Based on personal experience, I can safely say that wedding planning is a logistical nightmare. Seriously, major props to the wedding planners out there because this sh*t requires major budgeting skills and pristine attention to detail.
More times than not, it seems *impossible* to stick to a budget during the planning process. Underestimating costs is inevitable, especially for those of us who’ve never been hitched and went into planning unaware of how expensive weddings really are.
Since I’m currently in the thick of wedding planning and already realize there are things I wish I did differently, I wanted to share some suggestions for cutting costs and saving your hard-earned money. Although your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there is absolutely no need to spend your entire life’s savings (or your parents’) on one night.
Negotiate Rates and Be Aggressive
Whether you’re working with two vendors or 10, always ask if there’s flexibility in pricing before signing a contract. You wouldn’t be the first to say “The quote you provided is out of budget. Can you work with us at X price?” — and you certainly won’t be the last.
The wedding professionals and business owners you’re working with will typically entertain a conversation about rates or bundled services. If your budget is realistic and in line with the value of a particular service, do your research and negotiate rates until you find a team of reasonably-priced vendors.
Prioritize the Upgrades and Extras
While a red carpet entrance and sparkler send off are beautiful touches to any wedding, they are just two examples of pricey upgrades that you can probably do without. Prioritize the “extra” costs and consider making a list of your must-have extras and nice-to-have extras. For me, that looks something like this:
- Photo booth
- Late night snacks
- Sparkler send off
- Branded signage, including welcome signs and bar signs
- Party bus instead of shuttle
Opt for a Simple Floral Package
We’re sorry to break it you, but your guests will not remember every single detail of your wedding like whether you had tall, lavish centerpieces or small, simple ones. The same goes for aisle floral arrangements and bridal party bouquets.
When it comes to flowers, my mantra is “there is beauty in simplicity.” Guests are there to celebrate your love, not obsess over every detail or lack there of during your wedding. Opting for a simple floral package can save literally thousands.
In my personal opinion, the hefty floral price tag isn’t something I can justify. It pains me to think about what we’re spending on flowers because they’re essentially disposable. After talking with our florist about my vision and preferred flowers, we were able to cut our floral budget in half. Again, it’s just a matter of prioritizing what’s most important to you – and you only.
Delay Your Honeymoon
I know, I know. You’re probably asking yourself “Who wants to wait to go on their honeymoon?!” Hear me out.
Delaying our honeymoon is something my fiancé and I strongly considered because it would allow us to replenish the savings we’re spending on the wedding. Plus, we would be able to use some of our wedding earnings towards a honeymoon instead of paying for the entire honeymoon out of pocket before the wedding. Though not for everyone, if you’re stressing over the cost of a honeymoon, this might be the best option for you.
One last thought: Wedding planning can be stressful AF, but it’s also an experience like no other. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop and ask yourself “will this matter in 5 years?” When you and your fiancé start arguing over the stupid little things, ask yourself that question. If you’re in the thick of it, know you’re not alone and on the other side of this mountain is an exciting new start with your significant other. And for some comic relief when you need a damn good laugh: