Back in university I did a bit of everything including event planning as part of the student council. This led to different adventures within the city and the organizations that I volunteered with. I learned how to do a lot of really fun events with very limited budgets. After building somewhat of a reputation for myself within my circle of friends, my best friend’s sister asked me if I felt comfortable helping her plan her wedding since they were tight on funds and had set the date only 6 months in advance. We had a budget of $4,000 and 90 guests. This was my first wedding so I learned a lot along the way, some things we did very well, somethings were horrible at. All in all there are tons of ways to save money during your wedding.
These are some of the things we learned while planning a wedding:
- Pick a weekday for the wedding. This solves 2 problems, 1- it cuts down on the number of guests who can attend and 2 the venue is cheaper.
- Have the event during the day. Most halls would love to have you book during a thursday or a friday since they are normally empty and are more than willing to cut you a deal on food and rental costs. We opted out of having fresh flowers at the wedding since the hall was providing an amazing decoration package at a greatly discounted rate.
- Outsource projects to your friends. If your circle of friends consists of students, they would love nothing more than doing something for the wedding since students generally don’t have any money of decent gifts. We had guests making the cake, the flowers for the bride and bridesmaids, and the party favours. Everyone felt involved and the bride saved a ton.
- Find a wedding dress on a budget. Know in your head what you want to spend and stick to it. It is very easy to spend more once you get into the store. We shopped at a few boutique stores in the area first to get an idea of what she wanted then we went shopping across the border to Buffalo and found a steal for the dress.
- Streamline your gifts. The bride and groom wanted to go away on a honeymoon as their wedding present and opted out of doing a gift registry since they were already living together. They subtly let the guests know what they wanted.
- Hire students as photographers. We contacted the local college and hired half the class for the day. We didn’t want the pictures printed. This way we had 10 photographers who were eager to build their portfolio and each did a great job and it cost us a fraction of the fee.
Obviously these suggestions might not work for everyone but if you are open to different ideas and all you care about spending your day with family and friends then there really is no reason to spend $20,000 to $30,000 on a wedding when you can save that for a downpayment. It just goes to show you the saving money is possible in everything that you do, including weddings.