May 14, 2018 | Home + Family

Planning Your Dream Wedding on a Shoestring Budget

After the Royal Wedding, brides-to-be may be asking themselves, “Can I plan one of the most memorable days of my life but still stick to a budget?” Obviously, the bigger your budget, the better odds you have of staying within your limits. But let’s face it, most people don’t have the luxury of marrying like royalty.

With a little prudent and innovative planning, you can bring your dream wedding to life. From all-inclusive destinations to equestrian weddings and deep-sea events, modern couples are designing their own dreams with their own rules, including sending invitations online, registering for honeymoon events instead of gifts, buying wedding gowns on eBay and encouraging fun before formality. All of this is done by finding bargains and and making budget-smart decisions.

Can You Save Money On The Venue? Yes!

Fortune indicates that “at $16,107 on average nationwide, the wedding venue came in as the most expensive element for couples planning on long-term commitment.” Top hotels, resorts and country clubs can push that above $50,000 depending on where you live. With that said, you do have options.

Book a venue for a Friday or Sunday wedding, and you’ll save anywhere from 15 to 40 percent of a Saturday wedding. You could also leave town and schedule your wedding in the country, a bed and breakfast, vineyard or orchard. Those slightly atypical wedding venues command a lower rate because they are not downtown and aren’t as in demand, so you can take advantage of both money-saving elements. For example, an upstate New York country location can cost $40,000 less than a Manhattan venue.

Other money savers include switching from pricey formal five-course dinners to less costly brunches that are sometimes additionally discounted (if they take place during off-peak hours). Also, don’t be afraid to ask about a discount for paying in advance, as some venues will drop the bill considerably for money in hand before the big day.

Do You Really Need A Wedding Planner? …Yes (And No).

Wedding planners offer a network of contacts in venues, bakeries, photography, music and more. However, according to the Association of Bridal Consultants, on average they’ll cost you more than $3,200. Planners price services from the start, for the day, or by the hour. For some couples, the stress relief they provide makes it a worthwhile expense.

Destination weddings and some venues provide day-of-the-wedding planning support as part of their fee. Software products like AllSeated, The Wedding Planner or Seating Arrangement will give structure and flexibility to your planning, including meeting your budget goals. Many brides seek planners because they want a central control, but you can also split tasks among friends and wedding party members.

Can You Get Photography For Less? Yes, But There’s A Catch.

Compare the work and costs of several providers on a short list. Be sure to read recent online reviews to get a good understanding of what you can expect. Some of these reviews will give you insights on what offerings to pass on and stretch your dollars further.

You can save money by controlling the photographer’s hours and the number of prints, combining or unraveling package offers, and paying with a cash back credit card. Also, give your photographer a shot list before the wedding and negotiate in real terms so they’ll know what you’re asking for and they can only charge you for what you want.

Don’t be afraid to enlist your guests’ help! A photographer can capture your must-have moments, but your guests can easily grab unplanned fun and unforgettable moments with disposable cameras at each table; encourage them to help you make memories during the reception.

What’s A Wedding Without Flowers? Memorable!

The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Study revealed that flowers for the wedding party, place of worship and reception tend to run more than $2,500.

To save some money and to be more creative, many contemporary brides have been opting for non-floral arrangements. They carry wreaths, paper flowers, origami displays, seasonal fruits, fabric flowers or seashells. Fans, umbrellas and baskets replace bouquets. Balloons, candles, shells, crystals, lanterns and random glassware make attractive alternative centerpieces because they add some flair and personality to your event and kick costs way down from a typical affair.

Is It Really Possible To Make These Budget Cuts? Absolutely!

Innovative approaches are shaping a new wedding economy that offer enjoyment, sentiment and memories within any budget. The tools you use to make your wedding more budget-friendly are yours to decide; just remember to make the day your own, without forced expectations that push you to spend money or to follow unwanted customs.

Today’s couples are dramatically changing the traditional wedding rituals and if you want to save money, so can you!

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