We know that weddings are expensive. We also know that most of us have to save good and hard to pay for our big day and even then we may not get the fairytale wedding of our dreams. So what expenses can you cut out or down on and still have an event to remember?
1. Large Guest List
Remember, every guest will be a cost multiplier and can drain a wedding budget in various areas. An intimate ceremony is going to save you a lot of money because every single guest will get an invitation, eat food, need to be seated, drink alcohol, and so on. Be sure who you really want to invite on your wedding because you won't even remember all the guests on your 25th wedding anniversary.
2. Free Bar
Having a bar at the venue sounds great, but it will make you spend a fortune. You will end up saving money if you simply stick to wine and beer as the staple offerings. You may also add a signature drink like margaritas or a pre-mixed drink to make things work in an inexpensive way.
3. The Champagne and Cake
It's obvious to feel tempted to pair champagne with cake because it all looks elegant, bubbly, and oh so festive. The truth is that you will end up witnessing barely eaten slices with half-filled glasses on every other table. You will be better off opting for dessert buffets – they can be less expensive, fun, and increasingly popular alternative. You can have a "show cake" though, which is usually a smaller cake offered to family members. They are less expensive and work just fine for those Instagram shots.
Having music at your reception may seem one of the trivial wedding expenses, but it's not. Instead of spending a fortune on having live string quartet, you can cut the cost simply by hiring music students. A local university, school, or music college will recommend some students. Be sure to hold an audition to avoid a disaster.
5. The Favors
You can spend as much as you want to prepare the favors for your guests, but let's face it – those custom-printed favors aren't going to impress all the guests. In fact, you might end up tossing them in the trash or lugging home after the ceremony. Of course, it can be something more meaningful to make your guests appreciate it and take home with them, but that's only going to cost you a lot. A cheap picture frame or a bottle of bubbles may look trivial, but they are useless and are more likely to get left behind by the guests. So, avoid them!
6. The Printed Menus and Programs
Not only can you save money, but save trees as well by skipping the printing. This may look a trivial wedding expense but it will definitely hurt your budget. Save your money here and you may have more to splurge on you food and beverages.
7. Reception Location
Okay, this may not be that trivial, but you need to understand that the reception will run your 42% of your total wedding budget and most of it will be the rental cost of the reception location. You can save a lot of money by throwing the reception in a less expensive or free location, such as the backyard of a friend or family member. Just be careful not to spend all the savings on staff to work the wedding.
Which expense could you really not bear to give up?