Tip 1: Schedule your wedding “off-season.”
Nearly 70% of all weddings take place between May and October of each year. You will probably find yourself able to get better deals on virtually every wedding service if you schedule your wedding in one of the “off season” months. Also avoid late November through New Year’s, when hotels, caterers and bands are likely to be busy with holiday parties.
What is the best time to set your wedding?
I would suggest setting the date for sometime between October and mid November and between January and May (avoiding Valentine’s Day, when the flower prices peak). On setting up your wedding date off-peak, you will find yourself in a fantastic bargaining position and you will be able to get deals with virtually every vendor!
Tip 2: Cut down on your food and drinks bill
The easiest way to cut down on your food and drinks bill is to cut down on your guest list.
It may be painful, but the simple truth is that there is no quicker, easier way to control your budget than by limiting the size of the event. Again, your single biggest cost will be reception food and alcohol, so you can reduce that expenditure by reducing your number of guests.
Remember: Single guests who are not in a serious relationship can be invited solo. Also you may invite parents only; and you need not invite anyone who you have not been in contact with in the last four to five years, even if they invited you to their wedding.
Tip 3: Buy a non-bridal gown
Bridal gowns are not the only white dresses in the world. You may find your ideal wedding dress among the women’s evening wear section of a department store rather than your bridal shop. Especially during the last several seasons, while elegant, understated gowns have been in style, the line between bridal wear and formalwear has blurred. You might even find that the perfect gown for you is a more-affordable bridesmaid’s style, done in white or ivory. You may also want to look through the sales, you would be surprised at what you can find.
Tip 4: Negotiate!
When buying anything marked “wedding” it always has a premium attached to it! So please negotiate! I suggest you start at half price and then work upwards. You will be in a better position to negotiate if you have set the date of your wedding during the off-peak season.
When buying diamond engagement rings, you can get to save a lot of money by going online and negotiating with your jeweler. Click here to get a better idea of diamond prices and how to correctly compare them...
Tip 5: Have your ceremony and reception in the same location
There will be no need for limousines or mercedes to take you to the second location. Many houses of worship have halls that are equipped to handle wedding receptions at reasonable fees, especially if you are a member.
Likewise, if you are having a civil ceremony, many venues have got a hall, where you could hold the reception. By doing that, you will not need to buy arrival drinks, as this is often bought for people while they are waiting for everyone to arrive.
Tip 6: Selecting your photographer
Instead of selecting a wedding photographer, you will be able to make a saving if you choose an amateur photographer who is about to go professional and requires experience. Obviously, make sure you look at his/her prior work before making your selection. Ask friends and family and you may be surprised who they know. Going to photography colleges may be a good starting point.
Obviously, you understand that by doing this, you will be taking a slight risk so if you are not prepared to do that, I will suggest you take a wedding photographer, and agree for him to stay for half of the day instead of the full day. This way, you will not have to spend as much as if he stayed for the whole day!
Tip 7: Share the costs of the Church flowers
If you are getting married in church, sometimes you can arrange with other couples getting married on the same day to share the cost of decorating the church. You can also ask the church who normally supplies their flowers, you might be able to buy your flowers from the same supplier, it may be cheaper than your local florist. Also getting married a day or two after a big religious event usually ensures the church is well decorated.
Tip 8: Honeymoon
Ask for “honeymoon vouchers” on your wedding list – some travel firms now offer these. This way, people will be contributing to your honeymoon costs.
Tip 9: Hire the groom’s attire
There is no need to buy the attire, you can rent the groom’s attire between £60 and £90. If you decide to buy it, it would cost you upwards of £200 which the groom will probably not wear again. If the groom intends to wear it again, then it will make sense to purchase it rather than rent it.
Tip 10: Use a venue that doesn’t charge a hiring fee
For example, you could choose your local pub or favourite restaurant. This will save you on the hiring fee, and the cost per head may be cheaper than in a hotel. If you decide to go for a hotel, you can negotiate and get that fee reduced or waived. This will strongly depend on the date you are getting married, you will be more likely to find yourself in a bargaining position with vendors when you are you getting married during the off-peak season.
My book “Saving Tips for a Fantastic Wedding” provides further details on how to negotiate and how to save on each of your wedding iems. The wedding planner tool will help you manage your budget, your guest list, your “to do list” and the groom’s “to do list”.