These days it’s so hard to stay within budget when it comes to planning a wedding. Most of my brides when I meet with them in the beginning stages of heir wedding planning say they have X amount of money designated towards their wedding, I always find myself telling them “prepare yourselves to spend double the amount you’re planning on spending” most of them look at me like I’m exaggerating but when we meet for our final meeting and I ask them so did you stay within budget? They all reply the same way “we doubled our initial budget”. So based on what I’ve seen during weddings I figured I could give you all a couple of tips on how to save some money for your wedding.
1. Finding a venue that doesn’t cover everything. Some people might think I’m crazy but sometimes you can find a venue that will charge just for the rental and you can find all your other vendors on your own that are within budget and what you’re looking for. There’s a place down in the Redlands called RF Orchids, its main business is their nursery but they have become a new venue. They charge around $1700 to rent for a wedding. Yes, that doesn’t include everything but you can find ways to save money on your vendors. Backyard wedding? Always makes a great choice and you’re not limited on time!
2. Finding a good meal vendor. Feeding your guests is very important but this can probably take a big chunk of your budget if you’re not smart about it. I’ve come across some vendors that make Paellas for a very inexpensive price per person. These people can cover two different Paellas ( one for the people that like seafood and one made with chicken for the people that are allergic to seafood or don’t like it). Finding a smaller named caterer can also cut your price by a lot, and finding a caterer that allows you to bring your own alcohol will save you even more.
3. Buying your own alcohol. Costco. BJs. Wholesale. Need I say more? Buying your alcohol wholesale on your own will save you tons of money and if you don’t use it all you can either return it or save it for another event. Finding your own bartenders will also save you money if your caterer doesn’t include them or charges too much for them.
4. Finding your own waiters/bartenders. There’s plenty of people in the service industry that wouldn’t mind making a couple extra bucks on a Saturday at a wedding. Most people at weddings give good tips anyways.
5. Omitting a cocktail hour. If you’re more of a non-traditional bride and don’t mind doing a First Look with your hubby this can serve two purposes. First, you’ll get all your pictures done way ahead of time before the ceremony so you’ll have more time to mingle with your guests after the ceremony and second, getting all your pictures done beforehand lets you get rid of the cocktail hour part. This means you no longer have to spend on hor d’oeuvres or extra alcohol for this hour. Your guests can just sit down and move on to dinner straight after the ceremony which I believe is great anyways because most guests hate waiting for dinner to be served. (I hear everything.)
6. Having your ceremony and reception at the same location. No need for a limo to take you from one place to another. No need for extra time for your guests to arrive. Saves you time saves you money.
7. DIY-ing! Your invitations, your favors, certain decorations, DIY them. If you’re not very “hands-on” find friends that are and that can help you. Make it a fun night with the girls or with your bridesmaids and don’t stress about it, it’ll add a bit of personal touch to your wedding!