How to Save Money on Your Wedding Without Sacrificing Style
by Tori Rogers of Hawaii Weddings by Tori Rogers
1. Select a weekday instead of a weekend. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate rates with your venues and professionals.
2. Sometimes a DJ is less expensive than a band.
3. Consider your wedding to take place during the day instead of the evening.
4. Limit hosted bar options. Although I think you should offer a full bar, even if it is a cash bar, so guests do not leave your wedding to go to the hotel or restaurant bar, host only nonalcoholic beverages and toast with a signature drink. Or, host beer, wine and a signature drink and have the rest be a cash bar. Don’t buy into the idea of a friend or relative bartending at your estate venue unless that person is licensed and insured…most venues require that.
5. Sparkling wine may cost less than champagne for your toast.
6. The meal you offer does not need to be expensive and elaborate, it just needs to be delicious.
7. Opt for an elegant heavy pupu reception instead of a sit-down dinner or buffet. Offer an assortment of foods served at various times throughout the evening, and go heavy on the entertainment to keep the fun happening. There’s no rule that says you must serve a formal entree at your reception, just as long as you provide enough food for everyone to not go hungry. Skipping the sit-down service will keep guests mingling and your budget under control. (Just be sure to tell your guests beforehand that a full dinner won’t be served so they can plan accordingly.)
8. Instead of expensive custom invitations, print your own invitations at home.
9. If you are hosting an open bar, pay for it per consumption instead of per person.
10. Marry in the off-season. High season for events are from May to October, so planning your event to take place during the off season may offer a better chance of finding vendors who will drop their rates.
11. Limit your attendants and guest list. You could save hundreds on the boutonnieres, bouquets, centerpieces, etc.
12. Avoid having your event take place on a holiday. Also avoid high season (May through October)
13. Select a multipurpose venue. If you use one site for the ceremony and reception, you may save on site fees and won’t have to pay for transportation to both spots.
14. Have dual-function flowers. Use your ceremony flowers at your reception. For example, you can use your bridesmaids’ bouquets as part of the centerpieces. The arch piece can decorate the cake table, sweetheart table or buffet table. Pew flowers can be used to decorate the tent poles, head table chairs, etc. Move the large arrangements can be moved to the entrance at the reception, around the head table, near the stage, etc.
15. Understand that not everything will be a bargain. So, pick and choose what you are willing to skimp on and what are things on which you will not compromise quality.
16. Share rentals and décor: Find out if there is an event at your venue the day before or after your event. If so, perhaps you can save on rental costs for tables, chairs, tents, etc. by sharing the costs of rental, delivery and set up.