Planning a wedding is a beautiful process; you are building a concept that you have dreamed about for a lifetime, and you want everything to be perfect. But as you add up on your wedding list, you start to see how your budget shrinks to the point of disappearing. While you can save much here and there reality is, your biggest expense can not be avoided. But we have your back with plenty of tricks to keep your numbers green.
Yes, guests are the one thing that will put your wedding over budget. If you add more guests, your numbers will instantly go up because you must add one dinner, invitation, seat, table, napkin, centerpiece, and so on. So, to keep your big expenses low, you must be careful with the size of your guest’s list.
Now let us break the costs related to guests and tell you how you can save without leaving half of your guests out of the party.
Invitations. Your invitations can easily escalate if you are thinking about handmade and handwritten calligraphy. But if you are trying to save some money, consider ordering them online or sending only a digital version to your guests. Stationery represents a small part of the overall wedding, but it is unnecessary in many cases.
Wedding venue. Your wedding venue will take up to 40% of the overall budget. The larger your guest list, the larger the venue you need. When searching for the right wedding venue, try to consider one that fits the aesthetic and vision of your wedding. When your venue is already beautiful, you do not need to add much décor.
Another important matter is choosing an all-inclusive venue if you want to save time and money; when a venue has an in-house catering service, and items like chairs, tables, linens, and table settings, you can save much by renting on your own.
Catering and bar. Food and beverage are two large expenses for your wedding, each guest will add up to your bill, and you must find a service with high quality and good price. When it comes to your menu, try to keep it simple and seasonal. Ask your catering service for three amazing courses instead of five and request their recommendations for in-season and local produce.
For the bar, keep it simple too. Adding specialty cocktails or imported liquors will only add up to your budget. And everyone enjoys a cold beer or a fine wine. If you want to, add one or two cocktails with simple liquor for those who want something different.
Rentals. Rentals include tables, chairs, tablecloths, glassware, flatware, drapery, and event lighting. Depending on what your wedding venue already includes, you might have to add some of the above items. But you can save much, especially on wedding uplighting because hiring a lighting vendor will only increase your budget, and you can DIY without any previous knowledge, simply following the easy tutorial videos.
Decoration. When your guest list starts to grow, so will your decoration because you must add more centerpieces and other details depending on the size of your wedding venue. One tip we can give you is to rent pipe and drape weddings, an easy and DIY way to cover spaces and save money. You can install it to create a fun backdrop or drape to cover the space where your catering vendor will set up.
Tips to stay within your budget.
1. Stay off-season and choose a weekday.
The high season for weddings is usually spring and summer. If you want to save on your wedding venue, pick a date for autumn or winter. You can also prefer a weekday instead of a weekend, and many venues offer a special price for those days.
Choosing an unconventional time of the day is also a great way to stay on budget. For example, you can have an early ceremony and celebrate with a delicious brunch, instead of a five-course dinner and drinks.
Looking through all the inspiring and dreamy pictures you find online will soon make you wish for a big wedding with fireworks and personalized drinks for each guest. But you must set your feet on the ground and ask yourselves what is important for you. If you want a top of notch food or entertainment, you should keep other costs low to focus on what you enjoy.
A great way to do it is making a list from 1 to 5 with the following items that take most of your wedding budget, and then make a list on which you agree on.
Photography and videography
Decorations & Rentals
Food and beverages
3. Keep track of your expenses.
A big mistake many couples make is not keeping in order what they spent related to the wedding. It is easy to get lost in the many details and payments, but make sure you put them on your notes, a notebook, or a spreadsheet. You can also find helpful apps, for that matter.
Do it yourself and save money on vendors that charge you too much for something you can easily achieve. Renting draping, uplighting, projectors, and string lights will save you much, and it does not require you to have special skills. You can also DIY your centerpieces and other decorations.
Budget for extras
Hidden costs, service fees, trials, extras, and gratuities are some of the expenses you must budget for. Before signing any contract:
Make sure you understand what you must do to get your deposit back.
Ask if all service fees are included.
Set a budget for gratuities for your vendors that gave 110% to make sure your wedding is perfect.