(Closed) Where to cut costs? Experience from other bees wanted.

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Lake Louise Canada

We cut flowers down to $300 and skipped favors, garters, cake. Centerpieces are non-floral. Doing my own makeup. Rental tux rather than purchased. We wanted to splurge on the venue instead. My 7 course plated will be the bomb.

Post # 4
Member
10353 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We skipped flowers for the reception and did candles instead (bought them 50% off at Hobby Lobby). You can spend way less than $4K on flowers. We spent $700.

I used Thumbtack to find my DJ, photographer, and officiant and got great deals on all of them.

Cut favors and programs entirely. They are completely unnecessary. Skip the photobooth. Your guests won’t miss them.

Skip hiring transportation and just have people drive themselves. It worked just fine at our wedding. 

DIY your hair and make-up will save quite a bit of money.

Post # 5
Member
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I think decor can definitely be shaved down – pretty lights and a few flowers will do the trick!

Don’t skimp on your guest’s care and comfort is all I can say. The photographer is very important and looking right for the camera (correct make-up) is a no-brainer.

Post # 6
Member
909 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

We had a pretty simple wedding, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but here are some thngs that helped. 

Cutting flowers down is a good way to reduce costs for sure. You could always look at non-floral centerpieces, there are some really good ideas on Pinterest. I made a bunch of crepe paper flowers with wine bottles for our centerpieces, and while I don’t reccomend doing quite that much DIY work, there are definitely less labor intinsive options.

As far as DJ/band, it depends what kind of vibe you’re going for. We had an afternoon reception so just made a playlist on Groove which cost $10 for the month subscription, and had it going during the reception. Depending on how music savvy you are and how much dancing you’re planning, you could always make your own playlist and hire a college student or someone similar to run it for you and switch to a more dancing/upbeat song as necessary. 

Favors, transportation, and reception extras like photobooths or other games are all unnecessry if you’re trying to cut costs. They can be nice for sure, but I would look at cutting here first. 

We picked a venue that let us bring our own alcohol, which we bought in bulk from the local liquor store fore really cheap. We only had wine and beer, so didn’t need to hire a bartender, but even if you did have to hire someone it might be cheaper overall. IDK if your venue allows this though. 

We printed our own invitations with a templete from Etsy ($20). Overall the cost was about $60 for 100 invitations, including paper, ink, the templete, and custom printed ribbon to tie around them. They looked very professional too. 

Smaller bridal party means less gifts, flowers, hair/makeup, etc. 

Literally no one looked at our programs, and we even had them for the full Catholic Mass so everyone could follow along, so I would skip these for sure. I’m glad we only spent $20 printing them lol

If you’ve already choosen the venue, I’m assuming this means you’ve set your guest list, but cutting that down can help as well. Just don’t make the mistake of not inviting your guests’ SOs. 

I honestly skipped most of the little things at our wedding, and nobody cared at all. I found that if everyone is fed in a timely manner and there is good music, then guests are pretty much happy. 🙂

Post # 7
Member
39 posts
Newbee

For my wedding that I’m currently planning (I’m 11 months out too! smile), I’ve never been a huge real flower person so any flower in my wedding are fake flowers. I’m lucky enough to have a craft floral store that sells fake flowers in bulk and it has been fairly cheap.. and I love crafting. I’m currently crafting wrist corsages for the ladies as I write this post! lol

How about hairstyles and makeup? Some of the prices in my area are ridiculous for hairstyles and makeup so I have one of my bridesmaid doing my hair since I want something pretty simple and my makeup will be mostly natural since I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis.

I’m doing very simple wedding favors.. just a little box of hershey kisses with personalized wedding stickers. The last wedding I went to didn’t even have favors for the guests and unless you’re having a very small wedding (like less than 50 people), I don’t feel like you need anything extravagant for wedding favors.

Depending on the size of your guest list, I’ve heard of people having a small cake that’s decorated and all pretty for wedding pictures and the cake cutting and then had sheet cakes in the back to actually pass out to guests.

Our invitations and save-the-date magnets I ordered from VistaPrint online. The pricing was pretty fair (they have coupons and sales all the time!) and the quality was pretty good for their purpose. RSVP cards I printed myself which were pretty simple (can you tell I’m a simple person? Mostly because of the fiance, lol).

Post # 9
Member
1035 posts
Bumble bee

We had a gorgeous, formal evening wedding with about 200 guests.  Our goal was to protect at all costs: venues, great food including cake, live band, full open bar, and a really good photographer. And flowers, I loved my flowers for our spring wedding!! 

 

Here is where we cut corners:

-venue allowed us to bring in outside alcohol & have caterer’s licensed staff serve. I think we spent about $2000 or $2500 on alcohol vs what probably would have been a $10k++ bar package through the caterer or venue

 

-no hired transportation.  Bridal party figured out how to get to ceremony and reception venues.  We had a family member drive us from ceremony to reception and from the reception home

 

-no photo booth or other extras aside from our amazing band that kept the dance floor full all night.  No candy “bar” or dessert table, just good ole bride’s cake and groom’s cake. 

 

-no favors. 

 

-no calligraphy for invitations.  I have nice handwriting and just addressed them myself.

 

-no hotel room for wedding night. We got married in the city we live in & left for honeymoon on Monday so no need to spend $300-500 for a room we’d barely be in on Saturday

 

-Husband rented tuxedo

 

-No chivari chairs or chair covers. Our venue had white wooden folding chairs that worked perfectly for our spring wedding so we went with those vs paying $5-10/chair to upgrade. 

 

Those are all things no one will notice if you skip.  Beyond that, it’s cutting back the guest list where you will really save money across multiple categories – food, bar, invitations, table/chair rentals, etc. 

 

Post # 10
Member
2802 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

You can skip favors, programs (I think they’re really only necessary if you’re having a church wedding so people can follow the service), photo booth, a lot of decor stuff (signs, menu cards, do a seating plan not escort cards) and I didn’t even have a florist.  I got silk flowers for bouquets and had non floral centrepieces.  

Post # 11
Member
39 posts
Newbee

View original reply
cbryns :  In regards to the photobooth, one wedding I attended had multiple disposable cameras at every table and it allowed the guests to take their own pictures. They then were able to develop those pictures and have pictures that weren’t taken by their own photographer. I thought it was a really cute idea and it’ll probably be cheaper than a professional photobooth.

Post # 12
Member
10353 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

View original reply
cbryns :  Our venue was in the mountains in Colorado. Easily an hour from the closest airport. Not a single guest had issues getting to the venue on thier own.

ETA: We ordered our invites from Minted and in my opinion it was 100% worth the slightly higher cost especially bbecause they include addressing them for you in that cost. I hated addressing our save the dates and it saved so much time with the invites and looked way nicer than I could have done.

Post # 13
Member
3437 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

As a guest I can honestly tell you all I’m going to remember is how good or bad the food and music was, whether I was in an uncomfortable environment – 50 degrees or below with no frickin heaters bc someone wanted an outdoor *winter wonderland* type wedding in January etc., – plus the guests I mingled with. Not your theme, photobooth, favors I will leave behind 99.9% of the time, special lighting or any other unnecessary fluff.  Don’t cut corners with food quality (don’t care if its cheap as long as its delicious), drinks, music selection (a kick ass playlist trumps a sucky DJ) or guest comfort and you’re fine. I got enough wholesale flowers for 10 centerpieces $123, truthfully could have done without flowers. Ditched favors and programs, invites were cheap, dress was listed as a prom dress under $300, $15 etsy seating chart, no special transportation and DIY make-up bc I neither like nor wear the stuff so it wasn’t a priority. I admittedly do not understand the BFD with photobooths and think they look rather cheesy but thats just personal opinion.  

Post # 14
Member
6474 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
cbryns :  areas we kept costs down were:

-Bridal party transport: our ceremony venue was a 2 mins walk from our reception venue, so everyone, inc myself and my husband, walked. Cars would have cost £500+.

-Stationery: we DIYed all stationery apart from the invitations which were complicated. Our design was fairly simple and so easy to assemble (couple mins per piece) and we saved around £400-500.

-Flowers (and decor in general): our reception venue was a boutique hotel with pretty rich decor and so no decorations were necessary, and flowers could be kept simple. Table centres were just simple fish bowls filled with hydrangeas (£25 each) or posies of roses (£40). All flowers used were in season which also kept costs low. 

-Photography: not a saving as such, but we opted for a package that didn’t include an album, and will purchase one when we can afford it. This meant we could spend our budget on getting the best photographer for our money, and save up the £2k for albums over time. 

-Bridesmaids hair/make-up/shoes: in the UK the couple pay for any stipulated bridal party attire. So to save money our bridesmaids wore shoes of their choice and did their own hair and make-up. This saved around £800.

-Videographer: we both hate how we sound on video, and for this and other reasons (feeling we wouldn’t watch it often, for eg) decided against hiring a videographer. Saving was around £1500-2000.

For me the areas that should never be cut/saved on are food and drink, and music, as those are really what makes the wedding, and also the photographer and rings, as those are the only things which last afterwards. Otherwise IMO you can make savings pretty much everywhere. 

Post # 15
Member
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
cbryns :  In place of photobooth: the disposable camera thing is fine but they’re pretty low quality. Why not have a shared place for your guests to upload their own photos from their likely superior phones?

P.S. Bees usually only take issue with these posts if the couple are trying to screw over the guests, which you’re not doing.

The topic ‘Where to cut costs? Experience from other bees wanted.’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors