Economic crisis or not, weddings aren’t slowing down any time soon. Brides are just having to get more creative to get the most out of their shrinking budget. I’m probably a bad wedding planner for saying this but I didn’t start Southern Fete because I’m obsessed with weddings or think it’s the one day you should really get everything you wanted. Nope, I started because I wanted brides to have the wedding of their dreams AND the marriage. No one wants to start their marriage in the red so it’s important to me to make that happen for them.
Here are just a few tips to get the biggest bang for your buck:
1. My number one rule for cutting the budget is trimming the guest list. Many couples are now opting for smaller weddings not only for the intimate setting it provides but because each guest can cost on average $30 a piece. The same principle applies to trimming the wedding party. One bridesmaid and groomsmen can cost over $100 between flowers and gifts. You don’t have to sacrifice a best friend to the fire for this. Just keep obligatory bridemaids to a minimum. Ask yourself, “Who will I be friends with ten years from now?”
2. DIY, DIY, DIY. Whether it’s favors, programs, flowers, decor, doing-it-yourself will save you money, but not time. Make sure that is one resource you have plenty of before undergoing a big project.
3. Skip the letterpress and save the trees. Letterpress invitations are nice but not necessary. A new generation of invitations have begun without letterpress or inner envelopes. Designs are more playful and modern. And luckily for brides, creating a wedding Web site with all direction, hotel and registry info can save money by keeping the number of inserts in your invitation like reception cards and RSVP’s to a minimum. You can even have guest RSVP through the site. If you are determined to have many inserts have us handle it. After going with several brides to check out invitations, many were so overwhelmed by the prices that they didn’t return to look for months. My partner and I created Butterscotch Press to provide those brides with affordable invitations.
4. Forgo the top shelf. Cutting out a full bar and serving only beer and wine will save tons of money. If you still want to serve something different without providing a full bar consider a signature drink that represents the couple.
5. Less is more. Your bouquet doesn’t have to be the size of a small garden. Having 8 peonies instead of 12 can add to big savings considering the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Consider adding filler flowers to create the look without breaking the bank.
6. Be yourself. If you don’t want to where a veil don’t wear a veil just because you think you have to. If you hate cake, opt for cupcakes, cannolis, pies or other sweets. Knowing the rules is important so you know which one’s you are willing to break.
7. Research, ask or hire someone who will. For most brides, this is their first experience hiring a rental company or florist. Researching the most affordable flower for fall or the catering company in town will help you avoid costly mistakes, or hire a wedding planner who can guide you through the process. I love showing brides unexpected ways to save money.
How are you tightening the purse strings?