How To Save On A Wedding
It has always intrigued me how the word “wedding” automatically raises the cost of typical party / rental services by 30-50%. Why is a limo rental more expensive for a wedding vs. a corporate event? The answer is… BECAUSE THEY CAN. However, if you’re crafty and can pull off some friendly deception, you can reduce the price tag and stress level quite a bit. Here are some tips and tricks to save big:
INVITATIONS: It’s Just Paper
There are wedding invitation companies out there that charge a serious arm and leg to essentially cut paper and I never understood it. An invitation sets the stage for the theme of your big day and is usually an item family members and close friends keep for quite a while (if not forever). If invitations are a big deal for you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1) Am I Crafty? : If you think you have the time, patience and design skills to create your own invitations for your big day, here’s what you’ll need: Paper cutter, printer that can handle cardstock paper (available at Staples), some simple text design skills depending on how simple / elaborate you want to go, strong scrapbooking glue. Websites like Envelopes.com and The Paper Mill Store offer bulk decorative supplies in thousands of sizes and colors. Pinterest can help you find a design you like and can recreate on your own.
2) Do I REALLY have the time to do this myself?: If the answer really is NO then here are some alternatives for you.
Handmade With Care: Event Everything can help you design your dream invitation and can either take care of the whole thing or show you where to buy the materials yourself to save on money and only get charged for design & assembly. Give them a call: (908) 692-6895.
Made To Order Online: Zazzle.com is a great online resource for wedding invitations, save-the-dates and thank-you cards. I always loved their cuts and designs. Your guests won’t know the difference and you’ll save some time.
Photography: Don’t Get Screwed
When shopping for a photographer, make sure they have an online portfolio that shows a variety of events so you can see if their style matches your vision for your wedding photos. Here are some tips so you don’t get completely effed over here, as I’ve seen it many, many times.
Make sure that you get all images supplied to you on a thumbdrive or direct download link and ask the photographer HOW LONG it will take. If the photographer takes 300 photographs, get 300 photographs. They do touch ups on “the best ones” but work with them to choose the ones that you want retouched. Regardless, make sure you get ALL of them.
DO NOT PAY 100% upfront - I’ve seen people pre-pay before their wedding and NO ONE showed up to document anything!
Don’t get suckered paying for a “photo book.” If you get all of the pictures supplied to you on a thumbdrive, you can easily upload your pictures to online services like Shutterfly or Snapfish and make your own.
Here’s a suggested photographer for Tri-State area: Lily Szabo Photography - She’s lovely, talented, knows great places to go to get some really impressive shots, and gets you your pictures back via download link within 48 hours! Amazing.
TRANSPORTATION: What they don’t know can’t hurt them.
Look, I’m all about honesty but when it’s obvious a company upcharges unnecessarily because of a wedding, I absolutely cannot stand it. Limo companies do this all day long. Don’t believe me? Call one up and tell them you need to rent a limo for a day for a party and get prices. Then call back a few days later and tell them you need a limo for a wedding; I guarantee it’ll be more expensive.
So if thats the case, do what I did for my wedding - don’t tell them anything. Say you need to rent a limo for a family event and give them the schedule etc etc. On the day of your wedding, the driver won’t turn you away because you’re in a white dress. Done and done. Seriously!!!
THE VENUE: Since when were there rules?
If a traditional wedding venue like a fancy rental hall is just too much for your budget, there are ways to save. Make sure to ask them for a more affordable day and time of year to see how low they can go. You can save on a Friday and a Sunday wedding, and can do some really amazing things to treat your guests to something different. Make your own centerpieces with friends and family to save some money as well.
Sunday Brunch weddings can be beautiful and the food is usually out of sight. Friday weddings can be a great party late into the evening and carried over to the next day.
There are also many rentals available on sites like AirBnB like barn properties, farms, large mansion and cabin houses… Just take a look and see what you find. More often than not, when you reach out to the owner they’ll connect with you offline to deal with your event. Just make sure you get some references, always sign official contracts and never pay 100% upfront. With this option you’ll most likely have to hire your own catering and decor but it will save you a lot in the long run.
I had a 2-day wedding where Day 1 was the official ceremony which included our immediate family at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton NJ. We were a group of 25 and it was a beautiful day. We had dinner at Rats Restaurant afterwards and were able to walk the grounds. I got the most amazing pictures there (more to come about Grounds For Sculpture on the blog soon). Day 2 was at a really nice restaurant / bar where we invited our extended friend and co-workers for finger foods and drinks. Stress free, fun and affordable! There are no rules with a wedding - do what works for you!
FLOWERS: They’re Gorgeous… and Then They Die.
I love real flowers but this is often the most expensive part of a wedding, and by the evening they’re on their way out. Many brides opt for silk flowers that last forever, brooch bouquets, or total flower alternatives. Check Pinterest for Wedding Flower Alternatives - there are some great and stunning ideas here!
If you absolutely must use flowers then find a florist that will give you a good deal on bulk ordering - they’ll usually suggest flowers that are in season and easy-to-source to save money. You could even do a mix of real and silk flowers depending on the florist.
DON’T FORGET YOUR FRIENDS: They Like Saving Money, Too.
There is nothing worse than your bridezilla friend having no concept of just how much money we bridesmaids are spending on her big day. This is something we’ll remember and talk about forever! So don’t be a bridezilla - be aware of what you’re asking of others. Pick bridesmaids dresses wisely and don’t put too many expensive demands on your friends (“Find RED LOUBOUTINS - all of you!!”). A great tip is to pick a dress that they can use after your event for nights out! Find a hairdresser that will give you a deal on behalf of your crew, and don’t make everyone split a trip to Hawaii for your bachelorette party.
Have tips of your own to share? Message us below!