Without Sacrificing Your Dream Wedding
One of the top questions that I get asked are ways to cut your wedding costs. While we all wish budgets were unlimited, the reality is that they usually aren’t and, at the end of the day, most people do have to find places to save on the expenses.
The first place to start is to ask yourself where the non-negotiables are—what are the most important things to you and your fiance.
Is it the food? Photography? Or do you just have to have those hand-created ice sculptures sent over Norway?
Seriously, what aspects of the wedding are so important to you that, if you didn’t have them, you would feel disappointed?
Figure that out and then, no matter what I say in the next part, don’t let those things go.
Got it? Ok, let’s keep going.
Top 4 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs
Minimize the Florals
As much as I love a decadent floral display, I’ll be the first to tell you that you can still have beautiful, impactful florals without going over the top.
A few things to remember – your florals do not have to cover every square inch of the venue. And, also, contrary to popular belief, greenery does not necessarily lower the cost of your flowers… so more greenery and less flowers, isn’t necessarily the answer (unless this is the look you are going for).
For florals, you need to account for your bouquet, your bridal party, any boutonnieres, floral arrangements for tables, candles, and any ceremony decor, just to name a few things to account for. It adds up fast.
Here are a few things to consider when cutting back your florals:
*With ceremony decor, consider where you are getting married. If you are lucky enough to be getting married somewhere beautiful (like Montanta, am-I-right?), you probably have the opportunity to have a ceremony site with a view. An outside venue with a sweeping panoramic view doesn’t necessarily need floral displays to add to the beauty. Consider cutting back here to save a bit of cash. Maybe do one impactful display as opposed to several.
*Bouquets can add up quickly, especially with larger wedding parties. Consider having a smaller bridal party or, if you just can’t decide between your 20 closest friends, look at alternatives to floral bouquets. Your bridesmaids really do need something to hold in their hands while walking down the aisle, but who (besides tradition) says it must be flowers? Pinterest is full of ideas but a few of my favorites are winter muffs or shaws (great for aesthetics and for keeping warm during cool-month weddings), fans, or vintage cameras.
*The right table settings can easily make or break the reception decor but, the floral costs here can add up quick. Here are a few suggestions to keep the design flowing and still be impactful but also save a few dollars.
Consider larger installations but maybe not on every table. If you have 10 tables in the reception area, consider 3 larger installations and then smaller designs on the other tables.
Use your bridesmaids bouquets as floral displays on welcome tables, buffet tables, cake displays, etc.
Instead of over-the-top florals in the reception, consider other decor – such as thrifted, reclaimed items or rented decor.
I am not sure when it became common to have wedding favors but feel free to quote me when I say, it isn’t necessary and you can easily leave this out of your bottom line.
The truth is, favors are normally left behind at the end of the night or quickly discarded. It is probably the most wasteful part of most weddings that I am a part of.
The idea behind favors is nice enough—it is a kind way of thanking your guests for their support—but you are hosting a decadent, amazing event for your closest friends and family and that really should be enough.
If you need to do something that is cheaper and less wasteful, consider printing images of your guests at the wedding and sending them with thank you cards. You are thanking your guests and giving them something that is more likely to be appreciated and kept.
So, skip the favors and save a few dollars. No one will mind.
Cut Back on the Toasts
Generally, when doing the toasts at a wedding, the catering servers will bring champagne to everyone attending the reception.
And if you are trying to cut back on your wedding budget, I’ll be the first to tell you that this isn’t necessary. Give your guests the option to have champagne and just make sure the emcee announces that everyone needs to have a drink in hand for the upcoming toasts. This cuts back on costs (because champagne for 100 guests adds up quick) and also cuts back on waste.
Just let people toast with their drink of choice. Everyone will be happier for it.
Before you move forward with your rentals, double-check with your venue and see what they include in their venue fee or what they might have in-house. This is a huge area where your rental option may make or break your bottom line.
You will be surprised at what you can get from the venue itself – either included in the venue fee itself or at a discounted rate.
Start Saving Money
It isn’t difficult to see how you can cut back your budget without letting go of areas that are important to you. So many people go directly to the big ticket items or (what they feel are) frivolous ideas, but truly, there are so many ways to decrease your budget without affecting your overall vibe.
So, there you have it – my top 4 ways to cut wedding costs without sacrificing what is important to you – florals, favors, champagne, and rentals.
Do you have any other ways that you cut your budget back? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Can’t wait for your next newsletter? You’re in luck—there is so much wedding planning goodness already on the blog. Check out this post about creating the perfect wedding timeline.