After reading about all the ways to not save money, here are some ideas that will save you money and keep your guests from thinking they are at a DIY budget wedding.
1. “Our venue allows us to bring in our own alcohol”- This will save you a boat load if you have a venue that allows you to do this. You will need to provide TABC certified bartenders, and you can get glassware through your caterer (they may also be able to provide bartenders), or provide your own plastic cups. My recommendation here is to find a full service liquor company- there are some amazing ones that will deliver everything that you specify and even extra then come back at the end of the night and pick up what you didn’t use, then only charge you for what was used. Find someone who can provide this service for you. And if you can’t it still might be ok, enough alcohol to serve 100+ people is pretty cumbersome, this could possibly be a groom and groomsmen task, but then needing drunk groomsmen to remember to get leftovers at the end of the night could prove to be problematic, especially if you are at a venue that requires everything to be out at the end of the night.
2. “I want to have a small, intimate wedding with only the people who are closest to us”- I think everyone says this. I think almost everyone wants this. No one really wants their wedding to be full of people they don’t know or distant relatives they haven’t seen since they were born. But the truth is the lower you can keep your guest count the less you will have to spend, it’s just a fact- the food, the flowers, the rentals….will all be less when you keep your guest count in check. It’s easier said then done once you start factoring in who your parents want to invite, but if you can actually do it, KUDOS.
3. “I’m going to have a cocktail reception”- This is such a great way to save money. This basically means that you are going to have heavy passed appetizers all night, maybe some fun interactive stations, and no seated or buffet dinner. Guests love it because they get to chow down all night and I love it because it allows us to bring down your costs everywhere else. When we do a cocktail reception, we do a ton of cocktail tables, but we only seat about 30-40% of your guests. Therefore driving costs down in rentals, linens, florals, etc. This is a great idea for big weddings on a tight budget, and my favorite part about it is that it doesn’t have to feel cheap or like you are scrimping- find a creative caterer that can do some really fun stations- build your own stuffed avocados? a raw oyster bar? Meanwhile you have servers passing fun little one bites to people while they wait in line. It’s a pretty great/fun atmosphere and your guests aren’t going to notice that it cut your food/decor budget in half.
4. “I’m getting married on a Friday or Sunday”- This will save you money on your venue rental fee- sometimes 25-50% cheaper simply because you are not taking their coveted Saturday slot that everyone wants. Keep in mind that other vendors likely will not charge less due to the different day- photographers, planners, DJs, caterers- they are all providing the exact same service no matter the day of the week, so keep that in mind when you are budgeting. BUT that venue savings will likely be worth it.
5. “My uncle is going to be our officiant”- I have seen this work out well on so many occasions. It isn’t a huge savings, but it’s something and means that your ceremony will likely feel even more intimate and special. You will want to make sure your officiant brushes up on some simple ceremony normalcies like “all rise”, “you may now be seated”, etc. You know so your guests don’t stay standing for the the entire ceremony. Oh Lord….yes, I’ve seen this happen and had to quietly walk around telling everyone they could sit down.
If you missed part one- ways NOT to save money, check here. Now get to planning and please tell me- do you have any money saving ideas that are amazing? Any money saving ideas that just didn’t work out? I want to know!