1. Rent a gown.
Designer gowns, used and new are available for a fraction of their original price.
2. Buy a used gown or designer sample.
Local thrift or second hand stores are sources.
Find best the price for wedding gowns and suits for men at Amazon.com
3. Get a catering estimate for the minimum guest count.
You can add guests later but late in the game it may be hard to subtract. Note: If you prepay for 100 and then you’re only at 80, you could get charged for a guest count of 100.
4. Choose a low-demand season or day.
In many locations, January and February weddings are least expensive. Friday night and Sunday weddings are less costly than those Saturday nights (to be verified depending on your country and cultural festive norms). Weekdays are even better.
5. Party before dinner time.
6. Plan a destination wedding.
This works well if it means you can streamline the guest list. The downside – It’s an extra cost burden on friends and family.
7. Head to a restaurant.
This is a good choice if the guest list isn’t too huge and can opt for a non peak time such as Thursday night or Sunday daytime. You can have bud vases on the tables, can include wine, beer, soft drinks as part of the minimum; and often there is little to no space rental fee. This will make it easier to take care of a huge part of your wedding and the space can be aesthetically gorgeous.
Photography, Videography and Entertainment
8. Send the photographer home early.
Pay for an hour less of service at the end of the party. Some guests already may have left before the wedding is over anyway making it redundant after a while.
9. Limit or skip the videography.
Hire someone just for the ceremony.
10. Forego the lighting.
Spotlights, Up-lights and other extras can add up. For instance, a full lighting package could cost you lots!
11. Shop for packages.
Many entertainment companies will give discounts if you sign on for multiple services, such as DJ and videography.
Food and Catering
12. Compare buffet and sit-down pricing.
Though it is counter intuitive, sometimes a buffet costs more. You may save in labour costs, but people often eat more than at a sit-down meal, and they expect great variety. You may tend to expect people standing by the priciest dishes.
13. Limit entrees
One meat selection, one chicken and one vegetarian be sufficient. Don’t even bother or worry about the chicken looking cheap. You are never going to please everyone, so go with the simplest thing that makes you happy.
14. Go ahead and be creative.
That could mean catering from a small fleet of gourmet food vans serving local favourites.
15. Order from the “event” or “banquet” menu.
According to research, some caterers are willing to oblige. You won’t get as many choices or extras like a champagne toast, but you can save significantly. But don’t hide the fact that it’s a wedding – the deception could backfire in the form of a less than stellar service.
16. Shed the tiers.
Order a small, decorated “cutting cake” for photos, then serve sheet cake to guests. Other delicious but less costly options include cookies, cupcakes or donuts.
17. Limit the open bar.
Restrict it to the cocktail hour, followed by a cash bar. Or provide drink tickets to guests; once they’re used up, the bar becomes cash only. The tickets can be left for the guests on their plate or in their gift bag that they get when they walk in.
18. Stick with the caterer’s or venue house spirits.
And don’t spring for premium brands because at the end of it all nobody will care or will really know.
19. Serve Beer and Wine only
You can supplement with a punch or a “signature drink” throughout the event or just during the cocktail hour. If the drink is premised, it can be cheap.
Find a caterer that lets you provide the booze. Let them hire a licensed bartender and then you can take home what is not used. A lot of caterers are open to that.
Flowers, Invitations and Favours
21. Shop online.
Flora2000.com – On Time Worldwide Flower Delivery
JewelBasket.com – Over 2,000 Discounted Jewelry and Gift Items
A Gift Personalised – Personalized Wedding Accessories & Gifts
22. Use free technology.
Invite friends over Skype/WhatsApp but send double-sided, printed cards to older guests who are expecting stationery.
23. Skip the place cards.
Asking the manager of a hotel or other venue employee to assign seats when guests enter may be cheaper than paying for cards and calligraphy. They end up in the garbage most of the time anyway.
24. Forget the favours.
Favours are often wasted and rarely taken. Order enough for half of your guests and still expect leftovers.
25. Instead of favours, donate to a charity.
Put a card on each table noting your donation. You’ll get a tax deduction and you may inspire generosity from others.
26. Ask for the non-wedding limo rate.
Ask for an hourly rate or on the minimum number of hours required. Probably opt for a single direction ride.
27. Hire a car through Uber or another on call service.
You’re more likely to get a Prius than a Porsche.
28. Understand the contract before signing.
Check for buried fees and requirements. A venue can put in that you have to pay for two cases of their alcohol. Or a photographer can say he can bring an extra photographer if he wants to, at an additional cost.
Be brave because all the vendor can do is to say “No”.
30. Look beyond the venue preferred vendors.
Unless this is a requirement to rent the space, you may find better deals elsewhere. Research and get comparisons on bids from photographers, caterers and other vendors.
31. Be realistic about DIY
Consider the amount of labour time involved for do-it-yourself tasks before committing yourself or others. For example, doing the flowers means getting them from the market at 6am, unloading them, cleaning them, cutting them; buying, unwrapping and storing the vessels and bringing them all to the venue. Be warned that people will say that “I’ll do it”, but who’s going to get up that early?
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