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Planning a wedding should be full of excitement, but sometimes it can feel like there’s a wet blanket over the whole thing because of one little word… Budget.
Budgets are a very important part of the wedding! It’s so easy to spend $15,000 without batting an eye. Weddings are expensive!! Brides are always looking for ways to cut costs, and that’s not a bad thing! Not everyone can afford a Kardashian-worthy wedding (I certainly can’t! I don’t really want to, either ;).
I think that there are some things that couples should splurge on, because they will truly make your wedding day more special. Obviously, your photographer is one of them! A little piece of me dies whenever I read an article that suggests “ask a friend who has a nice camera to take your wedding photos!”. But a few other things that I’d recommend splurging on would be your DJ/band, florals, videographer, planner, and the venue. Of course, this depends on your wants / needs for your wedding (each one is different!), but as a general rule of thumb, those are the ones that I would want to splurge on.
But what are some practical things you can do to save money, but also not devalue a wedding vendors work?
As a photographer, it’s hard to hear someone not put a high priority on wedding photography, just because I know exactly how important it is! But the same may be true to any other vendor. I tried my best when I was making this list to not give any advice that could possibly hurt another vendor in the process. For example, it’s common to suggest to money-saving brides to forgo the DJ and just have a Spotify playlist running all night… If that’s the route you choose to go, it’s completely up to you, but I will always recommend fitting a DJ in your budget, because a good one will be well worth your money!
So here are a few ideas of ways to save money while planning your special day!
1. Splurge on the bridal bouquet, but save some money with the bridesmaids bouquets. The bridal bouquet will be photographed the most, and you’d be surprised! One bouquet goes a long way in detail photos :) If you really want to go the non-traditional route, you could have your bridesmaids carry something other than flowers!
2. Remember that it is your wedding, and if there are people on the guest list that you and your fiancé don’t necessarily want to invite (i.e. your parents coworkers that you’ve only met once), don’t invite them. It’s as simple as that! Sure, some people may not like it, but is it their wedding? Nope.
3. Consider asking select friends and family members to cater your wedding! Does your Uncle Bill make the best ribs? Can Cousin Sally make creamy mac & cheese that makes you drool? BOOM. Instant meals! Caterers are amazing, and you get so much more than food when you book them, but this could be a way to save a little bit of cash if you already know you love the quality of food your friends and family have prepared.
4. Email your Save The Dates! You can still mail out some Save The Dates to the few people who don’t have access to email, but you would save SO much money by doing this! If you’re a budget conscious bride, this is a very easy thing to do. Why pay for all the postage to send out two sets of invitations?
5. Consider using cupcakes for the guests, and having a small cake just for you and your new husband! You save about 65% by using cupcakes instead of cake! And honestly, I think cupcakes are just cuter and way easier to eat! (especially when you cut them in half to make a cupcake sandwich :)
6. Choose a venue that is its own decoration! The American Hotel in Staunton, VA, is the perfect example of this. Ron & Kate loved the exposed brick look, and barely had to decorate at all! The venue itself was the decoration.
7. Stay true to who you are as a couple. Don’t care about the unity candle? BOOM. Just saved 10 bucks ;) Doesn’t sound like much, but all those traditions can add up! Keep the traditions you like, but do away with the ones that you couldn’t care less about.
I hope these 7 money saving tips are helpful for you as you plan your wedding!