So, one of the things we hear most often from brides is 'How can I have my dream wedding on a budget?' The reply... dreams and budgets don't always go together, but here are a few ideas on how you can save money on your wedding without sacrificing too much!
1. Look long and hard at your guest list. Your best and biggest saving is on your guest list, every extra table costs you decor, food, linen, champagne, chairs, and in some instances can put you over the limit of a venue and force you into a larger, more expensive venue. When you do your invitation list ask yourself a couple of simple questions 'Have we had a meal in their home, have they had a meal at our home? Have I seen them during the last six months? Do they know my fiance? Are they colleagues or friends?' It's hard to do, but you have to draw a line somewhere and this is it. There are always exceptions, special family members, friends who live overseas or friends that you really love and for a number of reasons you haven't seen them for a bit, but be brutal on this list. Consider the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen as well - just remember the cost of the additional bouquets, buttonholes, dresses, suits etc.
2. Consider booking your wedding for a Friday instead of a Saturday - this often gives you some negotiating power with your venue and if your guests are able to attend on a Friday it could be a saving.
3. If your venue provides you with linen, tables and chairs, cutlery and crockery, use them! This is included in your venue hire fee, and unless they are really awful, try and use what you get included - I shouldn't say this because we're also a hire company, but really if the glasses are nice you don't have to hire crystal.. and perhaps the chairs that you have for the ceremony can simply be moved into the reception afterwards rather than hiring double the number. These are discussions you need to have with the venue AND check your contract! You can't arrive on the day and discover that there's no linen included...go through your expectations with your venue, make a note of everything that is agreed on and confirm this in writing!
4. IN SEASON! I can't stress this enough! When we talk flowers we quote you on what is in season at the time of your wedding, and generally that does not include specialty blooms. If you decide that you want peonies in your bouquet and on all the tables, the price we quote will reflect that.
If you want those special flowers flown in, irrespective of season, it is going to cost you money, honey!
If you decide that white proteas are the way forward for your wedding, we can do that, heck, we can do
anything, but at a price! When you scroll through Pinterest and fall in love with an American wedding and want to replicate it in South Africa, you have to remember that some of those flowers simply aren't here, and if we source them it will cost you more - and some of those decor items are also not around...be flexible if you have a budget in mind.
5. Re-purpose - in this day and age life is all about re-purposing and re-using, so the flowers from the chapel on the registry table should be moved into the reception area and can be used on the buffet, or with the cake, masses of flowers can go next to the main table, don't let it go to waste!
6. Favours! With all due respect to my friends in the industry who sell favours, I do not see the point in them. If you want to say thank you to your guests the way to do it is with a thank you note after the wedding, when you thank them for their gift and for attending. Why buy a gift for them on the day? If you want to add something for the table keep it simple like a little nibble of nougat or a chocolate, but leave it at that... you can't believe how many of these favours are left behind - and we see them when we pack up.
7. Your wedding cake - when you decide on your programme of events consider cutting the cake right after the service, into the canape hour. There is a certain time of day when people eat cake, and it's generally not late at night - so while you and your new husband/wife go off to have your creative shoot, your guests will happily eat the cake...other options are to include it into your dessert menu, but you do need to discuss this with your caterer, and also consider a cheese cake (as in Cheddar, Camembert etc) for after dinner and late into the evening.
My final bit of advice is don't compromise on the things that matter most. Cutting back on hours with your photographer can leave you with holes in your memory, there is so much that happens on the day and you are often so busy, that looking back at the photographs is a great way to remember everything! Don't compromise on the food, give your guests a good meal, maybe skip the starter if you have a budget concern, but be sure that there is good food, and enough of it!
Most importantly talk to us, there are always ways of saving money, share your budget, talk to us about how we can help you spend your money wisely and still have a beautiful day. trust your suppliers!