This time of year is when brides start to kick it into high gear. Summer is just around the corner and while all the BIG parts are under control, now we’re working on all the nitty gritty details.
It’s also the time of year when wedding budgets start getting analyzed a liiiittle bit closer. You’re already locked into your big ticket vendors (reception space, caterers, band and the like), but there are definitely ways to trim some of the fat. If you’re taking a look at your wedding budget and noticing that you’re getting dangerously close to the top, here are a few tips that might ease budget-stress.
1. Fruit as centerpieces.
What? Yes. Fruit can be a gorgeous centerpiece at half the cost. For summer, an array of peaches, lemons, limes, and grapefruit can be elegant and fun at the same time. Fall could bring deep purple nectarines, apples, and grapes. Winter might call for squash and plums. Not sure you only want fruit? Mix and match smaller floral arrangements with large. Bonus: your guests will likely take a bite for dessert (so make sure you don’t spray anything harmful on the fruit, like a lacquer to make it shine).
2. Champagne toast…without the champagne.
While I love a good toast to the couple, most of your guests will already have a drink when it comes time to toast you and your spouse. Save a couple hundred dollars (if not more depending on your champagne preference) and nix the champagne. Allow your toast to be simple, genuine, and straight from the heart. (Hint: if you still want to satisfy those champagne tooths, have champagne available at the bar. Everyone wins!)
3. Have cupcakes, cookies, or a pastry tray instead of a cake.
Cake can be pricey, and if you’re having a large wedding, it’s hard to choose a flavor that everyone will like. Instead of going for a full-on, 9-tier cake, have one small tier made for cutting (and the requisite cake-in-face-smashing pictures) and go with mini desserts instead. Much cheaper and more crowd pleasing.
4. Think outside.
Depending on when you’re getting married, outdoor spaces can be great for a quick, loving ceremony. Gazebos at a public park or on the sweeping property of a friend or family member eliminates the cost of a ceremony space and can be just as lovely.
5. Save with students.
If you’re looking at getting a string quartet for ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception, call up the local university. Most wedding songs are pretty simple to play, and will be much cheaper than hiring professional musicians. This also goes for a calligrapher or a ceremony program/paper product designer. Many students these day are quite talented and are looking to bump up their portfolio for post-college jobs. If you can get a recommendation from the department head at your local college, you may end up with invitations or hand-done calligraphy at hundreds below cost.
6. Bring your own.
If you’re getting married close to home and you’re having a smaller wedding, it might be a good idea to bring decor pieces from your house. We’ve had brides bring everything from dishes to flatware and it adds a special, personal touch to their weddings. You could bring outdoor furniture and make a seating area or carafes from home for wine so that you don’t have to rent it from the caterer or a rental house. Plus, it makes your wedding more YOU.
7. Create your own traditions.
What about cocktail hour BEFORE the ceremony? Or a short wedding dress instead of a long one? A rehearsal dinner potluck where all your aunties or cousins bring their best dish (and leave a beautiful serving bowl as your wedding present)? We all love traditions (especially me) but your wedding is about YOU and your spouse. Who says you need a veil? Or even a white wedding dress? Your wedding should be about you!
What are your ideas for creating a high-end, gorgeous wedding without the pricetag?