Saving money on your big day is completely possible and you can still get the amazing venue, photographer etc., that you’ve been dreaming of. Here are some of my personal favorite money saving tips to help you plan an amazing wedding and not breaking the bank.
1. "Non-Saturday" Weddings Are Totally In! Many vendors will offer discounted prices on weddings that happen on a “Non-Saturday” date. Who hasn't said; "Hey honey, it's Friday Night...what should we do?" Everyone is looking for something fun to do on a Friday night…why not make your wedding that something fun!
2. Off-Season Dates… You will pay more for everything if it’s during peak season for that area. There’s nothing wrong with an early spring or fall/winter wedding, especially if it saves you hundreds of dollars.
3. Have your ceremony & reception in the same place, if possible. Talk about a money saver & time saver combo!
4. Food & Drinks… A sit down dinner is going to cost you more every time, so consider finding an amazing caterer. And when it comes to drinks, stay away from endless alcohol options… Beer & wine will do just fine and save you loads of that green stuff.
5. Decor… Choose a venue with natural beauty that doesn’t need much decor to make it fab. Outdoor venues are almost always the way to save money on decor. Use what mother nature has to offer!
6. Bridesmaids Bouquet Alternatives… As a photographer I can tell you fake flowers will save you money but 9 times out of 10 they look horrible in photos. For your bridal bouquet spend the money on real flowers but save the money when it comes to the bridesmaids. Think single long stemmed flowers for each gal. It will save you a ton without leaving your wedding photos looking cheap or at if they are missing something. A flower also gives those hands something to do in photos so people don't feel & look awkward in your wedding photos.
7. Have your cake & eat it too. Let them eat cake…beautiful, not so expensive, cake. Naked cakes are all the rage and look especially great at outdoor weddings (remember that natural outdoor wedding with amazing natural decor that saved you hundreds...we talked about it in #5). You can also talk with your cake decorator about making a fake cake with just the bottom layer & top layers being actual cake. it won't save you a ton but it will save you some money and allow you to cut the bottom cake for photos and take home the top tier for your 1 year anniversary if you are into that older tradition. Then have your caterer serve cheaper sheet cake to your guests.
8. Book Vendors Early! If you want to save money try to book your vendors 9-18 months in advance. If you are planning for the following year you can, most of the time, lock in that years prices before vendors up pricing for the next year.
9. Let's talk wedding gowns... This can be a huge expense for a one time event dress. You can find a beautiful gown at a fraction of the price and help donate to charity by using a company like bridesforacause.com. But let me caution you to stay away from ordering a dress from eBay unless you like to gamble...I've seen and heard way too many horror stories from brides.