Clever ways to cut your wedding costs

Wedding costs can mount quickly, making planning your big day more stressful than special. But if you are willing to think outside of the box a little bit, you can keep your costs in check while also finding ways to make your day more unique.

Ditch the paper and go electronic

Many couples these days are forgoing the traditional printed wedding items - save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards - in favour of using electronic delivery services. By cutting back on the costs associated with printing, stationary and postage, you can save hundreds of dollars, in addition to reducing the environmental footprint of your wedding.

Another benefit of going paperless is that you can integrate your RSVPs, registry and other guest-related actions into a single online platform. It's becoming more common for couples to set up a simple (or not-so-simple, it's your wedding, be as extra as you like!) website that collates all the information about the big day, and can help manage all of the communication between the couple and their guests. Rather than chasing down missing RSVPs, you can set automatic calendar reminders to gently nudge anyone who hasn't sent their response, while things like dietary preferences can be recorded and sent directly to caterers.

Opt for alternate flourishes instead of flowers

The cost of flowers for a wedding can soar quickly, and not to mention the fact that there can be unforeseen issues when dealing with a delicate living product, from unexpected unavailability of your chosen blooms, to withered bouquets in the heat.

Instead of focusing on flowers, consider other items that can add a touch of elegance and interest. Some Pinterest-worthy ideas can include bowls of decorative citrus for an unexpected pop of colour and texture on tables, using leaf-based decorations such as ivy instead of more pricey blooms, or simply pare back your floral arrangements to the bare minimum - bridesmaids walking down the aisle with a single stem of one amazing flower can look quite striking!

Plan ahead and shop around

It seems like a no brainer, but many couples can become overwhelmed by the amount of decisions they need to make when planning their wedding. This can lead to hasty decision making that isn't always the best choice for your budget. Similarly, it can be easy to become swept along with wanting your dream elements and the pressure to get elements checked off your very long list as quickly as possible, especially if a vendor has exactly what you're looking for.

But keep in mind that having options on the table from different vendors can give you some negotiating power, so if you can, take your time to get a few different quotes and compare them. Not all vendors will be willing to negotiate, but you can also take your time to compare the inclusions of each offering. It may be cheaper for you to bundle some services from a vendor who may have partners, such as a make-up artist who also works closely with a stylist.

Don't always opt for professionals

On such an important day, it is understandable you might be reluctant to leave anything in the hands of people who aren't professionals, but with some creative thinking you can find willing contributors for a fraction of the cost.

Rather than forking out for a live band, approach universities with music programs and ask whether they have any students who are proficient in the kind of style you are looking for who would be willing to work your wedding. The students would be grateful for the performing experience, and you will likely secure some quality talent for a smaller cost.

Similarly, you can look for newer operators - they might not have a big binder of all the weddings they can show you as a reference, but sometimes new operators eager to establish themselves will be priced lower, and be more willing to go the extra mile to keep customers happy in order to build their business and reputation in this highly competitive industry.

Check out more of our tips for helping to keep your wedding costs in check and avoid unexpected surprises that can break your budget.

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