Making Your Budget Go Further
Alyssa McClure - March 28, 2015
I once had a bride say to me, "I wanted so badly to keep my wedding around $5000, but it seems like you can't even book a venue for that much. I just don't know what to do. I don't have the money." It's a common problem that countless brides face every day. In our very first blog, I talked about how to budget. Budgeting is so crucial. Still, it adds up. So I thought I would take you through the major vendors and talk about some ways you can cut costs in each one. Sometimes, all you have to do is be a little creative, and you can make your money stretch much farther.
The best way to cut costs in this area is to cut the guest list. The smaller your wedding, the easier it is to book a nice venue. If you're like me and cutting the guest list just isn't going to happen, look for some unusual places. Community centers, family farms, arts centers, and other places like these aren't often used for weddings, which often makes them more likely to negotiate the rental fees. I knew a bride whose father fixed up the barn area in exchange for use of a friend's property. Be brave and make some calls. You never know what you might find.
In my opinion, finding your photographer is somewhere you shouldn't cut any corners. A sub-par photographer can make your $10,000 venue look cheap and washed out, but a skilled photographer can make your living room look like the Biltmore. Still, there are ways to save money on your photographer. My main suggestion is not to order an album if your budget is tight. As long as you have digital copies, you don't need them to make up an album for you. Albums are a wonderful memento, but they can cost hundreds of dollars. Right now isn't the only time you can get an album, and digital copies will work until you have some extra money to make an album out of them.
This is the easy one. There are thousands of options besides a traditional cake. One of the most popular is cupcakes! Cupcakes are amazing, typically running only $2-$3 per cupcake, as opposed to $4-$7 per slice of cake. The cost difference is unbeatable. If you are able to part with cake all together, you can even have ice cream catered from one of your favorite ice cream parlors. This idea is amazing, especially for outdoor weddings. Of course, if that is still too much, you can never go wrong with a candy bar. Pick out your favorite candies and display them in clear jars for a colorful and delicious dessert option!
Instead of paying for someone to set up an expensive photo booth, make your own! Set up some chairs in front of a backdrop with a basket of props. You can buy props from any costume store, or even print them out for free online! Then make a sign with a personalized wedding hashtag so your guests can post their photo booth pictures online, and you can keep track of them. They won't leave with a print-out of their pictures, but we all know that social media lasts much longer anyways!
Two words: Sample. Sale. The term "off the rack" can have a negative connotation, but as long as the boutique has taken care of their dresses there is nothing wrong with buying a sample. They often cost less than half of the special order dress and look exactly the same. Depending on how you fit in the sample, it may cost a little more in alterations, but nothing near what it would cost to order the dress. If you see a bead out of place or a piece of lace that isn't starched, never fear, those things can all be fixed with a quality seamstress. Rest assured, you will walk down the aisle looking like a million bucks (even if you only spent $500).
Hopefully this gets your creative juices flowing. Here at Bridal Blueprint, our goal is to give you a foundation to build on and make your wedding special. Let us know if you liked our suggestions, and we'd also love to hear from you if you have other ideas! And if you want some more advice on how to not break your budget, subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and read this to learn the 7 steps to setting a wedding budget. If you're feeling crafty, check out our blog on how to Pinterest your wedding for some DIY help! If you have any more ideas, find us on Facebook, comment below, or send us a Tweet at @bridalbprint to share your tips! You might even get a shout out in one of our future blogs! And as always, happy wedding planning everyone!Share on Facebook