By LaTina Emerson, The Shopper Deals
When many people envision their wedding day, they probably picture the perfect dress or tuxedo, venue, flowers, cake and food. However, wedding costs can quickly add up, and couples can easily spend thousands if they don’t find ways to save money.
If you’re on a tight budget or simply want to save your cash for your honeymoon, a down payment on a home or other expenses, here are some tips on how to save on your wedding day:
• Don’t have your wedding ceremony on a Saturday. Getting married on a Friday or Sunday will save you a few thousand dollars.
• Avoid peak season prices. Get married right after the wedding off-season, which occurs January through March, to avoid higher peak season prices. In general, wedding season begins in late spring and continues through early fall, with weddings peaking in June and September.
• Don’t rush. Couples can save a lot of money by having a two-year engagement. They can book their venue and caterer far in advance while prices are cheaper, and they’ll have time to save cash from birthdays, Christmases and tax returns. They can also wait to receive deals on items such as save the date cards and invitations.
• Get married at the courthouse. You can still wear fancy attire and invite guests, but this budget-friendly venue makes things easier and eliminates the stress and costs of a formal wedding ceremony. Then, have a small reception for your family and close friends. You’ll also have more money for the honeymoon.
• Hold your ceremony and reception in the same place. This prevents transporting the bridal party and worrying about out-of-town guests getting lost. If you get married in a hotel, flowers can easily be moved to the reception area and you might get a deal on food, if a lot of guests book rooms in the hotel. This location could also be used for the rehearsal dinner.
• Shop for white dresses that aren’t wedding gowns. Buying a prom dress or white bridesmaid dress and embellishing it, rather than buying an official wedding gown, can save thousands. Or, find a previously-owned dress on Ebay, Once Wed or PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.
• Find ways to save on your wedding cake. Rather than having a large, tiered wedding cake, have someone make the top layer for a pedestal plate and then have sheet cakes for caterers to cut and serve to guests. Or, have cupcakes or cookies instead.
• Take advantage of the grocery store. To save money, order your flowers and cake from a grocery store rather than a bakery or florist.
• Limit alcohol options. Instead of offering guests endless alcohol choices, have only beer and wine or one signature drink.
• Choose a venue that doesn’t need much decoration. Also, if you get married around the winter holidays, many venues are already beautifully decorated.
• Make your own bouquets and centerpieces. Purchase and arrange your own flowers or get help from someone who is crafty. Another economical option is potted plants in Mason jars as centerpieces.
• Shop at big sales. You can save lots of money by purchasing bridesmaids’ gifts during Black Friday sales or buying holiday dresses during the holiday shopping season that can be used as bridesmaids’ dresses. Also, shop online, such as on Amazon.com, to find deals on items such as ties and pocket squares for groomsmen.
• Get secondhand items. Borrow décor from friends and family members who were recently married.
• Seek help to reduce costs and fees. Delivery fees can quickly add up, so ask someone to help with picking up the flowers, dessert, etc. Also, allow loved ones to offer their services in exchange for a wedding gift, such as making the wedding cake or groom’s cake or serving as the DJ.