Weddings are EXPENSIVE y’all. When I first began planning our wedding my dad and I sat down and made what we thought was a reasonable budget. $500 for a DJ, $1000 for a cake, etc. Little did we know, we were completely wrong about estimating the prices of things. Sure you can find a DJ for $500, but he’s probably going to be super unprofessional and not bring his own equipment.
So after a slight reality check, we had to reevaluate our budget. Some of the best advice I got when planning our wedding was to pick 3 non-negotiable items. Once you have those everything else can be negotiated on. Our three non-negotiables was a photographer, location, and the perfect dress. These were things that were not changing, but if the flowers I wanted were too expensive I could change it or if the caterer was booked I could find a new one.
This helped everything stay in perspective. Now, no matter how the wedding turned out I would be happy because my non-negotiable items were met. With that being said, here are 5 things that you can 100% save money on.
Jared and I were pro-alcohol, but since both of our families don’t drink this was something that we were going to have to pay for. After speaking with our venue and pricing everything out, it just was too expensive. Sure our friends probably would have danced more, but if they need alcohol at our wedding to have fun then they probably aren’t true friends.
No one ever goes to a wedding expecting amazing food, so don’t go crazy. We went with a fajita bar at about $17 a person (which was the cheapest we could find on our approved vendor list from our venue) and everyone loved it. Jared and I both come from a long line of picky eaters, so something like a buffet is perfect for people to pick and choose what they want. It’s also less stress on your end because you don’t have to ask people what they want on the RSVP card. Don’t stress yourself out about food and don’t break the bank because at the end of the day, no one is going to remember what they ate for dinner at your wedding.
This is another easy place to go over budget. Yes, the linens set the tone of the space but there are definitely ways to get creative for staying in budget. We had basic navy tablecloths for all the tables and splurged on the head table with a satin blush tablecloth. We upgraded the napkins on the tables to match the head table which was much cheaper than splurging on the tablecloths for every table. We also gave everyone plain gold chargers while the head table got special glass beaded chargers. Think outside the box in order to stay in budget.
Many venues will provide basic chairs, our venue provided basic white tea folding chairs. We had the option to upgrade gold Chiavari chairs, but again who’s going to remember the chair they sat in? I say save your dollars on chairs.
Lastly, our venue offered a basic lighting package with simple uplighting or an advanced lighting package with LED colored lights. We went with the basic lighting package because it was initially cheaper, but then as I started to think through it, all of our photos would have turned out with a hue of whatever color we had chosen, which I think I would have later regretted. So sometimes it pays off to pick the cheaper option!
I hope this is helpful to you! I think budgeting is one of the hardest parts of wedding planning!