Are you experiencing wedding planning sticker shock? You’re not alone. Many couples are surprised when they begin pricing out all of the elements they imagined for their wedding day. The good news is that with careful planning and a few key decisions, you can find significant savings in your wedding budget. If you’re looking to save money on wedding expenses, follow our tips below to make money-savvy planning decisions. Keep in mind that not every one of these tips will be right for you, so take what’s useful and leave the rest. Happy saving!
1. CUT YOUR GUEST LIST
Reducing your guest count is the quickest way to save money on your wedding. Fewer guests means less catering, fewer centerpieces, tables, chairs, linens, and more. Every guest makes a difference, so think carefully before sending invitations.
2. ONLY SPEND ON WHAT MATTERS TO YOU
Consider which details are most important to you and your partner. Your top priority might be excellent photographs, a stunning cake, or bountiful flowers. Choose 1-3 priorities. These are your “must haves” and should be where you focus your spending. Everything else presents an opportunity to go minimal or go without. Don’t care about a champagne toast? Don’t do it! Not into flowers? Skip the bridesmaid bouquets. Just because it seems like everybody does something doesn’t mean you have to!
3. PLAN A COCKTAIL RECEPTION RATHER THAN A SEATED MEAL
Seated meals are priced per guest and can add up quickly. Consider a cocktail reception with light appetizers instead! This will reduce costs by decreasing not only the amount of food you need, but also tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, table settings, and catering staff. Just make sure your guests know what to expect and plan your wedding timeline accordingly so nobody leaves hungry.
4. CHOOSE A LESS EXPENSIVE WEDDING DATE
Saturdays in the spring and fall are the most in-demand wedding dates. Consider a Sunday or weekday in the off-season to take advantage of the lowest available rates.
5. STREAMLINE YOUR BAR SELECTION
A full open bar can get pricey! Limit your bar menu to wine and beer to bring down the alcohol budget. If that seems too minimal, you can choose to offer a limited selection of liquor or a few specific cocktails so that the bar doesn’t have to be fully stocked. Trust us, your guests will have a good time regardless of the alcohol selection!
6. BE FLEXIBLE ABOUT FLOWERS
Some popular flowers like peonies and dahlias have short growing seasons, which means they are very expensive at other times of the year (and are often shipped great distances). To save money and reduce your wedding’s environmental impact, ask your florist to use locally-grown, seasonal flowers. They should be able to recommend great alternatives to popular flowers to get a similar look without breaking the bank.
7. CHOOSE LOCAL VENDORS
Many wedding vendors charge travel fees if they are traveling a significant distance to get to your wedding. You can avoid these fees by hiring vendors that are located near your venue. Your venue should be more than happy to provide you with recommendations for local vendors who do excellent work!
8. HIRE A DJ RATHER THAN A BAND
Generally speaking, it is less expensive to hire a DJ than a band. This can be a great opportunity for savings and we know several excellent DJs who will keep the party going all night long!
9. REPURPOSE DECOR THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Work with your florist and venue to reuse decor such as your ceremony flowers or backdrop at your cocktail hour or reception. For instance, our moon gate makes the perfect ceremony backdrop and doubles as a great way to highlight the sweetheart table at your reception! Using decor in multiple ways enables you to save money without sacrificing on details.
10. DON’T SKIMP ON PROFESSIONAL CATERING
It can be tempting to hire a basic caterer with stripped down offerings to save money on your wedding, but it can lead to more expenses and cost in the long run. Make sure your caterer is bringing enough staff to keep things tidy, manage the bar, and clean up at the end of the night. A full-service caterer will handle all of these details professionally so you don’t have to worry about these details while you’re trying to enjoy your wedding day!
11. SAVE MORE BY SKIPPING THE EXTRAS
Let this be your mantra: “My wedding doesn’t need to have everything I’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram.” Skip the little extras like ceremony programs, menu cards and favors, which often get left behind and won’t be missed by your guests.
48 Fields Farm is a Leesburg VA barn wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.
Our countryside barn and vast fields are peacefully set in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country.