10 Money-Saving Tips For Budget Brides

bride_budget_slide1Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
As anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows, costs can add up quickly. From flowers, to food, to your dress, to the perfect venue, there are a lot of different expenses that go into making your dream day a reality.
And, whether you’re working with a generous sum from your parents, or your own modest, hard-earned savings, almost every bride has some sort of a budget to stick to.
So, together with a handful of industry experts, I’ve put together a list of 10 tips for the bride on a budget. The real trick is prioritizing what to splurge on and where to save. To begin, Jess from Carats and Cake recommends creating a list of the things that are important to you, and prioritizing them with numbers. Spend on the things that really matter to you, and find a way to save on the things that don't. Once you have your priorities straight, refer to the list of penny-pinching tips below.
Have Your Cake & Eat It, Too
Los Angeles-based planner Allison Erlikhman of Bookend Events recommends cutting your dessert budget in half by having a smaller cutting cake on display and a sheet cake hidden in the back: If your heart isn't set on a towering wedding cake, order a smaller, ornate one for cutting, and then serve the majority of your guests sheet cake. I promise, no one will know the difference!
Give Your Table A Glow
Can’t afford the big, beautiful floral arrangements you dreamed of? Florist Kimm Birkicht from The Velvet Garden has a smart tip for saving on centerpieces. Kim says, “If your flower arrangements are on the sparse side, enhance the atmosphere by featuring tons of candles on your table for an intimate dining experience.”
Combine Your Escort Cards And Favors
Jess from Carats and Cake says, “Look for ways that items can be used for more than one purpose. For example, seating cards that can double as favors.” Some examples include little treats (like macarons or chocolates), and small, potted succulents with tags tied on them.
bride_budget_slide2Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
End The Open Bar Early
No, this doesn’t mean that you have to cut your guests off before the party is over. Allison says, “See if your venue will charge you for alcohol upon consumption in the later hours, instead of charging you for an open bar all night long. Drinking tends to slow toward the end of the night as some of your guests leave, making this a cost-effective option.”
Save On Your Shoes
I know it’s tempting, ladies, but you don’t need to break the bank on designer shoes that no one is going to see anyway. Allison says, “Don't splurge on expensive wedding shoes if your gown will cover them completely. Save that money for your dress and accessories.” Smart tip!
Go Wild
Kimm from The Velvet Garden says that using wildflowers at your wedding is extremely cost-effective, and will create volume in the arrangements. Picking seasonal blooms is also smart, since it means that they won’t have to be flown in from far away.
Skip The Champagne Toast
Set on doing a toast at the beginning of the night? Jess recommends asking your caterer for more budget-friendly alternatives to traditional French Champagne. Or, just toast with whatever drink your guests have in hand at the time.
bride_budget_slide3Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Have A Still Life Centerpiece
Kimm recommends thinking like a still life artist when you’re designing your centerpieces. Consider incorporating bowls, or vases of fresh fruit into the design (which is much less expensive than flowers).
Beware Of Hidden Costs
When you are crafting your wedding budget, keep in mind that many vendor quotes won’t include taxes, service fees, and tips. So, it’s always smart to leave a little bit of cushion when booking everything.
Trim The Guest List
This is one tip I’ve learned myself. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s also the surest way to save money when you’re paying per head. Click here to read about how I decided who would be invited to my wedding.
I hope these tips helped! I’m definitely going to keep them in mind for my own wedding. It’s true that you only get married once. And I think that every girl deserves to have her dream wedding. But keep in mind that you also don’t want to start off your marriage in the red — which is why it’s super important to stick to whatever budget you set.
Do you have any good wedding planning advice of your own? I’d love to hear it!
XO Lauren

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