by Carol Simmons
Budgets for weddings do vary from couple to couple, but with some effort, they shouldn't have to be difficult to stick to. Below you will find some ideas that may help you save money and may be worth giving it a try.
When it comes down to your wedding, use common sense in the budgeting process as it is pretty straight forward. Here we have a good list of tips started for you to think about as you plan your wedding and reception. The first thing you can save money on is your stationery! By ordering traditional invitations you can accomplish several things; keep in mind that simple, solid white invitation papers are not only the least expensive but are also the most formal; also, black print is usually included in the regular price and is more formal than colors; plus, be sure to use the print styles which are included in the price as more elaborate print styles cost more money and are often harder for your guests to read. If you are paying for your facility by the hour make a list for your wedding day and have a plan...organization is everything! There are so many mundane items that are so easy to overlook when you start planning your budget. As an example, be sure to find a facility which supplies your chairs, this could save a lot in rental expenses. Also be sure to find a facility that is already elegant and beautiful. There will be less decorating that will need to be done and this will also save you money and time. Rent or borrow items you won't use again such as guest book tables, table skirts, decorations, pens, podiums, pew bows and hooks, green plants, floral arrangements, etc. When renting, search around before selecting a candelabra, archways, pedestals, etc. Not only find the best price but also the best quality. A candelabra is worthless if it is tarnished and chipped. Also, you may want to locate a decorator that can do all of your rentals and flowers for you. The cost of a decorator can be offset by the savings you may receive in rental and flower prices plus you should have only one delivery fee. Now, on to the reception! Probably the largest cost in your reception is the catering. Investigate your facility and find one that supplies your tables and chairs and that will give you a "per person" catering price. Find out at what number of guests you get a price break. Remember that you can have double the amount of fruit, cheese, vegetables and pasta for the price of meats. DON'T FORGET TO USE YOUR GUEST LIST! Book the caterer for only 65% to 75% of the number of guests you have invited. Make sure your facility will hold 80% of the number you have invited. Once you have received all of your RSVP's your caterer will let you add to the number of guests for food but they generally can't plan for FEWER guests...and...why should you pay for more guests than are there? RSVP's are an ABSOLUTE MUST. Their cost is minimal when compared to what they can save you by planning for how many people will actually attend. Not how many you invited! If you are serving alcohol, find a facility that will let you bring your own in. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars by doing this. Remember you can not charge your guests if you bring in your own alcohol - check your local laws and regulations before you bring your own alcohol. By having your fruit, cheese and vegetables available as soon as your guests arrive cuts down on liquor consumption drastically. Limit your reception to 3 to 4 hours. This is plenty of time to do all the things you need to do. Get married in the "off season". Several of your service providers will give discounts to you in their off season, especially caterers and hotels. The same discount concepts goes for weekdays, Friday nights, Saturday mornings, or afternoons. You can plan a brunch instead of lunch or dinner. The brunch is becoming more popular because the early morning sun is very brilliant, a brunch is a very formal affair and you will feel much more relaxed. Have your wedding and reception in the same location. You will save hundreds on the second lease, not to mention savings on rental and savings on transportation between locations. You can also have decorations taken from your ceremony to the reception to save on cost of decorations. If you follow all of these cost cutting tips you could save hundreds of dollars!