I’ve already talked about how to set your budget, but now I want to talk about how to cut costs and make room in your budget. You’ve figured out your budget with your sweetheart and family, and you’ve got a rough draft of the guest list, so what happens when you realize that you don’t have enough room in your budget for the perfect wedding you pictured in your head?
Here’s what you DON’T do:
1. Don’t skip on hiring a wedding planner.
Your wedding planner is not only going to take the stress off of the planning process, they’re also going to remember things you may have forgotten, find the budget-friendly option to the Pinterest-idea centerpieces you picked out, and manage everything once wedding day actually comes. Cutting your wedding planner is much like cutting the director of a movie. Sure, everyone might be able to pull off their own part of the film, but who’s going to make sure it all comes together the way it’s supposed to?
2. Don’t opt for having a friend photograph the wedding.
I can’t say this one enough! Other than the love in your hearts and a piece of paper showing you’re committed to each other, pictures are the only thing that will be there after your wedding day. This is what you’ll pull out to show family, friends, future children (maybe even grandchildren), and who knows who else. You will absolutely regret not hiring a professional for this.
3. Don’t minimize your guests’ experience.
These people have dressed up (at least somewhat), driven to your venue, sat through a ceremony that, let’s face it, they didn’t have to see, and given up their night (probably on a weekend). Let’s also factor in that they may have taken off work, had to find childcare, and even bought a gift. Why did they do all of this? Because they love you. These are the friends and family that want to support you on this happy day, so don’t cut costs by giving them food your dog wouldn’t eat or a miserable time. Keep it fun!
So now what? That eliminated all your ways to cut costs, right?
The answer is simple: cut your guest list.
Seems crazy, right? How could you not invite your mother’s fifth cousin’s girlfriend who you met that one time when you were 12? See how crazy that sounds? There are inevitably people you can cut from your list. The average bride is spending roughly $200-$400 per guest. Just cutting a table of 8-10 can change your budget drastically, and chances are you probably won’t miss those couple of people that much. If you’re not sure what to tell those people, let them know that it’s immediate family only, you’re keeping your budget small, or that your venue only allows so many guests. Make an A-list and a B-list, check the numbers with your budget, and decide where to make those cuts!