Some Waste is Obvious
I suppose it is because weddings are my job, but it has started to become obvious where money can be saved and where its being wasted. The best cuts aren’t the ones you’d normally even consider. It’s actually not the obvious items that can be easily cut. When trying to keep a wedding to a budget, it’s those more obscure things, the things I’ve observed over time that can really make a difference in the budget.
If I’ve got these little insider pieces of info, I figured many of our team members did too. So I asked a couple of them, and together we came up with this quick list of budget cuts that are amazing, and won’t be missed.
Cut Your Photography Budget
Now hold on, before you stop reading all together, hang with me here. I want you to hire an amazing photographer, but you might need to readjust the ideas you had about how long you need her to work for you. The most important moments for photography are at the beginnin. Getting ready, first look, ceremony, formal pictures, introductions, formal dances, and cake. Everything after that sort of looks the same. Everyone out on the dance floor at hour one looks about the same at hour 3 (maybe a little sloppier). However, most people want the photographer to stick around for the special exit. So here’s an idea, do a cool exit from the ceremony. Yes, like they used to do! Remember when the guests would wait outside the church and throw rice? Not only will this allow you to reduce the total hours you need a photographer, it’s also a really cool tradition.
Cool idea right? If you haven’t heard of the Lafayette, LA based company Something Borrowed Blooms, check them out. They’ll rent you a silk version of your dream wedding flowers from one of their collections. After the wedding, you return them in their pre-paid boxes. These will run you about 1/3 of the cost of the real deal. Idea Courtesy of Natalie Atkinson, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Choose a Signature Cocktail
Serving beer and wine is much cost effective then the full bar. But if you want to offer something beyond beer and wine, try a premixed signature cocktail. Its also a fun personal touch that will be remembered by your guests. Also, remember that purchasing a keg will be a better deal and bottles or cans. Idea Courtesy of Natalie Atkinson, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Votives are the Best Value
If you love candle light but want to keep your décor budget to a minimum. Opt for votives and smaller candles that you can purchase at www.dollartree.com. Also, keep in mind that even the slightest wind will keep outdoor candles from remaining lit. If you think unlit candles are a waste and you are having a wedding outside, save your money. When you rent candles from a décor company you are paying for the expense to set up, pick up, clean, and store those candles at the rental company. It’s not just the cost of the candle. So you’ll need to have a plan for those 4 things if you want to DIY in this area. Idea Courtesy of Natalie Atkinson, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Reduce the Distance
When the getting ready locations, ceremony, and reception spaces are close by, things are simpler and less costly. First, you won’t need to pay for transportation for your wedding party or your guests. Second, your professionals will only have to make one delivery. Third, if you’re covering parking for pros, guests, or even your self, its just one fee, instead of three.
Programs as Fans or Hankies
If you’re getting married in the summer, have your ceremony program double as a fan. If you’re doing a second line parade, print your program directly on your hankies. Idea Courtesy of Natalie Atkinson, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Hair and Makeup at the Salon
Consider having your hair and makeup done at the salon, especially if you can find one nearby. This will save you on travel fees. You can still have your wedding party arrive at the getting ready location early to hang out. You’ll still want to clearly communicate your plans with the salon and have appointments scheduled for each person.
Use Your Home as the Getting Ready Location
If you plan to get ready in a hotel, you are likely spending anywhere from $200 for a basic room to $800 for a suite. Plus you need the room for the night prior to the wedding and the wedding night itself in order to accommodate the stretch of time required for getting ready. That is a big expense! This option becomes more feasible if you are doing hair and makeup at the salon since you’ll need less space in your home for everyone to get ready. Though you may save upwards of $1,000 on this option, I’d suggest setting aside some money and time for freshening up your home and getting it ready for guests and pictures.
Rent the Dress
Have you considered renting your wedding dress? Rent The Runway offers delivery in 2 sizes of rented dresses. Wear it, put it in the garment bag provided and send it back. They handle the dry cleaning. Idea Courtesy of Heather Schwaner, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Put a Spending Freeze on Décor
Before you purchase ANY piece of décor for your wedding, first ask to borrow! People are always getting married, and always trying to get rid of or share their décor. Ask around, or check out Facebook marketplace or www.wedding-recycle.com for others selling their wedding decor. Idea Courtesy of Heather Schwaner, Uncommon Camellia Lead Coordinator
Your Guests Won’t Have a Clue
These 10 ideas have one major thing in common, they will NOT seem like budget cuts from the perspective of your guests. And yes, there are definitely some budget cuts that are noticeable. Some cuts even signal to guests that you’ve stretched your budget too thin. But these ideas actually do the opposite. They are intentional decisions to forgo unwanted expenses. That is wedding budget smart! These decisions signal to your guests that you thought about the day and carefully chose the options that fit your taste and your budget.