Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life. You want everything to be perfect and make it a day that you will remember fondly for the rest of your life. But such high expectations also mean a huge responsibility on your shoulders. Weddings can be very demanding both in terms of time and money. If not planned and executed properly, they can end up being very stressful too.
Sounds scary? The good news is that at BB, we have helped so many couples in their wedding planning and execution that we now have a treasure trove of information that you can benefit from. Here are the top 10 tips that you should keep in mind to save time and money on your wedding, and to make the day much more enjoyable.
PLANNER SECRET #1
MAKE A ‘MUST-HAVE’ AND ‘NICE-TO-HAVE’ LIST – PICK ‘NICE TO HAVES’
ONLY IF BUDGET PERMITS
Everyone has his/her own wish list for an ideal wedding day. Your dream wedding should includeall the things that you consider the most important. For instance, a couple may want their weddingto be held at a particular location. Even if the desired venue costs more, they may opt to get marriedat the place of their choice and save on other expenses like decoration and music. This will ensurethat the wedding is everything they hoped for while staying within the set budget.
To make your dream wedding a reality, it is important to prioritize your wish list. In the process of planning your wedding, you can easily get caught up in minute details and overlook things that really matter. Rather than obsessing over the designs on cocktail napkins, concentrate on the bigger picture. Prioritizing helps you put things in perspective. You can start out by dividing everything your want for your wedding into two categories: must-have and nice-to-have. Consider things that are most important to you for an ideal wedding and add them to the must-have list. Add the remaining things to the nice-to-have list. You can ask your fiancé to make similar lists. Allocate your wedding budget first to those things that you absolutely cannot do without and the surplus amount, if any, can be allocated to the things on your nice-to-have list. You can also create a list of things that you do not want at your wedding. For instance, some couples are averse to having kids at their reception, while others may want to avoid ‘chicken dance’ at all costs. Creating a list of things you do not want on your big day will also help in ensuring that it really is your dream wedding.
Whether your wedding wish list includes serving outstanding food or inviting 500 guests, prioritizing is an important part of the wedding planning process. There are no specific rules as to what should be included under ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’. At the end of the day, your wedding should include things that are important to you and make you happy.
PLANNER SECRET #2
STICK WITH FLOWERS THAT ARE IN SEASON. OFF SEASON FLOWERS ARE
FLOWN FROM OUTSIDE AND COST A LOT MORE
Flowers account for a considerable portion of your wedding costs. Seasonal flowers are the mostcost-effective choice for decorations and bouquets. The availability and prices of flowers keep changing year round. Seasonal flowers are easier to find, cost less and can help you stick to your wedding budget. Regardless of whether you get married in winter, spring, summer or fall, you will always find a variety of seasonal flowers to choose from. Today, many flowers are available throughout the year or have longer seasons. Roses, orchids, lilies, anthuriums and gerber daisies are examples of flowers found throughout the year.
People believe that it is a difficult task to find flowers in winter, but many stunning flowers grow in the cold season. You can always find flowers like tulips, roses and gerberas. You can also opt for unique flowers like velvety anemones and beautiful anigozanthos. Apart from flowers, you can use holly and ivy foliage to add a dash of green to your decorations. In winters you also get dogwood stem in yellow and red colors, which can be used in your flower arrangements.
If you plan to get married in spring, you will have a tough time choosing from the wide array of seasonal flowers. Common spring flowers include daffodils, fragrant hyacinths and tulips. You can also opt for a bit unusual flowers like lily of the valley and peonies. Summer months also offer many seasonal flowers like clematis, gladioli, delphiniums and gardenia. Autumn is characterized by rich colors like yellows, oranges and reds. Seasonal flowers available during autumn months include dahlias, amaryllis, chrysanthemums and hydrangea. Opting for seasonal flowers for your wedding is always a smart choice.
You can discuss your flowers options and costs with florists. Getting flowers from your own or a friend’s gardens can save you a lot of money. Purchasing flowers from local wholesalers is anotheroption. You can also shop online. Artificial flowers are another way to save money on wedding flowers. Artificial flowers last for long and can even be reused for other decorations.
PLANNER SECRET #3
MOST OF THE FOOD BUDGET GOES INTO ALCOHOL – EITHER LIMIT THE
SERVING TIME OR THE VARIETY
Alcohol is a major expense at most weddings. If you have a tight budget, you may consider an alcohol free wedding. You may also make do with just a champagne toast. But if alcohol is a must- have for you, there are other ways to cut wedding liquor costs. The amount of money spent on alcohol depends on the quantity and variety of drinks served. A full-time open bar is the most expensive option. Limiting the variety of liquor to a select few is an effective way of controlling the cost of wedding beverages.
At venues like parks or home, where you can bring your own liquor, wedding beverage costs are usually lower because you can get a significant discount by buying alcohol in bulk. Many reception halls, clubs, hotels and caterers have their own liquor services. But availing such services can cost you more than buying liquor on your own. You may negotiate with the wedding venue management to allow you to make your own beverages arrangements. The quantity of liquor you purchase should depend on the number of guests. Many reception halls provide information on the quantity of alcohol that may be required.
The amount of alcohol consumed at a wedding is also affected by the timing. More alcohol is consumed in evening receptions compared to those held in the mornings. The length of service is another factor you need to consider because you are paying not only for alcohol, but also for bartending services. At one of the weddings w e worked on, closing the bar for some time during dinner service helped the couple save a considerable amount of money.
You may opt for alcoholic beverages like whisky, vodka, scotch, rum, vermouth, bourbon, beer (light, domestic and imported), wine (red, white) and champagne (if you plan to have a toast). Other options include Brandy, Chambord, Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Frangelico. Many people opt for wine and spirits or wine and beer only wedding.