There are plenty of ways to save money on your wedding planning. Wedding bloggers have written countless articles about how to squeeze a few more dollars out of the budget. From going DIY to hiring amateur musicians, we’re sure you have plenty of money-saving tips under your belt already. But there’s another aspect to keeping your wedding budget under control, and that’s avoiding mistakes that can take a big bite out of your wallet. Here are a pitfalls to avoid when you’re planning.
1) Giving into Pressure from Others
You’re fine with a Sunday wedding, but your mother insists that only Saturday is acceptable. You want a small ceremony, but Aunt Mabel wants to bring in the 50 people on her side of the family. You want to do a buffet reception, but grandma demands table service. There are bound to be people with very strong feelings about how your wedding should go, and their preferences inevitably add to the budget. Just keep in mind something all these people have in common: they’re not paying for the wedding. So feel free to tune them out and follow your bliss.
2) Having Too Big of a Wedding Party
At first blush, it doesn’t seem like having extra bridesmaids would add too much of an expense. After all, they’re going to buy their own dresses, so the major expense is covered, right? But the truth is, extra bridesmaids come with extra costs that can add up. There are more people at the rehearsal dinner, more hair to style, more makeup to do, more bridesmaid gifts to buy. If you’re trying to stay lean in the budget, just pick one or two of your besties to be bridesmaids
3) Not Negotiating with Vendors
Many couples aren’t even aware that they can negotiate with vendors at all. And there are bound to be a few who won’t budge, but it’s actually an expected part of the process for most vendors. If your wedding is in an off-peak season or on a day other than Saturday, odds are you have a little negotiating leverage to get some discounts. Additionally, this doesn’t just end with vendors; you can usually negotiate the price of your supplies. You can usually negotiate the price on everything from cheap wedding sparklers to fancy fabric napkins, so make sure you’re not shy about asking. You know what they say; it never hurts to ask for a better price.
4) Ordering Too Much Food
Nobody wants to run out of food at a wedding reception. We get that. But that’s why vendors usually bring 1.5 times the amount of food they expect your guests to actually eat. Most couples don’t know about the extra buffer zone the vendor creates, so they order more food than they think they’ll need just to be on the safe side. So you end up paying extra for food that winds up in a landfill. Instead, trust your vendor to keep everyone fed without over-ordering.
5) Offering a Premium Bar
There’s really nothing wrong with having a cash bar at a wedding reception, tradition be damned. But there’s also no denying that an open bar is a neat treat to provide for your guests. Your largesse doesn’t have to include the premium option most liquor vendors offer for weddings, though. If you’re providing free booze, your guests shouldn’t have any cause to complain if they have to add a couple bucks to upgrade the quality of the liquor.
There is a ton of moving parts in a wedding budget. Make sure the complexity doesn’t lead to costly mistakes like the above, and you’ll keep your wedding out of the red ink.