Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How to Cut Wedding Costs Without Losing the Luster

It can be really tricky planning a wedding on a budget-- especially one that will trick the guests into thinking that it was actually an expensive wedding. You don't have to sacrifice quality for price, though. There are several ways to save without anyone noticing that you were skimping...

The best way to start is by prioritizing. What is that one thing that you just have to have? You'll have to be prepared to work around the rest. If you're not too particular about anything, such as a really pricey dress or extravagant flowers, you'll be lucky enough to make minor cut backs all around instead of a few categories significantly lacking.

Here are some really good ways to save a few bucks:

  • Flowers- order strong, sturdy flowers in bulk and put together your own bouquets. I know this sounds risky, but I did it for my wedding, including my own bouquet and I can't tell you how many compliments I got on the beautiful flowers. We used lilies, gerber daisies and hydrangeas with bells of Ireland. We got the shipment 2 or 3 days before the wedding and kept the flowers in a giant cooler with water. The bridesmaid bouquets averaged out to be about $20 a piece, compared to what can be up to $100 from a florist; and the bride's bouquet cost about $35, which would have been about $200 or more from a florist. We used gerber daisies and bear grass with seashells for the centerpieces. Those looked awesome, as well
  • Catering- I truly feel that everyone is sick of the old chicken/beef, starch and vegetable dinner, which I find completely overpriced anyway. We did a pig roast with an option for jerk chicken with pineapple for those who might not eat pork, mozzarella and tomato bowtie pasta salad, marinated grilled vegetables, and cucumber onion salad. It was different, delicious, and under $25 per head. You might also consider having an earlier wedding and doing a brunch, which tends to be less expensive.
  • Bar- beer and wine is perfectly acceptable. You don't have to provide a full top shelf bar. If you feel weird about not providing liquor, you could select one signature drink (I recommend a vodka drink because that seems to fly off the shelf at weddings).
  • Cake- fondant icing might look flawless, but I find that it doesn't taste as good as butter cream. I was willing to risk the inconsistencies of the look of the icing for the good taste, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the butter cream look wasn't bad at all! I also provided the baker with ribbon that I purchased from a craft store and a few fresh flowers as the decor, which was significantly less than hand crafted sugar flowers and designs around the tiers.
  • Make your ceremony and reception the same place- this will save on double room rental fees, transportation, and the length of the reception won't need to be as long (to accommodate the varying times of people getting to the reception)
For more tricks and tips, visit www.budgetwiseweddingmd.com

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