Spending less on your wedding doesn’t mean you are being cheap. It just means you can practice frugality and spend the money on something you deem more important. After all, weddings should be all about memories, not how expensive the decorations are.
Every year, Australia records 120, 000 weddings with an annual spending average of $2 billion. The UK spends 10 billion euro and the US spends $53.4 billion. The entire wedding industry might like the look of those numbers, but your wallet probably isn’t so happy about it.
The average couple spends around $30, 000 on a wedding. This figure includes the reception, dresses and decorations but excludes honeymoon expenses. This amount of money is roughly the price of a new car.
Instead of spending all this money on one day, why not have a great wedding with some money to spare? To help you cut down the costs of a wedding, we’ve gathered 15 of the best ideas to save on your wedding day but still make it a spectacular occasion to remember.
#1 Don’t get married on the weekend
Weekend prices are usually higher compared to weekdays. You can get discounts from hotel rooms and other function rooms if you do it on a weekday. Since most events are scheduled on weekends, weekdays are less in-demand, thus prices are lowered.
If you have no qualms over the choice of date, then you can certainly benefit from this trick.
Prior to your wedding and during the planning, you should know which things are high on your priority list. This way you can stick to a budget according to your priorities. You may want to spend more on food and less on dresses or you may want to cut costs on flowers but opt to splurge on entertainment. It all depends on the couple.
#3 Choose small towns
Don’t hold out for big hotels in metro areas. Instead, try to look for the nearest small town that has a good reception area. Small town businesses often charge less. And since it’s a less busy place, there will be great attention to detail on your day as well.
But make sure that this small town is also accessible to your guests. There’s no use in booking the cheapest venue if the location is an inconvenience for your family and guests.
#4 Go for a local band
Local bands may not be playing on the big scenes, but often their talents are pretty comparable to famous bands. The trick is to spell out what you want from them and prepare your choice of songs and the sequence of entertainment to make everything clear beforehand.
You could also invite university music groups to grace your event. You can also request a singer in your family to belt it out during the reception and dancing times. Or ditch the live entertainment all together and bring records instead!
#5 Trim down the guest list to the most important people in your life
Oftentimes, couples will find that their guest list is too large. Keep it to the minimum and invite only people you are in constant communication with. Choose those who matters most to you and your partner. You don’t need invite your long lost cousin or your elementary classmates just for the sake of it.
When you keep the guest list short, you cut costs on invitations, food and wedding souvenirs.
#6 Ditch the diamonds
Diamond rings seem to be the way to go for engagements. However, there are girls who seem to care less about this sort of thing and there are those who plainly want nothing to do with diamonds. If you are one of those girls and you want to save, look for cubic zirconia, moissanite or basically any other stone of your choice!
If having a diamond ring is a priority, make sure you’re at least buying a high quality one.
#7 Ask for sponsorship
So if you have been dealing with several business for your wedding, you may ask for discounts in return for sponsorship. For example; you could permit your florist to display their card on the floral centrepieces. Your guests will get their company info and perhaps create more business for them. The same concept applies with caterers and decorators.
#8 Print your own invitations
If you’re a DIY person, you can design your own invitations on the Internet, save them as a PDF and get them printed off. This way, you can have it printed at the best price available but still with the paper of your choice.
#9 Online invitations
Or, skip the printing all together and send out a digital invitation. You can easily get your invitations across the world via email and this minimises paper use.
#10 Look for a newbie but good photographer
Photographers often take time to build their portfolio. Newbies usually are at the starting point of their careers and are charging less. Start looking for referrals or note them down through online research.
Ask for digital copies after the wedding instead of getting them in an expensive album. This way, you can choose the photos you want. It will also be a memorable day of doing all the compiling with your partner.
#11 Manage the cocktail hour
Alcohol usually takes out a big chunk of the budget. Here are several ways to save:
- Limit the alcohol offerings.
- Keep chosen cocktails free at the start but accept cash later.
- Ask guests to bring their own extra drinks.
- Instead of an open bar, choose a cocktail you and your partner love.
- Stick to house brands instead of going premium.
- Offer one glass of champagne during the toast.
Usually, there are those people who won’t mind paying for their drinks a few hours into the wedding.
#12 Go local with catering
Catering from a local restaurant may tend to cost less than being served by a hotel or big catering company.
#13 Skip serving everybody the cake
Instead, have a table of cake slices already laid out. This way, it will taste the same and you don’t have to spend money on a tall four-tiered cake.
#14 Good wedding planners can help you get discounts
Of course you have to pay for the wedding planner. But if you hire an experienced one, you may get discounts from their business partners. If you want to skip the planner, ask friends and family members if they don’t mind being delegated some tasks. Just make sure you can trust them to do the job and not put your wedding at risk.
#15 Avoid mentioning the word “wedding” on transactions
Often, business connected to the wedding industry charge exorbitant amounts. To avoid this, try to ask vaguely without mentioning the event first. For the cake, get a quote for a cake you need to feed 100 people. For the photographer, mention an outdoor event they need to cover for five hours. Usually the charge on weddings is higher due to the sense of pressure.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and you’ll remember it for a long time. It can still be a special day without splurging too much. Remember, the money you may save may help you start your lives as a couple. Buy a car or start looking for a house instead of spending tens of thousands on your wedding.