Planning a wedding is certainly pricey so it’s no surprise many couples try to find different ways to cut costs on their big day. Here we detail our top 12 tips for how to plan a wedding on a budget.
1. One of the most prominent tips for saving money on your big day is to set your wedding date for a day during off peak season. Not only will you be able to get a great price on your ideal venue you will also be able to negotiate better deals with other suppliers who will typically have less business during the off peak months. Alternatively consider marrying on a different day of the week, it’s no secret that Saturday’s are the most expensive day to tie the knot so instead opt for a Sunday.
2. Limit the alcohol available to your guests at the reception. This means skip the open bar and free shots. Instead offer a beer, wine and soft drink package. Simply have an array of wine and beer available so guests will still feel like they have some choice in what they drink. Perhaps even add one or two signature cocktails to keep everyone happy.
3. Work with your caterers or venue on the menu for your reception. Request for meals on your menu to use seasonal produce which are usually cheaper to source. Consider selecting cheaper cuts of meat or opt for a family style of dining as opposed to a set menu. Another option for working to a strict wedding budget could be to limit the appetiser options and have a cheese platter instead for guests to pick at. Ultimately try to work with your caterers to find a compromise which works for both parties.
4. Opt for a venue that has an all-inclusive package which consists of tables, chairs, linen, tableware and if you’re lucky centrepieces. This way you can avoid having to rent or buy any of these items which can significantly add to your wedding costs.
5. When it comes to selecting your wedding reception entertainment, DJ’s are usually more affordable than wedding bands. We can guarantee your guests won’t have an issue dancing the night away to a DJ and you will have saved some money that can be better spent elsewhere.
6. Opt for simple cake designs this means 1-2 tiers with a simple decorative design. Skip the flowers and instead opt for an affordable cake topper which can easily be sourced online. If you’re having a modern wedding, consider having a wedding cake alternative such as a cupcake tower instead of a grand multi- tiered cake. If you have your heart set on a towering cake, discuss the possibility of fake layers with your baker. No one will know that the tiers are fake it’s not like anyone will touch your cake so then have a plain cake out the back that can be cut up and served to guests.
7. If your photographer charges by the hour strategically work out your wedding schedule and when you will actually need them present capturing shots. Once the reception formalities are out of the way you may not see a need for having your photographer there anymore, so organise your photographers working hours prior to the big day. You can still have photos of reception celebrations by providing guests with disposable cameras or advising guests to snap away on their phones.
8. Good wedding budget advice for couples with limited resources is to only have your wedding car for the ceremony, photography and transportation to the reception then organise an alternative means home from the reception, there is no need to have the car on standby all day.
9. Sourcing non-traditional wedding venues is another of our favourite budget wedding ideas that can save you significant amounts of money. For example hiring an old theatre can be a perfect and unique setting for a vintage glam wedding reception. Golf clubs are another great venue with picturesque lawn surroundings making for a lovely wedding backdrop. For your ceremony parks can be a great option and may only require a small fee for a permit.
10. Doing your own makeup or hair can also cut your wedding costs. We however only recommend this for brides who are confident in their makeup and hair techniques or are working to a very strict budget. If you are going to do your own makeup consider having a trial done at a department store so you can learn some tricks and ask questions. Another option is to watch YouTube tutorials and read blogs detailing makeup tips. Wedding makeup is more complex than what you would apply for a regular night out as you need the makeup to last all day/night and to photograph well. For example the flash of a camera can be harsh on certain foundations so product knowledge is crucial.
11. Hiring a wedding planner can actually help you cut costs. While from the outset it won’t seem like a wise move when working to a budget but wedding planners are experts at navigating strict wedding budgets and can negotiate exclusive deals with suppliers who they work with regularly. The lure for suppliers is that wedding planners are essentially returning customers which make them a great bargaining chip to get better rates.
12. During the initial planning of your big day make sure you go to wedding expos because it is a great way to score special offers that vendors are exclusively offering. Most if not all vendors who attend a wedding expo will have some kind of offer available on the day so it is the easiest way to get some wedding ideas on a budget.