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More Expert Budget Wedding Tips

budget-wedding-tips-from-wedding-plannerMy Trio Rings recently talked with Virginia-based wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out how smart couples can spend their wedding dollars wisely while they are planning a wedding on a budget. Here are more of her insider tricks to saving on common wedding expenses.

Can you give any examples of ways that having a wedding planner can help cut wedding costs?

More often than not, a good wedding planner has established relationships with quality vendors. Because of this relationship and constant referral system, oftentimes vendors are willing to throw in an extra hour of services or give discounts on products to couples planning a wedding on a budget with a specific wedding planner.

Recent clients of mine had a specific price limit for budget wedding entertainment—including a DJ for their reception, as well as a ceremony musician.  The DJ that they fell in love with was in the top tier of professionals in our area and almost rounded out their entire entertainment budget. Because I had referred him on many different occasions, he threw in an extra hour of services to the couple for free AND, as he’s a booking agent too, he gave them a $100 discount on a harpist for their ceremony.

Do you have any other specific insider tips for couples who are looking to plan a lovely wedding at a low cost?

Aside from my previous major cost-cutting suggestion, slashing the guest list, the easiest way to plan a budget wedding in every vendor category is to cut costs by holding your wedding in the off season, and, even better—on a day other than Saturday! Many times business is slow for wedding vendors in less popular wedding months and are willing to give you a deal on their services in order to stay busy. However, if you’ve been dreaming of that outdoor, garden wedding on a Saturday in May, here are some other ways to save:

Flowers and Décor

Research the flowers that are in season during your wedding date and in your region of the country. If the flowers don’t have to be shipped, you save money! Lately, the trend is an earthy, organic look for floral design. Many florists are now utilizing bushes, trees, and flowers from local gardens. Take advantage of these local, homegrown goodies as a way to save money.

Oftentimes, post-holiday sales will strike and you can grab up some gorgeous vases, unscented candles, lanterns, and other non-floral décor for your budget wedding at a deep discount. Mix some non-floral centerpieces in and save money!

Food and Beverage

Don’t be fooled into thinking that buffets are cheaper than plated, served dinners—most of the time, they rival in price. The chef will often have to make a larger cushion of food in anticipation of Uncle Fred eating 4 plates at a buffet, versus only the one that’s served to him at a plated meal.

Serve only wine and beer, or wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. A full open bar is extremely expensive. If you are having an outside caterer handle the bar, check to see if you can provide your own alcohol for them. Oftentimes you can return all alcohol that’s unopened.

Cake

Sugar flowers and decorations are more expensive than non-edible décor. Also, if size doesn’t matter to you, opt for a smaller, simpler cake design and have a larger decorated sheet cake in the back to serve to guests.

Stationery

Skip the traditional inner envelope, ribbons, or paper folds. These invitations cost more to mail! If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, it is best to stick with a clean, single sheet invite.

Lindsay runs a wedding planning business called LK Events & Design in Richmond, Virginia. She has a few more budget wedding tips to share with cost-conscious couples in the coming weeks.

Photo Credit: Sugar Daze

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