25Nov2014

Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Wedding

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Weddings are expensive and most people do not mind spending a little money to make their big day extra special. Not everyone has lots of disposal income to plan a massive, expensive wedding, which can be a major stressor for those who want to make their wedding days beautiful and elegant but feel that they just do not have the funds to do so.

Even if you don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your wedding, you can still make it special and classy. We have a few tips to help you reduce your wedding spending and still throw the party of your dreams.

Rent, Rent, Rent

One of the major mistakes that most people make when planning their wedding is that they purchase everything—from decorations to dish and flatware, not realizing that first of all, they likely will have no use for those decorations (as beautiful as they are), after the wedding day is over. No matter how wonderful you want your wedding day to be, it might feel a little impractical to spend thousands of dollars on items you will probably have to store endlessly or just throw away after the big day is over.

The solution is to not buy any of it, but to rent it instead. All of the things that you are just going to have to store, give away, or throw away once the wedding is over, should be rented instead of purchased. Why? Because when you rent something, it costs far less that purchasing it and it can be returned to the rental company after you are finished with it (this is something your parents can do, while you and your spouse are off on your honeymoon, enjoying all the money you saved while planning your wedding.)

Of course, if you rent wedding accessories and decorations, you might feel that you will not have anything left over as mementos after everything is returned to the rental company. Because that is perfectly true, it is beneficial to purchase a few things—a few pieces of wedding china, a few flowers, some strings of lights—things that you actually see yourself using in the coming years. You’ll still save a ton of money, and you’ll have plenty of things to remind you of your wedding day.

Pick a Budget and Don’t Budge

Don’t give yourself a free pass just because you are opting for wedding accessory rentals. Just because you’ve saved a little money in one area doesn’t mean you should go crazy when looking for a caterer and buying a wedding dress. The very first stage of your wedding planning should be figuring out how much money you have to allocate to your wedding. Once you have that firm number, don’t stray from it, whether it is $10,000 or a $1000. Going into debt to plan your wedding is not a good way to start your new life!

One of the best ways to stick to a budget is to reduce the number of people that you invite. The more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding is going to be. Don’t be afraid to cut people from your list—especially if you don’t really want them there and were only planning to extend an invite as a courtesy. It’s your wedding—you shouldn’t have people there that aren’t going to be thrilled for the two of you, especially because you’re paying for them to be there.

Don’t be Afraid to DIY It

The most expensive parts of a wedding are usually the venue and the food. A great way to save money on a venue is to rent a tent and hold your wedding and your reception outdoors. You’ll have more flexibility, be able to choose when you want to do it and how you want to decorate it, and you’ll likely have much more freedom over the food preparation and serving areas. Most brides are notorious control freaks (and why shouldn’t you be? It’s your wedding!), and a tent rental is a great way to up your control over the venue and the wedding in general.

When it comes to food, it may seem exceedingly stressful, but you can save serious coin by making your own food, rather than hiring a caterer to be in charge of it. Not only will you get exactly what you want—again, something all brides need—you will only have to pay for the cost of the food, not the food and labor and time of the caterer and her staff.

Don’t be afraid to source talent from your friends and relatives. If your sister is an excellent graphic designer (or even just an okay designer), ask her if she will make your wedding invitations. Better yet, download a $1 template off of Etsy and use Microsoft Office to fill in your own information, before printing and mailing them. If they seem a little wary about doing this for free, just let their time and labor be their wedding present to you two.

Know What to Keep and What to Cut

Maybe you don’t really need a local band or DJ to play. If you rent speakers (or borrow some from your church or best friend’s apartment), you can plug in an MP3 player, loaded with your favorite music, and just let it run.

Maybe you don’t need a five-tier wedding cake (maybe three will do?). Some couples will even make a prop cake out of Styrofoam and serve a sheet cake to the guests—which saves some serious money.

Your wedding should absolutely be the most wonderful day of your lives and a great start to your lives together, but keep in mind that the last thing you want to do is spend the next twenty years trying to pay off the cost of this one day.

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