We know many of you have planned your big day out in your head for years. You know exactly what you want, and will accept nothing less. Unfortunately not all of us can win the lottery or be born with millions of dollars. Lucky for you, with a bit of planning and these 10 strategies, it is totally possible to host the wedding of your dreams without totally breaking the bank.
1. Cut the guest list.
When looking to save money, the first place to look is your guest list. for every person or plus 1 on the list, that is one more plate, favor, invite, etc... By shortening your guest list you can literally save money across the board in multiple categories of wedding planning. Consider removing even 5 or 10 individuals and you could be looking at sizable savings.
2. Choose a DJ, instead of a band.
While a live band can definitely add a level of class to your event, a well trained and experienced DJ can bring whatever type of atmosphere you are looking to create and keep guests on the dance floor — for about a tenth of the price. Your DJ may be able to bring in a musician or two for a live sound that will still cost much less than a full live band.
3. Choose a non-peak date.
If possible, try to be flexible with your wedding date. Every component — Including venues, caterers, and florists — will likely cost less if you say "I do" in the off-season (generally between November and April). Attendees regularly take days off work for destination weddings, so consider that it may not be too much to ask the same for a local wedding. Consider all your date options and specifically look to avoid Saturdays as these are the most commonly chosen dates for weddings.
4. Think outside the box to create a "wow factor."
Lighting concepts cost worlds less than large scale flower display, yet they can have an equally impressive impact in setting a mood/theme for your event that is completely yours. Be creative when searching for the elements that will make your special day unique, and remember this is your party and you make the rules.
5. Beware of venues with "exclusive vendors."
When a venue has exclusive deals with specific vendors, it means that you are locked into hiring those people for things like catering, music, or even photography. This prevents you from losing the power to make your own important choices. It also has the potential to impact the overall quality of the services you receive as these exclusive vendors sometimes take for granted your business due to their contract with the venue. When a service provider has to put in work to get hired, they're more likely to offer competitive rates and feel more invested in making sure you're happy.
6. Send e-vites.
Yes, your mother may think it's weird, but more and more couples are choosing to send every wedding-related correspondence — from save-the-dates to invitations — via email, rather than using traditional paper invitations. It might have been considered tacky a few years ago, but now it's completely acceptable and has saved couples hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.
7. Search for local bed and breakfasts instead of a hotel room.
When you need a place to stay the night before or after the wedding, search for a local bed and breakfast rather than settling for a traditional hotel suite. Private homes are often bigger, nicer, and more convenient, not to mention potentially much cheaper than a hotel room. You could even rent a larger house and use it as a home base where you and your bridal party can primp, take pictures, or host an after-party. Services like Airbnb.com make this process extremely easy.
8. Bundle photography and videography services.
If you plan to hire a photographer or videographer for more than one event (an engagement party or dedicated engagement shoot) ask about bundled packages. Some photographers will give you a deal if you're booking them for multiple events instead of paying à la carte for separate services.
9. Choose one venue for both the ceremony and reception.
Rather than doubling down on venues, save costs by hosting the ceremony and reception at the same location. In addition to avoiding the cost of booking two spaces, you'll also save on things like decor and transportation. This will also reduce the chances for things to go wrong, as there is less to coordinate and no shuttling from location to location.
10. Have your DJ multitask.
Taking time to plan with your DJ before the event is a must. Often times they make the announcements, and serve as a sort of "on-the-fly MC" so it only makes sense to utilize them in coordination of your special day. DJs are often happy to help with facilitating reception events like the first dance, the father-daughter dance, and toasts.
Ultimately, saving money on your wedding comes down to prioritizing your needs and wants, creating a plan — and sticking to it. At Spark, we believe what matters most is that you’re happy and relaxed and that you have the wedding you have always dreamed of.
Save money on your wedding when you bundle our services. Contact Spark Events to learn more.