Before spending $1, you will need to choose the venue. This is the one budget line item which will have a ripple effect on all the others. Venues that specialize in weddings will have more offerings, requiring less vendors. This can equate to saving time and money vs. choosing a raw space like a backyard where everything will need to be brought in, down to the restrooms, flooring, lighting, heat, air conditioning, etc. All locations are not created equal and each offer different services, which when chosen thoughtfully, will help the budget and time spent on planning. Choosing a space which includes a planner, tables and chairs, set up/tear down, décor, lighting, etc. may be a better option. Choosing a lush venue with natural beauty will save tons on added décor and flowers. Additionally, it could be better for your budget to select one that allows you to choose from a variety of caterers and price points vs. those that require in house catering. Also, consider booking a place where you are allowed to provide the alcohol with a one-day license, lowering costs, and taking all the leftovers home!
A few tips on making every dollar count: · Be sure to read the fine print in contracts and ask the right questions… is the gratuity included or optional, are there additional expenses like cake cutting, corking fees, set up/tear down, parking, valet, local taxes, etc.? · Choose to have the wedding and reception at the same place, it can save $3-4K. Forego liquor and instead serve a variety of beer & wine, this can save $3-5K based on your crowd. Consider Sundays and Friday evenings. Having your wedding on a Sunday, Friday, or any day of the week other than Saturday may be your best money-saving idea. It may surprise you, but Sunday is actually a good day to have a wedding, especially if most guests live in your area. Many popular reception facilities and wedding services are booked on Saturdays up to 18 months in advance, however, many places are still available on Sundays and may offer discounts just for booking a Sunday wedding. And remember, guest count matters when considering food, rentals, favors and alcohol.
Photo by Heather Hughes Photography