There is a massive myth going around right now. We are embroiled in engagement season, and if you are one of the lucky ones to have made the leap into betrothal, congratulations! Welcome to the fray! I'm sure you have heard this myth, probably three times before you finished announcing. It usually comes right after the "When's the big day" question. It states, quite simply, that "Weddings are EXPENSIVE!"Well, I have to disagree. Weddings CAN be expensive- if you plan them to be that way. But they do not HAVE to be expensive at all! Not even a little bit. You can have a wedding that you and your family can afford. All it takes is a little forethought and planning. Here are a few of my favorite ideas to make that goal into a reality.
Three Tricks that Can Save Big Bucks on your Wedding Budget
Trick #1 - Cut your guest list.
Before you send those save the dates or tell your distant cousin, long time hairdresser and former high school band teacher about the big day plans, consider this fact – a single guest can add up to $350 to your final tab! Think about it. Each guest equals another plate, plus the venue or caterer's tax and service charge. And it's more than just feeding them. You'll need more invitations, more favors, more place cards. More guests can also mean more rentals - a larger tent if you're outdoors, more chairs, place settings, linens. A bigger wedding equals more money! This is the easiest, and I think most often overlooked, way of saving on your wedding. How do you decide who to cut? Here's how I think of it. If you can't see yourself, or someone in your immediate family taking this person out to dinner for nice meal, they probably shouldn't be on the guest list.
Trick #2 - If you aren’t sure, don’t buy!
Avoid buyers’ remorse and having to purchase wedding related items again by not buying in the first place! Think through every purchase you make –take it from the girl who had no fewer than 4 pairs of wedding day earrings. EARRINGS, people! Even if you think “Oh, I’ll just return it…” No- you probably won’t. And that is money down the drain – money you could use to shop on your honeymoon, or upgrade a more significant aspect of the wedding (Raw Bar, anyone?). It's easy to get caught up in the "Gotta have it NOW!" madness of wedding planning, but it's really not in your best interests to jump on every idea you see. This tip goes double for any DIY project you're thinking about. Plan out the budget for these before you hit the craft store. It's not a good look to get halfway into a project and then realize that you bought the wrong glue.
3. Make your budget FIRST.
You would be surprised how many people start planning their weddings without deciding how much they want to spend on it beforehand. That's a really good way to end up overspending. It is imperative that you sit down and decide on your budget FIRST, before any major decisions are made. Don't go falling in love with something right out of the gate - you will end up busting your budget before you even have it set. It's no fun realizing you can't have something else you had your heart set on because the money is gone.
A few additional tricks:
- Don't use a random "Wedding Budget Template" you find on the internet. They are a great place to start, but they usually don't reflect your local wedding costs, which can be radically different.
- Take advantage of your resources. Many wedding planners will sit down with you and help you get your wedding budget straight before it gets away from you. The cost for these kinds of services is very reasonable in most cases. Click here for our version of this service.
- Think outside the box. There are very few wedding "must haves" - prioritize what you really want, and cut back or cut out the rest.
And there you have it- TME's tips to save big on your wedding day. Follow these and you'll be on your way to wedding budget bliss!