16 Tips For Keeping Your Wedding On A Budget - Part 2
Weddings are romantic, beautiful, life-changing, and expensive. It is a real challenge for a couple today to have a wedding with all the traditional frills and modern twists without spending tens of thousands of dollars. But it can be done.
We have compiled some great tips for you, from experts in all things wedding. Enjoy your adventure and save some cash in the process.
Get help from your friends
1. "Keep your friends close! We've all got super-talented friends who I'm sure will be happy to help out at a reduced rate (or even for free). I had friends and family make our cake, sew my veil, do my hair and makeup. All at a professional standard but without the price tag! PLus it felt really special to involve them in our day" Laura White from twenteasomething.com.
Hire the right team
2. “In my humble opinion, the number 1 way to stay on budget is to: Hire an Experienced Wedding Planner! I know it seems counter intuitive- but spending "extra" on a wedding planner can actually help you save time, sanity, and money in the long run. Often times, well established planners have developed industry relationships that work in the favor of the couples. I for one am willing to offer special perks to couples working with wedding planners. Additionally, planners often have access to decorations and such helping the couple save money on those little things that tend to add up. Kristen Lenox from K. Lenox Photography.
3. "Always do your own research and hiring. Going through a booking agent, wedding planner, or other third party will almost always result in an additional fee. Google the instrument you are interested in, along with the name of your city (i.e. Harpist, Miami) and you will be presented with both online third party sites (like gigmasters and WeddingWire), and the personal websites of professionals in that area. Email and deal with the musician personally and all parties will benefit, but always be sure to do your research. At the very least, read the artist's bio from their website, and request recordings of their playing." Kristina Finch, from Harpcolumn.
4. "Hiring a quality wedding planner will pay for itself three times over. The best wedding planners that we work with go above and beyond for their clients offering invaluable expertise, which in the end saves money and reduces the overall stress of the planning process." Jamie Podworski from JPod Films.
5. “Budgeting can be difficult as a bride, when you don’t know the industry or the cost of vendors/venues. As a planner, we assist in reviewing your budget as a whole, and then giving you breakdowns and estimates for what these items/services cost. Not only is it beneficial for the client, but it also helps create a sense of financial security when there are so many insecurities about weddings. Do yourself a favor, hire a well-seasoned planner to keep you and your financial wedding goals on point.” Teresa Fernandez from Simply Couture Weddings.
6. “Details are everything at the reception, but you don't have to break the bank to impress your guests. Instead of buying table linens or other unique items, seek out an event rental company in your area. That way, you can rent that must-have sequined tablecloth for a fraction of a cost, and you won't be stuck with an item you don't need after the night is over.” Melisa Shcupmann from KC Weddings.
7. “I think the most important thing to think about when it comes to staying on budget with photography is to be sure you get your coverage first. You can always add an album or prints after the big day but you can never go back and be sure you hired your dream photographer for the time you needed. Focus on coverage so you have wedding photographs you're proud to show off.” Jennifer Smith - Photographer of Darling Photography.
8. “If you find a vendor that you love that is out of your budget, make a list of your priorities from highest to lowest. For example, you may feel that an open bar or a stellar band is a high priority while perhaps decorations are not. Take an honest look at your list with your fiancé and see what you can cut back on. When I found the photographer of my dreams,I made the decision to use my second favorite catering company and cut back a bit on flowers so that I could afford her. What are your priorities?” Melina Wallisch from Melina Wallisch Photography.
Setting priorities and where you spend your money
9. “Thrifting can be your best friend. If you are a bride looking for a high end look on a budget, there is nothing like finding vintage sets of china and brass pieces for a classic southern wedding. Also, don't be afraid to keep the food casual, nothing is more fun than a BBQ wedding on fancy dishware. It will keep your budget down and your guests will be so happy with the menu.” Michiel Perry from Black Southern Belle.
10. “My biggest tip for keeping your wedding on budget is to decide what parts of the wedding are the most important to you. Is it the venue, the photography, the flowers, the dress? Often couples feel obligated to go over budget in areas that aren’t necessarily the most important to them because they are just doing what they think is right based on what they have seen of other people’s weddings. While all of the elements of your wedding day are important, deciding (and staying focused) on the things that truly and personally matter the most to you, will help you allocate your funds appropriately.” Angela Blake from Angela Blake Photography.
11. “I'm a strong believer in making things work for you, with a little give and take. You CAN have the wedding of your dreams if you're willing to compromise on some of the details. For example, one of the easiest ways to rack up some major savings is by being flexible with your wedding date. Everyone rushes for those Saturday bookings, but you can sometimes save up to 50% if you schedule yours for a Friday evening or Sunday. Trust me, no-one will remember what day of the week your wedding was, they'll remember how great it was”. Kunbi O from Aisle Perfect.
12. “When planning for a wedding, I would recommend putting aside some money for incidentals and a splurge. There is going to be at least one item that the couple will want to splurge on. Choose wisely!” Misse Daniel from Honey Bee Weddings.
13. "Know your wedding vision & stick to it! It can be easy to get bombarded with "wedding fluff" that you come across when you least expect it (like when perusing the internet at 12 AM or walking through Target after a long day of work), so know your wedding vision and stick to it. Before buying, consider if this item will contribute to your wedding by being a cheap distraction or if it will impact your guests' experience. Simplify and focus on the meaning of each detail rather than adding the "wedding junk" out of anxiety or fear." Heather Payne from Heather Payne Photography.
14. “We've noticed a lot of couples tend to compromise on small details, such as invitations, programs, menus, escort cards and so on. With so much inspiration all over the internet from social media outlets, a lot of the stationary components can be handled by the the bridal party.. Look for generic templates online and add a little custom element.Rather than wasting additional paper on programs, menus, and escort cards, a simple way of providing guests information, is purchasing a few vintage style mirrors or chalkboard from a local craft store and handwriting all the necessary information to display during pre-ceremony time. The couple will save time and reduce their overall wedding budget by at least half.” Judith H. from Splendor and Bliss Weddings and Design.
15. “One of my biggest tips to help my brides stay on budget is to avoid the "extras". I have to admit I'm a sucker for gorgeous details but your wedding will still be beautiful without them. Tiny favors, welcome bags, programs (if your church/venue doesn't provide them), and menus, are great touches but half of the time your guests don't even notice them or throw them away. I think those items are best to add in towards the end if you have the budget.” Jennifer Gregory from Heather Benge Events.
16. “Most brides have a general idea of what they want to spend, but without specific target amounts, will often exceed their ideal numbers. Set an overall wedding budget with prioritized items so that you can distribute your dollars accordingly to what is most valuable to you. Then, be sure to record and track your expenses as they are made according to those categories so you can quickly and easily see how your dollars are adding up, where they are being spent, and whether any adjustments will need to be made as you get closer to finalizing plans.TIP: Hold back a 5% - 10% reserve of your overall budget for unexpected expenses or unforeseen changes!” Heather Kline, from Heather Kline Photography.
Your dream wedding can become your reality with a little planning, creativity, and thriftiness. You can shave dollars from things that are not as essential and enjoy the parts of your wedding that you and your guests will remember. You have to decide where you want to spend your money. If a special save the date card means so much to you that you are willing to give up the flower of your choice, then it is a good trade. Only you can set your priorities and there is no wrong way to have your dream wedding. It is your dream.