Affordable Wedding vs. Cheap Wedding Part 1

Outdoor Wedding PortraitYour wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. You want a nice wedding but you don’t want to go in debt to have it. Many brides today strive for an affordable wedding, but what they end up with is a cheap wedding. And by cheap, I don’t mean inexpensive, because in fact sometimes these weddings can cost a lot more than what the bride expects and look a great deal worse.

Ways You Can Save Money

Now on to saving you money! Do NOT buy anything until you set a budget. Many brides way underestimate how much things cost. Find a price range on what things cost and set your budget accordingly. Then decide what is most important to you and shop for that and then work your way down your list. Note: some things determine other things, for instance many venues cap how many guests you can have (typically 100 or 150 as a maximum).

My first recommendation if you need to keep your expenses down is to start with your guest list. Only invite people you really want to have at your wedding – not acquaintances, friends of friends, mom and dad’s co-workers, etc. The smaller your guest list is, the more money you have to work with.

DIY (Do It Yourself) – This is the solution that a lot of brides go with, usually with disastrous results. I’m not saying you cannot have good results, but that most people don’t due to proper planning. It’s a LOT harder than it looks in most cases. DIY takes time, if you don’t have it, then this is not a good fit. I’ve heard of weddings that have started two hours late because the bride was icing cupcakes. She was flustered and really didn’t get to enjoy her own wedding day, all because she didn’t plan correctly. If you must DIY make sure you have others to help you or do it for you and that they are reliable.

Hiring friends and family is a big no no unless they are an experienced wedding vendor. In many cases the bride winds up disappointed with the results and blames the friend/family member. The money you save is not worth the heartache of a lost friendship. If you do choose to use friends and family for services, be sure to have a contract so that each of you knows what to expect and there are no miscommunications.

Be sure to check out Part 2, when I discuss how to save money on venues, flowers and much more!