Saving Big on Your Big Day: How to Maximize Your Wedding Budget
Ever since the day you got engaged, chances are that you’ve been envisioning your dream wedding—from the venue for your vows to the menu your guests will enjoy, to the season in which you’ll say your “I do’s.” However, your wedding budget will likely play a pivotal role in making these decisions. It can be overwhelming to learn about the “average” cost of a wedding promoted by big wedding companies as you begin to plan your budget. The truth is, averages aren’t relevant when it comes to your unique love story, financial situation, and ideal wedding. We firmly believe that your wedding should reflect your love, not your financial resources. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ten tips to help you create a memorable day that is truly yours while making the most of your wedding budget.
Prioritize Your Wants & Needs
Determine what aspects of your wedding are most important to you and allocate more funds to those items. Consider trimming costs on other items that are less important. Wedding companies traditionally instruct couples to spend the most on their venue, food, and beverages, but if an unforgettable band or show-stopping decor is more your thing, plan to invest more in those things instead. Chat with your partner early on in wedding planning about how you envision your wedding day to look and what details are most important to you.
Start Planning Early
The earlier you start planning, the more time you’ll have to find deals and negotiate with vendors! The first step we suggest couples take after getting engaged is to complete our 1-Page-Wedding Plan. This document will help you through every stage of planning, plus the FREE bonus worksheet will help you create your authentic budget plan so you can start making decisions and booking vendors that you can afford. The goal is to start your married life with money in the bank, not in debt!
Get Rewarded For Planning
Planning a wedding is undoubtedly an expensive endeavor, but there’s a savvy way to make those expenses work to your advantage. By strategically putting all wedding-related expenses on a rewarding credit card, you can accumulate points that can be a game-changer when it comes to funding your dream honeymoon. With careful planning and responsible credit card use, you can rack up free or discounted luxury hotel stays, reduced airfare costs, access to airport lounges for a stylish start to your honeymoon.
By comparing offerings and prices from vendors, you can make informed decisions about which vendors to choose, ensuring you get the services you need at a price you can afford. Before you start comparing though, research different vendors and read reviews from previous customers to ensure they have a good reputation and provide quality services. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and check online reviews before booking!
When requesting quotes, be specific about your needs and requirements to get accurate pricing from vendors. If the quotes you receive are higher than you anticipated, consider asking them if they offer any discounts or special offers— or you can even try negotiating to see if they’ll lower their price. Offering to write a review of the company or share their services on social media can often solicit a discount and can help you build a great relationship with the vendor.
Use a Honeymoon Fund
Don’t forget to allocate part of your wedding budget toward your honeymoon! To really maximize your honeymoon budget , or for help covering some of the wedding expenses, set up a honeymoon fund instead of (or in addition to) a traditional housewares registry. This allows guests to contribute to your honeymoon or other savings goals, to help offset the costs or upgrade your honeymoon plans.
Consider a Non-traditional Venue
Opt for a non-traditional venue for your big day to save money and create a unique experience! Non-traditional venues like public parks, community centers, and private rental homes often have lower rental fees compared to traditional wedding venues like hotels and event spaces. Plus, they often have more flexibility when it comes to catering, decorations, and other aspects of your wedding which can allow you to be more creative and choose affordable options that fit within your budget.
Take on DIY Projects
Consider do-it-yourself projects for decorations, favors, and even invitations to save money. Making some of these yourself can be much more affordable than purchasing pre-made items from a store or through a vendor, and they allow you to add a personal touch to your wedding. DIY projects can also allow you to include unique and creative elements that may not be available through traditional vendors. This can make your wedding stand out and be more memorable for you and your guests! To save time and money on labor and consider asking friends and family to help with these projects.
Limit your Guest List:
Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be a tough choice, and deciding what to say to people in the meantime can be challenging, too. One of the easiest ways to cut costs for your big day is by being selective about who you invite. Limiting the number of guests you invite to your wedding can help reduce the cost of food, beverages, and favors.
Many wedding venues charge per person, so limiting your guest list may even help you save money on your venue rental. To streamline your guest list, create a list of must-invite guests and then work backward from there. Consider cutting out acquaintances or distant relatives who you haven’t seen in over a year.
Opt for an Off-Season or Weekday Wedding
If you’re willing to be flexible with your wedding date, you can save money by booking vendors during their off-season or even mid-week dates. During peak wedding season (typically spring and summer), wedding vendors are in high demand and can charge higher prices for their services. However, during the offseason (typically fall and winter), vendors may offer discounts or lower prices to attract business. Similarly, getting married on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) is less expensive than a weekend wedding (Friday-Sunday) because venues and vendors are also in less demand during the week. This means that they may be more willing to negotiate on pricing or offer discounted rates to book business during slower days of the week.
Serve a Limited Menu
Instead of offering a full plated meal, consider serving a limited menu with just a few options, or a buffet or family-style meal. This can help reduce the cost of catering while still providing a satisfying meal for guests. With a limited menu, it can also be easier to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences without incurring additional costs for special meals. And if your venue will allow it, we love the idea of using food trucks for your catering needs! Food trucks can be less expensive than traditional catering options, as they have lower overhead costs and may be able to serve a large number of guests quickly and efficiently, and you won’t have to pay for staff to serve them.