Posted by on May 12, 2011
Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. You would obviously want it to be special and memorable. That however does not imply that you can afford to empty the savings from your bank balance on it. As a smart bride to be, you can plan your wedding in such a way that you cut down on unnecessary expenditure. Presetting a budget will help ensure that you don’t overspend and regret it later. If your folks are paying for a part of the wedding, ask them to specify the budget they have in mind. If you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding without any financial assistance, take a hard look at your savings, and come up with an amount which both of you would feel comfortable spending. Avoiding unrealistic demands and being practical in certain aspects is the key to managing the budget.
It wouldn’t hurt to fix a budget, even if you can afford to spend lavishly. You can gift each other an extended honeymoon or have a holiday with the amount saved. A low cost wedding does not mean compromising on style and comfort. Sticking to a budget requires you to use your imagination and think outside the box. You can always ask friends and family to pitch in with ideas, while you do your own research. With the combined efforts of everyone, your wedding can be an occasion to remember for all.
Ways to be constructive in your spending:.
List the various expenses and assign a priority to each item on the list. Categorise the items in your wedding wish list into what you must have, what would be good to have and what you can do without. Allocate a percentage of your expenses to each important aspect, which should be a defined amount. Be prepared to reallocate funds if you overshoot expense in a category and spread it out over the other categories.
The smartest move would be to start planning early. As an early bird, you can easily get the worm. When you have considerable time at hand, you can browse multiple options, compare shops and negotiate till you get the best deals.
Right at the beginning, opt for the services of a professional wedding planner. Discuss your wedding budget with them. Planners have contacts and expertise which can prove to be immensely useful in getting you get discounts that will keep your expenses under control. Your planner will help you save effort as well as money by helping you get in touch with a network of service providers within the budget you specify.
The date of your wedding also needs to be factored in as part of your wedding expenditure. A technique that is most commonly used is to get married in an off season. Another option is to get married on a weekday if you choose to get married during the wedding season This will make it easier to book a venue and negotiate prices. The service providers and vendors will also be more attentive and accommodating considering you will be one of their few clients at that time.
When selecting wedding invitations look for those which serve the purpose and are cost effective. Alternatively, you can design your own invitations by purchasing blank stationary in the desired colour and personalise the words. Response cards and thank you cards also need to be considered when setting your wedding budget. You can design these along with your invitation cards. It is good manners to acknowledge presents and those who have taken the time to attend your wedding.
The number of guests is directly proportional to the expense of your wedding. It is the biggest piece in your wedding expense pie. Cut down on your guest list if you would like to save some costs. Share the day with your nearest and dearest ones. Avoid inviting those who are acquaintances and haven’t spoken to you in a long while. Remember, while you may want everyone to share your happiness, each additional guest adds a definitive figure to your wedding budget.
Travel and Accommodation
Rent all the cars for the wedding from the same individual or company so as to get a good deal. Request your close friends who have cars to pick up family and friends if required, to further curtail costs.
You may have dreams of going in a limousine; however you can consider renting out a slightly smaller car. Still better, you could decorate the most luxurious car available in the family and put it to good use. After all, you will use the car for only about an hour or so and this alone can help release the burden on your wedding budget..
Dresses can cost you a bomb, if you don’t take care in making a choice keeping your wedding budget in mind. Keep an eye out for clearance sales, which will help you pick stuff that you like at discounted prices. You can purchase a plain gown and use your ideas to accessorise it with lace, sequins, beads, etc. If you have your heart set on being draped in the most gorgeous looking designer wedding gown, consider renting one of these. If you are working with a budget and don’t wish to settle on an off the rack dress, this option could work out well for you. Even if you do not have a budget in mind, don’t purchase a dress instantly after trying it on. Visit different stores to get a better idea and compare the dress styles, fabrics and prices before selecting one. A little extra effort taken here will ensure that you look like a princess without burning a hole through your pocket.
The ceremony and reception venue is the second vital factor, after the guest list, which contributes to your wedding expense. The venue is usually chosen depending on the number of guests invited to your wedding. A home wedding can be the key driver in lowering the cost of your wedding. So, make sure you use the space if you have it. Select a venue after ensuring it has all the necessary facilities such as tables, chairs, in house venue decorator, etc. Having everything under one roof will save the cost of searching for each of these separately and negotiating their hire cost. Make sure you are not paying more for the venue because it is in demand on a particular date or during a season. Consider an alternative date, if the venue is available at a more cost effective rate.
A grandiose entrance, fancy table centrepieces, a beautiful backdrop for the couple, the bouquets carried by the bride and bridesmaids; all contribute to the cost of decoration. Using flowers that are in season and purchasing them in bulk will help to save a chunk of your expense. Alternatively consider using balloons which are just as colourful and look festive as well.
Wedding themes are designed to stand out and add a personal touch to the event. This in turn means it would add to your expenses. However, that does not mean your wedding would be any less memorable if you do not have a theme.
Food and Drinks
Along with the venue, comes the expense of the wedding meal and drinks. The meal servings should be adequate in quantity and sumptuous in nature. It is not essential to have an elaborate layout of multi-cuisine delicacies; a meal served gracefully with the right combination of delicacies will by and large be appreciated if it suits the taste buds of your guests. When it comes to the wedding alcohol, you need to make sure that the guests have adequate options; look at a combination of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Arrange for a mix of beer, wine and champagne for toasting. Consider serving limited number of drinks, instead of having a full bar at the wedding. You can include a personalised cocktail to match the wedding theme, which will be highly appreciated.
The type of cake, the number of tiers, its base and icing; all determine the cost of the cake and must be taken into consideration when choosing your wedding cake. You can have a customized or readymade cake for your wedding, depending on the funds you have set aside for it. It is possible that someone from your friends and family would not mind making one for you as a wedding present.
Finding a videographer and photographer, who will capture your moments for you at a cost that fits your budget shouldn’t be a difficult task. Get references from recently married family and friends. Do not make hasty decisions about on getting frames and extravagantly designed wedding albums; there is plenty of time for these later. A photographer who will include a DVD of all photos in their price is well worth considering as you can do what you wish with them, then.
Entertainment is an optional aspect, when it comes to completing your wedding arrangements. Include it only if you have an amount to allocate to it after budgeting for the more essential aspects. If entertainment is a must have for you, look at cost effective options. You do not essentially need a live band or a DJ to play music that soothes or entertains your guests. Ask a friend to help you put together a collection of favourite music that would suit the occasion. You can stream it using your own player or use the sound system if the venue has one to offer.
Wedding favours are another aspect that needs to be considered. Extravagant gifts will make a dent in your wedding budget. You can skip this expense completely or choose gifts which are not too lavish yet serve the purpose.
Another expense would be the fee paid to the priest/clergy/celebrant who conducts the wedding ceremony. Instead of the priest, you can choose a person close to both of you, (who is a marriage celebrant) from within your circle of family and friends to do the honours. Being pronounced ‘man and wife’ by someone dear to you, will not only reduce costs, it will make the moment eternally special for you as well as your guests.
You should have written contracts/ agreements for huge expenses and read the fine print on refund, delay and cancellation policies. After the wedding; take care to return the rented stuff at the appropriate time. Fines and penalties imposed due to delay add to the expenditure and can be avoided.
A wedding is a joyous occasion to celebrate the union of two people in love. Your near and dear ones are present to bless you and wish you the best in life. Your wedding will not be judged based on how much you spend on it; it will be memorable if your guests feel special and well taken care of. Remember you two are beginning a new chapter of your life; spend only what is necessary and save the rest for your future.
by KC Cox