How to budget and save money on your wedding attire, flowers, photo-video, venue and food bar
WEDDING SUITS and DRESSES
Wedding dresses are very expensive. However, there are many options you can exercise to get what she wants and save money.
- Do you have a friend or family member who sews? Get them involved, and in return, give them the honor of serving as attendees at your wedding party.
- If you buy a dress on the Internet, you will probably find beautiful dresses at a reasonable price. Before deciding to have your wedding dress made to measure, go to the department stores and check their sales and the discontinued corner.
- Occasionally, bridal and department stores have sample sales and clearance wedding dresses. When they do, you can buy a dress at a fraction of its original price and save a “ton” of money. Do not be shy. Ask the bridal salon manager when they plan to have an end-of-season clearance sale. They need to make room for the new styles. Another option is to purchase a sample dress that was worn for a fashion show or exhibition.
- If you still can’t find that special dress, consider a simple dress from the rack. Or comb wedding listings and auction sites on and off the web. You will probably be able to buy a dress that was worn only once or even a new one for “peanuts”.
- To save even more, you might consider a “prom” or bridesmaid dress.
Today it is customary for bridesmaids to buy their own dresses and shoes. Since you probably intend to gift your maid of honor and bridesmaids, provide them with accessories. It is customary to give them personalized jewelry that goes well with their dresses or gowns. Whether jewelry is a necklace, earrings or a bracelet, it doesn’t have to be expensive. However, it must be of good quality and look good.
GROOM and GODPARENTS
Depending on the reason for your wedding, the groom and groomsmen may wear a dark suit and dress shirt. Give them matching ties for uniformity and a tie clip and cufflinks as a keepsake gift. If your wedding requires tuxedos, have the men in the wedding party rent the tuxedos and shoes. Once again, you should gift them with the accessories. Many rental places will provide the groom’s attire for free if all the men in the wedding party rent at the same time as a single package. So have all the men order and test at the same time. Even if you take them out to dinner after the fitting, having the groom’s outfit for free will save you money.
- Choose flowers that are in season and locally grown.
- You can save money on your flower arrangements if you are willing to be ‘original’ and creative.
- If any of your guests create flower arrangements even as a hobby, ask them to do the flower arrangements for your wedding.
- If you cannot find a capable guest, you will need to purchase the bridal bouquet and altar flowers from a reputable florist.
- Transfer flower arrangements from the ceremony to the reception.
- Consider giving the bridesmaids seasonal mixed flowers. They are available in supermarkets and even Costco and Sam’s Club at a fraction of the price charged by a florist.
- Place vases on the reception tables and ask your bridesmaids to insert their bouquets into these vases to serve as centerpieces for the reception tables. Your bridesmaids will oblige and after the reception they will take home your flowers and vases as well. The flowers won’t last forever, but the vases will become your wedding favors and you’ll save a lot of money.
PHOTOGRAPHERS and VIDEOGRAPHERS
When it comes to photographers and videographers, choose your professionals very carefully. Your wedding day will come and go and the photos and video will serve as keepsakes and keepsakes of your big day. By watching them, you will relive it and you can share it with your children and yours building a family history.
Before hiring a photographer or a videographer, interview at least 3. Compare their work, prices and references. Choose the best that is within your budget. Even if you need to choose a smaller package, this is where you want the best. Go for it. Just as personalized wedding gifts and accessories will become treasured memories to share and pass on to your children, so will your photos and videos.
Most of the likes of your wedding have cameras on their cell phones. Ask them to take photos too. These photos will usually be real and candid, reflecting your wedding as your guests see it.
The reception is the most expensive part of your wedding. The food is the most expensive part of the reception. However, you can plan it within your budget and have a memorable event. You must be very particular when choosing the site. It should be appropriate and fit in with your hosting plan. It doesn’t have to be a traditional salon. How about having your wedding in a historic house, a park, a museum, a fairground, public gardens, on the beach, at your place of worship, in a clubhouse, etc.?
You also need to know if the venue provides all of your furniture and dining needs. If not, you must calculate the rental rates.
When choosing a wedding location, choose a slow period and a Friday night, Sunday afternoon, or weekdays. When the caterers are not busy, you can negotiate with them for the best deals.
FOOD and BAR
- If you invite some good cooks to your wedding, you can ask them to prepare your favorite recipes for your reception.
- If you invite some good bakers, ask if they could make sweets and desserts or maybe even your wedding cake. You’ll save money and they’ll be honored to be asked. In fact, they’ll probably be happy to serve, too.
- If you have your reception catered, you need to consider: the number of guests, the time of day, and how the food will be served.
- It will be:
- just snacks,
- only dessert,
- light snack,
- a sit down,
- A buffet?
- Will you serve alcohol?
- Will the bartenders serve alcohol?
- Will it be an open bar?
- Who will pay for the drinks, you or your guests?
- Or, instead of having an open bar with hard liquor, serve just champagne, wine, and beer. If you buy them, ask the retailer if they return unopened bottles. Big Box retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club accept returns.
There’s a huge price difference between a light brunch, a five-course sit-down meal, and everything in between.
The following are some suggestions you can refer to to fit your budget.
- Have an early brunch or lunch. Serve fruits and vegetables, salads, eggs, cheeses, pastries, coffee, tea and cold drinks in a buffet style.
- Have a late lunch and you’ll just need to add a few meats and poultry. At your option, you can still serve it buffet-style or as a sit-down meal.
- For a dinner reception, you can serve a buffet or a formal dinner. A catered dinner is by far the most expensive option.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR FAVORS
More often than not, you’ll find that people will feel honored to be asked to contribute their talents and connections on your special day. When I got married, my brother’s best friend, who is a DJ, was more than happy to provide his services as a wedding gift for me and my boyfriend.
See if you can borrow accessories from a friend or family member. Something as simple as a headpiece, veil, or jewelry can be very expensive if purchased new. It will have a lot of “Something New” elements, but it needs “Something Borrowed”. So, find someone who has an accessory stashed away in their closet and who will be more than happy to lend it to you as their “borrowed something.” “Something old” “Something blue” and sixpence for your shoe. For my wedding, my father-in-law replaced it with a dime. I have been happily married for 55 years. So I guess the Dime served me well.