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Wedding Ideas to Help You Save Money on Your Wedding Planning

Wedding planning can be a challenging exercise, not to mention an expensive one. Having a budget is essential but sometimes your budget just can’t quite accommodate all the wedding ideas you have in mind. Wedding planning becomes a matter of compromise, saving money in one area so that you can spend more in another, or saving money on the overall expense of the day.

The simple wedding ideas below will help you to save money on your wedding planning.

Wedding Reception

Wedding receptions can account for a significant amount of your overall wedding budget, usually around 40-50%. Wedding ideas to help reduce the amount you spend on your wedding reception are:

  1. Select a venue that doesn’t charge a hire fee – Some hotels and restaurants will waive the venue hire fee if you achieve a minimum spend on food and beverages. This can save you hundreds (if not thousands) but you must be sure that the minimum spend they need is realistic for your wedding reception. Alternatively, other venues may not require a venue hire fee at all.
  2. Opt for a venue that doesn’t require much decoration – Decorations and theming can really add up. By choosing a venue, such as a restaurant, that has stylish decor you won’t need to worry about spending a fortune on hiring chair covers and cloths to cover ugly trestle tables and chairs, or other props to dress up an otherwise boring function room.
  3. Host a cocktail reception instead of a sit-down meal – Serving your wedding guests a two- or three-course dinner can cost upwards of $65 per guest. By hosting a cocktail reception and serving canapes instead you can easily save yourself around $20-$30 per guest. Another advantage is that a cocktail reception requires less space than a seated reception, so you can hire a smaller area and potentially save on your venue hire fees.
  4. Get married on a Friday or Sunday – Saturday afternoon or evening is the most popular time to be married. Venues know this and they impose a higher minimum spend on Saturday. By having your wedding reception on a Friday or Sunday (or even mid-week if it suits) you will reduce the amount that the venue insists on receiving by thousands of dollars.
  5. Avoid serving spirits and limit wine selection – It’s not necessary to have an open bar for your wedding reception. The biggest cost saver is not serving spirits at all, or if that doesn’t sit well with you then just serving them for the first hour. By limiting the wine selection in advance you can eliminate the possibility of your guests requesting premium wines that might blow your budget out.

Wedding Dress

Many brides spend thousands of dollars on their wedding dress and that’s fine if that’s your choice. However, if you’ve looked around at dresses and decided this is an area where you haven’t budgeted enough, consider these money-saving wedding ideas:

  1. Buy a pre-loved wedding dress – Take advantage of those women who spent thousands and now need to recoup some money. They’ve worn their dress once and had it professionally cleaned. The dress still looks as good as new but costs around 50-75% of the original price, sometimes even less. This is a great way to pick up a designer wedding dress at a fraction of the retail price. Pre-loved wedding dresses can be found listed on the seller pages of many wedding directory websites.
  2. Buy from a bridal outlet store – If it’s last season’s (or last year’s) wedding dress style it will cost less. By buying from a bridal outlet store you can save yourself hundreds off the retail price. The dresses may be classed as old stock but they’ve never been worn and the basic styles don’t tend to change too much from year to year.
  3. Wear an evening gown instead of a wedding dress – There are some stunning evening gowns available, which can look just as elegant as a wedding dress but without the wedding dress price tag. While many evening gowns are available in white or neutral tones, this is the ideal option if you’re looking to walk down the aisle in a coloured wedding dress.

Flowers and Decorations

Flowers and decorations add ambience to your wedding day. They are a lovely inclusion but can be budget breakers. Some budget relief can be found in the following wedding ideas:

  1. Forget formal floral arrangements – Instead of paying a fortune for a florist to create floral centrepieces for you, consider buying loose flowers and leaves from a flower market. These can then be placed or scattered on the tables at your wedding reception. As long as you keep the layout simple, the venue will often be willing to place these for you at no (or minimal) extra cost when they’re setting the tables for your reception. If not, enlist the help of a couple of good friends to go in and place them for you.
  2. What decorations can your wedding venue offer you? – Many venues that regularly hold weddings often have their own decorative items, such as candles, candelabras, fairy lights, coloured table cloths and chair covers, already available for you to use. Some require you to hire them for a small fee, others include them in your function package at no extra cost.
  3. Scour discount and craft stores – These stores often have items at bargain prices that, with a little creativity, you can turn into a striking table centrepiece or unusual prop to decorate your wedding reception. Discount stores are great for inexpensive glass bowls, vases, candles and candle holders. Craft stores sell all kinds of interesting items such as mini painting easels (to display your place cards or menus), beads and ribbons, silk flowers, woven baskets and boxes, and a wide range of decorative paper and cardboard.

Wedding Stationery

Design, printing and mailing costs associated with wedding stationery can be exorbitant and it’s very easy to go overboard without realizing it. Here are some wedding ideas to keep your costs well within the budget:

  1. Do you need to print them? – Traditionally, people choose to print wedding date claimers, invitations and RSVP cards for their guests, which then require envelopes and postage that can significantly add to the expense if you’re looking at having a lot of guests. Instead, why not design your own invitation as an electronic document that can be emailed to your guests. Guests then respond via phone or email, saving paper and postage.
  2. Check out the do-it-yourself options at stationery stores – Stationery stores carry a vast range of beautiful papers and cards. You can easily create your own invitations by overlaying paper printed with your wedding details (through your standard computer printer) to decorative card for a personal touch.
  3. Consider creating your own wedding website – Wedding websites are growing in popularity and are available for a small subscription fee from many wedding directories. Basically you create a website all about your wedding and include all the various details about the hen’s and buck’s parties, ceremony and reception. You can then create, within the website, invitations for these events and email them to guests. The website can even collate RSVPs for you.

If you’re still looking for more wedding ideas then take a look through bridal magazines for inspiration. Many of the items shown in the magazines can be bought inexpensively online, or you can get creative and make them yourself.

3 Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Once I was out of high school, I cannot recall a time period when I was not “planning” my wedding. I doubt that I am the only girl in the world who would take trips to the large bookstore in the area, pick up a stack of wedding books and magazines, and look through them with a friend as we dreamed and sipped our lattes. Finding wedding ideas on a budget is an important part of the whole process. Follow me now as I share some creative wedding ideas on a budget.

The Flowers

Flowers can be a very costly part of a wedding. Here are just a few wedding ideas on a budget for flowers.

  • A spring wedding can save money as flowers are all around you.
  • In a fall wedding, leaves and bare branches may be used.
  • For a winter wedding, you can make use of pine boughs, tulle, and lights, creating a simple yet beautiful look.
  • Artificial flowers can save a lot of money especially if you use the great specials found at hobby stores.

The Decorations

Decorations can be a very important part of the wedding. Here are some wedding ideas on a budget for decorating.

  • Keep it simple
  • Use more greenery instead of flowers
  • Use white lights and tulle. It adds class at a low cost.
  • Use what you already have. Integrate your own personal style into the wedding.
  • Hit the thrift stores. They are a great place to find glass vases and other items that would add to your wedding.

The Food

The food for a wedding depends a lot on where you are from. My being from the Midwest, it was expected that I have a meal for my wedding. In the South where I lived for a time, they often have cake and hors d’oeuvres. Here are some wedding ideas on a budget that will help keep those traditions.

  • Instead of having a large wedding cake, use double layer cakes with a tall candle in the middle. Put them on every table as a centerpiece. You can put them on various cake pedestals you borrowed from friends.
  • If you still want to have a wedding cake and use the cakes as centerpieces, have a small tiered wedding cake specifically for family.
  • Rather than using a caterer, ask several family and or friends to make you and your spouse’s favorite dishes.
  • If you feel you need a meal, use heavy hors d’oeuvres in a buffet.
  • If you want a served meal, just do a main course rather than three courses, and have the cake served.

Finding wedding ideas on a budget is very important…and you’ve done that! But how are you going to use them? That’s the key.

Summer Wedding Ideas

Summer weddings are always more preferred because of the versatility in wedding themes and ideas during this time of the year. With the abundance of nature blooming in the surrounding area, a pleasant summer wedding is easier to put together. Not to mention, the beautiful warm outdoor weather is always conducive to a celebration and outdoor ceremonies.

The most popular theme for a summer wedding is a beach themed wedding. For a beach themed wedding choose a public or private beach for your wedding. Set the beach wedding theme from the very beginning. Let the beach wedding theme reflect on your invitations and stationary by adding sea side elements and decorations to them. You will save on the wedding decorations for a beach themed wedding as the beach itself will set the scene. Add subtle touches to your tables and centerpieces with seashells.

For your menu, definitely seafood in your menu and there are some fabulous wedding cake designs with a beach theme. Select a cake topper that reflects seaside elements to tie it all together. To top it all off make sure to give out wedding favors with a beach theme such as a sea shell gel candle. The most fun part of a beach wedding affair is picking out wedding favors. There is an abundance of beach wedding favors to select from. For a formal beach wedding give sand and seashell tea lights and use personalized Adirondack chair tea light and place card holders to guide your guests to their table at your beach wedding reception.

If you are having a casual affair, give out seashell bottle openers or seashell gel candle favors. Another great part about beach weddings is that you can incorporate the beach theme into the bridal shower or bachelor party as a precursor to the beach wedding. Fun beach bridal shower favors are perfect pair flip flop candles or for a more elegant favor give French lavender bath salts in a seashell. For the guys, tropical shirt candle favors are great. One of the best beach wedding favor is for the bride and groom to take on their honeymoon, Just Married Sandals. Just Married Sandals are also great for the guests at a casual wedding on the beach. Most popular beach wedding favors can found at Chic Wedding Favors.com.

A beach wedding or a nautical wedding theme can be a lot of fun. It’s easy to be whimsical and more relaxed with a beach wedding. However, if you want to go all out, a formal beach themed wedding can be a gorgeous affair. Beach wedding ideas are available in abundance. Whether you are getting married during winter or summer, you can incorporate the beach theme into your wedding to create a beautiful wedding affair. Make your beach wedding fun or elegant with creativity.

If you are not crazy about the beach or the ocean is just too far away, a mid-summer wedding theme is beautiful. A mid-summer wedding theme should be magical. For this theme combining nature and old-world charm, choose an outdoor venue and have the ceremony under a flower-covered altar. Choose mid-summer motifs such as butterflies, vines or even fairies for your stationery. Use the brightest summer blooms for flowers, decorations and bouquets. Brides can use fresh flowers in their hair instead of other accessories. A summer-themed cake using fresh flowers or fruits, a light menu with lots of fresh fruits and cool drinks or ice-cream will complement the theme perfectly.

In a beautiful garden in the summer afternoon, the most elegant wedding favor idea is intricately carved sandalwood fans. More recently, the sandalwood fan wedding favor has become very popular for Spring Weddings, Garden Weddings, Summer Weddings, Outdoor Weddings, Beach Weddings, and other weddings with themes. The Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favor is a great idea for large weddings, as it is a fairly inexpensive wedding favor. If the favor can not be handed to all your guests, then your bride’s maids would look beautiful holding them also. The Sandalwood Fan also makes a nice bridal shower favor and is appreciated by the ladies at a bridal shower any time of the year. Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favors have become increasingly popular with both large and small weddings. Its beauty enhances the most formal and elegant weddings as well as simple lighthearted wedding affairs. The Sandalwood Fan Wedding Favors are easy to turn into your special and personalized wedding favors.

Whether your style is formal or stylish and informal, a summer wedding can accommodate an abundance of ideas and themes. Wedding favor and accessories markets make it easy to find ideas and embellishments for your special occasion. Designers and wedding planners like Event Trendsetter can help put it all together for you. The summer is a great time to plan a wedding. Let your imagination run wild with the summer breeze!