Lots of Ideas
by Kelly Hardin
Planning a wedding, especially in today’s economy, can be challenging for brides and grooms. Plus, who doesn’t want to save a buck? As a wedding consultant, I encounter couples with all sorts of budgets. Here are some ideas to help you save some money or at least stretch it a bit.
--Ceremony flowers can be very expensive and are only used for a short amount of time. Try to reuse the ceremony flowers somewhere at your reception. You can reuse the ceremony arrangements at the bar, buffet table or guest book table.
--Pick a day other than Saturday. Many wedding venues offer a discount if you have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford your dream venue on a Saturday, ask about another day. You might be surprised what other vendors may have discounts as well on other days (DJ, photographer, and more).
--Save money by not giving out favors. Favors can add quite a bit of money to an already tight budget. If you have 150 guests at $2.00 per favor, that is $300. You could put that money towards something that maybe you had to cut that is more important to you. Think about how many additional guests that you could invite if you didn’t give a bag of mints to everyone.
--Food can be very expensive, especially if you have a large guest list. Consider having a later evening wedding and having a dessert buffet. Who doesn’t love sweets??!! You can also save money buy ordering a smaller wedding cake, since there will be lots of desserts to eat. Think about petits fours, cookies, brownies, fruit tarts, lemon bars, and other favorite desserts.
--Think about printing your own invitations using one of the many kits that are now offered. Instructions are included with the kits and they can be printed using your home computer and printer. Check your local craft stores for kit options.
--Look at local department stores for bridesmaid dresses. There are lots of big sales after Christmas and New Year’s Day.
--Consider cutting down your guest list. Do you really need to invite your friend from fifth grade that you haven’t seen in 15 years? Probably not.
--If you want a fully hosted bar, but can’t afford it, ask your venue about hosting the bar for only two hours and then switching it to a no-host bar. Or after two hours, you can continue to host non-alcoholic drinks such as sodas and then a no-host bar for everything else. A semi-hosted bar is also an option.
--Have a daytime wedding instead of an evening wedding. Lunch is always less expensive than dinner. Also, site fees are less expensive for daytime weddings (sometimes you can save $1,000 or more at some venues to rent the location for a wedding that ends by 4pm).
Kelly Hardin, owner of Artistic Wedding & Event Planning is a Certified Wedding Consultant and Certified Destination Wedding Coordinator located in Northern California. Every bride has dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little girl. Kelly loves turning their dream wedding into a reality.