A big and glamorous wedding is a dream come true for most women, and it is a source of pride for a lot of guys as well. It is a very special day, something that you will hopefully only go through once in your life, so it is natural that you want to celebrate it with as much enthusiasm and pomp as possible. However, a big wedding can get very expensive very quickly, and planning the whole thing can take a good chunk of your free time and eat away at your nerves for months and months.
If you are looking to cut down on the stress, simplify the planning and save a bunch of money so that you can afford an exciting honeymoon and quite a few other things that you’ll need after you’re married, then keep on reading. The following wedding planning tips will make your life a whole lot easier.
1. Choose a less common season and day of the week for the wedding day
Opting for a wedding in the summer and on a Saturday can be one of the biggest strains on your wedding budget. Spring and summer are the hottest (no pun intended) wedding seasons, and most people like to get married on a Saturday as it ensures that none of your guests will have to skip work and they can sleep in the next day and cure their hangover before going back to work on Monday.
However, since there is plenty of demand and a short supply, prices skyrocket during this period. An autumn wedding can be very romantic, and if you choose to have it on a weekday as well, you’ll be saving a lot of money and you will have a bigger selection of venues available.
2. Consider an outdoor location if you must have the wedding during spring or summer
For some people it can be very important to have the wedding during the warmer seasons, for whatever reason. There is still a way to save some money – have an outdoor wedding. There are plenty of great locations like national parks or beautiful lakes, and you’d be surprised at what gorgeous scenery lies just outside of town. The beauty of it is that you can rent out park tables and benches for the day and spruce them up a little bit to get a very nice rural theme going.
You have to be careful though, thin heels will sink into the grass, so be sure to use Solemates or similar high heel protectors and provide enough for all the ladies attending. In windy conditions sew some small weights into the hem of long dresses, and make sure there are some gazebos around and umbrellas available in case of a quick summer rain – you can never be overprepared when going outdoors.
3. Kill two birds with one stone by holding the ceremony and the reception at the same venue
It can be both pricey for you and a bit difficult for the guests to have to hold the ceremony in one place and then switch venues to have the lunch or dinner afterwards. There are a lot of great places where you can have both the ceremony and the reception, so you can save plenty of time and money. You also won’t risk messing up your hair or dress from getting in and out of a car all the time. However, make sure that the venue has a serious atmosphere and plan it so that:
- No food or drinks are to be served until after the ceremony, not even bread sticks on the tables
- All the chairs should be arranged so that they face the altar area
- Have a slight break between the ceremony and the reception in a separate room, for example, the lobby, so people can get their pictures taken, stretch out, and so that the chairs can be rearranged for traditional seating at the tables
- Alternatively, you can have the ceremony in one room and the reception in another room at the same location
With the right décor and a good seating arrangement you can make this a very practical, beautiful and cost-effective wedding.
4. Set up a wedding website and email account
You will need to stay in touch with a lot of different people, from hairdressers and florists to people you need to talk to about the venue and catering. Your family and friends will want to stay updated as well and will probably be calling you or messaging you all the time. In this day and age you can get a well-designed website up and running in no time yourself, with no professional programming or web design experience.
You can just browse through a bunch of free pre-made themes and choose one that you like. The cost of buying a domain name and hosting won’t amount to much, and you’ll have a place where all your nosy relatives and friends can get the all the information they need – time and date, a big old Google map with the location of the venue, some great pictures, the story of how you two met and stuck together all this time and anything else you can think of.
A special email account is important during wedding planning as it helps keep all the wedding-related stuff separate from your professional and private life, and well away from your already cluttered-up inbox.
5. Modify a used dress
Wedding dresses can easily cost as much as a used car or a bunch of good quality living room furniture and even as much as a brand new entry-level sports car. Depending on your finances, that money may be better spent on furnishing your new home, buying a car or some exotic traveling. A good solution is to use your mother’s old wedding dress and have it modified. You can also buy a used one for a fairly low price, but be careful when shopping for a dress online. There are some very talented tailors out there who can work pure magic on a wedding dress and make it fit your character and style perfectly, all while keeping the price reasonable.
6. Go for a more traditional feel
Traditional weddings, as big of a celebration as they used to be, were fairly simple when compared to modern weddings. They relied on very old traditions, which meant having a set of rules you couldn’t deviate from much and a focus on a kind of subdued elegance. By playing the traditional card you will be able to organize a simple, yet charming wedding without too many bells and whistles to distract from the joyful event. Clean, white tables, plenty of room to dance, good music, some tasty food, a bit of cake, a decent selection of drinks, graceful and unobtrusive décor and a warm atmosphere are all you really need.
7. DIY some of the decoration
When it comes to decoration, you can save a lot if you put in a bit of effort. You don’t have to be a very crafty DIY specialist to create some great decorations, although it helps if you have someone with an artistic flair and a steady hand nearby. You can order a bunch of flowers in bulk online, a few bulk orders of single varieties through several flower shops, and then arrange the bouquets yourself. Save up a bunch of mason jars, decorate them, put the bouquets in and you have yourself a lot of very inexpensive centerpieces. Mason jars can also be made into oil lamps for romantic lighting as well. You can also make some cute wedding favours, which shows you care and saves money.
8. Prepare a special wedding survival kit
They say that the even the best strategy thought up by generals at the headquarters can’t last a day in the trenches. When W-Day comes there will be a bunch of little problems that can throw a monkey wrench into your carefully planned wedding, or upset you and ruin some of the magic for you. Well, luck favors the prepared, so you will need to throw together a small wedding survival kit, consisting of items that will help you avoid common catastrophes, and keep it close to you.
The items should include wine wipes to avoid staining your lips and teeth, some drier sheets for soaking up deodorant so it doesn’t stain your dress, emergency makeup kit, Visine or Listerine to apply to a pimple for a few minutes to reduce the soreness so it can be concealed more easily with makeup, baby wipes to take care of any lighter stains, Pepto-Bismol for calming a nervous stomach and some breath mints.
Although wedding planning can be a true nightmare, with these handy tips and a bit of work you will be able to make it a far less stressful process and manage to pull the whole thing off even on a tight budget.
Featured photo credit: Dr. Wendy Longo via flickr.com