That phrase has come out of my mouth (more times than I’d like to admit) while trying to plan our wedding budget. I’ll be blissfully sipping my Moscato, listening to Destiny’s Child throwbacks when It suddenly registers that my prospective invitations are $400 over budget – or that we probably can’t afford to have John Legend perform our first dance song live.
Unless you’re like a millionaire, every bride strives to save $$$ when she can and stay within the budget. I often read emails from anxious brides-to-be seeking help (or just a virtual shoulder to cry on) when they realize they have to forgo a major aspect to avoid fights with the fiancé or overdrawing their bank account. I get it y’all! It’s tough! The wedding industry is not for the faint of heart (or light of wallet.) You know I always tell you to splurge on the big stuff: photographer, videographer, food – but you can save money and still pull off the wedding of your dreams without completely scrapping your decor or firing the caterer. I’m not talking dollar menu McNuggets as appetizers – this is MMW – not buzzfeed. We keep it trendy & traditional! Read on for 7 tips on how to cut costs – chicly, of course.
OH HAY GIRL
If you’re using an outdoor venue and need to provide seating, renting benches & chairs can cost up to $6.25 per guest. This is one of those organic, rustic-chic ceremony tips straight from the farm! You can rent hay bales (or even better – borrow them!) for a fraction of the price you’d pay to rent chairs. Be advised: you definitely have to go with a summer/country theme for these to work – & be sure to provide some comfort by covering them with linens that complement your color palette.
BUCKET OF BREWS
Who needs a tacky bartender in a tie when you can pour up your own spirits? If your venue allows it, save some ca$h by opting out of an open bar. Provide your own alcohol from an outside source – extra points if it’s a local winery! Store a couple bottles in an ice bucket at each table and provide rose gold buckets filled with beer. You may even have the option to return unopened bottles (or you just might go home with a lot of Rosé!)
SKIP THE STAMPS
You wanna hear the two stupidest things you’ll spend like a hundred bucks on?
2. FRICKEN ENVELOPES
ENVELOPES! Send out gorgeous save the dates (like these, from Minted) and cut costs on the minor details that don’t matter at all.
FAUX + FROSTED
This cake is fake! Well… parts of it are. That mini top tier is a real vanilla coconut cake frosted in white fondant. The two larger layers: styrofoam y’all. Mind blown yet? Who says you have to shell out for a cake? I mean really – it’s CAKE. Whether it came from Samantha James Designer Cakery in NYC or Sam’s Club down the road, your guests are gonna ingest. After you cut the cake, servers will take the remaining disguised dessert to the back. They’ll cut and serve a white sheet cake (so much less money) and your guests will dine and dance, per usual!
NO FUSS FLORALS
You’ve got a Pinterest account, right? Youtube, even? Great! You are qualified to DIY your own floral arrangements! If you’re willing to get creative, you can buy flowers in bulk at Fifty Flowers – ask your ‘maids to help arrange your centerpieces at a fraction of the cost of expensive pre-arranged blooms.
DITCH THE DJ
Did you know that the Macarena and 2002 Kelly Clarkson jams aren’t mandatory at every wedding reception? You could totally do without the awkward array of tracks and build a custom playlist with your future hubby. As long as your venue has a sound system (or you rent one) you can hook up your device and dance the night away! It’s always a good idea to designate an MC to keep the party flowing.
A HANDY DECOR HACK
Think of your wedding date. Now, think of the holiday that precedes it. By cohesively tying your color palette to that holiday/season, you could save a ton on decor. If you’re planning May nuptials, with Easter just a few weeks prior, hit up your local craft stores immediately following and get the deals on clearance decorations. (Forgo the Easter Bunny napkins – snag those pastel blue table runners, girl!)
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HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO SAVE ON YOUR BIG DAY? SHARE BELOW!