A wedding day is a major event in any young couples’ lives. Chances are you already have a lavish wedding in mind with delicately scented flowers in abundance, a designer wedding dress floating to the floor, glasses brimming with exquisite French Champagne, and a brass band guiding your guests around a twinkling dance floor.
But with the cost of the average wedding now amounting to around $30,000, many young couples are struggling to turn their wedding dreams into a reality. However, with some careful planning there are ways to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the day of your dreams, meaning you don’t have to completely abandon your vision for your perfect day:
Consider Your Date Carefully
Weddings have peak and off-peak seasons, with the majority of couples choosing to get hitched in the spring and summer months. However, there are huge savings to be made on many aspects of your day — not least the venue — if you choose to book off-season. Also, consider getting married on a weekday; as long as you give your guests ample warning, they should be able to take the day off.
Your venue is likely to eat up the majority of your budget and is the most important aspect to get right, so make sure you discuss with them any savings that can be made in the week or winter months. Whether you fancy getting hitched in the town hall, or wish to take it up a notch by having a yacht party in Los Angeles at FantaSea Yachts, it’s always worth seeking out the bargain dates.
Save on Your Stationary
The more cards you include with your invitation, the more it all starts to add up. Consider sending one card out to your guests with minimal details and redirecting them to your wedding website. Here you can outline details such as the rehearsal dinner, welcome party or brunch, logistics, transportation, gift registry, accommodation, and even an RSVP section. Of course, this isn’t just kinder to your wallet, but also to the planet as you have used less paper.
Another great money-saving trick is to get a group of girlfriends together for an envelope addressing evening. Stationers will charge as much as $7 per set for envelope addressing, assembly and mailing. Your other option is to outsource this job to your parents or in-laws.
The same is worth considering for place names, menus, and seating plans which can all start to add up if not kept in check.
Save on the Flowers
Flowers are notoriously expensive, but fear not, as there are ingenious ways of saving here too. Plan to reuse the flowers from the ceremony at the reception along with bridesmaids’ bouquets. Consider using silk flowers with real greenery to make a big cut on the cost of bouquets. Your guests won’t even notice, and the odd real flower here and there will still give off lovely aromas.
For a take on centerpieces for your tables, try collecting used jars before your wedding and arrange single flowers with a sprig of greenery in each one. Different sizes of jars make this even more effective. The prolific use of candles on each table can also save on flowers whilst creating a warm, romantic atmosphere.
Flowers are often cheaper when they are in season, so consider what blooms will be in season on the date you have chosen for your wedding and stick with those for your bouquets.
Buy a Bargain Dress
As wedding dresses are an item of clothing that get worn only once, consider checking out what’s available secondhand in your area. There are beautiful designer frocks just waiting to be snapped up and if you sell it on afterwards, your dress would essentially be free! That being one step too far for you, consider getting yourself down to the trunk shows and sample sales at your local bridal boutiques where there are plenty of bargains to be had.
You could also consider renting your wedding dress.
Save on Photography
Your pictures are of course an important part of your big day. However, photographers are costly so you would be prudent to consider hiring a student or amateur photographer. Ask to see some of their work before you commit, but there are enormous savings to be made here. Also consider hiring your photographer for only part of the day and then leave disposable cameras dotted about on tables so your guests can record moments too. Ask several guests to keep taking photos for you throughout the day.
Already married? How did you save on your big day? Let us know in the comments below!