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9 Smart Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

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Weddings are expensive — there’s no getting around that. But there are many ways you can limit your costs while still having your dream wedding. The most obvious way to do this is limit the numbers to the people you love most. However, that can be tricky. Nobody wants to insult family members, after all. If you’ve been invited to your third cousin’s wedding, despite not having seen him in ten years, not returning the invitation can lead to family drama.

Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to save your dollars. Here are some smart ideas.

1. The Venue

Spring and summer is prime wedding season, so venues charge the most during these months. Having your wedding between January and March can save a quarter on venue fees.

Consider holding your wedding on Friday night or Sunday morning or afternoon. Venues charge a premium for Saturdays which can add as much as 20 percent to the cost.

If your wedding and reception are in the same venue, you’ll save on transportation and extra fees. Instead of a hotel or other venue, consider using your church’s reception hall. If they don’t have one, consider a venue close by. There is no rule stating a bride can’t stroll for five minutes from the church to the reception.

Make sure your venue provides chairs. Some event spaces expect you to rent these separately.

Before you book, sign a contract or pay a deposit, ask for an itemized list of fees in addition to the base service rate. There may be hidden costs to setup and remove the tables and chairs, and the venue may try and pass this cost on to you.

2. Invitations and stationery

Handwritten invitations will save a fortune on printing costs. Alternatively you could design the stationery yourself and have it printed on good quality card instead of buying ready-made wedding stationery. Instead of including RSVP cards, ask your guest to respond by email. If you really want to cut costs you could email the invitations, but that one is controversial!

3. The dress

We’ve dedicated a whole post to saving money on the dress. Have a look at it here (link: https://www.precanacourses.com/blog/132-wedding-dress-shopping-you-need-to-have-two-budgets)

4. Flowers

The cost of flowers can be reduced by using a striking filler like bear grass or having your florist use floral spray to change the hue or color of cheaper flowers.

Find out what will be in season and then plan your flowers. Flowers that are out of season will cost a premium — and most of your guests won’t even know or appreciate the extra expense.

Consider using candles instead of large or tall floral centerpieces. These can look dramatic and create an intimate feeling when the sun goes down. For something a little more fun, although less traditional, consider using helium filled balloons. These will add to the party atmosphere when the dancing starts.

Only use flowers were they are going to be seen and appreciated all through the reception. You don’t need them in the entrance hall for the few minutes your guests pass through it.

5. Food and drink

Choose healthier and lighter foods for your cocktail reception. These are cheaper, as are hors d’oeuvres which can be passed around by a waiter instead of having a chef at a hot food station.

Don’t have an open bar. Have a signature drink for the cocktail reception, and wine during dinner or lunch. Alternatively make wine and beer freely available, but let guests buy their own hard liquor if they wish.

Buffets cost around a third less than formal sit down dinners. You could also consider having chefs at cooking stations making food to order. Everyone gets a hot meal without the cost of waiters.

A wedding brunch is much less expensive than a dinner. Plus, if you have your wedding in the morning, followed by brunch, you can get the party started early. This is especially useful if you are having a winter wedding and live north enough for short winter days.

Informal food, such as cute sliders, or artisan pizza tend to be very popular with guests and are significantly cheaper than the steak and fish route.

6. The cake and desserts

A cake with fake layers beneath it can look impressive. The bride and groom only cut the top layer or two layers, but have a sheet cake ready to be cut and served to guests.

Say no to the groom’s cake. It is not necessary.

Standard flavours are generally more crowd pleasing and cheaper. A vanilla or chocolate cake with buttercream icing will be much less expensive than a red velvet cake with sculpted fondant.

Don’t have a dessert buffet. Instead have waitstaff serve little dessert options.

7. Photos and video

Unless you are having a really large wedding, only have one photographer — but one whose work you know and trust.

Consult with the photographer about the timeline he or she is required. You won’t necessarily want several hours worth of dancing photos.

Cut the cake and toss the bouquet early. That way you can cut down on the amount of time you need the photographer and videographer.

8. Entertainment

DJs are generally less expensive than a band. You don’t necessarily need a DJ for the cocktail reception. You could have a single singer/musician play earlier on, or find out if it is possible to play music from an iPod earlier on. The less hours the DJ is onsite, the less you’ll pay.

9. Extras

Considering ditching the extras that most people won’t even notice. These include printed placecards and wedding favors. You can ditch both, or add guests’ names to the favors and set one at each place.