The most asked question that brides and all couples alike ask, of course, is how can we save money on our wedding without compromising on style and quality?
We think that the biggest thing to keep in mind here is that this is going to be one of the biggest days of your lives, so yes, you may be able to save on certain things. But when it comes to a wedding, there is always going to be a considerable amount of money that you must be willing to invest in order to make your day memorable, stylish and classy.
Assuming that you are looking to save money and that you will not be hiring a wedding planner or consultant, the following tips should help when making your bridal decisions.
These are the Top Non-Negotiables.
Your wedding day pictures and videos are NOT negotiable!
While there is nothing wrong with being frugal, there are some key components to a wedding that should not be overlooked and where only the best will do.
Long after the wedding is over, all that you and your sweetheart will have left as recorded memory of one of the most important days of your lives will be your pictures and video. This is what you will look back at as you fondly reminisce together about your magical day, the one day out of your life when you pledged to honor, respect and love each other until-death-do-you-part. It is what you will show your children and grandchildren while recounting all the happenings of that beautiful day. After all, this will be part of their own story, for, without this day, they would not be!
So, when hiring a photographer and or videographer, make sure that they have extensive experience and that know what they are doing. Ask for ample samples of previous work that you can see, so you can decide whether they are a good match for you or not.
Check their ratings, reviews, and complaints, if any.
Not having any reviews or ratings, probably means that they have not been in the business for long, but this does not mean that they are not good at what they do, but you are not looking for good, you are looking for exceptional! If they have been in business for a while, then chances are that you will be able to find all kinds of information out there as to how happy their customers usually are, samples of their work, reviews and any complaints (if any) that past customers may have on them.
Remember also that their business website is a tell-tale mark of their perfectionism, professionalism, and most importantly impeccable work. Make sure that it is modern, chic, happy, inviting, easy to navigate and understand.
If they take pride in their business, it will show on their business cards, website and social media accounts. Their website design should be a clear depiction of good taste, style and finesse.
Let their pictures and work speak for itself!
These are all clues of how vested and how serious they are about their business and most importantly about your wedding, even if they are a fairly new business. When hiring a photographer or videographer you should always be impressed with their perfectionism and professionalism. Knowing that they would never compromise on the quality of work that they will provide for you, is the feeling you are looking for when hiring them!
The investment will most likely be high, but it is well worth it when dealing with nothing but the very best!
But beware, fees don’t always match the quality of work.
Do your thorough due diligence before hiring a photographer and or a videographer for your wedding day!
Do not compromise on food or the “Reception”
Assuming that in order to be as frugal as you can be, your list of wedding guests has shrunk to only very close family members and friends, not compromising on the food you serve at your wedding is very important. Remember that as mentioned before, this is a once in a lifetime event! So, you can skip on the cocktail hour, that is fine, but your wedding dinner should be nothing but sublime. It is the first meal that you will have as a newlywed couple and the very best way to save with this would be to either have it at a fancy restaurant or at home.
If having it at home, make sure to hire a reputable catering company with at least a couple of servers to enhance the experience. Besides, you are not going to be serving dinner for your guests on your wedding day, nor in your wedding dress! And of course, you are not going to have one of your guests, even if it’s “mom”, serving, cleaning and picking up after your guests on your wedding day, big no, no!
Never use disposable tableware, such as cutlery, glassware, and dinnerware.
Oh and no paper napkins, please… Use the real thing and the very best that you can afford!
So what can I skip on?
You can skip the fancy decorations, keep it to a minimum which if done in good taste, under good lighting and with everyone looking their very best, the pictures should look beautiful and your day should be memorable for all of the right reasons.
Having Your Reception at a Restaurant?
If having a small reception dinner at a restaurant (check their reviews!), make sure that you have made reservations ahead of time, that you and your party are all sitting together at a big long table(s).
In this case, a separate private room should be the best option!
A good restaurant is always going to have proper table cloths and napkins, allowing this to be a classy and beautiful sit-down wedding dinner. Make sure that the restaurant has valet available for you and your guests at the time of your dinner, (most good restaurants do) and also make sure that you have picked the very best that they have to offer from their menu. (Whatever you do, NO restaurant buffets please!)
Some restaurants may even place fresh flowers at your request for no extra charge for you and your guests, if asked in advance, of course. If not, they may allow you to bring your own flowers the day before your reception takes place with your own vases if required, so they can set your reception dinner table accordingly before you get there.
Make sure to tip well and give them a good review after.
The tip should be included when paying for the meal beforehand or handed discretely in an envelope to each waiter/waitress. The latter being the case, have a set amount of how much you are willing to tip each server and prepare the envelopes beforehand. Have four ready, just in case, but two may be all you need. However, it is always best to be prepared for more, again, just in case!
Remember that this is not “just not another dinner” with family and friends, this is your “wedding reception!”
With that said, if eating at a restaurant, pay for the dinner prior to the wedding, perhaps half when the reservations are made and the rest a day or two before getting married.
It would be of very bad taste to have the bill come to you while your guests are there or having to get up and leave your guests to pay for the dinner. If it must be done this way, please, make it as discrete as possible, you don’t want to make your guests feel uncomfortable in any way!
If serving alcohol during dinner and of course depending on the amount of guests, a bottle or two of champagne should be enough for the toast and a couple of glasses of wine per guest to drink during dinner should suffice.
Money Saving Tip:
There is nothing wrong with getting married at a beautiful park, on a quiet day and just the two of you!
Go during a time when it is quiet, perhaps during the week. When the light is just right, pick the most beautiful tree that you can find and allow nature to be your backdrop, bring your photographer and minister with you and voilà, you had your beautiful wedding ceremony.
(Check to make sure that you won’t be needing permits from the city to get this done.)
How About My Dress?
Your wedding dress can be simple and simple can be classy, which is better than expensive and tacky. A simple white, ivory (or whatever color dress you are going to wear), embellished with a beautiful brooch or bridal belt, with the right jewelry in place could do the trick and help you look like a million bucks!
If you have any questions, you can always ask our experts.
It’s easy and FREE!