Keep the Romance - Ditch the Costs! 12 Ideas for Keeping the Wedding Budget Under Control

It’s summer, and we are scheduled to attend a number of weddings so naturally, as a financial planner, I thought it might be nice to suggest some ways to save money on your wedding – hopefully without being a “stick in the mud”!  Having been the father of the bride once and the father of the groom once, I have been on both sides of the aisle!  Here are some random thoughts, in no particular order:

  1. If you are having multiple bridesmaids and groomsmen, enlist them before the wedding to help plan and prepare.(Speaking personally, I’ve been in many weddings and never minded doing anything to help – from setting up tables and chairs to sweeping up after!)It’s cheaper than paying someone!

  2. Saturday night weddings are the most expensive for a venue.Would it work to have your wedding on a Friday night, Sunday evening, or even earlier on a Saturday?

  3. Prune your guest list.Trust me, no third cousin once removed or a friend of your Mom’s former work colleague will be offended by not being invited.It’s your day and you should have who you REALLY want there, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to just have people there to fill up the seats.

  4. Have a second, much less formal reception later for those you didn’t invite, were too far away, or for whatever reason – a party is a party!

  5. Some colleges offer campus venues at very reasonable prices for alumni.

  6. If you book a venue that’s “all inclusive”, make sure you read the fine print to see that everything really is included.Surprises can pop up for “extras” that should be included (list table linens, serving spoons, and many other items you wouldn’t think of as “extra”.

  7. Are you or your friends artistic and good with computers?Before you order expensive invitations, etc., why not have a go at making your own.If they don’t turn out well, you can still order them!

  8. College musicians can be hired very affordably and they are quite good!

  9. Instead of a full dinner, how about a dessert reception or an afternoon tea?

  10. Rather than a full open bar, offer beer, wine, and a “signature cocktail” whose colors match yours.

  11. Order flowers that are in season.

  12. Getting married near a holiday?See what decorations are already part of the venue (I got married a week before Christmas and the poinsettias were beautiful and already there!)