The average wedding involves slightly fewer moving parts than a vintage pinball machine. From food and photography to dancing and décor, you and your soon-to-be spouse have a lot of decisions to make, especially when it comes to staying within your budget. Here are six ways to throw an incredible wedding without breaking the bank.
- Hold the Ceremony and Reception in One Place
Instead of asking everybody to switch locations mid-celebration, choose a wedding venue that can accommodate the entire soiree. Your guests will appreciate the easy, stress-free flow of your big day, and you can reap a variety of savings big and small, such as only having to rent tables and chairs for one space and eliminating travel time from the hourly rates you’ll be paying your vendors.
- Keep Your Guest List Small
This is simultaneously the easiest and hardest way to keep your wedding budget low. From the invitations to the favors, fewer people in attendance means lower prices for just about everything.
- Ditch (Most of) the Flowers
If you think overflowing vases full of flowers are a wedding staple, think again. More and more couples are choosing to abandon flowery centerpieces in favor of statement pieces such as vintage candle holders or cloches filled with unexpected items that reflect the couple’s history.
Artfully interactive centerpieces, such as puzzles, games or LEGO are also a fun alternative to one-and-done blooms. Plus, they’re centerpieces that more guests than just your great-aunt Joan will want to take home at the end of the night.
- Get Married in the Shoulder Season
Instead of being one of 17 people in your social circle who celebrates a June wedding anniversary, pick a shoulder-season wedding date. It may put the kibosh on an outdoor wedding in some locations, but exchanging vows in the late winter or early spring can save you hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars on your No. 1 venue.
Not ready to abandon your dream of a sunny summer wedding? Get married on any day other than Saturday to knock a substantial sum off your venue rental bill.
- Keep Your Invitations Simple
Generally speaking, the heftier the envelope, the heftier the price tag. By opting for a one-sheet invite in a traditional size, you can save on postage and help save the planet by creating less waste.
- Turn Your Reception Into a Cocktail Hour
Instead of investing a big slice of your budget in a buffet or family-style meal, pour those resources into a lavish cocktail party reception. Take the money you’re saving on sautéed Brussel sprouts and invest it in sophisticated drinkware. Create a signature cocktail that honors you and your bride or groom, and remember that your options for affordable champagne flute, martini glass and water goblet rental are virtually bottomless.
Your wedding day is an occasion to dream big, but it’s also a moment for making savvy edits that preserve both your style and your savings account. Choose where to make cuts, so you can party guilt-free and start planning for that fabulous anniversary vacation.