Tips Series: 23 Top Tips for Planning a Great Wedding On a Small BudgetBy Contributor • Sep 3rd, 2011 • Category: Budget
Here is our latest article on Budget Tips
Article by Anthony Coogan
Apart from buying a property, a wedding is the most difficult event that most people have to plan and prepare for. It becomes even more challenging when working to a tight budget. Here are some pointers to help you get the best value for money.
How to Budget:
When working within strict financial guidelines your wedding expenses have to be decided and planned carefully. Whoever is paying, whether it is you or your parents, or a combination of both, it is wise to set a limit of the funding available. Keep an eye on the big picture and be careful not to over commit. Given that the average cost of a traditional wedding is somewhere in the region of ,000, running over by as little as 15 per cent will cost you another ,000. After all, you really do not want to start married life with huge debts incurred by your wedding day.
Create an Expenditure List:
Start by preparing a comprehensive list of projected expenditure for each part of the wedding and this will help you monitor and control the costs. If you change your mind about certain aspects of the wedding, remember to include any extra expenses incurred in your overall budget.
20 Top Budgeting Tips:
1. Invite only the most important people in your life. – No ‘hangers on’.
2: You can use personally made invitations to add that special touch.
3. Be practical when researching and choosing the venue.
4: Try to have the ceremony and the reception in the same place so as to minimize your costs and don’t forget to haggle as most venues are negotiable on price.
5: Use candles and ribbons to decorate the venue instead of spending lots of money on expensive flowers.
6. Keep the food selection simple – to provide a finger buffet is more than adequate
7. Consider a less extravagant cake – are 4 tiers really necessary or will 2 tiers be sufficient?
8. Champagne is only for making the toasts – serve less expensive drinks the rest of the time. Also consider substituting Cava for Champagne, the taste difference is minimal but the price difference is great.
9. Is it really necessary to video the wedding proceedings? Photographs in the album are equally as memorable and if several people are taking photos you will have a good selection to choose from.
10. Recorded music presented by a DJ or Karaoke entertainment is just as good to dance to as a live band.
11. Ask a family member or friend to be Master of Ceremonies for the day
12. Borrow a friend’s classy car to get you to the venue instead of hiring an expensive limo for the event. Adorn it with ribbons and special touches to make it look the part.
13: Always get 3 quotes for every wedding day purchase over 0. This tip alone can save you many thousands of dollars and involves just a couple of extra phone calls each time you book a service.
14: Examine how much of the wedding services can be done ‘in-house’ by you and your family. Eg: Invitations, order of service, favors, balloons, cars and photography.
15: Hire your wedding dress and your bridesmaid dresses. 99% of wedding dresses that are bought end up in the loft or the garage. Hiring dresses will save you a small fortune – yet the quality will remain the same.
16: Use wedding planning software to help you organize your expenditure and help your planning. There’s loads of good, cheap wedding planning software on the market.
17: Don’t offer a free bar at your reception. Just give the guests wine with the meal and a drink for the toasts.
18: On your wedding list why not state that you would like some of your wedding services as gifts? Eg: what about wedding favors as a gift?
19: Instead of a honeymoon, why not consider a ‘honeybreak’ – a 3/4 day break way together to re-charge and have lots of ‘love ins’. You could even add this to your wedding list as an option – you’ll get plenty of takers as it’s a memorable gift!
20: Consider getting married on a day other than a Saturday. We used this tip to save 20% off the cost of our wedding – we got married on Easter Monday and had a ball!
21: Get extras thrown in when you make a booking or purchase. For example, when you book your hotel make sure the bridal suite and some guest bedrooms are thrown in free of charge.22: Give people the option of giving you checks/ money instead of wedding gifts. You’ll be amazed that the money frequently outstrips the value of any gifts you might have got!
23: Downscale on your services without sacrificing quality. Downsize your numbers, downsize the transport, downsize your honeymoon. You’ll be surprised how much excess can be trimmed from a top drawer budget by using this method.
Remember, careful monitoring and control of your expenses whilst at the planning stage will undoubtedly go a long way to keeping within your budget and making your special day a great success. Always allow 10% on your overall budget after cost saving – as there’s always going to be hidden costs and services that you’ve forgotten to budget for initially.
Anthony Coogan has been involved in providing classical and contemporary music in the UK and Europe for the last 20 years. String Quartets Live developed as a result of his classical music training coupled with his experience of playing at hundreds of weddings over the years.
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