In the age of Pinterest and The Knot, we have seen the cost of planning and hosting weddings dramatically increase. We all see extravagant photos of elaborate floral décor and hand painted invitations that we just have to have. The sky has become the limit! The number of wedding artists (as we like to call them) has increased tenfold in recent years and they are inspiring us all. We all want that truly unique wedding experience. The one that leaves everyone talking about how in love we are and how amazing our wedding was down to the last detail! Is it possible to have that kind of wedding and still have a reasonable budget?! Do you really have to be a Pinterest professional to make your wedding unique?
Recently, we were asked to consult with a bride and groom who approached us with a tight budget that they really wanted to adhere to for their event. Of course they wanted it to be lovely, but the focus was on the vows themselves and they were not overly concerned with extras that go along with them. We were challenged...how could we guide them to their dream wedding on a budget? After much research we have some tips to share with all of you budget conscience couples out there!
1.Keep your numbers small and your event intimate.
Of course when you are planning a wedding you want to invite everyone that you have ever known to celebrate with you. Why not, this is the biggest party of your life! Take a breath, and think about the relationships. How many of those people on your list have been in your life for years, and will be for years to come? Those are the people you want to have witness your commitment. When you are looking at a per person cost for weddings they can range from $100 per person to over a $1000 per person. That cost includes your entire budget (venue rentals, food, flowers, décor, beverages ,transportation, entertainment, etc). Some of these costs are fixed, but many are variable based on your head count. Something to consider is that the fewer the number of guests you have attending, the more money you have per guest to achieve your goals.
2. Smaller the size...the bigger the options!
Think outside of the box! Host your wedding in your church, a public park, or a friend’s
backyard and then reserve a private room in a local restaurant and splurge on the food and beverages. One of our favorite finds during this research process was a small historical chapel located on a town square near Austin. This quaint little chapel shared a parking lot with a fantastic bed and breakfast that was owned by a local chef and caterer. The parking lot could be tented to allow for a reception area that flowed between the Church and the B&B.
3.Watch the time of your wedding ceremony.
Guests expect to get fed! Dinner and luncheon menus are highest in cost. Consider a brunch or a tea menu and adjust your wedding time to suit that choice. Some of the most unique and memorable events that we have seen lately have involved alternate wedding times that are built around the tea or garden party theme. This concept can even work in the fall months if you plan with a purpose!
4. Put the money into the area where you spend most of your celebration time.
Everyone loves beautiful ceremony flowers and elaborate music at ceremonies, but
that is such a short time frame compared to the rest of your event. The reception is where your guests spend the majority of their time. Get the most impact for your money by making wise choices. Our first suggestion is to use primarily greenery at your ceremony location, or a mix of greenery and candles. Some locations lend themselves to fantastic rental chandeliers or some other form of lighting. Let those pieces be your statement, and save the fresh colorful flowers for your reception. Secondly, in lieu of multiple instruments for the ceremony focus on one such as the guitar, or violin and make that your background music. Then you can take the savings from the ceremony music and put it towards the reception entertainment. That is where your guests will most likely be able to enjoy themselves!
5.Finally, consider checking your area for an all-inclusive wedding venue.
There are some amazing venues out there that are offering wedding packages that include venue rentals, table/chair/linen rentals, florals,a DJ, and food for one lump sum. They offer various levels of packages and food offerings for you to choose from for your event. You just show up with the guests, the cake, the extra décor/gifts, and an Officiant. Viola! Weddings simplified!
We say all of this to encourage you. Yes, weddings are expensive and you do need help planning/executing them, but they don’t have to break the bank to make your dreams come true. You just need to be strategic about where you spend your money!
Give us a call when you are ready to start planning. We can’t wait to see what you have dreamed up!