10 Tips for Sticking to Your Wedding Budget
Everybody knows, weddings can be expensive and when you’re planning one, your budget can easily blow out before you realise. Having recently planned a wedding and got married myself (as well as photographing plenty of them too!), here are 10 tips to help you keep things under control - and make it the best day possible!
1. One of the biggest things that hike up the cost of your wedding is the day you chose to have it on. Saturdays are always the most popular day, and as such, they are the most expensive (sometimes close to DOUBLE the cost, per guest!). Consider having your wedding on a Sunday or a Friday and you will see a significant price drop. Plus if you book a Friday your guests will love you even more - a perfect excuse for them to book a day off work and have a long weekend!
2. Not only does the day affect the costs, but so can the time of year. Considering to have your wedding in the ‘off season’ (which is May-September, if you live in Australia), can save you a lot of money. As it’s a quieter time of year for most businesses, you may find they offer specials during this time. One such venue (for those in Perth), is Darlington Estate, who offer a Winter Package during the colder months. Not only do they offer cheaper rates and more inclusive packages, but they also offer extras like a roaring fire. Combine this with the fairytale woodland overlooking the misty valley and you could not find a more idyllic winter wedding location! More winter weddings I say! You can find more information about Darlington Estate on their website here.
3. Another thing that saves you a lot of money is doing things yourself. Obviously, not everything, but there are plenty of things a little bit of elbow grease can do. You can arrange and make your wedding favours (think jars of candy, homemade jam, or candles), decorations and even desserts (well, maybe ask for a family member to help with that). Don’t forget about things having more than one purpose too. For example, you could have flowers at your ceremony that can easily be moved and turned into table decorations after you say ‘I do’. A quick two minutes could save you a few hundred dollars, and all you need to do is ask a friend to move them.
For my own wedding, we bought a bulk amount of jars off eBay, bought some cute tags and twine from Kmart or Spotlight, and then filled them with delicious personalised candy from Roc Candy in Perth. Guests loved them and we had plenty left over for ourselves!
4. Continuing on the DIY track, you can save a lot of money around your invites. Extra pieces of paper, such as separate RSVP cards can quickly bulk up the price, which you can avoid by simply printing on your invite for your guests to RSVP by phone call or email. You can also find a great range of invite templates on places like Etsy.com and you can organise names and printing yourself. This goes for the same for other prints you may need, such as your seating plan.
Otherwise online you can also find a great range of free fonts and artwork/images to create your own unique look posters and stationery. Find a beautiful vintage frame or a simple white frame from good old Kmart and now you have a beautiful piece unique to your day!
However, a quick side note on finding free fonts or images. Where I mentioned free downloads I mean check out stock images/font websites where artists upload their work for this purpose. Don’t go stealing people’s hard work without their permission! If designing your own invites/stationary sounds a bit tricky, then really do check out Etsy or somewhere similar. You really can find beautiful and affordable templates!
5. Number 5 on my list is use the internet (duh! I hear you say). Shopping online for bridesmaids and groom/groomsmen clothing can also save you a bunch of money, not to mention the time! You can often find excellent quality clothing for a fraction of the cost, and many places will ask for exact measurements to make sure items fit perfectly. Even if you need to have them slightly tailored after arrival (eg. if the length is a little too long), it will often work out cheaper.
One such place I can recommend is MixBridal.com - my wife bought bridesmaid dresses, along with matching ties for myself and groomsmen from here 2 years ago for our wedding and absolutely loved it. She says the quality was excellent, the service fantastic and the option of receiving colour samples before choosing very helpful. Check them out!
6. Next, I’m going to tell you to stalk. Stalk the vendors you have in mind before you book them! A quick google search for reviews or checking out a Facebook review section can show you any potential problems that might occur, and make you aware of hidden costs that others may have had. Again, a quick five minutes could save you a lot of trouble (and money!).
7. An important decision a lot of couples think about for their wedding is about music. DJ or band? You could easily save over $1000 by not booking either, and instead, looking after the music yourself. Build a playlist of all your favourite music, and find a trustworthy friend/family member to look after the music. Most venues have a music system built in you can plug a phone into, otherwise, you can bring along a stereo/speaker system when you drop off decorations!
8. Don’t be afraid to say no - cap the number of guests! First of all, make sure you are only inviting people who you really want to be there, and not a lot of people you think you should invite. Then if someone asks if they can bring a partner, or along the likes and you do not have the budget for it, do not be afraid to say no!
9. Next, make sure you have a realistic budget before you lock in a date. Have an idea of the kind of wedding you want and list some potential vendors, then inquire as to their prices. Then if things come in a bit more expensive than you thought, you can find an alternative or pick a date later on that will mean you can save/budget accordingly, without stressing yourselves out over it.
10. Finally, my last tip is BE PREPARED! I’m not saying go crazy and have lists upon lists upon lists (unless that’s your thing!) but make sure you have things under control and give yourselves plenty of time. Popular vendors often book out 12 months in advance, so make sure your enquiring and talking about dates before this time. Booking things last minute can often see a price jump!
Well, we’ve reached the end of my tips for planning your wedding. Thanks for reading through, I honestly and truly hope that they help you out! As you probably noticed, I mentioned a few different vendors in my tips and the products they offer. Please know that these ARE NOT paid sponsorship - just honest and real recommendations from my past experiences. I’m one for spreading positive vibes and lifting others up, so that’s why I’ve mentioned them in so much detail!
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read through the other articles on my blog (links below). Otherwise, if you know someone who would benefit from some wedding planning tips, share this with them now!
What tip/s did you find most helpful? Anything you think I missed? Comment below and tell me what!
Until next time,