You are getting married and want a beautiful event, yet you need to stick to a tight budget. This is a problem that faces many couples. Don't worry; there are ways to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
1. Prioritize! Make a list of the most important things you want for your wedding and have your fiancé do the same. Are you most committed to having gorgeous flowers, inviting 400 people, hosting the wedding at a particular location, or serving filet mignon and lobster? Knowing your priorities before the planning starts will help you decide what to spend money on, and what you don't mind doing cheaply or doing without.
2. Trim the guest list. This is difficult but sometimes necessary if the cost per guest is going to break your budget. Cross off names on the list of guests who might feel obligated to come to the wedding if they are invited, but would not have their feelings hurt if they are not asked to attend. Think of inviting only relatives with whom you have a close relationship instead of everyone related to you. Invite only the people who are important to you and your parents, rather than everyone you know.
3. Reduce the number of people in your bridal party. You have to buy nice gifts for every member of your bridal party, and that adds up. Plus, traditionally, the entire bridal party plus their dates are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Seven bridesmaids and seven groomsmen, all their dates, ring bearer and flower girls, and their families, plus both sets of parents and all the readers in the ceremony, plus Officiant could add up to 40+ people to feed!
4. Have your wedding ceremony and reception held at a hotel, and ask for discounts when family and friends are staying at same hotel. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests several months before the wedding for the best rates. Speak with the appropriate manager when asking for discounts and reserving rooms.
5. Ask your married friends how often they pull out their expensive wedding album... Photos, though a nice luxury can be a huge expense. In reality, you only need one beautiful photo to hang on the wall. If you supply disposable cameras you will be surprised how well the candid pictures turn out. Also, ask a friend who you know is good at ensuring that your guest’s heads aren't cut off in pictures to help. Make a list of all the family and group shots, research wedding magazines for some nice "set up shots" of the bride and groom, and pass them on to your photographer friend. Also ask friends with digital cameras to email you all the photos they take. Ask a friend who you trust having around but couldn't have in the bridal party to capture the bride and groom getting ready. Remember that this is one very happy day when you are both looking your best so it shouldn't be that hard to get a nice album made up without thousands of dollars. You can hire a professional photographer for the ceremony, and leave the rest up to friends.
6. Stick to the schedule for your ceremony and reception. Musicians will charge more if asked to perform beyond the time stated in their contract. You will also incur additional limo charges if your event runs longer than planned. If you don't know any musicians yourself, call local college music departments rather than browsing the yellow pages. Students will be cheaper than professionals.
7. Have your ceremony and reception in the same location to simplify things and save you money. There will be no need for limos to take you to the second location. Many churches have halls that are equipped to handle wedding receptions at reasonable fees - especially if you are a member.
8. Consider having your wedding any day but Saturday. Fridays are also popular wedding days but may cost a lot less than a Saturday event. For even greater savings, choose a weekday evening for your wedding. Schedule the wedding to allow guests time to arrive at the ceremony after the work day has ended. Many guests enjoy weekday weddings as this frees up their weekends for other activities. Choose a date between June and September for the Phoenix area to avoid higher peak season rates. Schedule your wedding during the day, such as a weekend brunch or a luncheon on Saturday or Sunday. The cost for the venue will be much lower and the daytime lighting is better for color photography.
9. After looking at the final plan of your wedding, but before paying any deposits, decide where you can simplify the whole process. Consider whether you really need choral singers and a string quartet at the ceremony and a wedding singer and a DJ at the reception. Releasing doves or butterflies or having a candle-lighting ceremony are all wonderful, but may end-up costing a lot of money. Simplicity saves money and if done well, your wedding may seem more serene and awe-inspiring!
10. Remember that the wedding is one day at the start of a life-long commitment. Look beyond the wedding day to the goals you will have as newlyweds. If you want to purchase a house in the next few years, keeping that as a priority throughout the wedding planning process will help you to be prudent about how much you spend on that one day.
LAST Step..call us at 623.536.0995, set up an appointment for a complimentary consultation with our wedding fairy. Wedding professionals, just as ourselves, know the ins and outs of weddings and is always the best place to start when planning.