Wedding Packages, Other Ideas Can Keep Costs Down

Facchianos Bridal & Formal Attire

SPECIAL DAY: Wedding costs can be kept down with ideas such as smaller cakes and less expensive flowers, as shown in this photo. Other ideas might be to limit guests, use museums or other different venues for receptions, or to be more frugal on food items. Another idea is to have the reception and wedding at the location of the honeymoon.

Weddings on a budget may seem like an oxymoron and probably do not seem realistic when one figures all the things needed for the special day. Most people think “Let’s find everything the cheapest we can and then the wedding will not cost as much,” so they try to negotiate everything.

Wedding vendors do not negotiate because there is a cost to doing business, but most have packages that can keep brides on an affordable budget. I know for wedding gowns there are usually different collections from most designers with different price ranges. For example, one designer has four lines in its collection: the highest price point is called Haute Couture, the next line is called Collection, and the less expensive is called Memories, then there is another called Destinations.

I myself fell in love with a gown that was out of the budget my parents had for my wedding. SURPRIZE! I didn’t even know I had a gown budget before I fell in love with the gown of my dreams. Make sure you know your budget before you shop. I did however find a gown in the designers, not so couture, collection that was less expensive but looked very similar and I loved it just as well.

The gown should stay within the budget; choose from the gowns in your price range. Do tell the consultant helping you what you want and the range you would like to stay in so she can help find the perfect gown.

The highest expenses for most weddings are the location and the catering, unless you are doing the old fashion mints and nuts wedding (mints and nuts means no food, no reception, just mints, nuts, cake and punch usually in the room next to where you just had the wedding).
I have some ideas that can cut cost for wedding budgets. First, you have to limit the guests if you want to be economical. You should not invite just anyone; come up with a basic list and only invite the people in which you want to share your time. That will help your cost incredibly since most caterers charge per person. Then there are lots of venues which do not cost as much than lets say the most popular wedding venue in town. Try places that are different, like local museums, places near some of the local lakes, historical societies, church halls and event centers.

Destination weddings are becoming more popular because you are usually going on a honeymoon anyway so why not invite your guests and get a resort that is inclusive to host it for you. They all have packages and usually great ones if you have a large group. You can check with travel agents for group pricing. If you have always dreamed of a traditional wedding at a reception hall, see about different times and days; rates usually vary.

I would suggest doing an early wedding on a Sunday (Sundays are usually less expensive than Friday or Saturday nights). Then if you do an early Sunday wedding, how about doing a breakfast buffet, or brunch with mimosas served at the bar. If you are planning an evening wedding make it less expensive by serving heavy appetizers or a buffet, instead of having a sit down dinner, which you get charged per plate.

If you have to supply the bar, call around to local liquor stores and see if any will buy back unopened bottles; some do. You can also have carafes of wine (red, white, or rose) on each table refilled by the caterers or wait staff. You can have a late wedding, after dinner hours, and have just a champagne dessert reception with a coffee bar; at Italian weddings they call it the Venetian Hour.

When speaking with your bakery, instead of cake layers as tall as a downtown skyscraper, just have two or three layers and have sheet cakes in the kitchen to serve; also recruit a friend to cut the cake and save costs. You can find cake-cutting directions on the Internet.

Flowers are beautiful for weddings but don’t feel like you have to have a dozen roses in your bouquet; it is very costly and very heavy to carry. Instead use flowers that are in season; they will be much more reasonable. One friend of mine got married and the venue had beautiful tall candelabras that they could use at no charge. The florist insisted they needed roses surrounding the top and the base to the tune of a lot of money. I suggested using baby’s-breath around the top and base and it made for a soft, beautiful, romantic, candlelit room, if I can say so myself. It was breathtaking at a bargain price. Also in lieu of flowers for the guys in the wedding, the new trend is pocket squares that you rent with the tuxedo at the full service bridal salon you choose that are half the price of a boutonniere.

So for all the budget conscience brides out there, do not think you have to spend a lot to get a lot. If you take some of these tips or just get creative yourself, you can have a beautiful wedding on a budget and no one will know what you spent; they will just remember how beautiful it was.

Updated 03-29-2009

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