Are you engaged, excited to plan your wedding, but nervous about all the costs that go with all of it? The chances are, there’s something you would love to have at your wedding celebration that might be just a slightly over-the-top (and therefore over-the-budget): a statement flower wall; not one, but two stunning wedding gowns, and a live band instead of just a DJ. But here’s the thing: these special additions can become really, really expensive.
TIP: When it comes to planning a wedding, it’s all about knowing your priorities and allocating your wedding budget funds wisely. That’s why making a list of your priorities and setting a budget should be step number one of wedding planning.
Lucky for you, a|WEDDING by Tatum teamed up with The Aleit Academy to put together the perfect been-there-done-that advice list providing tips on how to save money when planning you dream wedding. With this list you might just save thousands of Rands and celebrate your perfect day all at once!
The following tips can save you money without sacrificing an ounce of style:
1. Consider Other Days of the Week – Not only weekends
Since Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, it’s also the most expensive given the high demand of wedding requests. Number one #WeddingSaving Tip: Consider hosting your wedding on a weekday (Monday to Thursday) as this could save you on venue hire fees.
Also consider a date that does not fall within the typical high-demand wedding season. The higher the demand, the higher the price. The wedding-season typically runs September to March, so if you’re on a budget you’ll save by hosting your big day outside of this timeframe (just be sure to have a contingency plan in place for inclement weather!).
2. Embrace “all inclusive”.
Want to stretch your wedding budget to the max? Keep an eye out for two magic words…”all inclusive”. Venues with all-inclusive packages provide lots of amenities (for example tables, cutlery, chairs, crockery, glassware, and sound equipment) and services in addition to the event spaces, like on-site coordination, catering, alcohol, staff, rentals, cake, guest accommodations, and more. By bundling all of these services under one roof, these packages create a great value. Talk about a one-stop shop!
If your venue does not have chairs included and you are renting them, consider doing the ceremony and reception at the same location to use chairs for both (just make sure you have staff to move them from the ceremony to the reception area as soon as you are done).
Also choose a venue close to home (or close to your preferred suppliers), this will save a lot in terms of supplier delivery and collection fees.
3. Streamline your stationery.
Do digital save-the-dates and invitations, printing and distributing these costs a small fortune. For anything from the engagement party invites to the rehearsal dinner, we suggest going paperless. Digital invitations come in a wide array of stylish designs and are also eco-friendly.
Also steer away from doing printed menus on the tables. If you would really like to include a menu somewhere, do one A2 or A1 print in the venue.
4. Find flowers on a budget
Think outside the “traditional wedding flowers” box. Large blooms like hydrangeas and sunflowers mean you only need a few stems for an impressive arrangement. And who says you even need flowers? Try using lots of leaves and greenery for a money-saving look that’s big on style. You can even forage this element yourself provide your florist with it to use for your special day.
If you are set on a specific décor look, consider creating one focal point with this look (for example a hanging floral chandelier over the dance floor and/or a very detailed look for the bridal table) and keep the rest of the décor to a minimum. Several candles on your tables, is also an amazing way to keep floral décor to a minimum and makes a massive statement.
Repurpose your flowers by using your ceremony arrangements at the reception. The flowery lushness that flanked your ceremony will look just gorgeous next to the bridal table.
5. Cut the cake cost
You don’t need to splurge on a four-tiered, fondant-covered cake. Why not have an ice cream station and as a couple share a cone instead of cutting the cake. You can also use this budget-friendly dessert trend: the donut wall!
6. Score Second Shooter Savings
You can save a lot of money by not booking a second shooter to assist on your wedding day as well. Trust your photographer fly solo and do her/his thing!
7. Cutting on Additional décor details
Don’t rent an additional dance floor, find other creative ways to “mark” the dance floor, such as vinyl stickers or place the DJ booth and tables in such a way that it is pretty obvious where the dance floor is based.
If you need to hire glassware, consider something that has a dual purpose such as stemless wine glasses – these can be used to serve anything from wine to hard liquor and mixers. You can also consider only serving ciders and beers during pre-drinks to save on additional glassware hire costs.
8. Entertainment can be expensive
During the ceremony and pre-drinks, live entertainment would be fantastic, but this is also a great place to save costs by rather just having the DJ play background music – just make sure you brief him/her well!
9. Forget the party favours
Consider not doing gifts for the guests – this is just an additional extra that has become obsolete. Your guests are already treated to a night out!
10. Skip the three-course meal
A three-course meal is not necessary. The canapés or slightly larger bowl food (that is a bit more filling) options during pre-drinks can serve as a “starter”, or alternatively just do a nice bread and spread table instead of canapés. Thereafter only do a main course and shared dessert platter per table (saves crockery hiring fee and creates less wastage). Alternatively, to a main course being served, you can also just do buffet to table (this will save on staff hire as you won’t need as many waiters then but is still elegant and encourages the guests to mingle and share). Should you still feel that guests might need something to nibble on later, serve a cheap midnight snack – toasted cheese sandwiches always fill the spot!
11. Bridesmaid dresses can become expensive
Bridesmaid dresses do not have to be especially made – shop around for cheaper ideas, perhaps consider a colour scheme and allow each bridesmaid to choose anything within that colour scheme that is also to your liking (within your budget).
12. Limit the Alcohol for your celebration
If you are set on having an open bar, try to limit hard liquors to only be served from a certain hour. Alternatively, go for the in-between where you ask the bar to only charge guests a discounted fee and you cover the difference.
We would actually suggest that it is not necessary to go this route at all. Guests are more than willing to cover their own drinks. If you serve a limited amount of pre-drinks and wine on the tables, guests are super happy to cover the rest of the costs themselves.
We hope that these hacks assist you to plan your budget-friendly wedding celebration. If you have more creative ways to save money, do not hesitate to share your tips and tricks with us: email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Laurent | White Motion Films