You may not think your wedding is the place to cut costs, but there are ways to save on your celebration without sacrificing style, sophistication or fun. Wedding planner Susan Hyatt offers her top tips for a budget-friendly wedding.
1. Choose seasonal flowers
You can spend a bit more on an exotic bridal bouquet, but use seasonal flowers for the bridesmaids and other floral arrangements. If you want to jazz up a bouquet of seasonal flowers, Hyatt suggests incorporating a pretty pendent or strand of (faux) pearls into the arrangement, or even adding colourful ribbon.
2. Opt out of flowers on every table
Instead, choose inexpensive glassware, such as large square vases, and fill them with water and floating candles. Flowers can be the most expensive aspect of a wedding, Hyatt says.
3. Cut out the cake
Forgo a cake, which can cost as much as $1000, and opt for a more cost-effective dessert, Hyatt suggests. Choose cupcakes, a dessert buffet or even a candy bar wrapped in pretty cellophane and a ribbon. "You'd be surprised at how popular this is," Hyatt says. If you really like the tradition of cutting the cake, Hyatt suggests a small cake for just the bride and groom.
4. Use a videographer sparingly
Tape the ceremony and not the reception. You'll still have a special keepsake of your day, but you'll save money by not paying a videographer for the entire day.
5. Keep things close to home
Some of the finest weddings take place in family homes and gardens, says Hyatt. Save even more by having a potluck or DIY reception. Think about having friends and family help you cater for a truly memorable celebration.
This option isn't for everyone, but if you're the type of person who likes to get involved and know your friends are itching to help in any way they can, DIY receptions are a great way to save and create a festive atmosphere without the fuss.
Page 1 of 26. Book a DJ instead of a live band
If you really like the idea of having live music, just book a band for the cocktail reception before dinner. Hyatt suggests a singer who accompanies him or herself on piano or keyboard as a way to get the live feel before switching to a DJ for dinner and dancing.
7. Save on wedding favours
Some savvy brides choose to give each guest a tree seedling, Hyatt says, which is both affordable and eco-friendly. Others choose to make a charitable donation in lieu of buying wedding favours. You can also choose simple favours, such as chocolates, which never go out of style.
Hyatt also suggests asking your venue if you can bring your own wine. They'll usually charge a corking fee but that will still be cheaper than using their wine. And instead of offering an open bar (which can be extremely pricey) start the reception with a signature cocktail (perhaps something you and your new hubby create together) and then move to a cash bar after dinner.
9. Scale back the menu
Instead of a full, sit-down dinner, have a menu of hearty appetizers, and then serve dessert and coffee. You can also opt for a brunch or luncheon versus a lavish dinner reception, Hyatt suggests.
10. Prioritize what's most important
It's all about choice, Hyatt says. Decide what you want to spend your money on and save in other areas. For instance, if you don't want to compromise on a photographer, save money on the venue by having a backyard or garden reception. Or if you're going all out on your dress, go for cupcakes instead of a four-tier cake.
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