You found the right person. You’re ready for your dream wedding. The bad news is, you don’t have a dream budget. Don’t postpone saying “I Do” because your budget is saying “I Don’t.” With the average wedding costing over $25,000, it’s easy to get discouraged. Take a deep breath and grab a pen and paper, I am about to alleviate all of your stress. You CAN have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Follow these 15 cost cutting tips to help make your wedding day possible.
- Make Your Own Decorations- You know all of those Pinterest crafts you have pinned, but have never tried? Now is the time to break out your crafty side and get to work! There are tons of beautiful crafts that would make any wedding dazzle. Get your bridesmaids together and make a day of it! (You could also make your own invitations!)
- Cost Effective Photography- A professional photographer can cost thousands of dollars, yikes! With the world of new photographers rapidly growing, you have options. Get on Facebook and search for new photographers. These newbies will likely be extremely talented, but have yet to get their big break. They will also put tons of effort into your pictures to spruce up their portfolio. You can hire a new photographer for much cheaper than a seasoned one, and still get great pictures. Also, you can provide all of your guests with disposable cameras, and let your guests be your photographer. You will get a lot of candid pictures this way, and some gems as well.
- Hire a Friend- If you don’t have a family minister that you are already using, why not ask a friend to officiate? They will be delighted that you asked them, and most likely won’t charge you for their services. It only takes about 30 minutes and $25 to get ordained online. Some ministers charge hundreds of dollars to officiate, so this is an awesome way to cut costs.
- Family Catering– Do you have an uncle that makes an awesome roast? What about your cousin who makes those adorable cake pops? Choose a few family members to make their specialty dishes for your wedding reception. Let them know that this will be their wedding gift to you. Set up your reception buffet style, and let all of those special dishes shine!
- Weekday or Winter- if you have a dream venue that is out of your budget, consider planning your ceremony during an “off time.” Have your wedding in the morning on a week day, or instead of summer time (wedding time) go for a winter wedding. Often times you can get cheaper rates if you schedule your nuptials during “off” season.
- Diamond in the Rough Venue- Haven’t decided on a venue yet? It’s amazing what venues you can find if you open your mind. Does your mom’s back yard have potential to look like a botanical garden? Does the city park have a spot that would be gorgeous with the right amount of tulle? Open your mind to nontraditional venues. Your office, the local art museum, parks, backyards, or school auditoriums could all be great places to host your dream wedding.
- Limit Your Guest list- If your best friend from kindergarten who you haven’t spoken to in years is on your guest list, it is time to make some cuts. This day is a special day that should be shared with the most important people in your life. If you limit your list you cut your costs!
- Plan Your Own Wedding- Skip the cost of hiring a planner. Yes they are amazing, but ultimately unnecessary. Get a wedding planning book or do research online. Get with friends and family who have already tied the knot for advice. You are totally capable of planning your own wedding!
- Be Your Own DJ- Hook up your Ipod or Mp3 player to some speakers, and voila a DJ! You can create your own playlist, and have a friend announce important events. This is an awesome way to make sure all the songs you love are played!
- Go with Silk- Flowers can be a super expense. Consider going with silk flowers instead. Buy them when hobby lobby is having their sale, and save hundreds of dollars! You can create your own flower arrangements this way, too. A new trend is cloth flowers, or broach bouquets as well. If you are against fake flowers, buy the flowers the day before the wedding. You may not have as much say so in the floral arrangements this way, but the real flowers will be MUCH cheaper.
- Use one Venue- If at all possible, make the place you have your ceremony the same place you have your reception. There is no need to have to pay two rental fees. Plus it is much more likely that people will stay for the reception if they don’t have to drive around town.
- Cut the Cake- The cost of wedding cakes are on the rise, Consider getting a plain wedding cake and embellishing on your own. Add some silk flowers to make it stand out. Skipping the cake all together is not unheard of. Set up a dessert bar instead. Make your own cake. Opt for cupcakes. Country wedding? How about apple pies instead. There is a lot of leeway with the cake,
- Shop Around- This goes for everything! If you see your dream wedding dress, try it on, and then search for it online at a discounted price, Wait until things go on sale. Anything you can find in a store, you can probably find online for half the price, http://www.weddingbee.com/ is a great resource to find wedding stuff. Brides get on there and sell their wedding decorations and dresses after their wedding for reasonable prices.
- Hair and Makeup– Go to a local cosmetology school to get you and your bridesmaids hair done. They will do an awesome job for dirt cheap. Go to Mearle Norman or Dillards and have one of the makeup artists do your makeup for free! They will love to make you up for your special day.
- Something Borrowed- Don’t limit something borrowed to your attire. Don’t be afraid to ask your close friends and family to borrow things for your special day.
Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life. Don’t let the cost ruin the excitement. Use some or all of these steps to cut costs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your close friends and family will jump at the opportunity to help. Congrats on your engagement! Happy wedding planning.