It sounds easy enough, but the further along you get in wedding planning, the tougher this concept can seem! Rest assured, there are some quick and easy ways to cut costs, and don’t worry, none of them involve cutting back on the bar package or dress budget!
- Friday or Sunday Weddings
Before you write this one off, put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Would you miss your friend’s wedding simply because it was on a Friday? Of course not! You may leave work a little early to give yourself time to get ready and get through the traffic, but it is all worth seeing your friend’s special day. Your guests will feel the same way!
Often times, venues offer a reduced rental rate for a Friday or Sunday wedding because they are not as much in demand as a Saturday date. They may also lift any food or beverage minimum they apply to a Saturday event, which helps reduce your costs even more. When you tour venues, ask them for their Friday and Sunday rates. You could be pleasantly surprised, and if your guests value you as much as you value them, they will make time for you any day of the week.
- Buffet Dinner
Again, put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Would you be traumatized if your friend’s Sunday wedding had a buffet dinner? Probably not. The second you smell the delicious food, all you will care about is making room for seconds!
With most catering companies buffets are self-serve, which greatly reduces your staffing costs. When you first start to research and look over menus, you may see the food is a couple dollars more per person than the plated option, which could steer you away, but you have to consider the OVERALL catering cost that comes with plated versus buffet. Less staff on site means a smaller percentage of your budget is being pulled toward labor. Even if you think you are set on plated or action stations, always ask for a buffet quote to compare. You never know – it could end up being the perfect fit!
- Cut the Guest List
This one is always tough, but it can be done! There are two approaches to cutting the guest list, some find one way works better than the other, while others use both rules. It’s really up to you and your other half to decide what the two of you feel most comfortable with. There will always be pressure from family and friends on this topic, and when that happens, kindly remind them that their input matters, however, the budget will always win!
Rule #1: We both have met you
It’s simple, have both of you met this person? By ‘met’ I mean, longer than those 10 seconds at that one barbecue 2 years ago, it needs to be a significant person in your lives together. There’s no harm in mentioning work friends, old college roommates, etc. that may have played a big role in a chapter of your life before you met the person you are about to marry, however, they need to be placed on the ‘maybe’ list until your guest list is more developed. Include all of those close to you that know BOTH of you first, and then add in the maybe’s after that. It’s all about compromise.
Rule #2: Have we seen you in the past year?
This is for your own interpretation. Depending on where your families live, this rule may bend a little, because of course, you want to include your grandparents who live 2,000 miles away! This is a general rule of thumb and up to you to enforce as you see fit. Just as in Rule #1, there may be people who are important to you that you just don’t see as often as you used to, and it’s okay to add them to the maybe list! But if you want to cut your costs down, you have to start with the essential guests and add from there.
Wedding planning is hard, and budget tends to be the most difficult thing about it. Making the final decisions on all aspects of your big day is tough and some require more thought than others. It is important to step back and look at the big picture when it comes to making the tough decisions. Is your day really going to be ruined if you trim the guest list a little or make a tiny menu change? Stay positive and remember, there are always ways to cut costs, even if your budget is small, you can still pull off the wedding of your dreams. Happy wedding planning!