There’s just no getting around it; weddings are costly. In fact, for most couples, their wedding is one of, if not the most expensive event of their lives.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, no matter the size of your budget, it is possible to achieve the wedding of your dreams, or something a lot like it.
It just takes careful planning and some know-how. That’s where we come in. As NJ / NY wedding videographers who’ve been to a ton of weddings, we’ve acquired some invaluable budgeting tips. So, we put together this little guide for planning a wedding when your budget is far from unlimited.
Invitations, attire, and transportation.
First of all, you need to take the time to chisel your guest list down to its core. Look at your first draft and see if you can shave at least 30-40 people off. Think about how much it costs for one person to attend and multiply that by 40. Chances are, you stand to save a good deal of money.
Once your guest list is set, keep your invitations simple. Better papers, fancy envelope linings, that’s all costly, so try choosing one stand-out element and keep the rest simple. That way, your invitations won’t be void of any elegance or class, but you won’t have to break the bank on them either.
As far as attire, the more casual the better when working with limited funds, and that goes for any aspect of the wedding. From there, use alternative, less expensive fabrics for your wedding dress and keep custom alterations and embellishments down to a minimum.
For more on how to cut back costs on the wedding dress, check out this post from The Knot, 11 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Gown, and when it comes to tuxedos, go non-designer or if possible, wear a suit you already own.
You can save on transportation costs by forgoing the stretch limo for a regular one or, even better, for a Lincoln town car. Also, keep the fancy ride for just you and your partner and let the rest of the wedding party plan their own transportation.
Locations, food, and drink.
Another good way to save some money is to look for a ceremony setting that doesn’t need much in the way of decor, whether it’s a nicely decorated place of worship or a picturesque park.
As far as receptions, it all depends, but you can cut costs by choosing the right day. Also, you can’t assume you’ll save money by taking the stay-at-home approach. Between chairs, tables, tents, catering, etc., you could end up spending more than you would’ve at a venue that offers all the above in one package.
Then there’s the food & drink. If possible, make your own or have family and friends help, but either way, keep the number of dinner courses down to a minimum, keep your overall menu fairly simple, and bring your own alcohol if you can.
When it comes to the cake, have a small version of your dream cake made, but serve a larger sheet cake of the same flavor to guests. And remember that extra tiers, handmade sugar decorations, etc., bring up the costs. Also, buttercream frosting is less expensive than fondant.
Music, movies, and photos.
You can save in the music area by going with a DJ instead of a band, but if your heart’s set on a band, get some friends or a smaller one with high-end equipment to enhance their sound. Just remember that bands and DJs tend to charge the most on weekends, particularly Saturday nights.
Lastly, while you can go with a bare-essentials photography and/or videography package to save some money, you don’t want to skip either altogether. As a longtime NJ / NY wedding videography and photography company, trust us on that.
For some DIY tips for saving money, check out our previous post, FYI: DIY Weddings Can Be Beautiful…Or Downright Ugly.
Live Picture Studios is composed of a team of highly experienced NJ / NY wedding videographers, photographers, and editors who’ve been creating cinematic wedding videos and unforgettable photos in the NY, NJ, PA, and CT area for years. At LPS, we make memories magical. Check out our video gallery for some examples.