Monday, May 10, 2010

Myths About Saving on Weddings

It can be very tricky learning how to make certain alternative routes work to save you money on your wedding.  In actuality, some of them can and do, but many of the themes and ideas can really end up costing as much, if not more than the traditional route.  Make sure you do a full cost comparison before you are lead to believe that something is the least expensive option.  Here are some to keep an eye out for...

The hors d'oeuvres wedding

When it works: limited variety of options, very little seafood and meat, lots of dips and things that can be scooped as opposed to little finger foods that are individually prepared, served in buffet dishes- not passed

When it doesn't work: too many options (more work for the chefs), individually prepared apps with meat and seafood (i.e. bacon wrapped scallops, roast beef on a crostini with a dollop of horseradish mayo, crab balls, etc), lots of passed apps (more waiters, more work)

The "At Home" wedding

When it works: very small guest list (smaller tent, less rentals), perfect weather (maybe you don't even need a tent!), lots of helping hands (so you don't have to pay for prep and clean up)

When it doesn't work:  lots of guests= lots of money for rentals (a large tent costs more than $2K!  Probably what you would have spent on a banquet hall).  Also, don't forget you'll need to rent silverware, linens, tables, chairs, dance floor, porta johns, etc.  If the weather is bad, you might end up paying for side covers for the tent (another several hundred dollars), as well as an archway/tunnel tent leading to the bathrooms so guests don't get soaked.  If you haven't considered how you're going to get all the tables, settings, etc set up and broken down, that costs a lot of money for hiring a crew.

Alternatives to the Wedding Cake

Ahh, the cupcake tower.  This is a HUGE misconception in the wedding world.  Cupcakes need a lot of individual TLC.  They are frosted individually and decorated individually, then stacked on an intricate tower often times with a fake display cake on the top.  Intricacies= Money.  Don't be deceived into thinking that cupcakes are a cheap alternative.

Photo credit:

When it works:  family and friends make a variety of pies the day before the wedding; having a small display cake and a large sheet cake behind the scenes to feed everyone; having a candy station using a variety of chocolates/candy bought in bulk and displayed in fun jars/ vases

There are definitely a lot of great and creative ways to save money, just make sure you think of all the caveats and work involved before you take that plunge!


  1. As a cake designer, I agree with you that cupcakes do not save money. Plain cups cakes cost as much each as a slice of cake, the more design the more money. I would rather make a wedding cake and give a discount than make 150 cupcakes. Kitchen cakes sometimes can save the couple, but they must remember that the wedding cake will be smaller in size. Merry

  2. I had an at home outdoor wedding and it was really affordable compared to other weddings. However, there are so many costs that you just don't think about even when you're trying to plan an economical wedding.