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Money Saving Tips for Scaling Down Your Wedding
Has your wedding budget ballooned out of control? You aren’t alone! Many brides and grooms start planning their nuptials and discover everything is going to end up costing a lot more than they bargained for.
You aren’t stuck footing a bill you can’t afford. You don’t necessarily have to scale back your guest list either.
Here are our money saving tips for scaling down your wedding so you can get everything you want without breaking the bank.
White Carnations and Yellow Roses in an Assortment of Bud Vases: Style Me Pretty
Cut Back on Blooms
A lot has been said about choosing seasonal flowers as a way to save money. Silk flowers and dried flowers are additional ways to save money on your flower bill, but there’s another option that is sometimes overlooked—using less flowers.
Cascading bouquets and opulent arrangements look stunning, but you can still create beautiful designs with fewer flowers. For example, instead of filling vases with blooms, choose a few blooms and fill the rest of the vase with greenery. Single blooms in bud vases covering the table can be just as impactful as large arrangements with dozens of flowers overflowing from a single vase.
Sheet Cake Decorated With Flowers and Fruit: The Kitchn
Splurge—and Save—Where It Counts
Just because you're trying to plan an affordable wedding doesn't mean you have to choose the cheapest option for everything. Splurge on the things that are important to you and your partner, and find ways to reduce or eliminate costs for things you don’t care about.
For example, maybe you have always dreamed of having a live band at your wedding, but you don’t really care about a fancy, multi-tiered wedding cake. If you’re willing to serve a sheet cake to your guests, you can free up the cash you need to pay for the band you’ve always wanted.
Self-Serve Wedding Buffet Table: Wedding Mix
Consider Drop-Off Catering
Sit down dinners cost an average of $62 per plate. Full-service buffets can be expensive too. If you’re looking for ways to save on food, you may feel like you’re going to have to get your family to chip in and do all the cooking. That isn’t your only choice.
Consider drop-off catering. Usually reserved for relaxed get-togethers, like graduations and family reunions, this style of catering is literally dropped off at the door. Guests will have to serve themselves, or you’ll have to ask friends or family members to help out, but it can be a great way to get the food you want at a price you can afford.
Hexagonal Arch Used at the Wedding Ceremony and Reception: Larissa Marie Photography
Reuse Items From Your Ceremony at Your Reception
The cost of décor at a wedding can add up fast. Instead of dishing out thousands of dollars for separate ceremony and reception décor, look for items that can be reused throughout your wedding day.
Want to cover an arch with expensive roses at your ceremony? Choose an arch that can easily be deconstructed so you can take it to your reception and set it up behind your head table. Vases lining the aisle can be used as table centerpieces, double sided signs can be flipped over, and flower-filled lanterns at the ceremony can be filled with candles at the reception.
Simple Table Setting With a Single Plate, a Fork, and a Knife: Jojotastic
Skip the Fancy China
As soon as the food arrives, no one is going to care about how fancy the china is.
Instead of renting or buying high-end charger plates, look for a design in acrylic that is more affordable. Skip the fancy wine goblets, as regular wine glasses are just as effective, and don’t feel like you have to have a dinner fork, a salad fork, and a dessert fork. A single fork, spoon, and knife at each place setting will do when you’re on a budget.
Intimate Wedding Ceremony With Six Guests: Brian D Smith Photography
Cut Out the Programs and Menus
Printed ceremony programs, dinner menus, and cocktail menus can be lovely, but having them designed and printed costs money that you don’t necessarily have to spend. Most guests are familiar with the rhythm of a wedding ceremony, so programs aren’t as essential as you think. And, if they picked their plate when they RSVPed to your wedding, they already know what they are going to eat.
Small Cake Table With Candles and Plates: Style Me Pretty
Skip Dated Extras
A lot of wedding trends look lovely on Pinterest, but not only are they not necessary, they will likely end up looking outdated in your pictures decades down the road.
For example, dessert and candy bars may feel like a must-have, but they are a wedding trend that many brides and grooms are ditching in order to save money. As fewer and fewer couples choose to have a dessert bar, they are beginning to feel more and more outdated.
You don’t have to have a photo booth with props, gaudy favors, or monograms meticulously printed on everything if you don’t have the budget for it.
Wedding Reception Send Off With Glow Sticks: Weddings Online
Don’t Plan Extravagant Events
There are a lot of extra events associated with weddings. From engagement parties to bridal showers and after wedding brunches, don’t feel like you have to do them all—or any of them—if you want to scale back your wedding budget.
At the end of the day, your ceremony is the only essential part of your wedding day. You don’t even have to have a reception if you don’t want to! Choose the events that make sense for you and your budget and forget the rest.
You are not at the mercy of a ballooning wedding budget! There are things you can do to save money and scale down your wedding so you can have an unforgettable day without draining your savings or going into debt.