Weddings are one of the most momentous occasions you can celebrate, which is why many couples spare no expense in getting things right. You want a wedding that your friends and family will remember for a lifetime, and you will want everything to be perfect. The perfect venue. The perfect cake. The perfect suit or gown. But planning a wedding can place you under a lot of stress, not to mention the high price tag involved: According to a recent study, weddings cost an average of nearly 34 thousand dollars.
Planning a wedding need not be stressful. Instead of wasting time worrying about bad weather, dietary restrictions, tardy guests, and most importantly, a ballooning budget, you want to spend your day thinking about good things. A wedding is a celebration, and you should be out eating good food, drinking good wine, and partying with friends and family.
Here a few tips that will help you cut costs without compromising your wedding. Let’s begin.
1. Limit your guest list
As much as you want to share your most important milestones with all your friends and family, financial considerations can put a damper on your plans. It’s not a good idea to invite everyone you know, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite people you barely know. Weddings are special so you should limit your guest list to the absolute essentials.
The longer the guest list, the higher the price tag. Most caterers charge per person, so every additional name on the guest list only adds to your food and drink budget. Big weddings also feel less intimate. Start your guest list with everyone you want at your wedding and remove 10 people at a time until you’re happy with the final roster.
2. Ask friends and family to offer services instead of gifts
If you have friends who work in the creative industry or have valuable skills you can use, you can ask them to offer their services instead of a gift. That way, you can keep costs down while involving your loved ones in the process. Your wedding takes on a communal and collaborative spirit.
For instance, if you have friends who are blessed with the gift of music, they might be able to provide musical accompaniment for the ceremony. Wedding photographer and videographer packages are an essential component of the event, but maybe a close relative with an eye for photography might want to cover your wedding as a gift. And since your photographer is someone you know, they will take better and more intimate photos.
3. Find a free venue
Renting a function hall or ballroom for your ceremony and reception can take a big chunk out of your budget. To keep costs down, you might want to hold your wedding in your backyard, or at a public venue such as a park or the beach. You can even hold the ceremony and reception in one place. An outdoor wedding in a picturesque location can be more memorable than one held in a downtown hotel.
If you do decide to organize an outdoor wedding, you need to prepare for the possibility of bad weather. The last thing you want is a sudden downpour to ruin your day. You could rent a huge tent and some industrial fans to keep everyone comfortable and dry.
4. Skip the caterer and hire a small restaurant
Food and drink are usually the biggest expenses for the wedding. One way to economize is to skip the caterer and hire a family-owned joint instead. Caterers have higher markups than many restaurants and typically charge a premium for events such as weddings.
Maybe there’s a restaurant that you and your soon-to-be partner have been frequenting for years. It doesn’t hurt to ask the owner if they can cater to your wedding. They will pull out all the stops to create good food that won’t break the bank.
5. Minimize decor
You don’t want to spend too much money on decor and flowers that will be thrown away at the end of the day. Splurge only on the essentials and eliminate everything that isn’t needed. While the bride will need a beautiful bouquet, you can give something simpler to the bridesmaids instead.
The bottom line
Keeping your wedding small and simple will make things easier for everyone involved. Sticking to a budget allows you to start the next chapter of your life with more breathing room. And even if something does go wrong, just brush it off and focus on having fun instead. Your guests probably won’t notice the mistakes anyway.