Are you newly engaged? As you’re probably starting to realize, planning a wedding can really cost you! It’s hard to stick to your budget when you’re trying to perfect the day you’ve been anticipating for so long. But, as long as you’re willing to be a little flexible, there’s always a way to save on your big day without making too many compromises. Here are nine cost-cutting (and trendy!) ideas to try!
1. Go With Posy Bouquets
Picking out a beautiful posy bouquet for your maids to carry can help keep your flower costs at bay. The posy is a rounded bouquet that usually consists of one type of small flower bound tightly together and accented with ribbons or other decoration. Sticking to one bloom variety will save you money, and you won’t need to buy as many, since these bouquets are designed to show off a lot of style in a little package.
2. Serve a Signature Drink
Having an open bar at your wedding is a generous gesture, but it will cost you! Alcohol is one of the most expensive items in a catering budget. Save money with this fun alternative: Design a signature cocktail recipe to introduce at the cocktail hour, and then serve it throughout the reception. Your guests will drink just as much, but you won’t spend half as much keeping the bar stocked.
3. Trade in Your Cake for Cupcakes
A lovely cupcake tower can be just as eye-catching as a tiered cake, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. For starters, you won’t have to pay a cake-cutting fee: Many sites charge to cut a cake made by an offsite baker since the venue staff will be responsible for cutting, serving, and cleaning up afterward. It will cost you anywhere from $2 to $5 per guest. No one has to cut cupcakes! Also remember that those little sugar flowers and other embellishments you see on a traditional wedding cake are both costly and time consuming, so you’re sparing your designer major assembly and decoration time that they won’t need to bill you for.
4. Host an Hors d’Oeuvres-Only Reception
There’s no rule that says you must serve a formal entree at your reception if it’s not dinnertime. Mix things up a little by asking your caterer to fill the menu with lots of widely appealing mini foods, like sliders or crab cakes, and then have them passed throughout the evening. Skipping the sit-down service will keep guests mingling and your budget under control. (Just be sure to tell your guests beforehand that a full dinner won’t be served so they can plan accordingly.)
5. Hire an Old-School DJ
Remember those awesome college parties back in the day? A great DJ spinning your favorite tunes from the ’80s and ’90s, giant speakers in every corner, and a room full of happy people are all you need to have a good time. Take a cue from the good ol’ days when you’re booking your reception entertainment. Hiring a local DJ that’s a real crowd-pleaser won’t cost as much as booking a live entertainment act, and you can bet they’ll keep things exciting.
6. Register for Your Honeymoon
Now that you’ve emptied your bank accounts on the wedding, you’re probably wondering how on earth you’ll afford a honeymoon. Registering for romantic activities (think: couples massage) or money toward your flight or hotel reservations might help. More and more companies, like Traveler’s Joy or Starwood, are offering couples the chance to put a little honeymoon fun ahead of new flatware. It’s perfectly acceptable to create a honeymoon registry in addition to your traditional one.
7. Use Balloons Instead of Flowers
Filling a room with flowers isn’t the only way to set the scene. Creatively displaying colorful balloons can also transform a space — and for a fraction of what you’d spend on a large floral display. On average, a couple will spend 10 to 15 percent of their wedding budget on flowers. Imagine what else you could to do with all that cash you’ll save! Are balloons sounding a little better now?
8. Host a Sunday Brunch Reception
Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, so deciding to throw yours on a Friday or Sunday means a much cheaper venue rate. If your heart isn’t set on marrying beneath the stars, push the wedding up to the early afternoon so you can serve a laid-back brunch in lieu of a four-course dinner. Bonus: Your guests won’t want to drink as much, so you’ll save on your bar tab too.
9. Decorate With an Underrated Flower
Don’t turn up your nose at common flowers like chrysanthemums and carnations just yet — these long-lasting, budget-friendly blooms are full of wedding possibilities. The carnation offers an inexpensive way to bring lushness and color to bouquets and arrangements. Mums are versatile too — they can be found in a range of bold colors and can be easily incorporated into any wedding style.