Spring weddings are around the corner and the flowers are starting bloom! Spring is in the air and so is love … and money. Wedding planning comes with a checklist of items to cross off before the big day. All of these items add up quickly and can become costly. Below are tips and tricks we used to save money on our spring wedding.
Save the Dates
About 9 months from your wedding you should be sending out your save the dates. One of the most common save the dates nowadays are engagement pictures with the date. When Kelan and I were planning our save the dates, we had the option of getting a magnet on the back for an extra cost. Why would we pay more for the magnet option when people are going to put it on their fridge with a magnet anyway? Save the dates are just a way for people to do just that. Don’t get caught up in an expensive keepsake or fancy paper. Not everyone is going to keep them after the wedding. Keep it simple, keep it $avvy.
According to Woman Getting Married, the average couple spends $443 on wedding invitations. Say what? That’s crazy! One way that we cut this price down was creating and printing our own invitations. I found a website that had the color tiffany blue pocket invitations and bought pearl and black card-stock. I printed in a fancy font on Word and then assembled copying an expensive format that I liked. In comparison we saved hundreds! Grab your bridal party and family members and work together to assemble.
We had three different options for food at our reception; buffet, sit-down, or family style. We went with buffet for a few reasons. The first reason being it was the savvy move to save money and still providing our guests with plenty of variety. The second reason was our groomsmen, in particular, would be able to eat more than the traditional sit-down dinner option. The appetizers that we had at cocktail hour were also priced out to make the most sense for our guests. In a previous article, I wrote about our decision to not have a wedding cake discusses our wedding doughnuts and ice-cream sundae bar. Why get stuck on something so traditional as a wedding cake that comes with such a large cost? We had the same tradition of cutting a cake at a fraction of the cost.
Cash bar, open bar or consumption bar were our three options. If your reception site doesn’t have the option of a consumption bar, I would put your negotiator hat on because this was a fantastic option. Consumption bar feels like an open bar to your guests, but you put a cap on the amount of alcohol and drinks that you want to spend. The manager let us know when we were getting close to the cap. This option also allows you to see how your guests are pacing throughout the night. Maybe you don’t want to reload the account with only about an hour or so left of partying. At that point in the night it might be the better option to switch it to a cash bar.
Spring Wedding Flowers
The type of flowers for a spring wedding can depend on where you live. Living in New York State and having a spring wedding in late May we were banking on the fact that most flowers would be close to full bloom. We also were strategic about picking our wedding venue so we would not have to price in our own flowers. We got married at a golf course. Beautifully manicured grass, flowers, and grounds that we could let the venue supply the greenery (literally). When we went to purchase flowers for the wedding party, we bought from a local grocery store and picked them up the morning of. Huge savings!
Like I stated above we got married at a golf course and we had our reception at the same location. This decision really saved us thousands. Decorations for our spring wedding were not as needed with the backdrop of the golf course. My amazing bridal party spent hours of hard work making decorations for my bridal shower. Why use them once? I reused a lot of what they made at the wedding/reception venue as well.
Another reason that we went with the reception site that we did was because of their decoration room. They had a whole room dedicated to decorations. When we went to plan with the manager she was able to create the vision that we wanted for centerpieces from a picture I found on Pinterest in her decoration room. All we had to do was order candles that matched our difficult color (Tiffany Blue) to finish off the look.
We also loved the idea of letting go floating lanterns off on the golf course. We ordered these in bulk from Amazon for a really good price. Even though the lanterns did not work well due to weather, it was a great memory! Our guests had a great time watching the one lantern we got off the ground fly through a tree untouched. We didn’t feel like we lost money either by not letting them off because they were so cheap. Plus we got to use them for other family events.
Again we want to stress the power of negotiating on your wedding items. Our reception site also offered a photo booth for rent. In our first couple of planning meetings, we didn’t show any interest in having a photo booth. Then, at one of the last meetings we said that we wanted the photo booth included, but we gave a price that was a fraction of the price and they matched! It never hurts to ask and always start low.
What did you do to save money for your big day?
Comment below! Share with someone you know who is engaged!