On a Budget? Read this!

Posted by Elizabeth Lowe on Thursday, March 18, 2010
Recently, a friend of mine asked me some advice regarding the planning of his wedding. To start, as a task manager, I asked the big questions. When? Where? How? The last, as in "how are you paying for the wedding?" is always the toughest question I have to ask as a wedding planner. Many times the answer is simple, "well, my parents are helping us out". However, more often I hear variations of "we are paying for some, and our parents/grandparents/relatives are helping too".  When the cost of your wedding falls to you, you realize very quickly that weddings can be quite expensive. To help you save, there are thousands of ideas on where to cut costs during a wedding. Here are some of my favorites:

* Rent/borrow your wedding gown! (A friend of mine did this, and although she sometimes regrets not having bought one for herself, she doesn't have one sitting in her closet collecting dust, like mine is. I spent a few thousand on mine, and I wore it for a DAY. The hippie in me died a little when I realized I can never wear it again...) SAVINGS: $1,000+

* Rent your cake!  (This is becoming quite popular. In lieu of serving the beautiful four (or six!) tier cake shown in the magazine, the bride and groom buy one tier, usually the bottom, to ceremoniously cut and serve sheet cake in the same flavor to thier guests. Ask your bakery if they can do this and I promise that no one can tell the difference! Additionally, many bakeries are now offering to bake fresh wedding cake a year later to serve at one year anniversary celebrations. No longer must newlyweds store a block of wedding cake in the freezer! ) SAVINGS: $500+

Arrange the flowers yourself! (While I don't suggest making your bouquet(s) yourself, unless you want to, you can easily couple a bridal luncheon the day before the wedding with a flowering arranging activity! Buy your flowers from a wholesaler, get some containers that fit the form, function, and theme of your reception and go to town! Table arrangments and alter flowers can be quite costly.  Making the flower arrangements can be time consuming on your own, so couple it with a bridal party activity and your set!) SAVINGS: $1,000+

Consider a cocktail reception! (Food and alcohol are the BIGGEST money drainers for any wedding. You can save thousands by timing the reception right and skipping a plated or buffett meal. Earlier receptions can usually stave off those hard core partier as well, and help cut the alcohol consumption.) SAVINGS: $3,000+

Last, where do I think you should splurge? In the details, of course. Spend the saved money on your wedding rings, you'll be wearing them for the rest of your life so make sure they are exactly what you both want.  Also, photography is key. Do your research, but book a photographer with a portfolio that fits your and your partner's personality and style.  And, while many wedding planners and coordinators might disagree, I would splurge on your invitations.  Your invitation is the first your guests will "see" about you, your partner, and your wedding. You want them to be YOU. 

Congratulations to all our brides this year, and happy saving!

Lyndsey and Betsy

Tags: wedding planning  wedding coordination  wedding budget  saving for my wedding