What comes to your mind when you think of the summer time? Are you envisioning freshly squeezed lemonade, cookouts and swimming? How about wedding dresses and vows? Research has shown that the most popular month to get married is the summer time, especially June. If you are a summer bride or groom here’s a startling statistic for your budget. The average wedding costs $25,631! That is a lot of money, and in these economic times many of us can’t afford to spend that much money on the big day.
Most brides dream of their weddings from the time they are little girls and want the day to be perfect just like the fairy tales that they watched over and over. The good news is a fairy tale wedding is still possible without breaking the bank. It just takes some time and planning. The first thing you and your significant other must do is set a budget so you have guidelines to stick to. After creating a budget, please see the tips below to cut costs, while still having the perfect wedding.
Ceremony & Reception
• Get married in the off-season months, which are January, February, March and November.
• Don’t get married on a Saturday. Saturday is the most expensive day to get married. If you must have your big day on Saturday consider having a brunch or lunch wedding.
• Guest list. The more people the more money. You don’t have to invite everyone you know. You can set limits, such as no coworkers, no children or only very close relatives. It is your day and you only need the people that are the closest to you.
• Say your vows at the same venue you have your reception. This will reduce costs, such as limos and vendors that you pay by the hour.
• Reduce the amount of tables you have by seating more guests at each table. This will eliminate some costs for centerpieces and table cloths.
• Hire a DJ instead of band.
• Ask around if anyone you know can officiate the wedding.
• Photographs and videos are your only lasting memories of your big day. Be sure you research the photography company. You can get a good photographer without going to the most expensive. Look at their work and referrals. Best advice I can offer when choosing a photographer is to have the CD of images included. By doing this you are able to make as many copies as you would like on your own.
• Have a dry wedding, where no alcohol is served.
• Offer beer and wine only.
• Some couples decide to have a cash bar, where everyone will pay for their own drinks.
• Find out if your venue will allow you to bring your own alcohol. Be wary though about the corkage fees. Sometimes the fees are so high you are better off just purchasing the drinks from the venue directly.
• Forget the champagne with the champagne toast! You can do the toast with the beverage of everyone’s choice.
• Have last call 1 hour before reception is over. You will save on drinks, as well as the bartender services.
• A sit down formal dinner will cost significantly more than buffet style.
• Choose carefully when it comes to food. Steaks cost a lot more than chicken dishes. Think about your guests nutritional values. You may have guests that are vegetarians or have allergies. Traditionally, couples offer two different entrees with sit down meals.
• Hands passed appetizers are more expensive than having a station set up. Inquire if the venue can accommodate a place where people can help themselves during cocktail hour. This will reduce costs drastically.
• Rent or borrow your wedding dress.
• Shop the sales. Many bridal stores have sales twice a year to get rid of older inventory. You can save hundreds and in some cases thousands.
• Ladies can do their own hair and makeup. Always do a trial a few days before to be sure you have it just perfect for your special day.
• Gentlemen can wear suits instead of tuxes.
• Do it yourself. Jump on the internet and look at different arrangements. You would be amazed how simple some are to duplicate.
• Always use flowers that are in season.
• Use a lot of greenery. Greenery is cheaper than flowers so it will save you money if you mix with the flowers.
• Consider silk flowers. Not only are the very pretty, but you can keep them as keepsakes.
• If you are marrying in a church around the holidays take advantage of the flowers that are already there.