es, setting your wedding budget can be a herculean task. We know you’d rather skip this step and go straight to the cake tasting, but creating (and sticking to) your budget is arguably the most important part of planning a wedding.
Whether you’re working with N100 or N100,000,000 or trying to stick to a not-so-big budget, worry not as there are some hacks that can help you decide what you can spend, and what you’ll want to save or splurge on that’ll help you go easy on your bank account:
- Opt for a Friday or Sunday: Saturday night weddings are prime time! To save money on venues and vendors, consider having your “I dos” on an off day. Your big day will still be oh-so-fun, and with a Friday or Sunday wedding, you can host other celebratory activities over the rest of the weekend.
- Stock up on coupons for crafting: If you’re planning to do a little shopping in their wedding sections or if you want to get your DIY on, stock up on coupons or download the app to get the best deals. Insider tips: Both stores honor each other’s coupons, and on the Michaels app, you can use the same coupon every day until it expires.
- Buy a pre-owned wedding dress: To stay on budget, consider buying a used dress or a floor sample gown. These gently-used versions retail at a fraction of the price.
- Opt for a standing ceremony: Electing to use no chairs (save for a few chairs for elderly or disabled guests) can save money on the rental furniture costs. Just make sure your ceremony is short and sweet if attendees will be standing.
- Find a venue that’s flexible with vendors: Look for a space that allows you to use caterers, florists, and bakers outside of their preferred list. If you choose a location that requires you to use their partners, you’ll be locked into using vendors that might be out of your range.
- Follow vendors on social media for discounts: Sometimes, businesses will give special promotions or discounts to their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram fans! Follow along to see if they offer any deals.
- Use credit cards to purchase services and get rewards: Invest in a card that offers cash rewards or airline miles. Then you can spend your perks on other “I do” items or put those bonuses toward your honeymoon.
- Have your ceremony and reception at the same place: If you opt for one wedding site, you’ll cut the costs associated with renting two venues and the transportation between spaces.
- See if your favorite markets can caterer: Some supermarkets, like Whole Foods, offer specialty catering services (and flowers too). Check your local store to see if they provide any services you can incorporate into your reception.
- Get creative with the bouquet: Ask your florist to use a few impactful flowers, and then fill in with less expensive blooms, like Queen Anne’s lace and baby’s breath. This will help make each arrangement cost less.
- Purchase flowers wholesale online: If you’re planning to DIY your flowers, look into purchasing them online. Retailers help cut costs and increase the variety of blooms available to you.
- Provide your own alcohol: If the caterer allows you to purchase alcohol for the reception, you could potentially save some big bucks. By eliminating the vendor’s markup, your finances will stay intact. However, you’ll be putting in extra time to purchase and deliver the alcohol to your big day venue.
- Serve a signature cocktail instead of having an open bar: Get crafty with your mixed drinks to ensure that you don’t over-spend on liquor. Serve guests beer and wine with one specialty drink, like a mint julep or a martini to wet their whistles.
- Create wedding signage instead of printing hundreds of paper items: Display the menu or program on a canvas or in a frame as opposed to printing one for each guest. Trust us; it’ll be totally cost-effective.
- Consider a buffet: With guests serving themselves, it can considerably cut some of the wait staff fees.
- Sometimes, buying is cheaper than renting: When it comes to décor items, table settings, and linens, sometimes it’s better to purchase outright. Once you get a quote from the rental company, determine whether it’s more cost-effective for you to purchase them. You may even be able to sell the items after to make a little money back.
- Keep stemware simple: Instead of going overboard with your glassware, go for minimal and classic. You’ll keep more money in your pocket.
- Use bouquet flowers as centerpieces: After the ceremony, have your florist or coordinator place the bouquets in vases for your tables.
- Have your baker create a faux cake: Ask your baker to make the top tier of your cake real (for cutting). Then, create other tiers out of Styrofoam and decorate it accordingly. Your presentation cake will still be gorgeous while saving a few dollars—and you can have sheet cakes in the back for serving.
- Serve up a spread of delightful sweets: Creating a dessert bar can be a cheaper alternative to the wedding cake. You can purchase the treats from local establishments, set up a candy or cookie bar, or even ask friends and relatives to bake some tasty confections for an on-budget dessert display.
- Be your own DJ: Create a playlist on Spotify or iTunes and play music through the venue’s sound system. We’ve pulled together some awesome wedding playlists to get you started.
“Please Don’t Go Into Debt To Say “I Do”, remember that it’s not about how much money you spend, it’s how much joy you feel. At the end of the day, even if you get married for N100 at City Hall in a simple white dress (or suit!), we bet it will be an incredibly beautiful and meaningful wedding and you’ll be able to have a life after all”.