Twenty tips to stop a budget blowout
Budget – there is no other word in weddings that strikes more fear in a soon to be married couple!
Once the post engagement high wears off, the reality of dollars kicks in. All those magazines you’ve dog eared, the Instagram images you’ve saved, the blogs you’ve trawled can often be pie in the sky ideas, and unless you’ve suddenly won lotto, it’s more than likely you don’t have unlimited funds to spend on your wedding day.
With reports suggesting that couples are spending upwards of $50k on their day, it’s enough to make your eyes water and who wants to be a broke-ass bride or groom?
So, here’s some help! We’ve popped together twenty wedding budget tips to keep more dollars in your back pocket.
- Plan to perfection – so many brides and grooms are surprised by the additional costs they incur in the weeks leading up to the wedding, particularly when it comes to beauty treatments or bridal party gifts. By planning every detail and budgeting for it, you will always be a step ahead. Our Bride Business checklist is a handy help when it comes to this
- Pick a less popular date or time – by celebrating your day on a weekday, or choosing a morning wedding rather than afternoon, you could save a lot of money with your venue. The added bonus – you are likely to have your pick of wedding suppliers as they’re less likely to be booked!
- Fab five – pick the top five things that matter most to you on your wedding day. It could be invitations, the dress, photography, food, flowers or music. Whatever they are, invest more on these fabulous five items and scrimp on the rest!
- Avoid guests list swell – it’s really easy to get caught up in the wedding hype and want the entire world to share in your day. After all you’re going to look ah-mazing and throw the wedding of the year. However, tread carefully when it comes to your guest list and set some firm guest rules. For example, you may only invite immediate family, or only those that you have seen in the last 2 years, or you may even have a strict no work colleagues policy. Another trick, set your guest list and then attempt to downsize it by 25%. If you can (without waging a world war with your other half) then you’ve just saved and amazing amount of cash. If you can’t, well at least you tried!
- Talk about your day with family and friends – ok don’t bore them to death on this one, but they just might come up with some incredible ways to save money. A friend might be a talented musician who is happy to play some ceremony music, or they might be a keen baker ready to tantalise your guests tastebuds with an incredible cake!
- Decoration dilemmas – A million brides have been married before you so it’s likely there are decorations and props that you might be able to hunt down that have barely been used for a fraction of the price. Join wedding forums, keep and eye on social media, ask around – you just don’t know what might turn up.
- Stick to the schedule – one way to find yourself paying additional costs is by not sticking to your timeline. Photographers, videographers and musicians can often charge for additional time if you run late, so don’t keep them waiting.
- Cull the RSVP card – consider having your guests RSVP via email, or your wedding website or app. It’s good for the environment and will save you extra printing and paper costs.
- Seating situation – if your wedding ceremony is not overly long, you could provide a limited number of seating and have majority of your guests stand and save a bundle of dollar on chairs. When determining the number of seats do factor in immediate family who will love to be close to the action as well as elderly or pregnant guests.
- Bin the bonbonniere – save your pennies by doing away with the traditional bonbonniere, your guests are there to celebrate you and we dare say they won’t even notice!
- Double trouble – work with your florist to ensure that your ceremony florals can be used in some way at your reception. It seems too much of a shame for your pretty petals to only make an appearance as you say your ‘I do’s’.
- Ditch dessert – no, we don’t mean ditching your sweeties all together, but you could just serve your wedding cake as your dessert and save yourself quite a bit. Alternatively you could ditch the decadent cake if it’s not your thing, and just have desserts.
- Spirits away – stick to beer and wine and lose the hard booze. Better for your back pocket and your guests heads the next day.
- Skip bridal party gifts – if you have treated your bridal party well and not asked them to fork out their life savings on your day, we dare say you’re in a safe space to skip out on buying bridal party gifts.
- Stay centered – with shared plates currently in vogue, you can avoid spending money on flowers for centrepieces as it’s likely it’s not needed. Alternatively consider using candles to create ambience, they’re far cheaper.
- Weather woes – if you’re having an outdoor ceremony, factor in your plan B early in the piece. Should there be an unexpected weather event that will ruin your plans you could find yourself with the unexpected costs of hiring an alternate venue or marquee. Even better, choose a reception venue that offers an indoor ceremony and reception option and push any weather worries aside.
- Don’t over do it – do you really need 4000 fairy lights, a twenty piece band, a fireworks show? In a perfect world all the extras would be lovely, but don’t over do it as the costs add up quickly.
- Track your spending – it’s one thing to set a budget, but it’s another to actually track it as you go. Set time aside each week to go over your budget and ensure there are no blowouts, our pal Bride Business can always help (cha-ching!).
- Stick with seasonal – be it your food or flowers, you will always get a far better deal if you’re conscious of choosing things that are in season.
- Finally, our number one piece of advice? Just stick to the god-damn budget no matter what!