Ok, my darlings…let’s be honest with each other: weddings are fun, exciting, and full of happiness. BUT they’re also expensive. Crazy, ridiculous, break-the-bank kind of expensive. And this girl right here talking to you all honest-like is all about saving money, getting the best deal, and doing whatever it takes to keep the budget balanced and cost of living low low low.
There are tips all over Pinterest dedicated to sharing ideas on how to save money for all kinds of things, but today I’m giving you five ways to cut costs on your wedding-planning budget that will also save you time AND a lot of stress (because who wants to deal with THAT during a wedding?!)
1. Set a budget. For everything.
This is the most important step in wedding planning. I’ve seen brides who had no budget and just went crazy with spending tons of money on unneeded + extra items they didn’t even end up using by the time the big day arrived. Create a budget for every aspect of your wedding and stick with it! It may end up needing some tweaking here and there, but for all intents and purposes try your best to keep within the amount allotted in each category. Examples of great categories to budget for: bridal gown AND accessories, venue decorations, reception venue, reception food, cake, bouquets, honeymoon.
2. Pay for your bridal gown with cash.
You have a budgeted amount for your bridal gown since you created a budget in tip #1, so take that amount with you in cash when you’re shopping. If you have cash in hand, it will be easier to not succumb to the pressure of putting a $15,000 dress on a credit card. A lot of times bridal salons will give MAJOR discounts on a dress purchased from stock — especially if it’s from a previous season’s collection, so if you find a dress you love (and it fits — that’s important!) see if you can talk your consultant into giving you 15%-40% off the marked price. Having the cash in hand to pay for the dress you’re inquiring about signifies to the consultants that you’re a serious buyer who doesn’t mess around.
3. Don’t use a credit card. For anything.
Using a credit card to pay for your wedding is the easiest way to go overboard on spending extra money on your special day. Don’t put the pressure of debt on your new marriage when you come home from your honeymoon. Instead, plan ahead and save save save like crazy to pay cash for every part of the wedding — even the honeymoon! Just like you’re paying cash for your dress, implement those same concepts all over the rest of the wedding planning process. It may seem like a lot of work, and you may even have to push your wedding date back a bit. Or simply cut out some of the fancy extras like monogrammed napkins or engraved toast glasses. Either way, starting your marriage off without the stress of debt will be worth so much more than a gorgeous wedding accompanied by a big, fat credit card statement!
4. DIY as much as possible.
DIYing is a fantastic way to save money; however, it can also become one of the easiest ways to go broke when planning a wedding. Before you do your projects, make sure you have a list of every item you’ll need for the project and that you know exactly what you’re doing. Having a list will diminish the need for a thousand trips to Target, JoAnn Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby (no matter how wonderful those places are!). No trial and error runs — those can get a bit costly, trust me — so follow every direction thoroughly! Finally, if you have a friend or relative who is a pro at DIY projects, enlist their help. Chances are pretty high that they’ll love to be involved and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and loneliness by having a friend around.
5. Don’t skimp on what’s important to you.
Every bride has that one thing she’s not willing to compromise on. For some it might be the dress at Kleinfeld’s, a specific venue, a certain well-known photographer. For me it would be the music. I’m a stickler when it comes to professional music and I would (read: most likely will) pay top dollar for a professional string quartet to perform at my wedding. On that one thing that means everything to you, don’t cut corners. Here’s the why: if you put a deposit down on the thing but you later realize that what you chose isn’t what you had your heart set on, you lose. And not only do you lose your deposit money, you’ll also end up spending more money at the last-minute trying to book the string quartet or the venue. Many wedding professionals have a “rush fee” or timeline they go by when charging for services, and often last-minute preparations send those prices through the roof. By setting priorities and making a list of the most important aspects of your day at the beginning of the planning process you’ll save you and hubby-to-be lots and lots of money.
What kind of money-saving tips are you implementing during the wedding-planning process? Let us know in the comments below!
ps: the cover image in this post is from Jesse + Katie’s gorgeous South Carolina DIY wedding! Check out their lovely image gallery here.