You’ve dreamed of your wedding day for years and now it’s fast approaching. You probably didn’t dream that it could cost you an arm and a leg to pay for. To help you out, I’ve come up with 10 ways to save money on your dream wedding:
- Guest List: Keep your guest list as short as possible. Just invite the people who have special meaning in your lives. If you’re paying for your own wedding and your parents insist on inviting extra people, tell your parents they’ll need to pay for those people themselves so that you can stay on budget. Remember, the smaller your guest list is, the less you’ll pay for food, liquor, wedding cake and centre pieces.
- Wedding Invitations: There’s plenty of reasonably priced online companies. Check out: Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, Magnet Street and Basic Invite. Believe it or not Vistaprint also has some nice wedding invitations.
- Wedding Dress: Two words: bridal show. Bridal stores will either have a show special for their gowns, while some will bring floor samples or previous season’s inventory to sell for a discounted price. You can get a wedding dress at a bridal show for $200-$400. Check out: Wedding Palace Bridal Show, Capital Wedding Show and The Ottawa wedding show.
- Something borrowed: You know the saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed…” Borrow something in order to stay within wedding tradition and save money. You can borrow jewellery, shoes, a purse or wedding veil.
- Wedding Photography: As Benjamin Franklin said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.” Don’t waste your money on a cheap, poor quality photographer, or worse, a friend doing it for free. Instead, hire a good photographer for less coverage (ie. Instead of having 10 hours of coverage, get six hours instead, which will still cover some of getting ready, ceremony, formal portraits and the beginning of the reception). That way you still end up with beautiful photos of your wedding day. Please also have a realistic budget for photos. If your budget is $800 for 8-12 hours, then photos from an $800 photographer are probably going to look like you cheaped out.
- Flowers: Please don’t make your own bouquet, because the flowers will probably wilt and look bad in the photos. Use an actual florist, but be sparing with the amount of flowers. Choose flowers that will be in season as they will be less expensive. For floral centre pieces, keep them small and simple. Warning: some brides try to save money by buying cheap fake flowers. Guess what, they’ll look cheap in the photos. Unless you’re going to invest money in high quality fake flowers, please don’t go to the dollar store and buy fake flowers.
- Cupcakes vs wedding cake: Venues can’t charge a cake cutting fee for cupcakes. However, if you want a wedding cake, have a small, simple decorated cake for show and then a slab cake with the same icing in the kitchen for guests. When the slab cake is cut up, no one will be the wiser.
- Liquor: Cut out mixed drinks at your open bar and just offer wine, beer and pop. You can also skip the bar entirely and have a bottle of wine at each table and a soda fountain for everyone. Another option is to use a venue that lets you bring your own alcohol.
- Decorations: If you’re artsy fartsy, go the DIY route. Pinterest has tonnes of decoration ideas. If you’re getting married outside or in a beautiful setting, you won’t need many decorations. If you absolutely must have flowers at your venues, buy wholesale. Note: Wild flowers cost nothing and will give a rustic feel.
- Transportation: Do you really need a limousine or horse drawn carriage? Will it make you arrive faster than a regular car? Nope? Ok, move on. You just saved yourself some cash by not renting a ride for the day. Have a friend or family member drive you to the venues.
I must also mention that once you’ve come up with your wedding budget, you need to plan all of your wedding details accordingly. What I mean is, don’t expect a $50,000 wedding on a $10,000 budget. It just can’t happen, unless you plan on doing and making everything yourself (not to mention not having the reception at an indoor venue). Too many couples want it all, but are unwilling (or can’t) pay for it all, so they decide to try to nickel and dime every single wedding vendor involved. Please don’t be one of those couples. Be reasonable with your demands. All wedding vendors need to get paid for their time. And most of them are putting way more time into what you see on the wedding day. No lie. 🙂
If you’re looking for a professional wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me today to book a consultation.