When it comes to your wedding budget, where to splurge and where to save of course has to do with your priorities. But in the end, it’s usually a good use of funds to splurge on items that guests will notice the most and save on the elements that won’t get that much attention or won’t be missed.
Here are some ideas on how you can save on your wedding budget:
- Table centrepieces. Guests look at them for at least an hour of the day, and they can be taken home and admired for even longer.
- Mothers’ and grandmothers’ corsages. These women have earned a little special treatment.
- Your bouquet. It’s going to be in a million pictures, and many brides choose to have their bouquet preserved so that it can remain a special memento for years to come.
- Altar arrangements. Save money in the wedding budget by focussing on the venue bones: most churches are already beautiful and all eyes will be on you two anyway.
- You can save money just by using in-season stems to avoid premium prices.
- Men’s boutonnieres. Flowers in the buttonhole can really be very simple. Choose your favourite bloom and stick to that for a modern look.
- Wedding-day jewellery. This you can wear again and even pass down to your sister, daughter or daughter-in-law one day.
- Shoes. These are another wedding outfit item which can be worn again and again, so definitely make some room in the wedding budget for a gorgeous and comfortable pair. Plus, do you really need an excuse to splurge on shoes?
- Your dress, if it means a lot to you. It will be the focal point of all your pictures and can become a family heirloom, so why not. A designer gown can absolutely make or break a wedding budget however, so it is important to be realistic on price points.
- Your dress, if you see it as important but something you’re only going to wear once. There are so many wedding budget friendly options to hire wedding dresses nowadays, that you can still wear a designer dress as long as you aren’t set on keeping it forever.
- His ensemble. Rent if it’ll be a tux or buy a gorgeous new suit he can wear again.
- Hors d’oeuvres. They’re a lot of handwork and require waitstaff to pass, but they make a great first impression. Plus, they fill an important part of the day where guests are drinking during the cocktail hour and waiting for their lunch. You can be sure that guests will be hungry when they dig in.
- Dishes that mean a lot to you or your fiancée. Whether it’s the duck dish that you fell in love with at the tasting or a sentimental favourite pudding, if there is a food that will make or break the meal for you, go for it.
- If you’re having a bar, have it properly. You don’t have to go ultimate top-shelf quaffs or pour exotic sake (or even have two kinds of gin, for that matter) but this is not the time to serve off-brands.
- Dessert. You’re serving cake, aren’t you?
- You don’t have to offer multiple entrées. Choose a crowd pleaser and work out a vegetarian offering and you’re set. This is a dinner party. How many entrées would you offer in your home?
- The bar. If you don’t have a big-drinking crew or your wedding reception is taking place in the afternoon, skip the alcohol and offer fun punches, juices and other bevs instead.
- The toast. Take it from us, very few people are going to notice or care if you serve cava or prosecco rather than vintage champagne.
- Reception entertainment. You’ll listen to your band or DJ for three or four hours. Make room in your wedding budget to book someone you love.
- Ceremony music. An organ and a soloist are all that most religious ceremonies need, but truly recorded music works nicely in most settings.
- Though you should love your band, just how many horns do you need in the brass section?
- Hospitality suite for out-of-town guests. Giving out-of-towners a central place to gather if there is downtime between your ceremony and reception or when they all arrive the day before the wedding is a much appreciated gesture. It will also make it easy for you to say hello to many of your guests all at once.
- Welcome packet. Suggestions about local points of interest, restaurants, convenience stores, etc., will only cost you some time and will show guests you’ve thought about their needs. Print it all up and put it in their rooms before they arrive.
- Photography. It lasts longer than a lifetime. And it can record all of the pieces of the day that you spent so much time putting together. Get it right!
- Calligraphy for escort cards. Just pick a bridesmaid or two with good handwriting and knock them out one afternoon.
- Favours. Unless you’ve got something really specific to you as a couple or your wedding theme, just skip them and spend the money on upgrading the bar.
- Bigger tables mean fewer tables. Fewer tables mean fewer centrepieces.
- Daytime and weeknight weddings have price cuts built-in. A Sunday champagne brunch can be an unexpected delight.