It’s no secret that staying within your budget is far easier said than done. There are certain things you can do, however, to make it look like you broke the bank without digging too deep into those pockets—appearances can be deceiving, after all. Here are five tips to make your day look luxe but cost less.
1. Consider your wedding date.
Getting married in January or February costs less than a summer wedding. (Plus, if you're having a church wedding and you get married close to Christmas or Easter, it may already be decorated with flowers). Similarly, getting married on a Friday or Sunday can cut the cost of the reception venue.
2. Ask for help.
Chances are some of your friends are or have already gotten married, and one or a few of them may have bit the bullet and purchased some decor items. I've circulated some lanterns that I purchased for my wedding to at least two other friends, and another has shared her collection of votives. Still another wanted traditional silver at her wedding, so she asked her mother's friends if they would share their vintage silver tea sets. She collected enough to make centerpieces with them all—just be sure if you're borrowing, you know where it goes after the day is done.
3. Hire a wedding planner.
It may seem like a backwards idea—spending money on someone to help you save money—but planners not only help keep you in the confines of your budget, they also help you save. A lot. When we hired our planner, the first thing she did was renogotiate our transportation contract, and the savings she got us covered the cost of her services. Plus, planners cost-cutting connections with retailers can help, too. “When you hire a planner, you’re hiring their relationships with vendors in the industry,” says Amy Zaroff of Amy Zaroff Events + Design. This means deals, discounts, and upgrades for you.
4. Be conscientious of your decor. Choose flowers that are in season for a more effective use of your budget, and don't be afraid of "filler flowers" such as hydrangeas or carnations. If you really want to spruce up your space, consider using decorated linens from a rental company such as Apres or Linen Effects. The price tag may seem spendy, but the punch that textured linens pack allows you to spend less on other decor items and even flowers.
5. Look for cost saving methods without sacrificing your taste.
There are easy ways to save money without actually budging on something you really want. For example, magnums are more cost effective than bottles of champagne; check with your venue to see if they're open to that or allowing you to bring in less expensive wine with a corkage fee. Don't be afraid to be upfront with your vendors and ask for advice on cost savings. If you sense you're getting away from your budget, talk to your vendors. Let them know you need to cut X amount of dollars and see what they suggest. Don't let Minnesota Nice get in the way of your perfect day!