What is the most bittersweet part of planning a wedding? The budget. Yuck. We hate that word too. Even though this topic isn’t fun, it’s one of the most important topics in cultivating your wedding day. Rentals, floral, formalwear, catering, photography, and other vendor prices can become overwhelming and far more than you had ever hoped to spend! In this blog, us GO girls are hoping to shed some light (and coveted tips) on how to have the perfect wedding without having to sacrifice all your mula.
Tip #1: Faux/Silk Floral
Now we know what you are going to say…of COURSE they’re pushing faux floral on me (hey, we are lady bosses running a business here!) but the facts are in the numbers, y’all. Faux floral can significantly cut down on your floral budget (which historically takes MOST of the overall wedding budget), and give you a look that stays “fresh” all day. Faux/Silk florals can be rented (from us, just in case you missed that), purchased from local hobby, interior design, or floral stores (although some of these places do require you to be a business to purchase from them). Faux flowers last forever, and will stay in the shape and color you want all day. They don’t need to be stored in a cooler, kept in vases with water, and can be designed and delivered weeks in advance to your wedding. Faux florals also look JUST AS GOOD as fresh florals, but are roughly HALF THE PRICE. If you don’t believe us, exhibit A…
Tip #2: Weekday Weddings OR Friday/Sunday Weddings
Saturday weddings have been a hit for wedding day-dates since most of us can remember, but have you considered a different day to host your special day? *GASP* Many vendors and venues can give discounts and package deals to couples wanting to have their weddings on Friday evenings, Sundays, and even some weekdays! By not picking a busy wedding Saturday date, more vendors will have availability in their schedules and can more easily accommodate your wedding date.
Tip #3: Cut The Guest List
No, Great Aunt Tilly, twice removed does NOT need to be at your wedding. Be sure to include all the close, necessary family members but don’t get pressured into inviting extended family, friends, coworkers, and/or distant acquaintances if you don’t want them there, or feel like they haven’t contributed to you both as a couple. This is YOUR special day filled with all the people you love and hold close to your heart. Don’t feel bad about crossing people off the list. The honest truth is: if someone in your life is complaining to you about not being invited to your wedding, did you really want them invited anyways? Yeah, we went there. Another thing we recommend is creating an “A” and “B” list. If anyone from list “A” RSVPs “no,” you can invite someone on list “B.” Although some may see this as tacky, our mentality is that most decent adult people understand that weddings are expensive, and if we were all made of money, we would invite everyone we know.
Tip #4: Have A Non-traditional Dessert
Everyone loves a giant slice of tiered cake, right? Actually no. More guests are saying no to wedding cake and yes to smaller portioned desserts like cupcakes and customizable dessert stations instead! And lucky for you, that saves on the wedding budget! The cupcakes and dessert stations are a great way to get variety without spending all kinds of money! We’ve seen donuts, cookies, cake pops, pies, ice cream, cheesecake, just to name a few! With diets and eating trends coming and going, guests prefer smaller sized desserts and/or customizable options they don’t have to feel guilty (or sick) eating. If you’re a cake fan, we would NEVER stand in your way. Try ordering a smaller cake for just you and your groom to cut, and order sheet cake for the rest of your guests. Your caterers can cut the cake in the back and set it out or serve it, and guests never have to know!
Tip #5: Avoid Peak Wedding Season
This one is especially true for our Michigan brides, or any of you getting married where there’s a month-specific “wedding season.” By not getting married during this peak time (May-October), you could save a large percentage of your wedding budget. Venues are often less expensive during the “off season” and other vendors will be more available as well. Your guests are more likely to remember your unique day that didn’t happen in the traditional timeframe among a blur of other weddings.
Tip #6: Have A Smaller Bridal Party
We know you have SO many friends and they all mean the world to you. But, in case you are debating who will make up your “bride tribe,” here’s what we recommend: think about who has been there for you, through thick and thin, good days and bad, and who you picture having in your life for years to come. Who has been there for you as a couple? When you think about your bridal party pictures, who is standing next to you, holding that gorgeous bouquet, and fighting back tears? If everyone on your list meets this criteria, own it, girl. However, if you’re hesitant on a few, think this through: every person in your party is one more dress/tux, bouquet/boutonniere, gift, meal, and hotel room. If everyone on your list is 100% worth all these things, then welcome them on in to your dream team! But, if your budget is tight, keep your friends tight too. Your wedding party needs to include the people you and your groom hold closest to your heart and deserve a front row seat to the start of your forever.
Tip #7: Book a DJ vs. Live Music
As much as we love a string quartet for your grand entrance, they just aren’t as cost effective as a DJ who can play tracks of your all-time favorite tried and true song as you walk down the aisle. AND they can really get a reception going by having an entire playlist (selected and vetted by you) ready to go to get people into the celebrating spirit! As amazing as live music can be, an experienced DJ can still make your party great, and save you a significant amount. And if you’re worried about getting the party started, we know a few girls who are REALLY good at that (hint hint).
All of this to say, it is YOUR wedding day! These are simply tips we’ve seen throughout the years that have helped our budget-conscious brides. Just make sure, whatever you choose, that your wedding is a unique reflection of YOU, because that’s the most important thing. And, hey – if everything gets to be a bit too much to plan, there’s three gals who are REALLY good at this kinda stuff. You know where to find us.
Cheers to budget friendly things,
the GO girls
Photography Credit: (in order as photos appear)