1. Marry in the ‘off season’.
Many venues offer cut price options if you marry between May and September (Wedding Season is considered October to April). You don’t have to contend with things like crazy hot weather ( this will be welcomed by the Groom who may be wearing a suit), you are less likely to have a stuffy and hot reception and the chance of sunburn is greatly reduced! Also brightly coloured autumn leaves can create a beautiful backdrop for your photos and cooler days make for great skin tones in your photos.
2. Host your reception earlier in the day.
People are less likely to drink up large during the day and lunch menus tend to be more affordable than dinner menus.
3. Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue.
Apart from less traveling time and guests getting lost on the way to the reception, you won’t have to pay for 2 venues, they may even give you a discount if you’re there for longer.
4. Have your wedding at a non-traditional location.
Beach weddings are wonderful and very relaxing. I also can suggest Long Bay in Auckland as a venue. They have covered areas that you can book via the council in case of rain.
Why not consider the restaurant you had your first date at!?
5. Ask your guests to bring a plate rather than gifts.
This will save you a bunch on catering and the headache of choosing a menu that suits everyone’s taste and dietary requirements. Consider suggesting the type of food each guest should bring so you are less likely to end up with 10 green salads!
6. Buy a second hand dress.
After all you’re probably only going to wear it once and it’s likely to have been worn only once before you. Also consider renting a dress for the day.
7. DIY as much as possible!
Of course I suggest this since I run The DIY Wedding Company. DIY makes your wedding special because it’s your personal touch. However I strongly suggest getting your cake made by someone else – try asking a friend who is skilled in cake decorating, the simple Wedding cakes are often the most beautiful.
8. Limit your guests.
If you’re not likely to know them in the next few years, is there any point in spending $100 per head on them?? Set rules on who to invite right at the beginning. Share these rules with parents and other close family members who may be inclined to invite friends.
9. Set the budget early and stick to it.
Weddings can be expensive (we all know this), factor in postage for invites and thank you notes, gifts for people such as the bridal party, the hens/stag do, the wedding car(s), permission fees if you choose to use a public location and possibly add 10% for anything else that may come up.
10. Don’t skimp on what you truly want.
For example; if photos are important to you, take your time to find the right photographer, get references and consider their style. You’ll only get married once so make sure you get what’s important to you. Instead, make your own bouquet to keep costs down.
11. Check out a return policy for liquor.
If you’re providing your own alcohol, see if the liquor store will accept back unopened boxes and bottles. If you’re at a licensed venue, set limits on how much alcohol you’ll provide; offer beer and wine only or pay only for the champagne and soft drinks, if guests want other drinks, they can pay for them themselves. Make sure the staff are very aware of your limits and any bar tab.
12. Enter as many competitions and offers as possible.
Seek out competitions for a free venue, a bar tab, a free wedding dress, free wedding cars, or anything that may reduce your costs. Check out http://www.contest.co.nz/
13. Enlist the help of friends.
Friends and Family may be happy to provide decorations or services rather than Wedding gifts. These types of gifts are more personal but a word of warning: set guidelines on theme and colours but be flexible.
14. Avoid the ‘Wedding’ word.
If possible, try telling them it’s for a family gathering or party before getting a quote.
15. Venues that are free when you spend over a certain amount.
Some venues don’t charge a venue fee when you spend a certain amount. Test the water and see if they’re open to the idea.
I know there’s got to be more ideas on money saving techniques…. share them here in the comments section of this blog.