Weddings are becoming seriously expensive and going cheap isn’t really an option. I will give you a guide on organizing the best wedding for the best price.
More and more couples are getting married at an older age and they prefer to go the unconventional route by paying for their wedding themselves. But the wedding industry has become so big that it gets harder to afford your dream day. And many times buying cheap will look cheap. But I will help you with some tips on how to stretch your budget and when nobody will know what was cheap or expensive.
I got married recently and was lucky to have my parents open up their wallets, but I wanted to save them as much money as possible and not splurge. I know, there is probably something wrong with me for not going bride-zirk on the budget, but I like a challenge and it gives me a great platform for getting creative and throwing a wedding with a difference.
I work as a wedding photographer, so I get to experience a large number of weddings and see what couples are doing for their big day. Many couples (or brides) won’t admit to this, but there is somewhat competitiveness when it comes to weddings. Everyone wants to throw the most memorable and talk-about wedding. But to be brutally honest, most weddings are pretty much the same. The bridal pair are sometimes too worried about what their guests would think and if they will enjoy themselves. Then again, we all know that it doesn’t matter how perfect you think your wedding was, there will always be someone that will go out looking for something to complain about. Your wedding is supposed to portray who you as a couple are and how you would like to celebrate the best day of your lives.
Trust me, straying from the norm will be a pleasant surprise for your guests and will give them something to talk about long after your 5th wedding anniversary. My wedding was very laid back, we didn’t even have tables for our guests to sit at. We had a backyard picnic style wedding with garden loungers, couches and picnic setups to sit at. This gives your guests a chance to move around and actually chat to more than just the dreaded people at their table. And our wedding was in a family member’s backyard, so our venue was for free!
Now, when it comes to your budget, there are some really hard choices to make with your fiancé. You need to categorize your wedding (eg. Flowers, dress & suit, guests, catering, photo & video, venue). Let me warn you, this list is damn long and out of this you need to choose which one or two things are the most important to you and should not be compromised on when it comes to your budget. This is going to be the “thing” you will not go cheap on. For me it was (obviously) photography and also catering.
Then we go to the other side of the spectrum and look at what we can actually leave out completely. Like I mentioned before, we left out tables at our wedding. Which means we don’t need flowers or table décor, no chairs and this means more money to spend on other great things. Let me tell you that these days people don’t really seem to care about writing in a guestbook, taking home a wedding favor, expensively over-decorated tables and all the flowers. They come to see two people they love get married, have great food, drink and be merry and maybe strut their stuff and bust a move on the dance floor. And having a great venue won’t hurt either. People are not always impressed by fancy, high-end venues, but also venues that bring adventure or something out of the ordinary. I can only imagine having a wedding in a farm shed or an abandoned warehouse!
Who says you need to have a three coarse meal at your wedding? How about ‘canapés and cocktails’ or opting for something very laid back and fun like pre-packed picnic baskets or even food trucks. The possibilities are endless! Let your imagination run wild and be brave and bold by taking chances.
Your next mission is to go on the greatest bargain hunt that man has ever seen! Search and compare prices, but remember to also look at quality. You don’t want that cheap photo booth to look cheap. So remember to compare price to quality. This is really important when you choose your photographer. Yes, I know photographers tend to seem expensive, but they really work incredibly hard on your wedding day and then they spend days, weeks (and sometimes months) editing your images to perfection. And after all your guests have gone home, after opening your gifts, after you return from your romantic honeymoon, all that is left of your magical day that you have spent months on planning, are your wedding pictures. And they will be shown and wowed over for decades to come. Pick out photographers whose style you really like, ask for quotes and choose the one you can afford. Remember that this is not only a product, but also a person. Meetup and make sure you feel comfortable with your photographer.
Asking your photographer and videographer to shoot less hours can also save you some money. Just make sure that you plan your timeline according to the hours that you have your photographer present.
Keeping your guest list to a minimum will save you thousands! Creating the guest list was the hardest thing for us to do. A lot of suffering, sacrifice and guilt feelings go into picking the lucky ones to attend, but I’m very serious about this when I say you will save THOUSANDS!
Another tip on getting the best price is to start planning early. Some service providers will charge more for last-minute orders and a lack-of-time can pressure you into not making the smartest choice.
I’m not gonna lie, planning a wedding on a budget is really hard work, but it will be worth not starting you marriage in the red. So, give yourself enough time, make lists, compare, choose wisely and rather enjoy some extra spending-money on your honeymoon.