1. Have a budget. A budget will force you to prioritize. If having a great photographer is important to you, but your cake doesn’t matter, then spend your money accordingly. It will help you plan ahead without going overboard. Everything seems important in the moment and advertisers play on our emotions to make us feel like we deserve it all on this day. We DO deserve a special day, but no one deserves to be in debt.
2. When you were a girl, you may have dreamed about your husband, your dress, your flowers, but did you ever dream about your calendar date? Didn’t think so. A venue on a Friday night can be $1,000 less than Saturday. Any month but June can also be less, and not just for your venue. Other vendors follow the rule of supply and demand. Since demand is up in June, florists, bakers, and photographers may charge more also.
3. Location, location, location. Besides the day of week and month of your wedding, you can also save money by choosing the right location. If you can find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors, you will be able to save money. Try nonprofit venues, such as churches, parks, and museums. You’ll save money and feel better that at least the money you are spending will be going to a good cause.
4. Think about the time of day you want your wedding. It would be poor taste to have a 6 pm wedding and not serve dinner, but a 2 pm wedding could serve light hor dourves and be splendid. Also, a cocktail hour would not be necessary for an afternoon affair.
5. Try cupcakes instead of cake. Not only are they adorable and trendy, cupcakes are $2 a piece compared to a tiered cake that can be up to $10 a slice. Want that traditional cutting of the cake ceremony? I found that Food Lion offered simple yet beautiful wedding cakes that you could use as the top layer. They only come in buttercream not fondant, but really, buttercream tastes better anyway.
6. Wedding dresses are only worn once. You can wear a Vera Wang gown that costs $9,000 or a Vera Wang gown that has been worn once for $900. http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/by-designer/Vera-Wang-wedding-dresses.html
7. Ask the photographer if you are able to buy the CD of all images. For me, buying the CD and printing my own images was cheaper than ordering an album and prints.
8. Flowers can be ordered from on-line florists who work in bulk to save you money. The choices are limited, and you must designate a volunteer to be in charge of delivery, but they are a way to save money. Here is the package I like for a wedding party of 6. http://www.fiftyflowers.com/product/collections/Alluring-Peruvian-Lily-Wedding-Flowers-Box-~-20-Package-_24214.htm
9. I do recommend hiring a professional DJ. A DJ provides atmosphere music and entertainment but furthermore acts as MC of the event and helps everything run smoothly.
Overall, just remember that money does not buy happiness and that your wedding is about a covenant between your spouse, yourself, and God. It is not about spending money to impress other people.