We all know that as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ anywhere and in any context, people’s pupils turn into money. And don’t worry, that’s the way it is all over the world – people probably think that when you’re get married they can charge you a higher price tag. While you won’t be able to avoid these situations completely, we bring you eight tips on how to wisely save on your wedding expenses without seeming stingy.
1. LOOK OUT FOR THE SALE SIGN – they are really everywhere if you look closely- from lingerie to designer wedding dress shops, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Especially nowadays! And you know what else? You just need to ask! And you will be surprised to see that the answer is very often „Yes“ – you’ll get 10% in almost all stores upon first request. Even in those high fashion stores! My husband actually taught me this little sneaky trick and since then, I’ve been a real sales huntress and a proud owner of several fantastic designer pieces that I bought at amazing prices, including my designer wedding shoes that I still wear (a decade later ;)). Timing is crucial here, so ask your maid of honor to keep you company in in this scavenger hunt. Even if you don’t find anything, at least you’ll have a good time! Just be careful not to spend more than planned, then all of our efforts go down the drain!
2. Buy second-hand! I know, second hand and weddings should not be in the same sentence. But it’s possible – lots of you rent a wedding dress and a wedding suit, right? And how about a wedding dress from Amazon? I have a few friends who not only bought fantastic dresses at fantastic prices, but also gained new friends who gave them some advice on organizing a wedding after trying on the dress. Two flies in one hit! Smart isn’t it?
3. Take advantage of your talented friends! Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help, advice or good quality vendor contac. Personally, I have experienced this countless times and I am always happy to help – not only that, but I am even a little offended when I realize that my friends organized everything and didn’t ask a single question! We are here to help each other! Of course, you want to look for the help of friends who understand your style and who can direct you to the right address(es), saving you time and money. If a friend’s mom makes great cakes and is retired – ask if she is interested in jumping in with her talent and earning some extra cash. But remember, if you’re inviting a friend to a wedding and she’s a wedding photographer by profession, don’t expect her to take professional pictures of your wedding. He or she is either a guest or a photographer. As much as we don’t like it when you don’t ask us for some help, we especially don’t like when you invite us as guests and expect us to work.
4. Buy now and sell later! Today, a lot of local companies rent a variety of inventory for weddings, from glasses, plates and chairs to small details for decorations. You may not believe it, but sometimes you can benefit from buying in bulk and reselling it later. Believe me, I don’t advertise Amazon, but on that page you can get rid of all the purchased stuff that are in good condition in the blink of an eye – who knows, maybe even make money! Even better, if you know someone who is getting married and has a similar vision, you can share the cost. Get involved in local forums and interact with brides from your region, you will be amazed how much you can learn from each other and save together.
5. DIY, but be smart while doing it! I always struggle with this advice. I have seen so many times that the “DIY” project went wrong and almost ended in wedding disasters. But! If you are careful and choose smartly what you’ll do and with whom, your wedding can get a new personalized dimension that you will be especially proud of! I don’t recommend DIY makeup and hair on the wedding day (some things are better left to professionals on such an important day) or relying on your cousin’s new Iphone which has insanely good camera, the only and greatest physical memory of the most important day in the life. But you can make invitations, thank you cards and gifts, buttonholes, seating plan and menus, and maybe even cute little candlesticks. Here, choose assistants wisely and carefully and in return cook for them something delicious and open a bottle of good, chilled champagne. It’s celebration time, isn’t it?
6. Say your I DO’s and dance until dawn at the same place! If you are not getting married in a church, you know that the location’s, the costs of the registrar outside of the registry office, the chairs, the decorations and other big little things for the wedding ceremony have reached serious heights. Why don’t you think of a location that can accommodate both your ceremony and dinner? Or maybe they have a garden in front of the restaurant that can be beautifully arranged and then you can reuse all that decoration from the ceremony again for dinner (make sure you communicate it all well and know the point of who does what between the ceremony and dinner so this part is done flawlessly). This way, you will not only save bucks, but also time, because the guests will not bother to drive between several locations, and you know, we all prefer that once we come, we don’t move much.
7. Skip the cake! Or some other traditional wedding item that most of the newlyweds have because they’ve always been there. Who says you have to have a wedding cake at your wedding? Choose what really matters to you and focus your budget on those items. Items that are not too important may be on hold and finally, who can take them out if not you! Whose wedding is it, after all?
8. Plan! I can’t stress this enough. Maybe because it’s my profession, but trust me, planning can make the biggest difference in the whole process. Cleverly planned expenses (let Excel become your best friend!) can help you see where you’re spending more than you should / like / want and bring you closer to the idea of total cost and all those little expenses you didn’t think of. Think underwear. Or his belt. Or petals that guests will throw away after the ceremony (and you’ll need about 50 roses for that for sure!). And so on, and so on. Plan and leave nothing to chance.
And finally, when it’s all over – burn the budget. Not a computer, just a budget! No use in crying over spilled milk, right? After the wedding, you want to have memories of the most wonderful moments. Yes, creating those memories will cost you a real fortune in the most cases, but when it’s all over, don’t think about the cost anymore. What you planned, you planned. It’s time to start with the new budget, the marriage-home budget. In another blog, I will write about ways to save in that department. For now, enjoy locating as cost effective eco-friendly confetti as possible – how about those garden roses from grandma’s garden?