3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Silver Light Brass Candelabraor a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and Pink Cake Pops
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

photo booth wedding party bridesmaids girls

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#11 – 20)

11) Use Non-Floral Elements in Your Decor

Non-floral items such as pinecones, twigs, berries and feathers are inexpensive ways to enhance your bouquets and other floral arrangements. Christmas bulbs, paper or fabric flowers, crystals, and seashells add inexpensive, but fun touches.

Bowls and vases filled with brightly colored seasonal fruits are fun and festive, but less costly than floral arrangements. For an Autumn wedding, try bowls of acorns or fall leaves.

12) Order Additional Cakes
Instead of having your wedding cake large enough to serve all of your guests, order one smaller display cake for pictures and your cake-cutting ceremony, and have extra cakes out of sight in the kitchen. You will save money since the ‘kitchen cakes’ aren’t as elaborately decorated. And once they’re all cut and plated, no one will be able to tell the difference.

13) Have a Signature Cocktail
If you want to serve something more than just wine and beer, why not try a signature drink. You can choose a favorite cocktail, or try one that coordinates with your wedding theme – Pina Coladas for a tropical themed wedding or a Gin Gimlet for a Great Gatsby theme.

14) Shop Around for Your Bubbly
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. It’s a festive way to celebrate, but can get pricy. Check out this list of several sparkling wines that taste just as wonderfully, and cost less than $20 per bottle.

15) Beg, Borrow, (Don’t Steal!)

Special keepsakes such as a cake knife/server or toasting glasses are a nice touch, but in reality, after the wedding day most couples just end up putting these items in the attic. They never see the light of day again. Save some cash by borrowing your keepsakes and accessories from family and friends. You’ll also be getting your “something borrowed.” By the way, this little cutie was the same cake topper the bride’s parents had on their wedding cake!)

16) Keep Your Bridal Party Small
Keep the number of your attendants to a minimum. The fewer the people, the fewer attendants’ gifts, bouquets and boutonnieres you will need to buy.

17) Have Your Centerpieces Do Double-Duty

Think about using an alternative to traditional flower centerpieces. Your wedding favors grouped together in a pretty bowl, or individual tiers of wedding cake on a cake pedestal make pretty centerpiece presentations.

18) Downgrade the Fancy Ride
Limousines definitely look elegant, but you’re only going to be in for a short time. You can save money by getting a town car instead of a 6-passenger limo for the bride and groom’s getaway at the end of the evening.

Or rent a premium or luxury vehicle from a car rental company such as Avis or Hertz – you can have it for the whole weekend for a cost comparable to a renting a limo for just a few hours.

19) DJ vs. Live Musicians
Simply put, DJs typically cost less than a live band.

20) More Music Money Saving Tips
For a ceremony and reception that are at the same location, consider hiring a DJ provide music for both. However, if you prefer live ceremony music, choose a smaller combo such as a guitar/violin duo or string trio instead of a quartet, then have them provide the music for the cocktail hour. On the other hand, if you want a live band for your reception, hire only the keyboardist for the cocktail hour.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Use Non-Floral Elements: Washington DC centerpiece openField photography

20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#1 – 10)

1) Choose Flowers That Are In Season

Many popular and beautiful flowers are available year round. However, there are some — peonies and lilies of the valley, for example – that have a limited bloom season, and quite expensive out of season. So choose flowers that are in season.

Also consider using flowers with a similar look. Cabbage roses resemble the pricier peonies and are available year round. Other year-round flowers include: Carnations, Baby’s Breath, Sunflowers, Asiatic Lilies, Dendrobium Orchids and Spray Roses.

2) Put a Limit on the Alcohol Choices
You can save money by serving just wine and beer, instead of having a full open bar. Your guests will be happy and so will your wallet.

If your reception site allows you to bring in your own alcohol, purchase wine by the case as many places offer a case discount. You’ll pay your caterer a corkage fee to pour it, but wine purchased through him can cost twice as much. Most merchants offer a 10 percent discount for buying wine by the case.

3) Let Mother Nature Do Your Decorating

Choose a naturally gorgeous site and save on decor – such as the well-manicured lawns of a country club, or beautiful gardens for outdoors, and an art gallery or historic home for indoors.

4) Have Your Flowers Do Double-Duty
Your ceremony floral arrangements can be re-used at your reception. Pew décor can dress up a seating card or favor table. Bridesmaids’ bouquets look pretty on the cake table. An altar arrangement is perfect sitting in front of the head table.

5) Offer Champagne for Just the Toasts
Only serve a glass to each guest for the toasts. Or just provide Champagne for the head table and parents only. The rest of your guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. Make sure you also offer some sparkling grape juice for the under-21 crowd.

6) Have Your Wedding Earlier in the Day
Breakfasts, brunches, and afternoon teas are delicious and fun, and they usually cost less than evening receptions. The menu usually consists of lighter fare which doesn’t cost as much as a typical reception dinner. Also, they don’t usually last as long as an evening event, so you may save some money on your venue; and people typically don’t drink as much alcohol earlier in the day, so the bar tab will be less.

7) Cake and Punch
A cake and punch reception can be quite inexpensive. This style of reception usually takes place in the late morning or afternoon, and is simple and elegant. You can change it up by serving several cake flavors and designs, and serve a festive punch. Here’s one of my favorites (which I found at Razzle Dazzle Recipes).

8) Avoid Costly Entree Choices
Instead of serving pricier entrees or cuts of meat for dinner, incorporate them into your hors d’oeuvres. You may love lobster, but it will be pricy to serve lobster tail to all of your guests. Instead, serve lobster puffs during your cocktail hour.

9) Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Serve your wedding cake as dessert instead of ordering a wedding cake AND serving a separate dessert.

10) Simplify Your Wedding Cake
The biggest cost of a wedding cake is in the labor – so choose a less elaborate design. Use less costly embellishments such as ribbon or fresh flowers.

Tomorrow we’ll conclude with Tips 11-20.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Choose Flowers That Are In Season: Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Brian James Photography

MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY (That Are Also “Green”)

Here are some easy ideas to save money on your wedding plans, and they’re good for the environment too!

Corner copy
Corner copy is your reception information that is literally printed in the corner (sometimes centered) at the bottom of your wedding invitation. By using corner copy you will save a significant amount of money. It costs about $10, regardless of quantity. Compare this to what you’d be paying for 100 or more Reception cards.

An added bonus is that since you’ll have less items going into your invitation suite, you may end up paying less for postage!

Re-use your ceremony décor and bouquets
You’ve spend good money on something that otherwise will only be used for an hour or so. Get your moneys worth – reuse altar arrangements, pew décor and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as decorations for your reception.

Use non-florals
Candles in lanterns, individual tiers of wedding cake, bird cages for a garden wedding, seashells for a beach/seaside theme, branches, leaves or acorns for a fall wedding are all fun, budget-conscious décor ideas.

Use individual potted plants
Group smaller ones together for centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening these can be sent home with guests as favors. Larger potted plants can be used as aisle décor for your ceremony or a pretty arrangement on the bar or escort card table. Send these home as a special “thank you” to someone who helped out on your wedding day. Since the plants can be taken home and replanted there is less waste – excellent for the environment.

Donate centerpieces and left over food
Check with a local nursing home or hospital. Some may welcome the donation of pretty flowers. Also, if your caterer allows leftover food to be taken off the premises, check with local groups to see who has a program for donating food to local shelters.

Accessories
A special cake knife set or toasting glasses engraved with your names and wedding date are nice, personalized touches for your wedding. However, afterwards these types of items usually end up in the attic. Instead of purchasing something that will only be used once, borrow your keepsake items.

Wedding Gown
Borrow your wedding gown from a loved one or go to consignment shop or ebay to find your gown. If you purchase your wedding gown you can donate it or sell it on ebay afterwards.