No one likes the thought of cutting corners on such an important day, but the truth is there are ways to shave hundreds or thousands of dollars off the cost of a wedding, without the guests even noticing. The important thing to balance is what you absolutely need, and what you want. For example, if it’s important for you to have a fancy cake, cut back on other catering expense.
Start with the Basics: Formal Wear
How much of your wedding attire can be rented? If it isn’t super important to leave an heirloom gown behind for your future children’s weddings, consider renting a dress. It’s a romantic thought to keep your dressed tucked away forever, but a designer gown can cost into the thousands. A beautiful rental can be as little as $90 for the afternoon. Unless the groom already owns his tuxedo, have him rent one. Wedding attire doesn’t hold the same sentimental quality to men as it does women, so rental shouldn’t be a big deal.
Affordable Food Options
If a sit-down dinner is extremely important to you, consider the ultra trendy Tapas style. With Tapas style, guests are served several courses, all of them in small portions, lowering the overall food costs. Consider a food line, buffet style, where guests can serve themselves. Instead of entrées, serve heavy hors d’oeuvres and a variety of breads and desserts.
Avoid an elaborate tiered cake, and investigate unique and alternative cakes like Elegant Cupcake Wedding Cakes. A good dessert option is to offer a chocolate fountain with a variety of cut fruits and nuts for dipping. Not only does it look attractive, but one can be rented for less than $50 in most cases. If a cake is extremely important to you, select a small one for the bride and groom and a small dessert buffet featuring a diverse grouping of affordable treats for your guests.
Not everyone can afford the Waldorf Astoria for their nuptials. There are tons of romantic places where you can have a wedding, absolutely free or by just paying a small administration cost. If you’re an outdoorsy type, check into local parks or National Forests. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a beach, beaches extremely affordable. If it must be an indoor wedding, approach the owner of a local historic home you find beautiful. Sometimes they’ll gladly let you use the facilities for an afternoon, and other times they expect a small fee. For examples of venues under $200 in parks and on beaches, check out North Carolina Wedding Destinations.
Talk to your local community center about the use of an auditorium. Hold your wedding at the Town Hall. Some areas are blessed with beautiful town buildings, sometimes overlooking parks. Remember, your tax dollars paid for those buildings. Approach your elected Board of Commissioners with a request, and they will likely say yes. Check in advance to make sure your date and time doesn’t conflict with Town business.
Never Underestimate the Power of Negotiation
Wedding and event planning is extremely competitive. To have the most options, avoid planning your event during typically busy times like June or around Valentine’s Day. During the “off season”, many places will work with you on the price. Never hesitate to make an offer on something you like, or want even if it’s ridiculously low. The worst possible thing that could happen is you have to offer more.
With people spending less and less on luxuries, many companies will have to become more flexible on their rates. Offer to use facilities and rentals during non-peak hours, and point out that you have lots of young marriage-age friends and would be happy to tell all of them how well you were taken care of during your wedding. Most vendors will work with you before they let you walk out the door to a competitor.
Your wedding can still be your fairytale event without costing an arm and a leg. For more wedding suggestions check out Gowns in Bright Colors and Wedding Rings with Colored Accent Stones.