Your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life but it doesn't have to break the bank.
Here are our top five tips to help you save money and start your life together on the right financial footing:
1. FLEX YOUR DATE
Some venues offer flexible pricing for "non-premium" dates. Saturday is typically the most popular day of the week for a wedding which means it will likely come at a higher price point. But, with a little creativity, you can hold a memorable wedding without the proverbial financial "hangover".
Friday is a great day to hold a wedding. With enough notice, your guests will plan to take the day off, or will leave work early. If you host your ceremony and reception in one location, this will buy you more time to offer a later start time.
Or, as a creative alternative, instead of having an afternoon ceremony, flip the agenda to give you more flexibility. Here is an example:
3:00 pm - photos first - the wedding party and direct family members meet in the afternoon for pictures first. Be sure to talk to your photographer about capturing your "first look" photos immediately. This is that special moment when the bride and groom see each other for the first time in wedding attire.
5:30 pm - Guests arrive
6:00 pm - Aisle Walk/Ceremony
6:30 pm - Cocktail dinner service
7:30 pm - reception/dancing/party
2. DO A BLENDED COCKTAIL DINNER SERVICE
Generally, when people think of a cocktail service, they envision each of their guests getting a few appies and going home hungry. However, a cocktail DINNER service with a mini-buffet is a creative way to ensure your guests easily get as much food as they get with a buffet service if not more. But this is not the only benefit. Here are three other great reasons to host a cocktail wedding:
· Firstly, your guests get an amazing selection of traditional roasts, sides and salads blended with flavourful tapas and mouth watering deserts.
· Secondly, instead of spending your money on the necessary evils of a banquet wedding (tables, chairs, linens, set up, etc.) you can redirect those costs directly towards food.
· Thirdly, a well planned cocktail service gives your guests a reason to mingle and socialize. Your guests circulate around the room to each of the food stations while mingling with other guests. This raises the energy in the room, creates a more celebratory mood and makes for a memorable party that your guests will remember for years to come.
3. BRING YOUR OWN ALCOHOL
The cost of alcohol can really add up. At a wedding, guests have an average of 4-5 drinks per person. At approximately $7 per drink for a 100 person wedding, that could result in a ghastly bar bill of $3500!
Find out if your venue will allow you to bring in your own alcohol. If so, this will bring your drink cost down to approximately $1-2 per drink. Plus, you can set your own prices per drink and the drink revenues go back to you to help pay for your honeymoon or reduce wedding costs.
4. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
Providing all or even just some of your own food can be a great way to save some money, create more WOW factor and perhaps even inject some traditional family favourites. You may want to have your venue or caterer provide the main dishes, but you could bring additional specialty platters, fondues and dipabbles or even midnight sandwiches at a fraction of the catering cost.
Find out if your venue allows you to bring your own food and if they will put the items out for you.
5. DO YOUR OWN SET UP AND/OR TEAR DOWN
If you have a complex set up/tear down, find out if you or your family members can get into the venue early to do the set up in advance. Depending on the complexity of your set up, number of guests and types of decor, doing your own set up and tear down could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.