Holding the wedding of your dreams doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a jaw-dropping sum of money; neither does a budget wedding mean that you have to settle for less. With some research and creativity, you can still hold a gorgeous fairytale wedding without having to empty every cent from your bank account!
Here are ten cost-saving tips:
1. Rent your gown/tuxedo instead of buying one.
Instead of splurging thousands of dollars on your outfit, consider renting it – you can potentially save up to 50% on costs. There might be plenty of sentimental value attached to a wedding gown/tuxedo; however, practically speaking, you probably won’t have many opportunities (if any at all) to re-wear it.
2. Enlist the help of your friends.
If you have friends who have a good eye for photography, try to rope them in! “We saved quite a bundle on our pre-wedding photography, because we have extremely talented friends who were very generous with their time.
It made the wedding a whole lot more personal and fun as well, as we were in the company of people who were genuinely happy for us and took pride in their involvement with our wedding,” Karen Lim, 30, shares. Or, persuade your domestic-goddess best friend to whip up some delicious cupcakes for your dessert table!
3. Go for DIY.
DIY décor doesn’t have to mean shabby – on the contrary, it can add lots of character to your wedding, while helping you to whittle down some costs. For instance, you can DIY your wedding invitations and thank you notes for a personal touch; handmade menus and placecard holders can also add a rustic charm to your reception. Plus, customised wedding favours, such as little jars of homemade jam, are a lot more memorable than the usual key-chains and chocolates.
4. Opt for lunch banquets.
“Hold a wedding lunch instead of dinner – lunches normally come at a lower cost,” Terence Ong, 32, advises. Indeed, as mentioned in the previous article (link), a Saturday dinner banquet at five-star hotels can set a couple back by as much as $2,928 per table. In contrast, a weekend lunch banquet at the same hotel costs significantly less, at just $1,457 per table.
5. Be discerning when it comes to your guest list.
If your purse strings are tight, save costs by limiting your guests to just families and close friends. There really isn’t much point inviting the colleague you’ve barely spoken two sentences to. After all, your guests should be people who feel genuinely happy for you! Plus, many wedding elements are charged per person, so don’t feel obliged to invite just about everyone you know.
6. Consider alternative wedding venues.
While hotels are a convenient option, they are usually costly—not to mention the fact that they can also come across as rather cliché. Go for a budget, yet unique venue instead.
“Consider having your reception at a nice café or restaurant, with just relatives and your closest friends,” Terence suggests. Other venues you can think about include parks, beaches and even your alma mater (especially if you’re marrying your secondary school sweetheart!).
7. Go digital whenever possible.
Make the most out of technology and opt for digital solutions as much as possible: for instance, using Facebook to send wedding invitations is an increasingly common practice these days. You can also share your wedding photos online instead of printing them for each guest. Additionally, ask for digital negatives from your photographer; it’ll be cheaper to print your wedding photos yourself instead.
8. Act as your own DJ.
While live bands are a nice touch, they can also be costly. There is always the option of setting up your own wedding playlist instead. You will be assured that your favourite songs will be on repeat all night! Plus, all you will need to do is to connect your iPod or laptop to your venue’s sound system.
However, you might want to spend some time crossfading and cutting your songs to ensure that one tune segues seamlessly into the next and you don’t want awkward silences between songs.
9. Plan your honeymoon way in advance.
Your to-do list for your wedding might seem endless and daunting. However, planning your honeymoon should be somewhere at the top of the list. This is due to the fact that you can save hundreds of dollars booking flights way in advance. Having more time to plan for your honeymoon also means that you can invest more effort into searching for the best deals.
10. Come up with a budget and stick to it.
The importance of drawing up a budget and adhering to it cannot be emphasised enough. A budget will enable you to prioritise and figure out how much exactly you are willing to spend on each aspect of your wedding. It’ll also help you to resist the temptation of splurging on unnecessary items. Discipline is key!
[Box story] Affordable chic
In order to save money, Desiree, 27, and her husband Fahmi, 29, came up with several cost-cutting solutions for their wedding reception. The result? An affordable, yet stylish ceremony that was definitely a night to remember.
Instead of booking a hotel ballroom, the pair decided to hold an alfresco wedding dinner at a restaurant, under a canopy of glittering stars.
Due to the space constraints of the venue, they decided to keep their guest list short, to around 160 guests. This enabled them to save a fair bit on costs.
Furthermore, the couple chose to customise their own music playlists instead of hiring a live band. They also engaged the help of their more outspoken pals, who acted as emcees for the night. All these made for a cosy, intimate celebration amongst family and friends.
“We didn’t want to spend too much on our wedding, After all, a wedding is really just one night of an entire lifetime,” Desiree says. The couple chose to save the money for rainy days instead – and indeed, you never know when the extra funds will come in handy!
Click here for part 1.