Setting your wedding budget can be pretty stressful. There are so many items to take care of. Start by determining how much you and your families can afford to spend on an entire day. Set your max budget, and try to stay under that number by as much as possible. When done correctly, destination weddings SHOULD cost a less, however, that depends on the location of your wedding. In this blog post, I wanted to share with you some of the strategies you can use to save some money and stay within your budget, and even have some left over cash you can spend on your new life with your bau.
Tip 1: Simplify the invitations
Instead of hiring a professional company to hand-make your invitations, try going with an alternative option: you can DIY them, or order them through bigger companies, like Vistaprint whose specialty is NOT wedding invitations. Vista Print doesn’t specialize in wedding invitations, which makes them less expensive, yet still a reliable source. For my wedding in Mexico, we use made our own “Message in the Bottle” invitations by buying glass bottles, paper and getting some sand from the beach. This was a fun idea that my husband and I both completed together. ( Look out for that blog post in the near future. )
Tip 2: Simplify the photo and video expenses
Hiring a photographer is one of the most expensive parts of the wedding. Try hiring a local photographer, based on the location of your wedding instead of flying in your photographer for your destination. In addition, try booking your photographer for a given amount of time, versus the entire evening. You will still get all of the stunning photos, but without the hefty price tag. ( Remember, your guests will take a million photos as well, so don’t think that you are going to miss out on important moments of your special day ).
Tip 3: Have your wedding on Friday or Sunday. Avoid high season.
90% of people get married on Saturdays for obvious reasons. However, when planning your destination wedding try planning it on a Friday or Sunday instead. Most of your guests won’t have to go back to work on Monday, since they will be enjoying the celebration with you, and you will save a few extra dollars on the overall costs. Plus, if you plan your wedding on Friday or a Sunday, your wedding vendors will more likely be available, instead of being booked out months in advance.
Tip 4: Check out travel bargains
Instead of booking your trip yourself, work with a travel agent on booking your flight. If your quests use the same agent, you and your guests will receive a discounted rate for their flights, hotel, or both.
Tip 5: Think local
Use vendors from the area in which you will be staying at. Do some research before hand and reach out to vendors ahead of time to see if they will be able to accommodate your wedding. Some local vendors will give you discounts, simply if you reach out and ask for a special price.
Tip 6: Simplify the decor
Most venues include the chairs, linens, and china, table set up and table flowers with your venue. However, do not rely on the fact that they ALL do. When I was researching venues for my own wedding, I found it very interesting that some venues charged extra for simple items like napkins and flower pieces. In addition, really think about the wedding favors: do you want to have them in the first place? Would you want to carry them with you all the way to your destination? Can you get something from local vendors instead? Avoiding wedding favors which may ultimately result in a garbage can. Going “favor free” could be the ultimate way to go about your destination wedding. I personally did not have any favors for my wedding in Mexico. I can honestly say that not one person asked me about favors before/during/after the event.
Tip 7: Keep it all-inclusive
If you can, try booking your wedding in an all inclusive venue. Not only you will save a ton of money by paying a flat rate for everyone’s plate, but you won’t worry about an enormous liquor charge after your wedding. It is a win - win for everyone.
Tip 8: Stick to the same place for your honeymoon
Instead of jetting off to another location with your hubbs, book an extra week in the same resort where you are already staying. You will save money for getting an extended rate, AND you will enjoy exploring the place with your sweetheart in a stress-free environment after all the guests have departed.
Tip 9: Use email, when possible.
Although this tip isn’t budget related, I feel like it is a must-do, especially when planning a destination wedding. Using email saves time, money ( on stamps ), and helps you stay on track and focused on the deals you’re getting. Email works much better than calling you vendors ( especially, if they are overseas ) since you will have the communication in writing, and will be able to refer to it later if you forget one of the details. Not to mention, any major decisions ( like contracts and down payments ) should always have a paper trail.
Tip 10: DIY.DIY.DIY
You can DIY practically anything nowadays with the amazing ideas from Pinterest. You can make your own favors, invitations, aisle runners and much more. If you think that you are simply not creative enough, or don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can still find amazing ideas on Pinterest, and check out Etsy for handmade gifts that will be suitable for you and your bridal party.
The best tip I can give you when it comes to making a wedding budget and sticking to it, is to have a clear and coherent conversation about the expectations with your future husband. Decide on the budget. Break it down, and see how much money you need to save in order to have the wedding of your dreams. Start small, even if it means skipping that delish latte at Starbucks. Keep a consistent track of your expenses and balances. And most importantly, stick to it. Consistence is the key for saving a few extra dollars.
I hope that this article helped you with getting ideas of how to stay on budget. Please comment below and let me know if you loved this article… or if you totally hated it. If I forgot some tips that YOU think should be added in the future, please let me know by commenting below.
Until next week, Anna