Photo: Photo Love
When it comes to getting married on a budget, there’s no shortage of expenses that can set your spending out of control. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid spending more than you’d actually set out to, which is why tracking your expenses (cue the color-coded Excel spreadsheet) can seriously come in handy. Thankfully, there are some tricks of the trade that can help prevent you from going overboard on your budget.
We talked to wedding vendors to get the inside scoop on how—and where—to cut corners if you're getting married on a budget.
Lavish Party FavorsWhile these little gifts from the just-married couple to their wedding guests might seem like an important gesture, it’s the first item many wedding planners recommend tweaking if you're getting married on a budget. “Often, guests will forget to take the favor or not want to pack it while traveling,” says Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events in Santa Monica, California. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have them—it can be a wonderful gesture for your wedding guests—however, it might not be worth doling out pricey trinkets for each person. “If you want to do something small, a photo booth is a great combination of a favor and day-of entertainment,” she adds. “The guests can take their photo as a memento and have some fun making it!” Other great and affordable options include personalized matchbooks with your wedding dates labeled, candles or tea infusers.
Photo: Arte De Vie
Over-the-Top Welcome BagsA small bag of goodies for each of your hotel guests is another nice gesture that only recently gained in popularity. It typically involves preparing a bag containing snacks, drinks and some sweet treats for out-of-town wedding guests. However, to save some serious cash without nixing the welcome bag idea all together, a smart idea is to skip the personalized, knit tote bag to go along with it. Yes, it’s nice when the bag is printed especially for your big day, but a throw-away gift bag will do the trick just fine.
Out-of-Season FlowersWhen your florist has to order a shipment of peonies from Holland to make sure that you can have them at your fall wedding, you better believe you’re going to be paying a few pretty pennies extra. If you're getting married on a budget, ask him or her to recommend cost-effective blooms—whether that means they’re in-season or they've got a great seller. “Because florals are ultimately based on the cost of the products themselves, adding some less expensive flowers will lead to a more dramatic overall look,” suggests Brand. Adding greenery is another low-cost way to make your arrangements look more full.
Photo: New Seasons Photography