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I had to grab a beer for this one because this gets asked a lot. And it’s a very stressful question.
There are a few really easy ways to cut your cost without looking cheap or having your guests feel really uncomfortable with the wedding they’ve arrived to.
Alcohol, huge expense. favors, paper goods.
Floral and food would be my biggest tips for how to cut wedding costs.
The obvious answer is going to be reuse everything as much as possible.
Utilize what the venue has. Use everything that they offer and stay off Pinterest.
The important thing here is figuring out how to prioritize costs versus necessarily cutting costs.
You want to know how to save money on your wedding. Expect to get what you pay for.
That does not mean that you cannot have a super budget friendly wedding. That just means that you have to be able to prioritize what you want. If you want an extravagant dinner experience for your guests. That’s not cheap. And if you want over-the-top entertainment for your guests, that’s not cheap.
In order to cut costs, trim the fat and the extra things are your party favors, making sure that you’re upfront with your bridal party about what they need to pay for versus what you need to pay for. If you don’t want to pay for them, then make sure that they have reasonably priced options to purchase or rent.
Another thing you can do to cut costs is instead of having a registry, do a honey, find, have, you know, people support your honeymoon and provide funds for your honeymoon. My husband did that. It was the best thing ever.
Having a wedding planner on your side is something that can actually save you a ton of money because everybody thinks that DIY saves money. A lot of the times it does not. Now, if you’re a super turbo thrifty, crafty person and that’s already a part of your life, then you may save a little bit of money. But if you’re like me and you’re like, I’m going to make my own centerpieces, and I don’t do that all the time, it does not end up being less expensive. Renting things is typically a more affordable way to do it. There’s a ton of ways to cut costs, and I hope you find a good one.
As the owner of Seas Your Day Events, a renowned wedding planning company out of Orlando, Florida, Aubrey has been striving to help as many couples as possible enjoy a stress free wedding day since 2019. Aubrey graduated from Fiance to Wife in 2018 and planned her own wedding. Realizing the amount of work required to plan a seamless wedding while trying to be the guest of honor made her search for ways to help couples avoid to stress and pitfalls of her own wedding day. After seeing how her wedding planning company’s unique organizational strategies were helping their planning and coordination couples, Aubrey felt there were so many more couples that could be saving time, stress and money if they could only have the knowledge of her team of wedding planners.
This drove her to create the first ever Done-With-You-Wedding-Planning Journal, Winning Your Wedding Planning. Just because you don’t live in Florida, or perhaps decided a wedding planner isn’t for you does not mean you shouldn’t be able to have access to the knowledge a wedding planner possesses! Now don’t get us wrong, there is nothing that can replace an amazing coordinator on wedding day, but Aubrey and her team believe that everything leading up to that day should be as organized and stress free as possible and they wanted to provide you with direct access to the exact information to Win Your Wedding Planning!!
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What I tell my couples is we don’t have to have a massive budget across the board. Sit down with your partner. Make a list of the things for your wedding that are the most important for you. Of course, I want to tell you that photography is up there, but if you’re not that into photography, don’t put your max budget there. Figure out if florals are important. Put them up there. If music is important, put them up there. But don’t spend $10,000 on flowers when you hate flowers and don’t want to see them in the room on your wedding day, make that list. Put top priority at the top and create your budget that way.
Megan is a mental health therapist turned photographer and has been in the wedding industry since 2017! Megan has been published in multiple magazines, is featured on The Knot Best of Weddings and has had work displayed in an Art Show in the San Francisco Bay Area. Megan is a lifelong learner and is constantly investing time in growing her craft.
Okay, now that we have that braggy stuff out of the way, Im Megan, your big time dreamer, serial entrepreneur, wears her heart on her sleeve, emotive photographer. I blame my love of candid, emotional images on my background in social work. Feelings are just kind of my thing! Its my job to capture stunning images on your wedding day, but I’ll also be your hype woman, your time keeper and your security guard when its all a bit much!
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Guest count is a big one, but beyond that, with your florals. If you really want real flowers, you can just come back. You have, say, 20 guest tables and you love the tall arrangements. Or maybe you love a really full arrangement. Maybe only do that on half of your tables. Odd number tables have a tall arrangement or a very lush arrangement. And then the even number tables have either a smaller arrangement or maybe bud vases, or maybe just candles and some greenery. And then you can discuss with your partner and with your other vendors to make sure that your VIP people sit at the tables that have the nicer arrangements.
If you are having a bar, you can always change the bar pricing or kind of the package you offer. So if you have an open bar for the first 3 hours of your reception, maybe you switch to just beer and wine for the last hour. throughout the night.
First off is flowers. They are so expensive. I’ve seen brides just drop an exorbitant amount of money on the flowers. I would highly recommend looking and getting, you know, in-season flowers. That can be a great way to cut some costs there. Or just simplify. Maybe just a bouquet for you. A simple boutonnière for your spouse. And that’s a great way to save some money. And really, it isn’t something that you need. You don’t need flowers.
And that just kind of jumps into my whole philosophy at the core. I think so many times people can get caught up in all these things that they’re told they need for. Realistically. Keep your décor simple, rent things. It can be a great way to save some money. And I mean, no one’s going to remember your décor. They’re going to remember the dancing. They remember the moments. They’re going to remember celebrating with friends and family.
The next one is food. And food is super tricky and probably is going to be big. One of your biggest expenses no matter what. Look at different options. Whether it’s buffet or plated hack. Consider doing just dessert. Have a little bit later of a ceremony. Why not do breakfast? Why not get married in the morning and do a breakfast? It could be a little bit cheaper. I’ve seen brides and grooms and have family come around and cook the whole dinner, and it can be really fun and it can be really heartfelt way to bring everyone in and do a big celebration of your wedding day.
Food and florals. That’s my biggest advice for cutting costs.
Hi, I’m Charles, but my friends call me CJ or Chuck and I am not your typical wedding photographer. I am a true storyteller. I love the beauty of simple moments and the joy of the every day. I am a husband, musician, fly-fisherman, aspiring chef, and weight lifter. I am a Montana wedding Photographer. I’ve won some awards, (Bozemans choice, best of weddings, couples choice, wpja diamond award to name a few). I have the best job in the world and would be honored to be part of your wedding day.
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Budgets are scary, but it can be stressful when we are talking about wedding planning. So one of the things that I always talk to my clients before we make any financial decisions or do anything for our wedding is we make sure that there’s a miscellaneous fund worked within every single budget that we create.
Why should you do that? It’s because when you get to the end of wedding planning and the oh happens or the unexpected, is there, you need to make sure you have a little extra money in the funds or in the budget set aside for those things. Now, if you don’t use it, that’s great. Use it for your honeymoon. Buy a few extra margaritas. You’re good to go. But it’s important to have that within your budget.
I will tell you from a guest perspective, and yes, I have surveyed them. What is the things that they remember the most from a wedding? It’s not the flatware. It’s not the glassware. It’s not the pretty napkin fold. It’s just not the things that your guests are going to remember is the entertainment, the food in the experience that you had.
So if you’re looking to cut costs, really do reconsider using the items that the venue is already providing as part of your rental costs. So chairs, tables, linens, things like I talked to your florist about ways that you can dress up the table just a little bit more to make that standard white napkin part, maybe a little greenery or something like that. But it still will keep you way below the budget as far as renting those from an outside company, because now you’re eliminating rental fees. Delivery fees set up these strike fees, which add up really, really quick.
The second thing I always tell my clients to stay off Pinterest. Do we really need 42 signs at the front entrance of a venue saying ceremony this way? Listen, you have a venue team or you have a production team or event team. They will be there with smiles, welcoming all your guests. Stay in ceremony. This way we find the guests, but utilize that team. Don’t go into your craft store or on Etsy or any of those places and buy 42 different signs that say everything under the sun. Trust me, your guests will find the bar. You don’t need a sign that says that you.
I’m a high-energy industry speaker, destination wedding planner, business coach, and Director of Training and Development for the David Tutera Brand. Using my industry knowledge to educate and inspire others either in the industry or those getting married, I love talking about weddings. I have won multiple “Best Of” Awards for the Lake Tahoe Region.
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Can just do beer and wine. You can do one signature cocktail, two signature cocktails. Do not have to a full open bar, or you can have none at all. You have options.
You do not need favors. You’re going to take home half to three quarters of them. If you really want to do favors, do it like with 100 guests, maybe do 4050 at the most for goods.
Unless you’re having a sit down plated dinner, you don’t really need a menu card. And if you’re not doing a seating chart, cut costs right there, you don’t need table numbers, cut costs right there.
The other thing is bottled goods. Do you need to have individually bottled water, lemonade, iced tea? No. Get beverage dispensers for them in their get cups. Super cheap.
Shannon has been part of the wedding industry for the past years, functioning as Lead Wedding Planner of her company Periwinkle Events NW. Over these years, she has provided wedding planning services to 90+ amazing couples, and led a team of vendors for ‘Portland’s Venue Crawl’ who turned a downtown ballroom into a wedding reception showpiece. Shannon has also been featured in Art of Weddings, Bridal Musings & PNW Weddings magazine.
Design, vision, and working with others are Shannon’s strong suit. She has planned and facilitated multiple styled shoots, where vendors are able to come together and collaborate to create content. With this experience, she is able to lean into that knowledge when creating a design that brings her couple’s vision to life.
When she is not knee-deep in timelines, vendor correspondence, or designing a sweetheart table, she enjoys experiencing the northwest with family and friends. She loves reading a good book by the fire, listening to live music, walking on the Oregon Coast and visiting as many wineries, brew pubs, and amazing restaurants as she can. She is a native Oregonian and loves living in the PNW, however, she is always daydreaming of her next destination wedding or new place to explore.
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When trying to save money. Of course, the obvious answer is going to be reuse everything as much as possible. If this is a lounge set, you’re going to want to try to see do we have any furniture we can bring? Is there any items at the venue that we can use?
Rentals get really expensive really fast and so something that I always tell my clients is decorate just the head table.
If you have maybe either had table or VIP tables for family, maybe that’s where you do the rented flatware, the chargers, the fancy plates, the extra napkins, fancier linens, and just dress up those tables for the photos. And then your guest tables can have more of just a simplified version of that. That’s something that gives you that Pinterest look that everyone else is showing. I think style shoot sometimes mislead people and they see this really beautiful tablescape, but it’s just not realistic for a 100 plus guests. So that’s one thing I always recommend.
As far as décor goes, florals, a really big thing to reuse. So as often as possible, you’re going to want to try to use everything from ceremony to reception. So that could be bridal bouquets cut out. Luminaires You don’t need them. You don’t need the corsages for the mother’s. Take the art pieces, use them behind your table for later. Use them to spruce up your cake, put the bouquets on table arrangements, put them on the bar. You can always ask for extra just greenery and kind of flat laid at a spread out.
Of course, you’re going to need somebody to help you move all of this. So either the floor is going to need to stay, which could be an extra cost or even have someone from the bridal party help move everything over but reuse as much as possible. And everything is going to be, of course, when it comes to catering buffet versus plated.
If you are set on a plated menu, see what you can do. Could you maybe do a plated salad and then guests get up for a birthday? Or could you maybe do a duo option and have guests have a little portion of chicken and a little portion of beef instead of having them choose chicken or beef that cuts down on the amount of servers they need, the amount of labor that goes into it.
There’s a lot of things you can always ask. Ask your deejay. Maybe they don’t need to be there as long as they thought. Maybe your photographer, you don’t need a second shooter or maybe your second shooter can go home early or come later. There’s a lot of ways to cut costs if you just ask your vendors. But realistically, I would say reuse, see hours, how many are needed, and think of alternative options to still give that elevated experience without that cost.
So for us, that’s my biggest advice for cutting costs.
As a former venue manager, wedding sales director, catering director, venue coordinator to now a full service planner and designer, I have seen it all behind the scenes from many unique perspectives. I have a profound respect for the other vendors in the industry and love collaborating together!
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Do you feel like the industry charges more “because it’s a wedding” and they know it’s an emotional purchase?
Do companies think that they can charge more for weddings since the bride and groom may be willing to spend more on their dream wedding?
Hey wedding pros – is this higher price tag justified? Why? Do you charge more for your service if it is a wedding?
This is a taboo topic, whispered but not discussed… until now.
Welcome to The Uncorked Project!