We recently surveyed some of our wedding professionals and ask them to come up with ways to save money on popular wedding services. Staying on budget is often the most stressful part of planning a wedding. Regardless of your budget, the following list will help give you ideas on ways to save money without sacrificing services or quality.
- Guests - Trim Your Guest List Photography By Jo who is also planning her own wedding says, the biggest way you can save on your wedding is by trimming your guest list.Nearly everything in your wedding comes down to numbers - the venue size, how many meals, tables, centerpieces, favors, chairs, linens, cake size - the quantity and cost of all these things reflects the size of your guest list. If you're thinking of inviting 150 people and can trim the list by just 8 people (the average size of a table), you can save on rentals and florals and meals for that table. Every little bit adds up, and there's lots of projects you can DIY to save you a chunk of change here and there, but the guest list is the ultimate money saver.
- Wedding Gown/Alterations - Keep Alterations In Mind And Don’t Blow The Entire Budget On The Gown. According to TLC Bridal Boutique in Frederick, MD, Standard alterations on a bridal gown range from $200 to $400 especially if you need to hem a lace trim dress. Borrow a veil, best way to save money... you are only wearing it down the aisle and for a few pictures.
- Cakes - It Is Not All About The Tiered Cake Anymore. Every bride has a vision about what their desert table will look like. It can be as simple as a cookie bar, pie bar or multiple desert bar. There is a wide range of options all catered to your desires and budget. Stone House Cakery & Cafe in Tanyetown, MD has an innovative solution for a budget friendly tiered cake. To save money, they sometimes use dummy cakes on the bottom tiers and then serve cupcakes or single cakes that are cut in the kitchen. Regardless of your budget, it is important to share your budget with your baker so they can help you come up with a plan that meets your desires and your budget.
- Cakes - Pickup Your Cake From The Baker Instead Of Having It Delivered According to Red Bandanna Bakery in Bethesda, MD, If you are using cupcakes or have a cake that is not too complex, consider having someone pickup and setup your cake display for you. Many bakers charge a delivery fee and you can save some money by picking it up from the baker. Saprena and I has cupcakes and a tiered cake for our wedding. We had someone pickup for us and we setup the display. It worked great and we saved money not having it delivered.
- DJ/Lighting - Consider "Off" Season Times Shew-sical Entertainment in Frederick, MD has an excellent tip to save money on DJ & Lighting services. By picking a Monday - Thursday or December - March you can save on these services. You can also limit the number of setups needed for you wedding to save costs.
- Catering - Use Elegant Disposables Instead Of China Six Star Events in Winchester, VA says, you can cut budget costs down by using elegant disposables in place of china and glassware for some areas such as for stationary hors d’oeuvres, cake, or bar ware. You can also ask your caterer to suggest menu items that are more cost-effective and in-season, as well as items that are easy to prepare during the prep or can be prepared on-site, rather than items that are labor intensive. Finally, a you can cut costs down by minimizing specialty items such as elaborate lighting, fancy linens, and specialty china.
- Transportation - Consider A Luxury Sedan Or SUV Over A Stretch Limousine. According to A Touch OF Class Limousines, Planning the perfect exit at the end of your reception doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Traditionally the Bride & Groom make their exit at the end of the evening into a Stretch Limousine. Although a Stretch Limousine is glamorous and looks great in pictures, there are other affordable options. Most wedding couples are now hiring a luxury Sedan or SUV to make their grand exit. These vehicles are less expensive and typically have a shorter rental time requirement. Still looking for the WOW factor? The chauffeur of the Sedan or SUV will arrive dressed in a tuxedo and top hat and roll out the red carpet. A Just Married sign can also be place on the outside of the vehicle to create a picture perfect moment!
- Photography - Look For All-Inclusive Bundles Wertman Photography offers all-inclusive wedding coverage. This means they will will not nickel and dime couples to death. Their coverage is clear and concise, the collections show you what is included and there will not be any hidden costs.
Some studios charge extra for a second photographer, engagement sessions and wedding albums. These items can run up your bill if they are not included in a collections and the low entry price that drew you in will quickly turn into thousands of dollars. By bundling you save money. They include a second photographer, a must at any size wedding, an engagement session, at least 8 hours of wedding day coverage, a beautiful leather bound album of your wedding day, and digital negatives. They offer three options and add more value in the higher cost collections that you will not get anywhere else in town unless you add them a la carte at a large price tag.
Don't let entry levels of under $1000 fool you into signing a contract under pressure, shop around and ask each studio you speak to, what they include in their cost. Compare apples to apples and meet with each photographer to find out if they are the right fit for you, not only for your budget, but also for your personalities.
- Flowers - Choose Flowers That Are In Season If you are having a winter wedding and want fresh lavender, it's going to cost you. Instead, look at the types of flowers that are in season at your wedding time to save money. You can also order flowers from a store such as Costco and then have an arranger put them together for you or if you. This is another area Saprena and I saved bug on our wedding. We spent about $400 on our flowers from Costco and then had Flowers By Wendy Carol arrange them for us.
- Decor - Don't Overlook The Flea Markets And Thrift Stores With Shabby Chic weddings all the rage right now, you can find many decor items at flea markets and thrift stores at a fraction of the cost. We have seen amazing photos of weddings where an old chest from a thrift store was turned into magical elegance. The important thing here is to look on the Internet for inspiration and then use your imagination to create your own items.
Bonus Tip: Attend a Bridal Show For Awesome Deals
We have said it before and it's worth mentioning again. You can find many great deals and discounts at bridal shows. Many wedding professionals usually offer deals to brides who book their services at the event. We have seen some brides save hundreds of dollars by booking professionals at bridal shows. Make sure to check out our Upcoming Events for a listing of upcoming Bridal Shows.