Hello all! Lindsey here.
I’m starting a new series here at Anchored Fine Art and Photography for all the engaged peeps out there who want to cut down on their wedding planning budget. As someone who has been married and also walks the planning road with other couples I want to help you in any way possible. When I got engaged, I had huge dreams for what I wanted my ceremony to look like. The reality of my budget, as someone fresh out of college, left me feeling deflated. We ended up having an AMAZING wedding ceremony and reception even though I didn’t have a huge budget.
So, what are some ways that you can cut down on costs and still have an amazing wedding day? Here are a few ideas to help you out!
Seriously. Do this first. What really matters to you on your wedding day? I can imagine in 15 years when you look back that it won’t be the table linens or the invitations you sent out. You’ll remember your spouse and all your friends and family that helped you celebrate. I promise you that your guests won’t be raving about the table linens you chose or even the wedding invitations either.
Take your time.
When we got engaged, I was SO ready to be married. I was so ready that we decided to get married in 6 months. Looking back, I realize that if I’d waited a few more months I could have saved some extra cash and spent a little more on a few things that I’d originally wanted. Planning on getting married in a year will let you take advantage of yearly holiday discounts as well. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are major discount shopping days. Imagine what you could save by shopping wedding vendors and retailers on those days?!
DIY with wisdom.
If you’re really trying to save money you might be tempted to DIY everything. Some things are totally worth it to DIY with friends and family…and some things just aren’t. Measure your own crafting abilities before under going huge projects. If you’ve never sewn anything before and don’t know anyone who can it might not be wise to attempt to sew table linens yourself or make your own bouquet out of paper mache. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to use alternative methods. This bouquet made from paper flowers was so gorgeous and unique. It really complemented everything about this perfect wedding day.
The guest list…
So, if you’re like me you wanted literally EVERYONE to be at your wedding. I have so many people who have played such important roles in my life and it was important to me for them all to be there. Because of that, I sacrificed in other areas to make room for having all of my friends and family at my wedding. BUT, maybe you don’t have to invite EVERY single person to the wedding. Invite close family members to your ceremony and then invite some people just to the reception. Remember, prioritize what is important to you!
Get married on Friday or Sunday
I know it’s a little more unconventional…but, you can cash in on some serious venue savings by having your ceremony on a day other than Saturday. Check with your venue to see if they offer options that would reduce the price. Some venues will also cut back on the rate if you clean the venue up yourselves instead of having their own team come in and clean.
Originally I wanted to have my ceremony at a local plantation, but, the amount of seating wouldn’t accommodate the number of people I invited without having to pay astronomical fees for extra chairs and tables. After searching, I ran into the same issues with many other venues. We ended up having our ceremony on a relatives property in the woods overlooking a pond. It was gorgeous…and not to mention, it was FREE! We rented tables and chairs from a local rental company and created our own venue space. Utilizing the pond for the ceremony location and our relatives house for bathrooms and dressing room space, it was pretty perfect for our ceremony and reception.
First of all, don’t think that just because you’re having a reception that you have to supply alcohol. Honestly, everyone is going to have a great time regardless of whether they have a few drinks in them or not. You actually might end up enjoying the night more when your crazy relative doesn’t drink too much and have to be driven home. Just saying! (Maybe from experience…haha) Here’s an article from The Knot to help you with some sober reception ideas! Click here!
If you DO want to provide alcohol, consider having beer and wine instead of hard liquor. You can buy wine by the box or by the crate in bottles from places like Trader Joe’s in several varieties. My husband and I drink quite a bit of wine and expensive doesn’t always equal better. Unless you’re paying $20+ a bottle you’re not really getting more quality. Trader Joe’s has a great selection and is a good starting point when choosing wines.
Most of our table candles and some glassware came from someone who had gotten married a few weeks before. They didn’t feel like posting everything for sale and let us have them for free. Even if you don’t get decorations for free, check with someone who got married recently to see if they have anything that fits your theme and that you could buy at a discount. Most people are going to be MORE than willing to offload some decor.
Use a wedding website
Instead of including hard copies of an RSVP card in every invitation, use a wedding website for allowing guests to RSVP. Once again, The Knot has a great wedding website builder. Click here to be re-directed to the Knot! You can also put the address and time of your wedding so that when people inevitably lose your invitation, they can just go to your personal wedding site.