Wedding Planning 101: How can we afford to throw a great wedding?

Church Ribbon Wands

How will we be able to afford to throw a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank?

Isn’t this the question most newly engaged couples ask themselves? When we first started pricing out venues, I remember my head was spinning with numbers. But these five tips helped us during our wedding planning and I’m hoping they will help you too!

Save! Save! Save! 

Make sure that you are saving your pennies, kiddies. This wedding stuff can get expensive! Little things that you may not expect will sneak up on you, so make sure you have some extra cash to pay for it all!

Negotiate! 

Many vendors (especially the reception venues) usually start out by giving you a pretty high price per head. But everything in life can be negotiated, right? For example, my husband emailed the venue right after we saw it; he commented on how nice the place was and how we really loved it and we would get back to them. Within an hour, the venue came down in price. It wasn’t a drastic drop, but it was enough to get us to sign a contract.

(Side note: We knew we signed with the right reception venue when at another meeting, the banquet manager was running late. The previous appointment was taking much longer than he expected. When he finally saw us after 45 minutes, he threw in our chocolate fountain for free. That is a sign of a great reception venue!)

Check your guest list 

When it comes to your wedding, you want to make sure you aren’t inviting everybody and their mother. Literally. In order to save a buck or two, write out your guest list and then revisit it in a day or two. Does Joe from elementary school who you played soccer with for one month when you were five need to be invited? Does your mother’s hair stylist’s son and his date need to be invited?

Unless they are paying for their own guests, limit your guest list to the people you really want to share your special day with. Not to mention, you will have a TON of pictures from the big day, and you want to make sure all your favorite people are in them.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

I get it. You may not be a crafty or creative person. But it doesn’t take a Martha Stewart to create wedding programs and place cards. Think about items which you can create on your own and you will save a TON of money! When I priced programs, favor cards and place cards, they were coming in with prices from $250-$800! SAY WHAAAAAT!? I probably spent less than $100 for all three. I made all my church programs, favor cards, place cards and church ribbon wands. My bridesmaids helped me assemble them all one night over some wine and laughs. That is what the bridesmaids are for, right?

Wedding Planning - Favors

I thought about it, and realized… people will throw these items away after the wedding. Why on earth would I spend that much money on things like that? I’d rather use that money elsewhere, or save it for the honeymoon.

Shop Around

To get the best deal possible, make sure you shop around before signing contracts. Make sure to check the online reviews too! These were helpful.

We looked at 5-6 venues, three photographers, and three florists before finalizing our decision. Our other vendors came strongly recommended by family and friends, and we were not disappointed with those choices. If you don’t shop around, you can’t compare prices. How do you know if they aren’t price gauging you? How do you know if the price for the limo is right? It’s important to check these things out. You want to make sure your vendors are giving you the best price possible for the best possible service.

Kleinfelds - Kristine

Any tips for future brides? Any questions for newlyweds?

Leave them in the comment section below!