3 Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding
Weddings are infamously expensive. Future brides and grooms often balk at the price of everything when they begin planning for their big day. The high costs of weddings can make it seem like you can’t get married unless you’re lucky enough to have the necessary funds, dashing the hopes of spouses-to-be everywhere. And with the COVID-19 pandemic further challenging the planned timelines and budgets of upcoming weddings, planning a wedding right now can seem virtually impossible.
However, there are a few key ways couples can save money when planning their weddings. By making these plans now, you’ll be able to put them in motion as soon as coronavirus quarantines lift and businesses start resuming operations. There will likely be many challenges in a post-quarantine world and things certainly won’t be “normal” again, but you can at least utilize these tips to save money on your wedding.
Plan Your Spending
Before you spend a dime, you need to write out how much everything is going to cost. Make a spreadsheet that has three expense columns: “Estimated,” “Modified,” and “Actual.” Under the estimated column, you’ll put the average costs of items and services that you’ve found through your research. When writing down these estimates, remember to check for the local averages in your area. On average, a bridesmaid bouquet costs $75, but that could change depending on where you live and what the floral market is like in your area. To get accurate estimates for your area, check sites that have local averages for venues and vendors like Weddingwire and Thumbtack.
As you contact vendors, you can adjust your estimates to reflect their costs. Remember to verify if tax and tip are included in these estimates and note that in your spreadsheet. Before you finish up the estimates column, add a line item called “Extras” that is about 15% of your total budget. This will act as a helpful cushion for the costs you forget or won’t anticipate. With the estimated column complete, you now know how much the wedding is going to cost.
When you get concrete proposals from the vendors you choose, put those numbers under the modified column. As you continue to get the proposals, having them all in one place next to your estimates will allow you to see if you’re going far over your budget and need to start finding ways to save money on your wedding. The final amount that you pay will go in the actual column, which also acts as a good checkpoint for sticking to your budget.
Decline Upgrades at Your Wedding Venue
The venue is typically the most expensive part of a wedding. On top of the base cost, venues often offer to make changes to cater to a couples’ stylistic preferences. These changes, however, are often much more expensive than what they’re worth. You may be tempted to switch out chairs or cocktail glasses that you don’t like, but doing so can add thousands of dollars to the cost.
Unless the upgrade is absolutely necessary for your wedding, say no to it. Keep in mind that annoyances that seem major now, like not liking the design of the glasses for the reception, won’t even make it into your memory of the wedding years from now. If certain things really bother you, ask the venue if you can make changes yourself without paying extra fees. They may allow you to bring your own glasses or to add edible flowers to garnish your cocktails and make the presentation more to your liking. Just by asking if you can make these budget-friendly changes, you can avoid expensive upgrades and save money on your wedding.
DIY Everything That You Can
When you’re paying someone else to do your invitations, favors, bouquets, and decorations, you’re paying for the materials as well as the labor. By doing some — or all — of these things yourself, you’ll cut the labor cost out of the equation and have much more control over the cost of materials. This is an effective strategy to save money on your wedding.
The first step to DIYing parts of your wedding is to do your research. Look up the materials that you need online and try to find the best deals. As only 33% of retailers have the mobile technology to show consumers their available inventory online, it may be worth it to call the store and ask about their inventory and discounts you could get for buying in bulk.
For big projects like making your invitations or creating the favors, recruit your friends and family to help you. You’re already doing a lot of work just by planning the wedding and could use a helping hand or two to execute your DIY plans.
There are many different ways to save money on your wedding and still have a day that you’ll remember with fondness for decades to come. Remember to think out of the box and get creative with your budget and you won’t break the bank for your big day.