Wedding planning sometimes require a lot of spending, depending on how big you want your big day to be.
Staying within budget can take some work, but there are tried-and-true ways to make the most of any wedding budget and plan a stress-free dream wedding.
Below are our top 10 ways to maximize your wedding budget.
Ditch the idea of the perfect date: Research has shown that choosing an off-season date can save you 14 to 20 percent on venue rental fees and related costs. A wedding can be just as beautiful on a Sunday in October as it can on a Saturday in June — but for a much smaller price tag. Not to mention, those traveling from other cities will save on weekend airfare by flying on weekdays.
The less the merrier: In theory, it would be great to have your father's co-worker's niece there to help you celebrate, but when on a budget, it's important to focus on quality over quantity. The fewer people in attendance, the more you can offer your guests, so use scrutiny when creating your guest list. Pro tip: for your wedding, the rule of thumb that is to ask, "Have we spent time with this guest within the past three to six months?" This helps to narrow down your close group of friends and then expand the guest list from there.
Buy your dress secondhand: This might not be for everyone, but you'd be surprised at how many people are struggling to figure out what to do with their wedding dresses now. You can splurge on a beautiful designer dress, but you'll only wear it for a day and next it will be sitting in a box in your storage room for the next 40 years. There are many sites now where you can buy secondhand wedding dresses that are just as extraordinary as those from a store.
Go low-key for the rehearsal dinner: Having a fancy sit-down three-course meal isn't the only way to show your bridesmaids and groomsmen that you appreciate them the night before the wedding. They are elated for you no matter what. Hiring a food truck or having a barbecue for the wedding party is equally fine. It's casual, and it's perfect for getting ready for the big day.
Employ a pal: An especially organized friend or relative is a great resource for day-of coordination, and she'll likely feel honoured to be a part of the process. What's more — you'll be able to put your trust in someone who knows you best and wants the day to be as perfect as you do. Usually you just need help coordinating the vendors up until the ceremony. After that, the fun starts and there's really not much to worry about. Pro tip: host a wine and crafts night with a few of your girlfriends to help put together invitations or simple centerpieces. Feed them well, and it will not even feel like work!
Maximize the menu: Having a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres or carving stations will lighten the tab while providing a great atmosphere for your guests to mingle and roam about. You'd be surprised how filling (and delicious) these light fares can be, if done right. You can keep things classy by pairing the finger foods with specialty cocktails chosen by you and your one and only!
Skip the party favours: Many brides go a bit crazy in this department and spend sleepless nights putting together crafty party favours for hundreds of people. What really happens is that half your guests will forget about their party favours at the end of the night, and your parents will end up boxing it up for you and dropping it off at your place the next day.
Try to DIY as much as you can: Embrace the DIY trend by utilizing online tools like Pinterest for creative decorating ideas. There are so many platforms that exist today that can help you plan your wedding from booking a venue to putting together cute, low-cost centerpieces for your table setting — and the best part of all, most of them are free!
Splurge strategically, be scrappy: What's most important to you on your big day? For example, if you consider yourself a foodie, allocate more of the budget to the menu and cut costs somewhere else. There are so many ways to save — you just need to know the tricks of the trade. Buy bulk flowers from your local flower mart. Use instant Polaroid pictures instead of a photo booth. Serve guests a sheet cake but still have a presentable cake to take photos with. Hook up your iPod and playlist to a quality rented speaker system instead of hiring a DJ, just to name a few!
Give credit where it is due: Applying for a low-interest credit card with great rewards can save you some money when it's time to pay for rental fees and book vendors. By using your credit card to pay for some of the more costly wedding expenses (keeping budget in mind!), you'll likely accrue enough points to get some money back to splurge a little more on your honeymoon!