Congratulations – you’re engaged! You’ve posted an Instagram photo of the ring, changed your Facebook status and updated all of your Pinterest boards.
Now, the real planning begins. With all of the different choices to make – flowers, dress, venue, food, etc. – the expenses may seem like they’re starting to pile up. But there’s good news: They don’t have to. Here’s a guide to what aspects of your wedding you should save your pennies for, and the ones you should only spend a penny on.
While the idea of a live band is romanticized by almost any movie wedding, the reality is that they’re expensive, and a quality one can be tough to find. If you go with a DJ, you’ll not only save a lot of money, but you’ll have a much wider song selection to choose from that will please your guests. You have much more flexibility with a DJ, meaning ample opportunity to see your nana make a fool of herself on the dance floor.
Although flowers are often highly prioritized when it comes to wedding decorations, floral arrangements are becoming less and less expected in today’s wedding celebrations. Because flowers cost so much (often more than $1,000 a wedding), many brides are turning to other options. From mason jars to candelabras, there are tons of cheap, sophisticated options out there to make your wedding sparkle. To save even more money, buy discounted gift cards on sites like GiftCardGranny.com to places like Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael’s and Lowe’s, and do some basic DIY-ing.
I know it might be shocking to see the dress in the “save” category. You can still snag the designer gown of your dreams and save money. Sites like NearlyNewlywed.com offer hundreds of designer dresses for a fraction of their original retail price. The only catch is that it’s been worn before. You can save even more money if you send it back after the big day.
Bridal Guide magazine reported that cash bars were one of wedding guests’ top complaints last year. When asked the ultimate question – cash bar vs. open bar – wedding planning expert David Tutera said it best: “There shouldn’t be a question on the table right now. No cash bar. Ever. Please.” If you don’t have the funds for an entirely open bar, you can still treat your guests by choosing a bar that offers only beer and wine, or a signature cocktail, free of charge.
Although wedding invitations may seem simple, they can be quite confusing. Is the guest allowed a plus one? Are you offering dinner options? How will you include directions to the venue and the hotel block instructions? You don’t want to forget any details. Also, printing these invitations on a household printer can be a nightmare due to the size and thickness of the paper. Since so many different components are involved in the invitations, it’s probably worth the extra money to have it taken care of by the professionals.
Picture this: You and your spouse are looking at the scrapbook from your wedding on your 25-year anniversary. When trying to cut expenses during the wedding planning process, you let your cousin Jimmy take the photos because he just got a new camera. He did a great job, except they’re all slightly out of focus, and he forgot to get one with the groom’s side of the family. You don’t want to have any regrets when looking at the snapshots of your big day, so it might be worth it to hire a skilled professional to take them. If you want to see things from your guests’ perspective, there’s all kinds of cool technology out there for them to use as well!
Do you agree? Should splurge on a photographer but save on a dress? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!