When you break down your wedding costs by category, it can be easier to find ways to slash the costs of putting on your ceremony and reception. Here are some suggestions in specific categories that can help you keep more of your money for setting up house.
Sure, the dress is essential, but does it really have to cost so much? Purchasing a dress over the Internet instead of in a salon can actually help you cut costs. Keeping the gown simple is the best way to save. Lace and beads boost the price, as do yards and yards of fabric. Instead, limit the lace to the bodice and maybe the sleeves and keep it off the train and hemline. Try to get a dress that needs few custom alterations like changing necklines or added sleeves. Try a different fabric. Silk satin is quite expensive, but you can get almost the same look with poly satin – and save hundreds of dollars.
Roses aren’t really necessary. Dahlias are beautiful and cost $3-$4 per stem less. Other flowers like orchids, lilies, and even daisies look very nice at weddings and they cost a great deal less. Spring weddings are great places to make use of flowers like tulips, daffodils are very pretty for the summer, and in autumn have centerpieces and bouquets enhanced with colored leaves to cut down on the amount of blooms you need.
Avoid odd-sized invitations to save on postage. Also, avoid the urge to have everything embellished. Instead of using custom inks and fancy typography, use a simple yet elegant font in black. Envelopes with linings cost quite a bit, as do watermarked or monogrammed envelopes. But cutting out the frills, you can save quite a bit. If you want a nice touch, choose one element to enhance (the typography or a lined envelope) and keep the rest simple.
Hire photographers or videographers for the ceremony only. Keep away from special finishes on the photos, as well as other special treatments (split frames, sepia tones, etc.). For the video, try to stay away from over-editing, and only have one camera. Special angles and transitions, as well as inserted stills, only up the price. Some editing is necessary (no one wants a three hour wedding video), but don’t get too complicated.
Dropping the hint that you are on your honeymoon can actually result in little perks. Some hotels will provide complimentary champagne, and others will give you a free upgrade. Try to plan your honeymoon during slower times. All your rates will be cheaper. You can also get good deals when you buy packages that include hotel, car rental, and airfare. Check the rates out of nearby cities as well. Instead of flying out of Chicago, check to see how much it costs to fly out of Milwaukee. Use Baltimore as opposed to Washington, D.C. Sometimes La Guardia is cheaper than JFK in New York. Finally, see if you have frequent flyer miles or rewards and build your honeymoon around those.