Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting seasons of your life! Pulling your dream day together usually entails a variety of wedding vendors. Some weddings have up to 21 wedding pros involved in their ceremony and reception! That’s a lot of contact and deposit information to keep track of. We designed this printable with you in mind. Easily record your vendor’s contact information, deposit amounts, and payment due dates.
You have a lot of wedding expenses to plan for. Here are a few tips to save money and stay on budget.
Co-op with other brides
We’ve come across some thrifty brides who share the expenses with other couples getting married around the same time. Both couples pay a portion of the cost and use the same decorations on their respective wedding weekends.
Have your wedding outside of town
Live in an expensive city? Sometimes seeking venues just thirty minutes or more outside of town can save you hundreds (even thousands).
Skip the program
Programs are very lovely, but they’re non-essential. While some guests may save them, most will end up tossing them after the ceremony.
Order in-season flowers
Each season comes with its own set of lovely blooms. Unfortunately, peonies can’t always be in season, but there may be a gorgeous substitute you could find for half the price! Talk with your florist about your dream bouquet and get some input about any less-expensive seasonal alternatives that are available.
Use borrowed items
You know the saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Odds are you have a friend or family member who has recently been married. They may be more than happy to see their gorgeous wedding decorations get a second chance in the spotlight.
Have a breakfast bar
Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but a delicious buffet of breakfast items is less expensive than plated dinners. Think muffins, mimosas, and fresh fruit. Quick, easy, and oh so tasty!
Get married off-season
Fewer weddings are held in the winter. By choosing an off-season date, you may be able to save big on everything from your venue to your videographer.
Setting your budget is the first step to planning your wedding. It’s hard to book a venue, schedule a photographer, or buy your dress until you know how much you can spend!
You and your future spouse need have an honest conversation about what you feel comfortable spending. Are your families contributing? If so, is it a dollar amount? Or are they paying for a particular expense?
Here are a few more things to keep in mind while constructing your budget:
Regardless of the dollar figure, the key is to set a budget that’s manageable for you and your family. You can get creative from there!
Don’t go in to debt
Since this is such an important celebration, it can be tempting to set a massive budget and take out loans to cover expenses. Everyone’s situation is different. In some cases, loans may be necessary. However, if possible, give yourself the wedding gift of minimal debt. Financial stress is the last thing you want to concern yourself when you return from your honeymoon.
Categorize and track your Spending
Once you’ve landed on how much you’d like to spend, break your budget down by category. For example:
- Ceremony- venue cost, flowers, officiant, guest book, decor
- Reception- venue cost, catering, cake, centerpieces, DJ, alcohol, linens, rentals, favors, etc.
- Fashion & Beauty- dress, shoes, alterations, underpinnings, accessories, tuxedo, hair, make up, wedding bands, bridesmaid/groomsmen apparel (if you will be covering those expenses)
- Additional Costs- invitations, postage, marriage license, transportation, lodging, wedding planner or other service providers, etc.
From here you can assign a dollar amount (or a percentage of the budget) to each type of expense. On average, nearly 40% of the overall budget should be allotted toward reception costs.
Track your spending! Whether you use a spreadsheet or a budgeting app, save and enter all receipts/invoices regularly.
Adjust your spending as you go
To keep things balanced, if you’ve splurged or overspent in one category, pull back your spending in another area. It’s also wise to set aside a “rainy day” fund in the event of overspending.
One budget-friendly reception style is the dessert-only affair. Cake and cupcakes are just the beginning. What about adding a gorgeous buffet of cookies, pies, doughnuts, cheesecake, brownies, or chocolates? It’s a great way to bring out the kid in your guests!
Speaking of kids, a “design your own cookie” station is an interactive way to entertain little ones (and the young at heart) at your reception. All you need is:
- A table with a plastic covering
- Sugar or gingerbread cookies
- Frosting in piping bags
- Sprinkles or candy toppings
- cellophane wrappers for guests to take their creations home
Whether you opt for professionally prepared desserts or the home-made variety, make your dessert buffet stand out by finding a charming mix of platters to serve from. This is where you can infuse even more of your style in to the reception. Family members may have luxurious silver, or attractive vintage platters you could borrow. If you prefer a little whimsy, you can usually find out-of-the-ordinary items at antique stores and flea markets.
If you choose to host a dessert reception it is best to note this on your invitations, so guests know what to expect. Also, as some guests may be diabetic, having a few sugar free or savory snacks would be helpful.