When you start planning your wedding, even a preliminary estimate of the costs can set your teeth on edge. Everything just adds up, and so quickly – who knew flowers were that expensive! Your wedding day should be a celebration of love and of family, not a financial headache. You don’t want to be thinking about your bank account being in the red when you cut the cake or do the first dance. Read on for some practical tips to plan your dream wedding without paying a royal sum for it.
You don’t need to hire an expensive professional planner in order to plan an beautiful wedding. In fact, you may even feel better having all the decisions in your own hands. You can use online wedding planning tools like MyWedding.com or other wedding sites to simplify the planning process. Best of all, they’re free!
The wedding and reception venues can be a big expense as well. Try planning your wedding for an off-season time and you’ll get lower prices. Saturdays are the most expensive days to book a reception hall, so pick a different day and you’ll save. If you’re planning a small wedding, an at-home reception is always an option to save on venue booking.
Keep It Intimate
In general, the more people you invite to your wedding, the more expensive it will get, so cut the guest list to only your closest friends and relatives. Besides saving you money, a smaller guest list will give your wedding a more intimate atmosphere. After all, you want to be able to enjoy the day with friends and family instead of rushing around trying to make sure you greet hundreds of people.
They say if you want a job done right, you should do it yourself. Get in touch with your arts and crafts side, and try making a DIY project of your centerpieces and decorations. At Pinterest.com you can find literally thousands of lovely ideas for centerpieces, decorations, favors, and more. Gather your girls for a night of crafting, and just add a batch of cookies to make it the perfect girls’ night.
You can also design your save-the-dates and invitations yourself at sites like TinyPrints.com. Here you can upload your own photos and choose from hundreds of original card designs. Order your save-the-dates and invitations with a coupon for Tiny Prints to really shrink down your wedding expenses.
No, that doesn’t mean skip the angelic white dress! But there are ways to find a stunning wedding dress at a fraction of the cost. Have your mom’s or grandma’s old dress that would be nice, but is just way out of date? Try having it altered. It’s amazing how snipping a little here and stitching a little there can really update a dress. Plus, then you’ll be able to wear a piece of family history – and vintage is in!
There are a couple other places you might find a discount gown. You can try checking out designer sample sales for huge discounts on big-name dresses. Also, an organization called Brides Against Breast Cancer holds used wedding dress sales in many cities across the country. With one of their gowns, you can save money and support a good cause at the same time.
Nibble, Don’t Gobble
A great way to save a chunk of change on a wedding is by not serving an evening meal at the reception. Sit-down meals and dinner buffets can be quite pricey. Instead, you can have a mid-day reception and just serve lunch and drinks. Or, if your heart is set on an evening reception, consider serving nice appetizers and drinks. Guests can fill up just as well on them, and not having a real sit-down meal will encourage guests to chat, dance, mingle, and generally have a great time.
When it comes to the cake, keep in mind you’re not trying to win “Ace of Cakes” here. Plus, the fancier your cake is, the more you’ll hesitate to cut it! A good way to save on your wedding cake is by getting a smaller tiered cake for the cake-cutting and for photos, and then a larger sheet cake that you can cut afterwards and serve to guests. It will taste just as sweet!