Planning your wedding to work with your budget is the smart way to start a marriage.
Consume any amount of social media, wedding magazine must-have lists, and episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress,” and you’ll quickly begin thinking you can’t have a perfect wedding without spending big bucks. Yes, we know the cost of things these days. We know how tempting it is to upgrade everything for your perfect day (it’s just a little more, right?), and how much it seems like the decor won’t be complete without pricey gardenia and peonies worked into the floral arrangements.
On the other hand, you have a budget that takes into account other important priorities in your life like, oh, housing and food, and you need to stick to it!
Take heart – there are plenty of ways to keep your wedding costs from spiraling out of control so you can have still have the perfect day, and many more after.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING!
Even though weekends are traditionally popular times for a wedding, you might take a clue from the royals, who traditionally hold their wedding ceremonies during the week. Maybe a Thursday morning isn’t ideal for your guests and wedding party, but t wasn’t so long ago that Friday evenings were popular and there’s no reason it can’t work again.
Likewise, avoid the peak months of May, June, September, and October (it’s still too hot here in North Carolina anyway!) Many venues offer discounted pricing for off-peak times.
TAKE A BREAK WITH THE CAKE
Wedding cakes in the Raleigh area are priced at roughly $5.00 per serving! A 100-guest wedding could set you back $500 or more!
Why not order a small cake for the cutting ceremony, and offer a more unique option for your guests instead? Serve yourself candy-counters are popular. Or what about an array of colorful french macarons? What about cookies – perfect for a December wedding, or hot now Krispy Kremes?
A BEAUTIFUL DRESS FOR LESS
Want to know a secret? I bought my wedding dress at David’s Bridal. It was beautiful, perfect, and it only cost $100.
Let’s face it, buying a dress at a discount retailer, or even a designer dress on consignment, can save you thousands of dollars. Try local shopping at Next Consignment Boutique, or David’s Bridal, or try online at stillwhite.com or oncewed.com.
Choose something that makes you feel like a princess and will look great in photos, have it professionally altered so it fits perfectly, and it won’t matter that you didn’t buy it at a designer boutique for full price.
SAVING ON THE VENUE
If you want more control over your costs, consider a non-traditional spot for your reception, instead of a hotel or specialty wedding venue that requires you to use their services for everything.
An outside location like an arboretum, a farm, or even a vacation home at the beach or mountains can provide a unique setting at a considerably better price. Worried about weather or comfort of your guests? A wide array of rental tent options, lighting, decor, chairs, and tables, lets you envision and design the space exactly the way you want, not the way some hotel tells you it has to be.
These days, craft and hobby stores like Michaels have really upped their game when it comes to wedding decor. And they routinely offer coupons that makes it possible to get items at discounts of up to 50% off. We’re not saying you have to do ALL of your decorations yourself, but if you want to save some money, it’s not a bad idea to consider doing at least some of them.
Another option is to ask around to see if anyone you know has items leftover from their own events. Or hit auctions, second-hand stores, and thrift shops. If Joanna Gaines can find fabulous uses from thrift store finds, we think you can do it too!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A CREDIT CARD OFFERING POINTS
Whatever you plan to spend on your wedding, consider using a credit card with a great incentive program, and use the points toward your honeymoon!
SELL YOUR DECOR AFTER THE THING IS DONE
If you’ve bought cute items for the wedding – runners for your tables, specialty centerpiece decor, silk flowers if you’ve done your own arrangements – consider selling them online after your big day is done. You might be able to recoup some of your expenses and tuck that money away for your first anniversary celebration next year!