10 Easy Ways to Cut Costs for Your Big Day
Make your own Save the Date Cards and Invitations
With Kodak picture stations in every Officeworks, designing your own save the date cards and invitations has never been easier. All you need is a selection of your favourite photos together and about 1.5-2 hours to pick a layout, upload the pictures of your choice, and wait for the cards and invites to print. These invites are also really personal because they feature so many great pics documenting your love.
Skip the Engagement Party
While a party with all of your friends and family drinking and eating sounds like a blast, isn’t that kind of what your wedding is going to be? The Engagement Party is a fun tradition, but it is no longer expected of the happy couple to foot the bill for two parties. Instead, find a great local bar that offers free venue hire with a minimum spend and invite friends and family to come celebrate your engagement over a couple of drinks, that they themselves pay for on consumption.
Keep the list under 100
Before you get engaged, an under 100 person guest list sounds like an easy ask, but when you actually get into the list making – brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends from school, friends from uni, and friends from travel for 2 people add up quick. Factor in that most of these guests will be looking to bring a plus one as well, and your list is likely double that goal if not more. Hard choices will need to be made but maybe that cousin from Timbuktu that you haven’t seen since you were eight will have to be off the list, sorry Aunt (Insert aunts name here)!
Opt for Fake Flowers
Using fake flowers will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Depending on how creative you are, you can design all of your bouquets and boutonnières yourself over time in the lead up to the wedding. Give yourself a couple of months so that you can play with different arrangements until you find one that is perfect. If you are less creative, let the wine flow freely and invite over your closet creative friends for help.
Buy a Second Hand Wedding Dress
Second hand wedding dress postings are made to Gumtree every day of the week. Buying second hand may not work if you are on a tight time frame. But if you have long enough, your dream dress, in your size, is bound to crop up second hand. There are also heaps of dedicated second hand wedding dress websites that allow you to search for specific designers and dresses.
Shop for Bridesmaid’s Dresses During Sale Seasons
Boxing Day or End of Financial Year sales are the perfect time for you and the ladies to get out and find bridesmaid dresses. Do your research ahead of time, know what styles suit each bridesmaid’s body type and figure out the cut that will suit everyone. If you know what colour and cut you are looking for before you hit the racks, you’ll be able to cover a ton of ground in a short amount of time; even with the shops being absolute chaos.
Get Creative with Centrepieces
You don’t need expensive floral arrangements to bring together your tables. If you’re willing to spend the time combing through op shops or learning to be an eBay pro, you can easily create table displays that suit your wedding on a budget. Items that are fool proof fabulous include vintage lace, ostrich feathers, strands of fake pearls, vintage bottles, storm lanterns, and metal candle holders or candelabras.
Have a Gold Coin Bar
This is an easy one, a $1 or $2 gold coin donation for a drink will set your guests back less than $20 each over the course of the night. This is not enough to put guests offside while still giving you the opportunity to recoup some of the alcohol costs. This is only an option if you are at a venue that allows for it though. If you are renting a town hall, church hall, or other public space make sure you check with them before bringing in your own alcohol.
Do Your Venue Research
This is going to be your biggest cost. Do you go with a venue that offers a full package of cake, food, drinks, and venue hire? Or is it better to opt for just a venue hire and source your food and drinks yourself? Working to a budget, the latter option is definitely your best bet. It is certainly far more convenient to have everything taken care of by the venue, but you could pay an arm and a leg for this service. Paying venue hire on its own, having a gold coin bar run by friends, and hiring an independent caterer could save you thousands in the long run.
Consider Cocktail Rather Than a Sit Down Reception
Are you getting married in the afternoon? Why have everyone go and then come back for an evening reception when you could get the party started right away? Not only will the transition from wedding to reception be smoother, but you will save a ton on food costs. Cheeses, h’orderves, and dessert platters while offering just as much food to the guests so no one leaves hungry, are a fraction of the cost of having a three course sit down meal. This way there is also less food wastage, so you won’t be paying for food that no one eats.