1. Seek professional help; wedding planners come with a fee, but it is arguably the easiest way to get things done while still having fun. What may surprise you is that the planners save you money as they are able to negotiate great deals with a wide range of vendors.
2. Know what you do not need make a list and go over again and again eliminating what is not necessary.
3. Pick a low-season date for your wedding and save on vendor costs. Most vendors are booked during mid and end of year seasons; having a wedding during such periods attracts little or no discounts as the vendors have a lot of clientele to deal with and may not offer as much discount as they would during other periods.
4. Start with a precise budget: List all known expenses and write down the actual estimates and build a cushion for miscellaneous costs to arrive at your precise budget.
5. Spread payments: Talk to your vendors and enquire if you can make payments in instalments; this tends to help a great deal with cash flow.
6. Edit the guest list: Take out names of people who do not really need to be on the list; this will save you a lot of money as vendor bills such as for food, drinks, stationery, rental items, decor etc. will all automatically be slashed with reduced numbers.
7. Useful gifts- Ask close family members to contribute to a specific By Debra-Jane Nelson part of your wedding, rather than buying you a present.
8. Prioritize between the ceremony and reception, and all the elements listed on the budget (venue, décor, food, drinks, MC, DJ, photography, videography, etc.…)
9. Unique does not mean expensive- do some research and find unique ways of achieving the same or similar results at a cheaper cost.
10. Give yourself ample time to plan the wedding- take advantage of seasonal sales and give yourself enough time to save money for the wedding.
11. Leverage personal relationships with vendors and keep business local by saving cost on out of town vendors.
12. Find a venue that does not require you to use their vendors. Might be most convenient but at a costly price. 13. Choose a venue that does not require much décor as this is a huge part of wedding budgets.
14. Control your floral budget you do not need to have real flowers however if you insist, choose seasonal and local flowers as opposed to imported ones to cut cost.
15. Hold your ceremony and reception in the same place if possible as it will save time and cut cost.
16. Recycle- if both ceremony and reception are in the same venue, reuse ceremony chairs at the reception. You may have to pay a moving fee, but it will still be cheaper than ordering twice as many seats.
17. High tier cake- if it’s your desire to have a high tier wedding cake, discuss with the cake vendor to make some of tiers dummy cakes and make your wedding cake the same flavours as it is cheaper to use one as opposed to different flavours.
18. Buffets: these save a lot, but it is important to minimize on the choice of menu; keep the options simple but tasty.
19. Event Stationery (save-the date cards, invitations, “thank you” notes, programmes, etc.…) can take a substantial chunk of your budget.
20. You can choose to have some of your stationery sent via electronic means to save cost. Popping of champagne: Pop cheaper ones but serve what you believe is a better brand.