Let’s face it – weddings can be expensive! Below are a few ways to save money.
Schedule the wedding in off-peak times. When there’s less competition for dates, you can have more negotiating power.
Choose any day other than Saturday Ask about rates for Friday- and Sunday-night weddings. Weekdays are even cheaper.
Consider choosing a nontraditional venue. Rather than a dedicated wedding reception hall or country club, check out less expensive facilities, from city-run spaces like zoos and civic gardens to restaurants or more offbeat locations that have some meaning for you, from a beach to your parents’ yard. One caveat: If the space is not equipped to cater a party, calculate extra costs for bringing in tables, toilets, or even a kitchen.
The Wedding Dress
Consider renting or borrowing a dress. Or buy one secondhand. Oftentimes, if the bride changes her mind about her dress or has to postpone the wedding, you might be able to score a deal on a never-been-worn gown.
Make it a daytime reception.
Avoid the traditional sit-down dinner or buffet meal altogether. Instead, host a cocktail reception with cake and punch or cake and cocktails. Or have a potluck reception, which makes for a less formal, more intimate wedding with a nice feeling of community.
Serve signature cocktails. Since most reception sites charge for every bottle opened, even if it was for just one drink, consider offering a limited bar. Choose a signature cocktail (or a series of signature cocktails) that use one type of liquor. Then, ask to stock a few other bottles based on the wedding party’s preferences. Another option is to serve just beer, wine, and enough champagne for toasts.
The Wedding Cake
Have a small cake. You can have a wonderfully decorated, yet smaller cake on display that’s used for cutting, and then have a sheet cake in the kitchen for serving.
Choose seasonal and local flowers for your reception.
Use one kind of flowers in your bouquets and arrangements. It’s a budget-friendly move because your florist will need to place only one bulk order.
The Invitations, Programs, and Favors
Take advantage of the talents of the bridal party and other friends and family. Anything you can make yourself becomes a fun shared effort and can save a lot.
Make some items do double duty. To save the cost of printed place cards, add guests’ names to the favors and set one at each place, or print the names at the top of your menu cards.
Make your own favors. If you have time, whip up your grandma’s famous macaroons or make your own chocolate-covered almonds.
Skip favors. Place a bowl of candies on the cake table with a note saying, “Please enjoy these candies. In lieu of favors we’ve made a donation to charity.”