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Making the most of your wedding budget

shellIt’s a tough economy out there.  Money is tight but you don’t want to compromise on your wedding, right?  What can you do to make your dollar go farther?

Hire a Day of Coordinator.  I know.  I’ve said it before…but it’s really true!  A DoC will save you time and money equivalent to their fee and then some.  We can direct you to the most affordable venue for your budget, the photographer that is going to throw in a free engagement session, and the DJ with free lighting.  Most wedding professionals book through referrals – from couples, their families, and other wedding professionals.  Why not take advantage of the great relationships your DoC has developed?

Think of floral alternatives.  I adore flowers.  But wedding day flowers can be expensive – you can easily spend $1000 just on your wedding party if it is the right size.  Then you are adding altar arrangements, aisle markers, centerpieces…that dollar amount starts to really climb up.  Are you having an outdoor wedding?  Maybe you don’t really need to embellish the alter.  Aisle markers can be anything – why not use feathers or a big bow?  Think outside the box on centerpieces – they don’t have to be flowers.  I used square votive holders with  sand and a single starfish.  There were 4 different kinds on each table surrounding a large hurricane with smaller tea lights around it.  Clearly this doesn’t work for everyone, but think of ways to make it work for you.  And as pretty as flowers can be, they really only last that day.  Why not dedicate more money to something else?

Have a specialty drink instead of an open bar.  A full, open bar can be really expensive but not everyone likes wine or beer.  Having a specialty drink allows for one more option without having the expense of stocking an entire bar.  Also offer to allow your bartenders to display a tip jar (maybe even provide one for them) rather than you tipping them at the end of the evening.  And skip the champagne toast – or save if for just you, your parents, and bridal party.  Most people don’t like champagne anyway and toasts can be done with any beverage in a raised glass.

Skip escort cards, even if you want assigned seating.  You can have one large seating chart instead – or a card at each table with everyone’s names on it.  If you really must have escort cards, choose a favor that can double as your escort card so you get a two for one.

Print the menu in the program.  Programs can be long or short but I am sure there is somewhere you can insert the menu.  Perhaps the program on one side and the menu on the back?  Or skip a menu – unless your guests are going to make a choice, it is pre-determined anyway and they are about to find out what it is, right?  Or again, one or two large menu cards per table rather than per person will really help keep your printing costs down.  This is also a great DIY project – with free fonts online and scrapbooking stores selling specialty papers and the like this is a great way to express  yourself.  Just remember to keep yourself in check because those things are not inexpensive and the choices can be overwhelming.

Skip favors.  If you don’t have an escort card that doubles as a favor, skip them!  You do not have to have wedding favors for your guests if you have budget constraints.  Or do something fun like a candy buffet as your favors – they are only as expensive as the candy you provide.  And guests love them!

Do you have any ideas on ways to save on your wedding budget?  I’d love to hear them!

Be Carefree,

Suzanne

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