Wedding budget planning can be a real eye opener! Planning the wedding of your dreams with the person who made your dreams come true could be one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. However, budgeting for your wedding could be one giant headache! Considering that an average wedding could cost you upwards of $30,000, you might be tempted to dump your dream wedding for something more practical and cheaper. However, all is not lost. You can still have your dream wedding. You just need to learn a few budgeting hacks to get your dream wedding for less.
1. Set your budget
After the question is popped and you ride out the thrill of being engaged and having spent hours on Pinterest for inspiration, it’s time to think about how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. Most importantly you need to save for it! If you are smart, you won’t start off your married life with a big fat loan or wedding credit card debt. Be realistic when setting a budget and understand the difference between needs and wants.
If your families are planning to chip in, there is no harm in asking how much they are willing to part with. Just don’t be that bride (or groom) who demands that people pay to be in their wedding. Also, set aside some emergency budget funds just in case. Prices tend to fluctuate and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. It’s best to be prepared.
2. Plan your timeline wisely
Musicians and photographers charge for extra time. Make sure that the transition from wedding to reception is not a long wait. Otherwise, you end up paying your musicians and photographers for standing around. Orchestrate the timeline and stick to it to keep your wedding on budget.
3. Send out digital invitations
Yes, we would all love to send out beautiful calligraphy invitations for our big day. However, stamps alone could sink you a couple of hundred dollars. It’s time to feel good and accept digital invitations! Digital invitations are beautiful, environmentally friendly, and best of all, are a great way to save! When you combine them with a nice website, you have an organized, eco-friendly place for all your guests to find everything they need to know about your wedding day.
4. Save on flower arrangements
Floral arrangements can actually cost thousands of dollars. You don’t have to completely do away with flowers though, or opt for cheap looking plastic flower arrangements. Ask your florist for in-season flowers. You can also opt for just greens with baby’s breath for a fresh look. This would be cheaper and actually look fresher and more vibrant than flowers that are not in season. They would also last longer and won’t look completely wilted by the end of the day. Florists can also offer you tips of which flowers look similar but less expensive
5. Cost saving menu for options
The reception is a big-ticket item in your wedding budget and a place that you can cut some corners to save. Pick one delicious main course and offer other cheaper crowd favorites for the rest of the menu. If your guests aren’t big drinkers, ask your caterer if you can pay for the drinks a la carte instead of a flat rate. Flat rates will cover the cost for the entire reception. Have a dessert buffet of cookies and cupcakes instead of more expensive fancy wedding cakes.
6. Make your own wedding album
If you are working with a professional photographer they will most likely have packages that offer you a wedding guest book or wedding album. Keep in mind that you are paying your photographers time to put your album together for you and this cost will be built into the package. In some cases this can add up to hundreds of dollars so opt for the ala carte options!
Companies like My Bridal Pix give you free online tools to easily design your own wedding album and guest book and also offer custom design services that are usually far less than what your photographer will charge. Designing your own album not only saves you a ton but it also allows you to take the time to personalize your album just the way you want it. It also gives you a say in the quality of the album you want and not just what the photographer is offering. It also prevents you from having to wait months to receive your album. You can have your album ready in about a week’s time!
These budget hacks are just a few inspiring ideas of what you can do to help shave some dollars off the cost of your dream wedding. The most import part of the day is not how many flowers you have or how fancy your dress, it’s the fact that you are marrying your best friend. Let the focus be on your love for each other and it all becomes beautiful no matter how much you spend.