The best piece of advice I received when planning my wedding was this: at the end of the day you only have two things left – your wedding rings and your photos – so invest in them. In other words, invest in what you consider to be priorities, allocate accordingly and know the maximum you are willing to pay for each aspect of your wedding. In love with a five-tier show-stopping cake? Choose buttercream over fondant and fresh flowers over sugar flowers to keep costs down. Keen on a designer wedding gown? Why not stop by their sample sale, get something off the rack and alter it; these dresses are often 20 to 90% off their retail price and just as gorgeous as any other.
Keep reading for more budget-saving tips!
1. Work with what you have
If you have hired chairs for your ceremony, why not reuse them for your reception? Whether having a sit-down dinner or cocktail event, they can double as a comfortable seating option. Have you used tea-light candles to line your aisle? Ask your wedding coordinator to switch them onto your dining or buffet tables as decor.
2. Have a weekday wedding
Many vendors and venues offer service discounts for weekday wedding because there are more weekdays than weekends per month and weekdays are a less popular choice.
3. Create a wedding website
Consider going paper-free and create a wedding website. They are easy to create from a free template online and can replace the many paper inserts often included with wedding invitations; rehearsal dinner details, gift registry location, parking or accommodation options. The website can also be updated if bad weather, or anything else, forces you to change your plans.
4. Dress shop early and visit trunk shows
Ordering your wedding gown as early as possible will cut out rush fees and last-minute alterations costs which can cost several hundred dollars. Shopping for your dress at a trunk show can also save your budget; dresses are often less expensive and some salons offer special deals like a free alteration or veil.
5. Look for social media sales
Follow your favourite vendors and suppliers on social media for possible discounts and sales; many vendors offer specials at the end of the calendar and financial years or if their calendar isn’t completely full yet.
6. Attend free wedding exhibitions
Most vendors offer giveaways and competitions when exhibiting at an expo; take the time to walk around and check if any vendors that catch your eye have something on offer.
7. Get into greenery
Greenery in your bouquet and floral arrangements is an inexpensive way to bulk up your arrangements, in size and textures.
8. Get on a grazing table
Cocktail canapes have been an alternative to traditional sit-down receptions, now grazing tables have taken over in popularity. Instead of paying per canape, you pay per square meter of food. This saves costs, not only in the food itself but also in waitstaff and servers.
9. Candle centrepieces
Candles, whether tealights or taper, add warmth and romance to your venue. Scattering a few across your table with a small posy as the table centrepiece will cut your costs dramatically.
10. Borrow your baubles
Rather than purchasing new jewellery, why not borrow from a friend or family member; classic pieces always go down well and it could count as your “something borrowed”. You can also speak to some high-end jewellery boutiques about hiring some of their prices; a necklace that may cost $20,000 to purchase may only cost $300 to hire.
11. Downsize your cake
The majority of wedding cake ends up coming home with the bride and groom as not all guests will partake. Instead, have a single or two-tier cake for cutting and those who like cake, as well as a small dessert or candy bar that will allow guests to choose their own dessert and pack goodie-bags to take home.
12. Use in-season flowers
Asking your florist to source a particular type of flower quickly increases the cost of your flowers, especially if they’re out of season. Do your research ahead of time and choose florals that are in-season and local to the area to save on growing and transportation costs.
13. Order your rings online
Online shopping is an easy and safe option for many different wedding items, and rings are no exception. Simply get sized at a local jewellery store, select your favourite ring online and order! These are often less expensive than local stores and stones are more likely to be ethically sourced.
14. Combine food and favours
Instead of selecting a favour that many people forget to take home as well as providing late-night snacks, pass out a small snack near the end of the night – like a cookie or chocolate bar – to guests as they leave the reception.
15. Shuffle to Spotify
If you’re not fussed on dancing or big music moments, skip the DJ and simply ask a friend to oversee your digital playlist throughout the ceremony and reception.
Until next time, keep making your special moments unforgettable x