Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful events in your life – hence why so many of us hand over the responsibilities to a wedding planner. The good news, though, is that if you give yourself enough time to prepare your wedding, you can do everything on your own and save yourself thousands of dollars. We’ve rounded up some tips to help you get started.
Understand the rules
It might be your big day, but you’ve still got to play by the rules. Speak to the manager at your wedding venue about rules and regulations that you’ll need to follow. For example, you might not be allowed to use flash photography in your wedding chapel, or install a tent in the grounds of the garden before a certain time. Know everything in advance to avoid stress.
Have an emergency book
We also recommend having everyone’s details on file on an emergy book that you can share with friends via Google Docs. Everyone from your wedding venue point of contact to your hairdresser, makeup artist, and dressmaker. Having everything in one place means that if there is a crisis, you know who you can call at the last minute for some advice or service.
Look beyond the big day
Your wedding will be the most important day of your life, but for the rest of us, the world keeps on spinning. Find out whether there will be any major events in your town or city on your wedding day, as this could affect hotel room availability, traffic, and costs. You might want to reschedule your wedding day or go out of town for your reception to overcome this.
Feed your staff
Something else that you might not have considered when planning your wedding is feeding your crew and staff members. Sure, those catering the wedding will already be fed, but what about your photographer, wedding planner, and the band? Consider speaking to your venue and asking about an affordable catering option for those working on your wedding, otherwise, you might have to folk out for an additional 20 covers that can run into hundreds of dollars.
Cut the guest list
We all want to invite all of our friends and family to our big day, but the truth is that it’s hard to accommodate everyone unless you have an unlimited budget. One of the best ways to cut your bill is to remove some of the guests that you’re not so bothered about. If you are spending $100 per head, removing ten guests can save you $1,000. Be strict, remove those “will they, won’t they” plus-ones, and know exactly who will be coming before your big day.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Weddings can run into tens of thousands of dollars, so be cheeky when planning your big day and ask for freebies along the way. An extra hour of a free bar or a couple of free suites for your guests will help you to shave some money off your event, and most parties are happy to compromise and negotiate if it means you’re going to choose their venue/services.
Be flexible on dates
Did you know that weddings held on Fridays and Sundays are as much as 30% cheaper than those held on Saturdays? If you’re spending $50,000 on your wedding, that could mean a $15,000 saving – a big lump sum that you can put towards a house deposit or honeymoon.
Throw a thick skin
research shows that between ten to twenty percent of all guests that you invite to a wedding won’t attend. Don’t take it personally. Everyone has their own busy lives and sometimes, it’s just not possible to get a few days off work to travel halfway across the country for a wedding – even if they’re a close friend. Accept that you won’t be able to have everyone at the event that you wanted – that’s okay. You can still have an amazing time with guests that do attend.
Keep it traditional
It’s natural to want to reinvent the wheel or follow some pie-in-the-sky wedding guide from an online influencer, but sometimes it pays to keep things traditional. From wearing a white dress to having your father walk you down the aisle, take a leaf out of the fairytale princess wedding manual. You can still incorporate some quirks and fun activities to make your big day stand out – check out this infographic from Claddagh Rings on Celtic wedding traditions.
Reserve rooms in advance
If you’re inviting out-of-town guests, you can increase the likelihood of them attending your event if you can guarantee a room. Some hotels allow you to block book rooms at a reduced price point, which is a great way to save money. A month or so before your big day, you can then release rooms that were unbooked so that you don’t have to pay over-the-odds. Always read the T&Cs to ensure you’re not entering into an unfair contract before you start booking.
We hope that these wedding planning tips will give you some food for thought. Best of luck!