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Now that the engagement excitement has settled down it’s time to start planning your big day! While this can be an exciting time many couples become overwhelmed by everything they need and all the costs involved, but you don’t have to sacrifice your dream wedding just because you have a smaller budget. There are plenty of ways you can save money and still have the wedding of your dreams.
5 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding
- Budget and prioritize
Sit down and create a realistic budget. How much do you want to spend on your wedding and where will you spend that money? Prioritize your list of wedding day must-haves into categories where you don’t mind spending extra on and where you don’t mind spending a little less. This will give you a starting point to begin planning.
There are many ways you can save when it comes to the flowers on your wedding day and that’s great since they can be an expensive area. First thing first, take into consideration what flowers will be
in season around your wedding date. Choosing seasonal flowers can potentially help you cut some costs. Consider opting for a single stem flower instead of a full bouquet for the bridesmaids. Going with less can often have a bigger “wow” factor on your big day and
in your wedding images. If you are a creative person think about doing the centerpieces and décor yourself and buying the flowers in bulk. And if you aren’t creative with a small budget, you should always check out HEB (for Texas brides). For everyone outside of the lone star state, look into large grocers in your area and check if they have florists.
The dress may be one area you don’t want to skimp on. Although very important and sentimental, you might want to reconsider spending thousands of dollars on it. While you try on the perfect dress from a wedding boutique, don’t overlook local dress shops, online wedding specialty stores, and the best of all…my friend Etsy. Many of these outlets carry gorgeous dresses for affordable pricing. And if you’re a eco-conscious bride, going pre-loved by way of Poshmark and Nearly Newlywed are definitely go-tos.
- Go online
I’ve mentioned before that we got our invitations, save the dates, and other stationery all from online shops. Having all of these items done fully custom will add up quickly so it’s best to go with the next best thing. That’s editable templates and online options that are semi-custom. We got a portion of our invites from Basic Invite and our Save the Dates from Minted. Of course, my being a photographer gave us an in for the more custom tidbits, but similar items can be found on Etsy.
Personally, I’m a big believer in printed work (hey, I’m a photographer…let me be) but even I have to admit that can rack up quickly. To eliminate printed costs, create a free wedding website on one of the many options online (We used the Knot and Zola). You can still use your beautiful professional engagement photos, but you won’t have to spend the money on printing. (Sidenote: using a service such as Greenvelope lends lots of style with a eco-friendly digital delivery.)
Booking a venue for your wedding is one place you will tend to spend the most money. If the season is right, planning for an outdoor ceremony or reception can be a great way to make your fairytale come to life. Outdoor weddings at a local park or even a friend or family member’s backyard can be perfect. Also consider a small ceremony, an earlier reception time, or plan for a weekday
wedding. These small changes that aren’t so traditional can save you hundreds or even thousands when it comes to booking your ceremony and reception venue.
Where you shouldn’t cut cost:
You might think getting a friend or family member to shoot your wedding photos will help you save. While it may save you in dollars, it could cost you in quality. You want your wedding day images to be beautiful and ones that will bring back the joyful emotions and memories from that day. A professional photographer will be able to capture all these moments that your friend or relative will be not be able to with a point
and shoot or even a fancy DSLR camera. You’ll regret it and be disappointed that you don’t have clear stunning images from your wedding in the future if you decide to try and skimp in this area of your wedding budget.