Weddings are expensive to plan at anytime, but during the current economy, it can seem downright impossible to pull off the perfect wedding. But have no fear brides, for there ARE ways to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. Follow these foolproof tips to stay within your budget, and even save money, while planning your wedding:
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
First things first make a list of the most important things you want for your wedding and have your fiance do the same. Are you most committed to having a designer gown, inviting 500 of your closest friends and family, serving filet mignon and lobster or hosting the wedding in Tahiti? Knowing your priorities will help you decide what to spend money on, and what you don’t mind skimping on or doing without.
Timing is Everything
Consider having your wedding any day but Saturday. Fridays and Sunday are also popular wedding days but may cost a lot less than a Saturday event, or for even greater savings, choose a weekday evening for your wedding. Choose a date between November and April to avoid higher peak season rates in many areas, and consider having your wedding during the day, such as a weekend brunch or a luncheon on Saturday or Sunday. Any of these suggestions can significantly lower venue costs.
It Never Hurts to Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask for deals when negotiating the costs for your cake, flowers, and reception hall. For example, offer to pay up-front in exchange for an overall discount. This can be useful in negotiating the price on your cake, flowers or venue. When planning your ceremony or reception at a hotel, ask to speak to a manager who is in charge of these services. A manager should be in a position to offer the best rates for the hotel’s services.
It’s All About Who You Know…
Ask friends to lend their talents by helping out with such things as invitations, flowers, and programs. Borrow a friend’s printer, to print out Do-It-Yourself wedding invitations, or ask your favorite Aunt to bake your cake. Assembling fresh or silk flowers yourself can save you hundreds of dollars, and some of the most attractive wedding programs are printed from a home computer and then creatively assembled with accessories such as ribbon, lace or decorative buttons.
…But Not EVERY ONE You Know
One of the most difficult, but sometimes necessary cost saving measures is to trim the guest list. Invite only the people who are important to you, rather than everyone you know. Take off guests who might feel obligated to come to the wedding if they are invited, but would not have their feelings hurt if they are not asked to attend, and think of inviting only relatives with whom you have a close relationship.
Prioritize Some More
Look at your goals as a couple beyond the wedding day, and remember that your wedding is just one day in a life-long commitment. If you want to purchase a house in the next few years, keeping that as a priority throughout the wedding planning process will help you to be prudent about how much you spend on that one day.