Big Wedding.....Little Budget
Every Bride and Groom deserves to have the Wedding of their dreams.....but sometimes a dream wedding can have a scary price tag. There are lots of ways to cut the cost of your wedding like making your own invites and decorations, baking your own cake and arranging your own flowers.
But what if you're NOT the DIY type? What if you're working full time, raising a family and don't have the time or the creativity to spend 500 hours making tiny ribbon roses or 100 tissue paper pom poms.....is it still possible to cut the costs without compromising on your dream?
It sure is!
Here are our Top 15 Money Saving Tips to pull together your dream wedding on a tight budget!
- TAKE YOUR TIME. So you just got engaged and you are SO excited that you head straight over to Pinterest and start looking at wedding dresses and table settings......WOAH! Slow down! Take the time to enjoy your newly engaged status and then start planning your wedding. Consider having a long engagment - giving you time to research and really think about what you and your fiance really want. Decisions made in haste are often costly and sometimes, sadly, regretted.
- THE DATE. Think carefully about when you're getting married. Here in New Zealand, wedding season generally runs from early November through till the end of April, with February being the busiest month of all. Avoid peak season and public holiday weekends and you might be able to score some great deals. If you really want to get married in summer (because lets face it - we do live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and it comes ALIVE in summer) consider getting married mid-week - not only might you be able to get some good discounts from your vendors, but your guests will be likely to drink significantly less on a week day meaning your bar bill will be much less.
- VENUE. Have your entire wedding in one place. Stay, get married and celebrate in one place and not only will you totally eliminate the need for transport between venues etc but lots of venues offer special rate or even free accomodation for the Bridal Party.
- SHARE THE COSTS. Speak to your venue and enquire if another couple have booked the same venue the day before/after you. There could be some great discounts to be had if you and the other couple are willing to go down similar routes with your decor and themeing. You might be able to get a good deal on hire and installation of decorations and sound equipment, flowers and even furnishings.
- FLOWERS. Skip Pinterest - speak to AND TRUST your florist. Peonies are stunning and so "on trend" but did you know they can cost up to FIVE TIMES as much as roses? Your florist will know what flowers are in season when you're planning to get married and will be able to guide you on the best way to stay within your budget.
- DECOR. Chose your venue wisely. You might think you're cutting costs by getting married in a community hall or sports club but when you start to add on the cost of catering equipment, decorations, sound hire, tables, chairs, crockery, stemware and linen - the costs really start to add up. You may even need to pay for the cost of a special licence to allow you to serve alcohol. Opt for a venue with as much included in the cost as possible - and if you can find a venue with stunning views or beautiful decor you may even be able to eliminate the need for additional decorations.
- CUT BACK ON THE BAR BILL. Its all very well to offer a free-for-all on the bar but all you'll end up with is a huge dent in your wedding budget and the potential for disaster with outrageously drunk guests. Cut the bar offerings back to house wine and beer and offer one or two signature cocktails as well. If guests REALLY enjoy a top shelf tipple they'll be more than happy to part with their own cash to pay for it.
- CUT BACK ON THE BRIDAL PARTY. It might be hard to chose between your best friends from school, your sisters and your cousins but by the time you consider dress, shoes, hair, make-up, flowers and a thank-you gift - the cost per Bridesmaid can be in excess of $1000. People who really love you will be honoured to be able to share in your day by being a guest and will understand if your budget doesn't allow for a larger wedding party.
- FAKE THE CAKE. If you love the idea of a stunning designer cake but not necessarily the price tag - ask your cake designer if they offer the option of fake tiers. Essentially a polystyrene "cake" covered in fondant/sugar paste. You can still have a top tier made from cake for cutting or to keep and larger sheet cakes in the kitchen for sharing. Your guests will never know - but your budget will!
- SKIP THE CHAMPAGNE TOAST. Champagne is delicious but at an average cost of $100 per bottle - it's an expense that most of your guests won't even notice. Trust your venues bar manager and ask for their recommendation on a good quality sparking wine alternative - your toasts will still feel special and your guests won't even notice.
- DITCH THE BOUQUETS. There are lots of alternatives to carrying a bouquet (which generally speaking, after the ceremony and photos are done, is sadly left on a table somewhere to wilt and dry out) - you and your bridal party could carry fans or parasouls (which during a summer wedding will come in VERY HANDY) and your flowergirls could carry magic wands or a special doll (which doubles up as a gorgeous gift for them to keep).
- BE SMART WITH YOUR INVITES. Keep printing and material costs down by including only necessary details on your invites and opting for something in an A6 or DL size. This will also keep your postage costs down as they will fit in a standard size envelope and can be posted anywhere in New Zealand for the cost of just one Kiwi Stamp. Consider setting up a wedding website with all the additional information (gift registery, accomodation options, maps etc) and print the website address on your invites saving you the additional cost of lots of inserts.
- BE WISE WITH FAVOURS. Give something useful and creative that can be shared and gift one per couple or family. A unique wine bottle stopper, a cute frame or even a CD with music from your wedding are all great options that can be shared by a whole household.
- ASK FOR AND ACCEPT OFFERS OF HELP. If you have an Auntie who's great at baking, ask her to help bake sheet cakes (see Tip No. 9 - Fake the Cake), ask a friend with a van to collect your hired items, or ask a trusted friend to collect your flowers and cake on the morning of your wedding and cut out the delivery costs. When it comes to a wedding - everyone wants to be involved in some way - let them help.
- SHOP AROUND. Send LOTS of emails (use our Shortlist Function - it makes this MUCH EASIER) and contact lots of vendors - there's a big price range and a variety of options to suit every budget. Attend large public events like Expos or Shows where vendors offer event specials and may even offer additional discounts if you're willing to book right away.
There are lots and lots of ways to cut back on costs without compromising on quality - feel free to contact us and share your top tips for cutting costs.