McMenamins Olympic Club
City of Gig Harbor

Ten cost-cutting tips for your wedding

All South Sound couples want their dream weddings, but they also want to stick to a reasonable budget.

These 10 money-saving tips, inspired and used by permission from Denise Vivaldo’s book Do It For Less! Weddings can help you do just that.

  1. Set up a wedding account. Before you do anything, decide on your budget. Knowing your limit early on and setting money aside in a separate account will hold you to your budget and help you steer clear of debt.
  2. Start planning early.  Researching cost-effective options takes time, and hasty decisions can cost you more money than you planned.
  3. Have an “off-” wedding. The high season for weddings is late spring to early fall on Saturday afternoons/evenings. By scheduling your wedding at a non-peak time/season you’ll find better deals on locations and vendors, and prices are more likely to be negotiable.
  4. Have a smaller wedding. A small wedding on a moderate budget has the potential to be more beautiful and elegant than a large wedding on the same budget because you can focus on quality over quantity.
  5. Have your ceremony and reception at the same location. By keeping your guests in the same location you can save on site fees and transportation, while also simplifying the planning process.
  6. Limit the food and drink. You don’t have to fund a full bar for your guests. Limit the bar by serving sparkling and regular water, wine, beer, a few varieties of soda, and a champagne toast. For dinner, consider a buffet or deserts-only reception. Also, brunch or lunch are less expensive alternatives to a dinner, and you can opt for a dry reception if it takes place earlier in the day.  
  7. Have two wedding cakes. Use an old caterer’s trick and showcase a small but beautiful cake on the desert table while serving slices from a sheet cake in the back. Cupcakes are a popular alternative too.
  8. Forgo the formal. Have the groom and groomsmen wear nice suits in lieu of tuxedos. This works best in less formal settings like garden or beach weddings. 
  9. Make your own bouquet. Tie an assortment your favorite flowers together with a wide satin ribbon. Be sure to keep it well hydrated, and remember to give tulips time to expand after they are cut.
  10. Add a personal touch to your wedding music. Ask musically talented friends or family to perform at your wedding. And for the reception, rent a professional speaker system and take turns playing DJ for the night.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on April 27, 2016.

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