There are several items that are necessary to your wedding, but can cost quite a bit. Staying within your budget is important. Here are some tips to help.
Flowers, as everyone knows, are a big part of the wedding. If you want to have fresh flowers at the ceremony, be sure to shop floral wholesalers. They will probably have large quantities and if you cut out the middle man (the florist), it will save you money. Be sure to use flowers that are in season and abundant. Using flowers that are out of season or rare can be pretty expensive. If you are going to be using artificial flowers, go to craft stores and hoppy shops when they have sales. You may have to go to several to get all that you need, but the amount you save may be worth it. If they do not have the quantity that you need, see if they can order them for you. Try making the bouquets and boutonnieres yourself. Even if you only end up making the bouquets and buying the boutonnieres, you are still going to save money.
Remember, lunch is cheaper than supper and finger foods are cheaper than a meal. Also, buffets are cheaper than having servers and chicken and fish cost less than red meat. Keep the food simple. The guests are not there to eat; they are there to share your special day. The meal is just an added bonus. If you cannot afford to feed everyone, then don’t.
If you are planning on having alcohol at the reception, but it from a discount store. Do not buy it from a liquor store because the prices can be much higher. Discount stores have sales and most of the time you can return the unopened containers. If you budget is really limited, you might think about not serving alcohol. It is just an added expense that might not be necessary. If you do want to have alcohol, you might consider having a cash bar with a limited selection of drinks.
If you are going to have a DJ, shop around. Before you decide on one, see if you can come to an event he or she is playing, or at the very least, ask for references. The DJ you have in mind may be the lowest priced one available for a reason. You want to make sure you are getting the best there is to offer for the price you can afford. If you are thinking of going with live music, go to the local colleges and post a message on the bulletin boards. A local college band will usually cost less. Again, be sure you hear them play before you decide to choose them. The last thing you want at your reception is a bad band.
If your budget is really tight and you or someone you know can bake, by all means make the cake yourself. Just be sure to test it before your wedding. Your guests will thank you for your practice.