Photo from Flickr
If you have just tuned in, welcome to part two of my A- Z Wedding Tips – researched, tried and true ways that you can help save some of the big bucks for your wedding, right down to the last letter!
I is for iTunes!
Bands, DJ’s and their musical equipment are extremely expensive, so if you don’t mind not having the full concert experience on your big day there is absolutely nothing wrong with plugging in your iPod and setting it on shuffle. Your guests will get up and dance anyway, and it will cost you next to nothing since most venues already have a basic music setup for these kinds of things.
If you want to go one step further, and be a little more interactive with your guests, get your guests to nominate one song the love to jam to as part of their return RSVP. Next, download or buy these songs and put it in an iTunes playlist. Plug your workout buddy into the sound system, hit shuffle, and viola! a killer playlist that will guarantee to have all guests hit the dance floor at least once… even if it is only for their chosen jams.
J is for Jack Of All Trades!
We all know one – someone who is good at decorating, baking cakes, floristry arrangements, making food and obscure party entertainment – and everything they do is amazing! No matter who it is, if they have the skills in helping to put your wedding together get them to do it! It may involve some financial coaxing, or downright “I’ll buy you beers for the rest of your life” bribes, but getting them on board will be cheaper than hiring all the separate suppliers.
If you don’t know a specific Jack of all Trades that will help you out, the best thing to do is hire one of the suppliers who will do it all for you. Sometimes a venue will do all the food, ceremony and reception set up, alcohol, celebrants etc. and sometimes you can find stylists who will have all the connections you need. If you score yourself a supplier like this they might even be able to discount their total price if you use them for everything. And it will be easier to deal with and less stressful in the long run!
K is for Kids!
Some of your guests have children, so you need to make a ruling as to whether you would like to have kids at your wedding and stick to it. There are heaps of good reasons for having kids at your wedding and it really comes down to your preference. It might be nice if you have children already to include friends for them to play with and special ways that they can be apart of the ceremony (give them positions like flower girls, page boys or have them do a drawing on your wedding dress like Angelina Jolie’s kids did) but you need to think of ways to also keep them entertained and feed even the fussiest of eaters, which may be more expensive.
Children bring so much joy, laughter and fun to a celebratory event so it’s definitely a wonderful way to include them in your special day. You can also be a big kid about it and put games on the table, making your reception much more light-hearted and fun.
On the other side, a wedding without children means that your adult guests are going to have a smoother date night, a more relaxing and peaceful evening and it is a good excuse to do more adult things like drinking. Just make sure that if you make this ruling you maintain a cut off age and make sure everyone knows that it’s not their children that you don’t wanr – it’s just the style of atmosphere you are going for.
L is for Lingerie!
Wedding lingerie can be almost as expensive as the wedding dress so the trick is that when you go shopping you don’t mention the word wedding. You don’t even have to wear white lingerie if you don’t want to, so your options are open for you to hit up your favourite underwear stores and try on something you will likely wear again. The main tip is envisioning your dress and making sure the underwear is going to suit the cut, shape, style and colour of your wedding dress. Once you have it all together, try it all on and make sure it fits – bring the wedding dress with you if you can, or wear the underwear shopping for your dress.
The truth is, you already know how to pick up super cheap bargains lingerie shopping and face it, your man will be so wrapped that you got to the alter and married him that he isn’t even going to look at what you have on under that dress. You might not even get to the point of taking the dress off so don’t sweat these kinds of things. Do what is best for you, and what feels the most comfortable – not what is the most awkward and pricey just because it is a wedding!
Photo from Flickr
M is for Mood Board!
One of the key party planner stages is to set up a mood board for your event. This is generally done pretty early in the planning, and is a great way to put together all of your ideas and your inspiration to make sure that they all go together and would work for the general feel you are trying to create for your event.
There are two ways you can create a mood board; online, and through a physical presence. Both have their strengths and weaknesses but both are a great way to put together your ideas. Creating a mood board physically is a fun task and it means you can look through hundreds of wedding and bridal magazines (which we all know you will!) and cut out pictures of things that inspire you or that you want for your own wedding. Sticking the pictures onto a collage and hanging it on your wall is a good way to stay inspired and on task when planning your wedding.
You can also create a mood board online through some websites like Pinterest, where you can download, share and keep the millions of photos that the online world has to offer. If you have an iPad or carry a laptop, your Pinterest page will always be accessible and your mood board will be available at the push of a button, should you need advice from your bridesmaids.
N is for Night!
The night before and the night of the wedding are extremely important rituals in some religious ceremonies, as the wedding night is typically (in ancient days) when you and your groom spend the first night together and start makin’ some babies! While in current times most couples are already home-bound and settled in before this happens, it’s a lovely idea to get to spend the night before the wedding apart so that the next time you see each other it will be when you are becoming husband and wife.
While renting hotels room aren’t cheap, they certainly don’t have to be expensive. You can do the regular thing, research around for cheap – but nice – hotel rooms, or even rent a place on Air B n B, but one of the best ways to save money is not to rent four different lavish options each night for each different person. Combine the room that the groom will be staying the night in with the honeymoon suite so that he has time in the afternoon to scatter rose petals around. Get the bride to stay with her family in their own home, or a nice hotel suite, to split the cost and spend the day having her mother tell you how proud she is that you are finally getting married. Get your bridesmaids and groomsmen to pay for their own rooms and reconvene in the morning and some venues actually have an on-site suite that they rent out for a discounted rate for venue proprietors. Look around, and make sure you get the best options!
Photo by Dade Freeman
O is for Out Of The Box!
I have mentioned this before, but the generic wedding venues, stationary, cars, dresses and decoration items all tend to rack up the big bucks in a culture where we spend thousands of dollars on one day of our lives. A way to beat these money-grabbers is to think outside the box and go with a quirky idea or design that is not regularly used for weddings, so won’t charge the regular price. The kind of out-of-the-box ideas that can save you money can include getting married on a hill, at a carnival, by a river, at your favourite campsite, at the snow, anywhere! You can also use big buttons as bouquets instead of the usual flowers, you can use practically anything for decorations! Anything can make up a wedding if you put some thought into it, so choose a theme and go to the moon at back with your ideas!
P is for Priorities!
It’s your dream wedding day, but you don’t have the cash to flash around on all the finishing touches that would make the Royal Wedding seem low-key. One of the first things you need to decide with your future husband (or wife) what is important to you and what part of the whole wedding affair isn’t. This discussion needs to take place while you are putting together your budget, because what you decide is important is where a large majority of your money will go. There are heaps of areas where you can make some wriggle room, just by determining what your priorities are, so make sure you establish them straight away.
While you are at it, you can also determine your priorities for the people involved as well. If you want it to be a family filled affair then sign your family members up to certain jobs that they can take care of and own, or if you want them to be comfortable and not lift a finger (and if you have the money) hire a professional to do it all. If your priority is to your husband and your husband alone, maybe you could even consider eloping? Priorities are a key aspect in determining the feel for your wedding, so get them in order!
So right about now you are halfway through the wedding planning and starting to save some money by focusing on your priorities – it doesn’t all have to be drastic and dramatic cuts to the guest list and the food! Check out part three of A-Z Wedding Tips hitting the blog soon to help round off your penny pinching. Don’t forget, If you have any tips of your own that you want to share, don’t be afraid to comment below!