How to save when it comes to your wedding day

Weddings are expensive…let’s get that right. The average cost for a wedding in the United States is currently at $30,000! That’s like 10,000 coffees at a cafe, 15,000 boxes of Oreos, or 5 week long vacations with amazing excursions and delicious foods. You guys… $30,000.

So, as any good friend in the industry would do- I’m going to tell you 10 ways to help you cut costs and enjoy your honeymoon, putting that money down on a house, or tossing that money in a college fund for kiddos (or yourself!)

cooled down lightened-98.jpg

Here we go.

  1. Do not do an all inclusive venue.

    • All inclusive venues require you to use all of their picks at their costs, no wiggle room. That means you can’t find a great priced caterer or DJ for your event that could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run. You just have to say, “Okay!” to what they offer even if it’s not your cup of tea! So, go with a stand alone venue. Check out their preferred vendor lists, but don’t feel obligated to use any of them! Seek out vendors that appeal to you and are in or under your price range!

  2. STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!

    • It is so easy to say, “oh, it’s just a $200 extra.” but if you say that 5 times over a year you’re already $1,000 over budget. That also cuts into the other areas of your wedding that need that cash flow! Budgets are sometimes not fun, but remember why you put one in place in the beginning…. HONEYMOON. (That’s my reason anyways)

  3. Do not underestimate or overlook unforeseen costs.

    • When making a budget do not forget to factor in taxes, additional fees (flatware fees for caterers, uplighting for DJ’s, clean up team for venue, if things run late and you need your photographer for an additional hour), gratuity, and gifts for people hosting showers and parties and for your bridesmaids & groomsmen.

  4. Limit attendants.

    • Listen, everyone loves having EVERYONE in their wedding that matters to them, but if you are trying to cut some corners to save some dollars, a bridal party of 10 girls and 10 guys may not be the wisest choice. Consider the “proposal” box and the gifts you’ll get each of them. Let’s say skip the proposal box and just do a gift…a decent gift around $40 per. $40 x 20 = $800. Did you have that in your budget? I didn’t. I completely forgot. Hi unforeseen cost…refer back to tip #3. So cut it down. Get your bff, your sister, whoever…but make sure you consider the cost of having each! Oh, also- managing 20 people for events and bachelor/bachelorette parties is a pain… just think about your sanity here.

  5. RSVP online.

    • People are terrible about mailing back RSVP’s. It’s just the truth. So do an online RSVP! Doing a mail back RSVP requires that you send an already stamped envelope and that can add up to big dollars really fast with 250 guests. Not to mention half of them throw it away or forget to RSVP and end up texting you their RSVP anyhow! They literally threw away your money.

      Skip the stamps and the envelopes and send a cute little paper that says where to RSVP and call it a day. This can easily save you hundreds of dollars!

  6. Bar budget.

    • Sure, everyone loves an open bar…except the person paying for it. Go with a beer and wine bar with a signature cocktail designed by him and one by her. It’s fun, cute, and mixes up the beer and wine with a nice little twist. No one is going to complain that you didn’t have liquor at your wedding, but if you’re worried about it have that liquor but make that portion a cash bar!

  7. Do NOT do favors.

    • I have yet to photograph a wedding where the favors all get taken home. Brides spend hours putting these beautiful gifts together, planting or ordering succulents, getting cute little decorated cookies or candies or mini champagne with custom labels…and no one takes them. Take my advice…skip the favors. No one cares. They get forgotten. Then you end up with 100 succulents and baby bottles of Champagne with your face on them.

  8. Only provide champagne for the sweetheart table.

    • If you plan on providing champagne for toasts to all of your guests you have to, of course, purchase all of that champagne, but you also have to pay staff to walk around pouring the champagne! Are you already having a bar? Have your DJ announce toasts will be happening and for everyone to have their CHEERS drink ready. They’ll already have one in hand or they’ll head to the bar while your server or coordinator pours yours and your wedding party’s drinks. Voila. Money in your pocket.

  9. Skip save the dates.

    • Did I really just say that? I did. You do not have to print 150 cute pics with a date on it with a magnet stuck to the back (and paying extra shipping for that weight), postage stamps, envelopes, etc. to get the word out about your wedding date. Save the dates can end up costing you around $300 easily when honestly, if you plan well you can send a lovely invitation, include a cute pic of you two, and pay that one shipping cost in plenty of time to let people know ‘Hey, I’m getting married! Put it on the calendar!”

      Save the dates are just an extra step, an extra stress, and lots of extra cost!

  10. Get a Coordinator!

    • I know, I said I was going to save you money, and I am! Yes, a coordinator is an additional cost, but let’s chat really fast about how a coordinator can SAVE you money.

      • They know vendors. They know their price ranges, what they offer, can offer up suggestions on who is in your price range and where you can probably save some money on things.

      • They save your sanity. They know the ins and out of the industry and will make everything smooth sailing for your planning journey and your actual wedding day.

      • They go to bat for you. They contact the vendors you are interested in and work out the best deals! They are master negotiators and can help you get a better deal than you were probably able to get yourself. Also, they have the time to get you multiple quotes and all you do is compare and point to the one you love! Hellooooo, coordinators are your wedding day BFFs!

So, there are ten ways to save you money on your big day! Now, go have a latte, an oreo, and plan that honeymoon girl….you can afford a queen’s treatment with the cash we just saved you!

Love, Britain

Britain Paulk