Ways to Save Money While Planning Your Dream Wedding
Now that the engagement excitement has settled down it’s time to start planning your big day! While this can be an exciting time many couples become overwhelmed by everything they need and all the costs involved. You don’t have to sacrifice your dream of a fairytale wedding just because you have a smaller budget. There are plenty of ways you can save money and still have the wedding of your dreams.
5 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding
Budget and prioritize
Sit down and create a realistic budget. How much do you want to spend on your wedding and where will you spend that money? Prioritize your list of wedding day must-haves into categories where you don’t mind spending extra on and where you don’t mind spending a little less. This will give you a starting point to begin planning. When asking for recommendations on social media, avoid phrases like “looking for a budget friendly….” and “looking for reasonably priced….”. Your idea of budget friendly and reasonable priced will be different from everyone else. Say what you are willing to pay for each vendor and accept that your low budget will mean you get low quality vendors.
There are many ways you can save when it comes to the flowers on your wedding day and these can be an expensive part of your wedding day. Consider what flowers will be in season around your wedding date. Choosing seasonal flowers can help you cut cost. Consider opting for a single stem flower instead of a full bouquet for the bridesmaids. Going with less can often have a bigger “wow” factor on your big day and in your wedding images. If you are a creative person think about doing the centerpieces and décor yourself and buying the flowers in bulk from your favourite local florist. Many florists are willing to work with the bride to be to help her create her fairytale wedding and using a florist that does not have a brick and mortar store could also mean lower prices as they don’t have that overhead to pay for.
The dress may be one area you don’t want to skimp on. Although very important and sentimental, you might want to reconsider spending thousands of dollars on it. While you try on the perfect dress from a wedding boutique, don’t overlook discount dress shops. Many of these shops carry the same dresses for half the price. Also, if you have already tried on and found the dress, look for it online before you buy it. You can often find the same dress for thousands less. Also, check the second hand wedding Facebook groups and Kijiji, we often see brides selling their dresses for a fraction of what they paid for them.
Invitations, save the dates, engagement announcements all can add up quickly. The printing costs and the cost to send out all these wedding papers can get expensive. You can save thousands simply by setting up your own wedding website. You can still use your beautiful professional engagement photos, but you won’t have to spend the extra money on printing. Keep in mind though, not everyone will be checking your website daily or even weekly (or ever) and the invitation could easily slip their minds without that piece of paper to put on their fridge or in their day book.
You can also make your own invitations! When I got married I went to the paper shops in the city and found everything I needed in the sizes I needed – invitation cards, rsvp cards, envelopes, velum, and the supplies for wax stamps (pro tip – use coloured hot glue instead of wax because it wont break in the mail!) and printed everything myself at home. It saved us a LOT of money and guests raved about our invitations.
Booking a venue for your wedding is one place you will tend to spend the most money. If the season is right, planning for an outdoor ceremony or reception can be a great way to make your fairytale come to life. Outdoor weddings at a local park or even a friend or family member’s backyard can be perfect and it will provide the ideal lighting for your photographer to capture those breathtaking images in natural lighting. Make sure you have a Plan B though just in case of rain!
Also consider a small ceremony, an earlier reception time, or plan for a weekday wedding. These small changes that aren’t so traditional can save you hundreds or even thousands when it comes to booking your ceremony and reception venue. Off season weddings also cost a lot less as venues don’t normally get to fill those dates. Check out my blog post full of Holiday and Off Season Wedding Inspiration!
Where you shouldn’t cut cost:
You might think getting a friend or family member to shoot your wedding photos will help you save. While it may save you in dollars, it could cost you in quality. You want your wedding day images to be beautiful and ones that will bring back the joyful emotions and memories from that day. A professional photographer will be able to capture all these moments that your friend or relative will be not be able to with a point and shoot or even a fancy DSLR camera. You’ll regret and be disappointed that you don’t have clear stunning images from your wedding in the future if you decided to try and skimp n this area of your wedding budget.
In Ontario it is illegal for someone who is not a licenced and registered Officiant to pronounce a couple married. This breach carries a prison sentence of up to 2 years! If you decide to have a friend perform your ceremony, be sure to make sure nothing they say is breaking the law because if you get turned in – it will cost a lot of money to fix.
Also, be aware that low-priced Officiants are charging based on their worth, skills, and experience. They often see weddings as just a fun hobby and don’t see their work as a business, and this could result in some unprofessional behaviours. They might have never been to a wedding – yours could be the very first one they have performed and not know a thing about entrances, working with photographers, staging and posing during your ceremony…and, they have so little skin in the game, they often think nothing of cancelling which leaves you scrambling to find someone else available at the time on your invitations. Stick to the professionals for the most important day of your life.
If you don’t want to pay full price for your Officiant’s experience, skills, and expertise, consider asking for a morning or weekday ceremony. Some Officiants have lower priced ‘quickie’ ceremonies that they perform at off-peak times. I charge $200 plus travel for off-peak 5 minute ceremonies and paperwork – keep in mind though, you don’t get to have any say or editorial control with these ceremonies and don’t get the benefit of my help with your wedding. If you choose the 5 minute option and want to chat with me about your wedding details (not to be confused with your ceremony details), I am happy to book a coaching call with you to go over anything you like and answer questions you might have,
If you aren’t sure what to do, have a peek at my blog post Why Can’t I Just Have a Friend Perform My Marriage Ceremony?.
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