Ten Ways to Reduce Your Wedding Costs

By: TAWP

Sometimes a gal just has to trim the budget. There are definitely some elements of your big day that shouldn't be compromised (i.e. hiring quality vendors), but there are a few places to save as you try to manage your big day bottom line. Here are some places you can make it happen: 1. Trim the Guest List. More guests always equals more money, so inviting just your nearest and dearest is the most effective way to keep your costs in check. Easier said than done, I know, but you'll be glad you didn't invite your whole office when you get down to the nitty gritty and realize how much your paying per head. 2. Choose a venue that's already gorgeous. The simple, blank reception hall may be inexpensive, but you'll have to spend a bundle on flowers and d̩cor. And chances are it still won't be as appealing as the lovely little waterfront venue that's just full of natural prettiness. 3. Limit the bar options. Unless religious reasons are in play, I think couples should always, always offer their guests a hosted bar. But limiting the selections to beer and wine is a cost-effective way to make everyone happy. 4. Consider alternative days. Plan a Friday or Sunday wedding! Many times, vendors are able to lower their fees on days that are less in demand. 5. Hire a DJ instead of a live band. I love a good band, but the right DJ can keep the party going just as well. If you're watching pennies but still want a live music element, think about hiring musicians to play during your ceremony and cocktail hour and let the DJ take it from there. 6. Wed out of wedding season. March-June and September-November are prime wedding months in Florida. Vendors may choose to offer lower fees during off-peak months, so it never hurts to ask! 7. Stay in season. Give your florist an idea of the look and colors you like rather than a list of must-have blooms. Stay with what's in season and save a bundle on flowers. 8. Nix the favors. Treat your guests to great food, a few glasses of wine and a band or DJ who will keep the dance floor packed. Guests will be grateful and happy to have spent the day with you : a bag of monogrammed truffles isn't going to make or break their experience. 9. Forgo RSVP enclosure cards. Since in most (all) cases, guests are terrible at popping that little reply card back in the mail, create an email address and ask guests to respond that way. It's easier for them and you'll save on paper pieces and stamps. 10. Offer food stations instead of a sit-down dinner. Offering a few perfectly-placed food stations : think a carving station, shrimp-and-grits bar, cheese and bread boards with other pick-up hors d'oeuvres : is much more cost-effective (and more social and fun in most cases!) than a seated, plated dinner. A few places you shouldn't touch? Don't skimp on vendors. You only get one day : it's important to hire the good ones who you can trust will deliver for you. Don't consider cutting the bar, skimping on food or appointing yourself, friends or family members to do jobs you should be trusting professionals with (they should get to enjoy the day, too!). Budget is a tough one, I know, but hang in there and stay true to your vision and if you need to cut, do it where no one will notice you did. (;