- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
tomi.lawanson: I am doing a $10,000 wedding and it only got that high because my mom wants to do a few special things that she is paying for, otherwise it would be closer to $7000.
I wrote a blog post on some ideas, but since you can’t link blogs here it is:
Slim the Guest List<br />This is the first thing everyone suggests you do. We didn’t really have to, our families aren’t too huge and some people won’t be able to make the long trip. We based our guest list on the room rental capacity, other than that we didn’t really have a limit. Unless your guest list is over 200 I think there are many other things you can do to save money that won’t effect the over all feel of your wedding.<br /><br />Consider a Friday or Sunday Wedding<br />For us Friday wasn’t going to be cheaper and wouldn’t really work for our local guests, Friday and Saturday are the busiest days in Banff. But this can work, depending on your guests. Friday weddings usually start later so the shortest amount of time needs to be taken off work. This means you would have to do a first look to have any time for photos, a late ceremony start and a later dinner or heavy hors d’oeuvres if you start late enough. <br />A Sunday wedding could be in the morning or afternoon, serve hors d’oeuvres, lunch or brunch, all are cheaper than supper. Some rental fees might be cheaper, like for your venue or chair rentals. You can also have limited alcohol, limited choices or no alcohol at all, and it not be weird. We are serving wine and hors d’oeuvres during the reception, then taking a ton of photos and going out for an after party for those that want to party afterwards. <br /><br />Non-Wedding Venues<br />Think about all venues that could host a wedding, but don’t necessarily advertise it. Parks, museums, art galleries, theaters are all possibilities of being a gorgeous wedding venue. It is true there tends to be a wedding mark up on a lot of services, so go after those that don’t usually provide the service. Every venue and vendor in Banff is smart enough to cater to the huge wedding industry in Banff, but if you research enough you will find those less known places and they always offer better prices.
<br />Recruit Your Friends<br />Use your friends talents to your advantage! Have a friend who is into music? Get them to put together a playlist for you and operate the iPod instead of hiring a DJ. Especially music talented friends could play the guitar or other musical instrument for your ceremony music. An outgoing friend could be your officiant or Master of Ceremonies. Get a super organized friend to be your day of coordinator. If you’ve got friends handy with hair or make-up put their skills to the test! Might be a good idea to do a test run, just in case, invite her over for a girls night for makeovers and wine! A friend could also make cupcakes or other desserts and if you are really lucky a tiered wedding cake!<br /><br />Scout the Schools<br />Look for up and coming talents from schools nearby. Beauty school or a music academy have plenty of hidden gems in them.<br /><br />Alternative Decor and Centerpieces<br />Real flowers are expensive and only last a few days. Come up with alternative decor that matches your theme and colors. Pine cones, acorns or wheat suit a rustic wedding. Paper or coffee filters make great fake flowers for a romantic, fun wedding. Fresh fruit add colors and personality to a spring wedding. Potted plants are a great alternative and they will last longer! I saw one bride who put the plants into hollowed out logs for her rustic wedding! Candles add a warm touch to almost any centerpiece, doesn’t really suit an afternoon wedding though. Alternatives for bouquets as well is a good money saver, paper or fabric flowers and a new idea I saw is lanterns with a candle, it looks so enchanting!<br /><br />Online RSVP<br />So many people forget or don’t bother to RSVP, think of all the wasted pre-stamped envelopes and time and money spent on the RSVP cards! And after going through all that trouble you have to track all those people down. People don’t seem to understand you need an actual number or you will be paying for their plate for no reason! We are doing an online RSVP, on our wedding website instead. It is better for the environment too!<br /><br />Casual Rehearsal Dinner<br />Since 90% of our guest list is from out of town we decided to do a welcome picnic instead of a rehearsal dinner. It will be a super casual, fun picnic in the park. We will borrow a table to put all the food on, use the gazebo in the park for some shelter and seats, buy boat loads of picnic food and drinks. This will be the first time our two families meet so I like they will have a chance to get to know one another before the actual wedding.<br /><br />No Favors<br />If it wasn’t for the ribbon wands and photo booth we wouldn’t have any favors at all. Most get left behind or thrown out when the guests check out. No one will miss them.<br /><br />Budget Planner<br />The budget planners on http://www.theknot.com/ and http://www.weddingwire.com/ are both great. Type in your budget and it will break it down to how much each item should cost. Some are going to be more, some less and some won’t apply, but it is defiantly a great starting point. As you start to book things you can fine tune your estimates. Slim down all the numbers you can. Remember to add tax and gratuity!<br /><br />DIY, DIY, DIY!!<br />Like seriously, everything you can flippin imagine. Once you have your colors and theme down, buy your craft supplies from a bulk wholesaler. All of my craft supplies cost about $300. It will take a lot of time and energy but will save you thousands. I am pretty crafty and enjoy it so it is fun for me!<br />Here is my list: http://nicoleandmitch.blogspot.ca/2013/11/my-list-of-diy-wedding-projects.html<br /><br />Decide What is Important <br />You might have to make some sacrifices and compromises. I want to make sure the guests are well fed and have enough to drink. Things that aren’t too important to me is the music, so we are saving by using an iPod for the reception and still looking into getting someone from the local music school to play music at the ceremony. The only vendor I would recommend to hire a professional is a photographer. Not every person with an SLR is qualified to shoot a wedding, it takes a lot of experience to know your settings on a moments notice, get flattering angles and it helps to have the best gear.