You're Engaged! Now What? | 5 Ways to Save BIG on Your Wedding!
Happy Engagement! Now it's time for WEDDING PLANNING! I bet you are over the moon excited. I mean, who wouldn’t be with that rock on their finger – lucky lady!
So you’ve been engaged for like 5 minutes and you’re already fielding questions about the big day. “When is it?” “What venue have you picked?” “Who are you going to invite?” Biggest question I remember asking myself – “How do I have the wedding of my dreams without spending all the $$$?”
Answer: Be flexible.
Here 5 ways to create a beautiful wedding on a small(ish) budget:
Pick a Date: Get Married Off Season
The overwhelming majority of weddings are held during the warmer months of the year. If you are unfamiliar with economics here is a crash course: the more demand there is, the more someone can charge. Why should you care about economics? Here's why: if you are willing to get married between October and April you could save some serious cash. Less people are getting married when it's cooler outside - which means less demand . Less demand = less expensive.
If you plan your wedding outside the holiday season (set a date between January and April) you might knock off a few more dollars – because in the world of weddings, this is the slow season. From catering to photography, flowers to venues, getting married between October and April can save you some major cash.
An additional benefit – your vendors are likely a lot less busy and will often be more flexible and hands on because they aren’t up to their eyes in work! Meaning more 1:1 time with you!
Buy a Dress: Consignment DressesThe average wedding dress sale prices is over $1,500! Add that cute sparkly belt, the alterations, the Jimmy Choo shoes every girl dreams of (don’t forget the veil - which is surprisingly expensive) and you’re spending a few months rent on something you'll probably only wear once. Feeling sick? DON’T! Consignment dress shops offer beautiful dresses that look brand new for a fraction of the price.
Speaking from experience, consignment dresses are amazing. I purchased my dress from Blue Sky Bridal a few years back - if you are in Washington State (or want to take a girls trip!), I highly recommend them. I was able to try on any dress I wanted AND take it home with me the same day.
Looking for a place closer to Reno or Tahoe? I’ve got you covered! Déjà Vu Bridal is local and the ladies at the shop are to die for! I have friends who've purchased their dress from Déjà Vu and they have nothing but good things to say. The sweetest people you’ll meet. Promise!
Pick a Venue: Think Outside the Box
The venue is typically the most expensive part of the day, but finding a budget friendly option is not as hard as you might think. Take a minute to think outside the normal options. Consider restaurants, private residences, camping (for the outdoorsy), or an elopement someplace meaningful to you two.
A smaller restaurant, brewery or gallery, for example, might allow you to rent their whole space as long as you hit a food or drink minimum. Venue, food, and drinks all for one price under the same roof?! Easy, right?
Use Your Connections: Friends and Family
Your family is over the moon that you’re getting married. If your family and friends are anything like mine, they love you to death and want this day to be extra special. Consider using their connections or their skills to bring down the costs.
Have a friend who loves flowers? Purchase flowers in bulk and ask her if she’d do the arrangements for you as your wedding gift. Know someone who makes your favorite cookie or dessert? See if they’d be willing to make your wedding desserts or favors in place of a gift. What’s even more cool? These people love you and want this day to be perfect, so they’ll go above and beyond for you!
Flowers: Go In Season
Buy in season flowers. There are some amazingly beautiful flowers that are in season in the fall like: Dahlias, Calla Lilies, Roses, Carnations, Gardenias, and Tulips (my personal favorite).
Try using things that aren’t flowers like branches, rocks, leaves, or tall grass to bring down the cost. Succulents or house plants that you can gift to family and friends (or use as your wedding favors) are some other fun options. There are so many cost effect and unique options available.
You might even consider using fake flowers! The quality of faux flowers has gotten so good most people won't even be able to tell. Plus, you can reuse the arrangements to decorate your home or you can gift them out after the wedding as thank yous!
Bonus Tip – Limit the guest list.
Seems obvious right? WRONG! So many times, I hear couples say they invited people they hadn't talked to in years. Or people they didn't plan to see again. When it comes to planning the guest list things can get tricky - especially with those larger families! But, the day is about YOUR family - the one you're creating. Try limiting the guests to those who will be the support system for you and your fiance for years to come.
Consider this: Create a tier system for guests you’d like to include. Here are a couple of examples to help you create that guest list that doesn’t blow your budget.
Family members by tier (parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins - draw the line somewhere)
Limit children - honestly, even if you love kids, most parents will love that you did this (date night!)
Only invite people you’ve talked to in the past 5 years
Hope this helps! Have a great week.