how to save money on your weddingWednesday, July 08, 2015
Tyler and I got married almost three months ago! (How has the time gone so fast!?) Today, I wanted to share with you all some of my tips to save money on the wedding of your dreams! I looked at Pinterest all the time before we got married for ways we could save and everything was SO unrealistic. I kept reading things that were like "Have your wedding in your uncle's friend's neighbors backyard" or "Have a morning ceremony and serve brunch instead". Both great ideas, but incredibly unrealistic for the wedding we wanted to have. Below are some ways we saved money on our wedding!
P.S. a girl I work with tried to guess how much our wedding cost after looking through our pictures (here and here) and guessed over $15,000 more than we actually spent!
1. Ask For Discounts: Seems simple enough, but you wouldn't believe the amount of people I have talked to who don't think it is okay to ask for money off a price! If there is a vendor you want to work with, but is above your budget just be honest. If after looking through a vendor's website you see that they are $200 over your budget, but love them, see if they can work with you. As long as it is not an insulting amount lower, I think you will find most vendors are willing to work with you. They would rather have your business than no business at all! If not, then you just need to decide if they are worth the extra money or not. We negotiated the cost of each of our vendors except for the church, ballroom, and food. I would just make sure you are up front about it. Don't drag them along... you wouldn't like it and neither would they!
2. Buffet vs. Plated Dinner: Any wedding I went to before my own that had a plated dinner, I assumed cost a lot of money! Now, I am sure it depends on your caterer, but every caterer we looked at it was cheaper to have a plated dinner versus a buffet. (Even with the cost of staff!) I asked one of the caterers about it and they said it was because they control portions with a plated dinner, but not with a buffet. I had always written off a plated dinner but one caterer suggested it. I am so glad they did because it opened up a lot of savings! If this is not the case with your caterer, I would just use this as advice to always look into your options... you might be surprised!
3. Eliminate Floral Center Pieces: This will depend on your tastes, but for me, an easy way to save $1,000 was to not have floral centerpieces. If you look back at our pictures, you will notice we had cupcakes for our centerpieces at every table except for the head table. I love flowers, but since I am not a huge flower person it was an easy thing for me to cut. Think about it... how many weddings have you been to that you remember the center pieces? I remember one (Hi, Kelsey!). They are beautiful, but once the lights go down and the dancing starts they won't be seen anymore. Again, this is to taste. So if flowers and centerpieces are really important to you, think about something else you don't really care for and apply the same concept.
4. DIY Paper Goods: Pretty much every post I read suggested to DIY something at your wedding. (Like centerpieces, dessert, etc.) We made our own paper goods. If you go search for wedding programs on Etsy you will see prices around $50! (This is typically for the design but then you still have to print them!) Tyler has a graphic design background so he made our own programs for a total price of $11 (papers and printing) as well as our own invitations. It cost more money to mail our invitations than it did to design and print them! They turned out great, and I am glad it was one way we could save money!
5. Consider a Longer Timeline: Tyler and I were engaged for a year and half. While by the end I was more than ready to be married, the long timeline gave us plenty of time to plan. In turn, this gave us enough time to compare prices of vendors. If you are on a shorter timeline, the vendor you want who is in your price range might be booked already... which may make you have to book someone over budget! Or, it may only give you the time to meet with only one florist (as opposed to three) so you go with their price without being able to compare prices. Of course, you can do this if you have a shorter timeline, but after talking to my other friends they all said a shorter timeline put some restrictions on their options of vendors and prices!
As I said throughout this post, this is from my experience. We all don't have the same tastes, it would be weird if we did! So, if you love flowers and want a 5 month engagement... go for it! These are just some of the ways we saved money. My hope is that even if you don't agree with all of these things, it will have opened your eyes into ways you can save money through your planning. If you have other tips leave them in the comments and, of course, feel free to email me with any questions!
(And if you are still reading at this point give yourself a pat on the back because that was a crazy long post haha!)
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