How to navigate the confusing and expensive — world of weddings.
Overspending on small details guests won’t notice and paying for unnecessary services from vendors.
Set a budget before you make any decisions, and then plan your wedding around that number.
Your wedding planning should be fun and not take the course of a science project and in many instances costing more than a couple can afford to leave them anxious, debt-ridden and regret after the party ends —
Instead of pouring all the money you have saved up for years into an eight-hour party, consider a weekend Wedding Getaway (precisely what is on offer at The Nutcracker Country Venue). A Friday night to gather with close family members, breaking- the ice so to say. An entire day on-site to prep and relax and get into the mood is surely more inviting and fun than the 8 hr option.
This said I have a pretty good idea of how to save money on your wedding without sacrificing your vision for the big day.
Here are 4 tips I’ve picked up on my journey.
Set a budget before making any decisions:
Seconds after getting engaged, the big questions start to roll in. “Where’s the wedding?” “Are you going to have a buffet or a sit-down dinner?” “Will you have food trucks?” Before you know it, in the first few weeks of being engaged, you’ve planned a big celebration with an even bigger price tag. Before splurging on every single thing you ever imagined you’d have at your wedding, settle on an amount you’re OK with spending.
Then…find the venue that will accommodate as far as possible your ideas and vision, this will determine the extras and ultimate costs associated with hiring items and décor ideas. Remember, the less you need to consider, the cheaper and easier it is to plan.
Determine the number of guests you wish to invite – THIS IS THE STARTING POINT
Draw up a list of your must-haves. For example, maybe catering and photography are at the top of your list, or perhaps it’s crucial to have your favourite DJ spinning all night long. Dip into the budget to spend on those items first.
Then, see what’s left of your budget and divide it up amongst the other things that you want to include but aren’t your top priorities.
Don’t sweat the (literal) small stuff:
At many weddings, I have noticed the amount of work that has gone into DIY decorations, countless hours of work and money spent on tiny details (personalized napkins or items for the centerpieces, for example) and their guests hardly notice.
I can confidently tell you that guests care about three major things: the food, the bar, and the music. All of the small details get overlooked while your guests are moving around and having fun during the wedding. If you’re looking to cut costs, cut the small details you think you need to have, like personalized favours or pricey seating cards.
Don’t bank on making money back:
One of the biggest myths that newly engaged couples grasp onto is that they’ll make back all the cash they’re spending on their big day in gifts from their guests. I have very rarely seen a gift table overflowing presents. Some guests feel that their mere presence is a gift or others that say,” ill drop it off at your when you get back from honeymoon”. Whatever cash you get as a gift, count yourself lucky. So don’t bank on this covering some of your expenses.
Negotiate with vendors:
Vendor pricing can become a nightmare.
A lot of couples will find vendors fast and pick the ones they see getting great reviews or that has been referred to them. But in order to save money when planning your wedding, price-check other local vendors first, compare packages and see if there are things the vendor is offering in a package that you don’t need. Be careful to, “compare apples with apples”.
The term Venue hire may be misleading and ultimately exclude the chapel or welcome area. This is where venues can mislead the pricing structure and slap on all the extras you initially thought were part of the deal. For example, your DJ might lump in lighting as part of your package, but you might already have lighting covered by your florist.
It’s also a good idea to examine packages and contracts to make sure you aren’t getting things from vendors you don’t need or getting overcharged for items that your venue already provides.
Ask yourself whether it is necessary to get 400 photos and rather negotiate a lower cost with fewer quality shots and greater value for money ( Photographers can break your budget) ask yourself what you would like to see on your mantelpiece 10 years or 20 years from now, that should provide some perspective
Ask a vendor if you can customize a package based on your needs and see if there are any available specials or discounts offered. Educating yourself on how much vendors should cost can help you save thousands when you’re planning your wedding.