordinator without forcing you to the sacrifice the benefits.
Regardless of whether you serve hamburgers or steak at your reception, the most important thing to remember is that at the end of the day, you will be married to the person you love. Everything else is gravy.