One of the most expensive things you might ever do is say, “I do”. But walking down the aisle doesn’t have to break the bank. You can still have a memorable wedding without going into debt. We put together some easy ways to save on your big day while still planning an unforgettable event.
1. Cut down the guest list
It’s simple; the less people you invite, the less money you need to spend on food, alcohol and a venue. While shrinking the guest list might be a sore point with friends and family, you can only do what you can afford. Talk to your parents about who you can realistically invite and it they’re unable to fit the remainder of the bill, politely start crossing names off the invite list.
2. Use seasonal flowers
Shipping in flowers from half-way around the world can get pricey. Rather than strain your budget on exotic blooms from Indonesia, ask your florist (or a plant-savvy pal) what’s in season locally. You’ll end up with something gorgeous and earn bragging rights for taking the locavore route.
3. Wed in the off-season
Do you really need to tie the knot in May through September? If not, you could save yourself a pretty penny. Everything during wedding season — from venues to caterers to live bands — is going to cost you more since the services are so in demand. If you don’t mind a fall (or even winter) wedding, you’re much more likely to save on all your wedding day needs.
4. Have a limited bar
A cash bar can feel tacky, but an open bar is a wedding budget hog. Create a healthy compromise by limiting bar service. Rather than supplying every beer, wine and spirit you think guests will want, offer table wine, and one signature beverage you and your spouse-to-be create together. Everything else can be paid for by guests. This way you’re not putting people out, but you’re not losing mega-money paying for all your guests to get drunk.
5. Opt for a small cake
Wedding cakes are expensive. Who knew flour and sugar could cost so much? Instead of throwing away money on a mega-cake, opt for cupcakes or a candy bar instead. If you really want to cut the cake you can still order a two-person cake for the cutting ceremony, which will be much cheaper and then serve guests a sweet treat of your choice. A sweet table with bite-size items (brownies, mini tarts, cake pops) is a fun, affordable choice.
Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers style, beauty, health, travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world. You can follow her on Twitter @JessPadykula.