It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. Actually I think the correct term is “WHAAAAAT??” followed by screaming and your parents taking out a second mortgage.
Budget weddings require a bit of extra time and smart planning, but it is SOOOO possible to throw a beautiful wedding and still have enough money left over to … um, eat … or whatever. Here’s a list of the top five things your budget wedding doesn’t need.
Flowers up the Wazoo
Yes, flowers are gorgeous and really brighten up a room. But paying up to $5 a stem for flowers is just plain ridonkulous. These days there are so many beautiful non-floral centerpieces that there is no reason to spend $6,000 of your wedding budget on decorations that will die within a week.
A Bazillion Bridesmaids
I’m all about having a huge wedding party — but unfortunately, more bridesmaids means more $$$, especially if you plan on buying their dresses or even just covering the cost of hair and makeup on your big day. And for your out-of-town bridesmaids, you’ll have less girls to put up and feed for a few days. Check out our Less Than $200: Bridesmaids series for budget bridesmaid looks!
Too Many People
This is HUGE. If I could get married all over again I would invite half the people and spend an extra week on our honeymoon instead. Once you figure in catering, favors, cake, booze AND rentals, you can EASILY spend $50 per guest (we spent $162 per guest, phew!). That’s MAJOR savings. Sure, making a tight guest list can be a bit difficult, but you’ll be SO glad you did when the wedding is long past and you can actually afford a down payment on a house.
I’m torn on this particular item, but it’s still worth noting. If you’re a foodie like me, you will love planning menus with your caterer — until you see the bill. DIZAMN! Adding pears and pecans to the salad costs WHAT?! Be honest with your caterer about your budget. They’ll work with you to find a menu that is tasty AND affordable. If it’s still too expensive, catering your own wedding is sooooo possible with smart planning! Check out our new Cater Your Own Wedding series for cheap and easy to prepare menu ideas!
An Open Bar (GASP!)
I know this is a hard concept to swallow. ESPECIALLY if certain family members can’t get along without help from tequila shots. Never fear, you can still host a bar on a budget! Talk with your vendor about cheaper options. For our wedding we offered bottomless beer (one micro-brew and one domestic), wine (house red and white), and a champagne toast — but mixed drinks were cash only. OR nix the bar all together and serve one signature cocktail along with flavored ice water and assorted soft drinks.
Following just one or all of these guidelines could save you thousands! What budget-saving tips are you planning to implement in your wedding?