Deering Events is a Wedding Planning company that plans and executes fun, creative, and unique weddings all across the USA with offices in Massachusetts, New York City, and North Carolina. Our team loves to craft events of all sizes from Intimate elopements, to large scale tented affairs.
November 14, 2018
Even if you have a tight handle on your wedding budget, it’s easy for costs to balloon and get out of hand. There are so many little things that add up, and before you know it you’ll be over budget and stressed out.
The flip side of the coin? My clients want to stay on budget but still have a stunning wedding. They’re not into a super DIY look, either – they still want their aesthetic to look professional.
What’s a style-conscious but budget-minded bride to do? Here are my wedding planner tips on how to cut costs in a stylish way:
A cash bar is out of the question, but limit the selection
Cash bars can be a big no-no. Your guests are already paying for a gift, travel, hotel, after all. Most of the female guests won’t have cash in their tiny evening clutches, and you don’t want your guests clamoring for an ATM so they can get a glass of wine. That being said, you can always limit the selection of booze to help ease your beverage costs. All you really need is wine, beer, and a signature cocktail.
Skip the full top-shelf liquor selection and consider coming up with a simple signature cocktail instead. For wine, a red and a white offering are perfect – if you’re providing your own alcohol, you can get a case discount by purchasing in bulk. You can have a lot of fun with your beer selection – local craft brews are always fun, and make sure to include a perennial favorite like Heineken or Sam Adams.
Candles, candles, and more candles
You can spend so much money so quickly on centerpieces. A small, modest centerpiece can cost $100-150; multiply that by the number of tables and you’ll see your budget skyrocket. Skipping the centerpieces and having an empty table isn’t ideal, either.
The solution? Tons of candles. They create a soft, romantic look and are an inexpensive way to fill up the table without making it look cheap. Make sure you have someone on hand to light them all – your venue might not do that for you. (That’s where a wedding planner comes in handy!) Another idea is to lay some greens down on the table and place pillar candles or floating candles on top.
Reuse and recycle your flowers
Have a gorgeous floral arrangement on your arbor or chuppah? Make a plan to reuse it for the reception decor. You can also do this for florals decorating the aisle and bridesmaid bouquets.
Your bridesmaids probably won’t need their bouquets after they walk back up the aisle. You can place them on the head table as decor, or plop them in a vase to display on the escort card or guest book table.
Your florist can break down the arbor flowers and reuse them throughout the cocktail hour and reception space, too. Make sure to ask them about this when you book your flowers, they’ll need to know about it in advance.
Get married at the venue
Unless getting married at a church, synagogue, or place of worship is super important to you and your family, consider having your ceremony on-site. You’ll save a ton of money in transportation to and from your home, church, pictures, and reception.
The other benefit? It saves a lot of time. Your wedding day will go super fast, and if you’re heading to multiple locations throughout the day, it can eat up a lot of precious minutes.
Save money on your stationery
A cost that usually knocks people off their chairs is the stationery costs. Sure, those triple-thick, three-color letterpress invitations with custom calligraphy and invitations are gorgeous. They can also cost thousands of dollars!
A less-expensive option is getting your invites online at a place like Minted. They’re super pretty, have a huge selection, and cost a lot less than custom designed stationery. You can even avoid paying for a response card by having guests RSVP on your wedding website.
For escort cards, you can opt for an escort card board instead of individual cards. Have a talented friend design it and get it printed at Staples, or ask them to write the names on a mirror.
As for ceremony programs: you might be able to skip those, too. If you’re having a non-religious ceremony or a shorter church ceremony, you’ll be able to get away with not having programs. If you’re having a longer religious ceremony with a lot of hymns, readings, and traditions, guests will probably want to read along in a program.
Use your friends’ talents
Having a friend officiate is a great way to save money. In Massachusetts, you can get a One-Day Marriage Designation here. Outside of Massachusetts, they can get ordained by the Universal Life Church for no cost. Just make sure you ask someone who’s reliable and comfortable with public speaking! Also, give them a thoughtful thank you gift. A nice bottle of wine is a lot less than you’d pay a minister or priest!
You can also ask your other friends to help with wedding tasks (playing acoustic guitar at the ceremony; helping put together bouquets; designing wedding signage). Having friends and family pitch in makes the day more meaningful and personal. Just make sure to ask politely and give them a generous thank you gift if they offer to do it free of charge.
Compromise on the date and time
There’s a reason summer Saturdays are the most expensive time to get married – they’re the most coveted dates, and vendors charge accordingly. If you’re willing to compromise on the day of week or time of year, you can save a bundle of money.
Fall weddings have become more popular, so you probably won’t save a ton of money getting married in September. However, if you can find a date from November-March that works for you, you may be pleasantly surprised at how less expensive it is.
Another idea is to get married mid-week. Thursday weddings are popular for observant Jewish brides who observe the sabbath on Friday nights and Saturdays.
Weekend brunch weddings can be lovely and also budget-friendly. Guests won’t be drinking as much and you can even skip the full band or DJ. The venue might give you a better price, too.
There are ways to save money without being cheesy
If you need help staying on budget or want to outsource the planning to a wedding planner who can save you time and money, get in touch with Deering Events to learn more about our wedding planning services.
Photos by https://andrewfranciosa.com/
Deering Events is a Full-Service Wedding Planning Company with offices in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Serving clients across the USA, crafting and designing their dream wedding.
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