With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, wedding fever is starting to hit many people! Just watch out for the number of proposals that will suddenly pop up on your Facebook feed as many of your friends, or even you, start deciding to share their lives with someone special.
However, planning your dream wedding is not only a time-consuming and stressful process – it can also be downright expensive. Between paying for the venue, clothing, music and everything else it takes to throw an unforgettable party, your savings account could get sucked dry!
Now before you start hyperventilating, take a second to glance over this list of helpful wedding budget tips we’ve compiled from other bloggers like The Budget Savvy Bride and The Knot to get some ideas on how to save extra cash while still planning for the wedding you’ve always wanted!
Seek Out a Bargain for Wedding Attire
Every girl dreams of the day that she gets to wear a beautiful dress and be surrounded by her best friends who are also in fashionable gowns, but not everybody can afford to spend thousands of dollars on designer frocks they will only wear for one day. Even still, the cost of dressing the wedding party can get steep pretty fast.
Instead of splurging on expensive dresses for the bridal party (or tuxes for the groomsmen), why not try to find something more reasonably priced? Retail stores and outlet malls are a great way to score chic clothing on a budget! Marry This also has some suggestions for bridesmaid dresses under $50!
Skip Fancy Invites
While it can be elegant to send out flashy, elaborate invitations to your guests that make them feel like you are throwing the party of the century, it can also hurt your wallet to do so. Having custom-made wedding stationary can end up costing you more than you expected.
Instead of shelling out the cash for custom-made invitations, you can always print your own invites using templates from The Budget Savvy Bride. They have free downloadable designs accessible to brides on a budget, or you can always just send out e-vites to your guests’ e-mails rather than relying on snail mail.
Having centerpieces that consist of fresh cut flowers at the tables can be a beautiful way to decorate a venue for your wedding reception. However, the price for such centerpieces is anything but dreamy! Flowers are expensive to begin with, and odds are you’d end up spending a small fortune between your bridal bouquets and your decorations.
A great way to get the same results and skip the hefty price tag for centerpieces is to just make your own!
Marry This offers an awesome, in-depth tutorial on how to create your own flower centerpieces using colored paper rather than fresh flowers. You can buy paper at any local craft store and invite your bridesmaids over for an arts and crafts day and create them together!
Book on a Realistic Schedule
The Knot encourages you to keep in mind that the people you employ for your wedding – like the band and photographer – are only scheduled to work for a certain amount of hours. If your wedding goes over the expected time, you may get slapped with budget breaking overtime or additional fees.
To avoid this, be sure to ask for a list of fees and charges you may encounter when hiring someone to do a job at your wedding. That way, there are no surprises later on. Also, consider booking them for a longer period than may seem necessary to account for picture-taking and preparations.
Get Creative with Party Favors
Everyone enjoys getting a little gift once in a while, and the attendees at your wedding are no different! As a token of your gratitude for their attendance on your special day, you should hand out little party favors at some point.
While you always have the option of paying for the favors with your wedding budget, shouldn’t that money be reserved for something more important?
Instead of buying small items in bulk to hand out at the party, why not make them yourself? Marry This offers extensive articles on how to create fun little party favors on a low budget.
Clip Coupons to Save More
It pays off to be money-savvy no matter what the occasion may be, and who doesn’t love a good bargain? Saving a few extra pennies along the way can help you save more in your overall wedding budget because the dollars really do add up!
When looking for items to buy in preparation for the wedding – be it decorations, paper, or material for arts and crafts – be sure to check out coupons for the stores you plan to purchase these things from. In fact, The Budget Savvy Bride has a whole page of coupon codes for you to use when you are out shopping.
Be Prepared to Wrestle with Taxes
It’s very easy to forget about the extra money that we all have to dish out when paying for anything these days, and the same thing applies to your wedding day! Many couples actually forget to calculate the cost of taxes when creating a wedding budget.
The Knot encourages couples to allow for an additional third of their set wedding budget to cover tax expenses, which can easily be overlooked. Another good method to keep track of your finances is to pay for everything up front so you have an idea of how much of your budget is left over to cover the cost of everything else.
Enlist Guests to Help with Cleanup
It is important to note that not all venues offer the same services, so it is essential that you ask what their cleanup consists of.
Some venues will take care of everything for you, while others will only clear away the items they provided for your party, and request that you hire outside help in taking down decorations.
The Knot says to check your contracts carefully, and to save money on a cleaning crew, why not enlist your wedding party and close family to help you in clearing off tables and decorations?
Let your guests take home centerpieces or any pretty arrangements you used, and they will also be helping with the cleanup of the party after it’s all over!
Plan accordingly with a realistic budget and you will enjoy your special day with less stress and more joy. If you find you are coming dangerously close to breaking your budget, you can get a wedding loan to give you the extra breathing space in your wedding budget.