How expensive is planning a wedding? I bet it’s all adding up WAY quicker than you assumed AND everyone is constantly giving you one more thing you just HAVE to spend money on. After photographing over 100 weddings, I created a list of expenses that I’ve seen be totally overlooked on the wedding day and not appreciated for how much they cost. Hope you find it helpful!
tip #1 Skip the Boutonnieres
I can guarantee you that your groom and his groomsmen are not going to be sad about this one. Nine times out of ten, the boutonniere ends up ruined or looking less than healthy within an hour of putting it on. Save your funds. I will say though, corsages for the mother of the bride and groom are really a sweet gesture that they love!
tip #2 Skip the Wedding Favors
Most of the time people don’t even remember to take them home. Seriously do not worry about the wedding favors. You did them a favor by inviting them. (Kidding...kind of)
tip #3 Get Married on a Weekday or the Off-Season
Have a venue that you love but can’t afford? A lot of times this option gets you your venue without the higher price tag. Venues and vendors are often way more willing to work on price with you if you’re looking for an off season wedding. (Off season is going to depend where you’re at. For the United States, I would call January through March the off season for many places)
tip #4 Book Your Photographer For Less Hours
A few hours less of wedding photography coverage can save you thousands BUT I have a few caveats for this: 1) you’ll most likely have to choose to either not have prep and details photographed OR not have dancing coverage 2)have a well written out timeline without a lot of empty time
tip #5 Skip the Open Bar
I actually have multiple reasons I think an open bar is overrated. I’ve photographed so many weddings where there was an open bar and almost always there are those guests (read: groomsmen) that are WASTED. One wedding, we lost one of the groomsmen during the reception and found him passed out on a random couch in the bridal suite. Open bars get expensive and fast. Let people pay for their own drinks if they want a bunch of them.
tip #6 Get a Smaller Cake and Supplement with Sheet Cake
So many times I’ve seen these beautiful, huge wedding cakes that cost thousands of dollars and not even one tier gets actually eaten. Get the pretty design on a smaller scale and then have sheet cakes that are served to guests. No one will know.
tip #7 Have a Smaller Wedding Party
Just think. If you cut your wedding party in half that’s half the bouquets you need to pay for. Half the people who need hair and makeup. Half the bridesmaid gifts you need to prepare. My sweet spot for wedding party numbers are 4 on each side!
tip #8 Get Your Dress Used
There are so many wonderful consignment shops where you can find beautiful dresses in like new condition. Let’s be honest, you only wear the dress once so if you can find one used but in great condition that you love, why not save a few thousand dollars?
tip #9 Trim The Guest List
I’ve said it so many times and I’ll say it again. Don’t be pressured into adding to your guest list. Invite the people who you want there, not the ones you feel pressured to invite. So many times you end up with a guest list way longer than you wanted because your parents or grandparents feel the need to invite every one of their acquaintances. Stay strong! Just say no!
tip #10 Consider a Destination Wedding
I get lots of brides heading over here to New Mexico for their wedding because its WAY cheaper to get married here. Venues, vendors, travel accommodations, all of it. Often you can save tens of thousands of dollars by taking your wedding to another state.