:: How to Have a Wedding for $1,000 ::
This week I bring you the second installment to the ‘How to Have a Wedding for $1,000’ blog. I am going to propose some more ways as to how you could plan your wedding for $1,000; saving you thousands of dollars, and countless headaches.
Photography :: Photography can be a big expense for a wedding, with the national average spend being $2,440 in 2013 (The Knot, 2014). Rather than shelling out thousands of dollars for a professional photographer, why not hire a college student studying photography instead? Though they will have less experience than a professional, for a much cheaper price, they can offer the necessary equipment, as well as the desire to take great pictures for their personal portfolio. Why not have an engagement shoot with them beforehand, to truly see the quality of their work and whether it works for you. Alternatively, skip hiring a photographer altogether, and instead, have your wedding guests take photos for you throughout the day.
Food :: There are a variety of ways to keep costs down on catering for your wedding guests; the key is to think simple. One of the hottest wedding trends for the past couple of years, and continuing for 2015, is the use of food trucks (Huffington Post, 2014). Food trucks bring an element of fun to your wedding day, and offer an inexpensive alternative to traditional catering services; even giving you the flexibility to save money by handing the food costs directly to your guests, if this is something that you would feel comfortable with. And don’t forget the advice mentioned in part one of the blog, if you time it right then you could save yourselves a lot of money. Think outside the box; scale down on the food offerings by serving appetizers or desserts, and champagne, rather than a sit-down meal. You could cut costs even more by serving tea, coffee, sparkling fruit juices and sparkling water, rather than the more expensive alternative of champagne.
Cake :: If you or anyone you know loves to bake, you could save a lot of money by making your own cake. Naked cakes have been a particularly popular trend amongst the wedding scene for quite some time now. And the best thing about them is that they are made to look a little rough around the edges, so if any mistakes were to happen during the baking process, it’s easier to hide them than on a more traditional wedding cake. Alternatively, many people now opt for a small cake to act as the top tier of their wedding cake, which you could pick up from a local bakery for a reasonable price of around $30. Then the rest of the ‘tiers’ are made up of cupcakes! Cupcakes are a much simpler alternative to bake yourself, or with a baking buddy. They also give you the freedom to choose a whole variety of flavors, rather than having to opt for just one.
Music :: Reception DJ’s alone can cost you over $1,000, so you could save yourself a lot of money by using an iPod for your music instead. Apps such as Spotify and Pandora easily allow you to find suitable playlists, so you don’t have to worry about having to control the music all night. One way to make this more personal, is to have your guests help you create a wedding playlist on the run up to the wedding; why not ask them to request a song they would like to hear on their wedding RSVP? This would bring a more personal touch to the music and ensure that there will be songs that all of your guests will enjoy throughout your special day.
Flowers :: Flowers for a wedding can cost a great deal, but one way to save is to stay in season! If you stick with flowers that are in season, then your costs will come way down. Also, remember that less is more. Rather than having tons of flowers, with huge centerpieces, instead, be creative and keep the use of flowers to a minimum. There are hundreds of examples of simple yet extremely effective centerpieces on Pinterest. Another fantastic suggestion comes from one of our MRSter advisory board members, and owner of Life Design Event Planning, Cicely Rocha.Miller, who suggests having each of your guests bring a single flower. She says “give them a particular color scheme to stay within, and then as you’re walking down the aisle, collect those flowers and ultimately that becomes your bouquet, so there’s some sentimental value to it as well” (via AZ Family, 2014).
Décor :: Again, regarding décor on a budget, think less is more. Pinterest offers a huge catalog of ideas for décor elements, many of which you can DIY yourself for little money. Many suggestions actually include items that are readily available from dollar stores, such as candles, vases, and other items that can easily dress up wedding tables. I personally love lighting and lots of candles; they add a lot of ambiance to a wedding venue and are budget friendly alternatives. For other décor elements, be sure to check out recycled wedding item websites, such as Recycle Your Wedding – Ruffled, as they are full of discounted wedding items. What I love about this particular site is that you can search for items by state, saving money on shipping costs too!
Overall, there are plenty of ways that you can cut costs on your wedding day, and still pull off the day of your dreams. There is an abundance of inspiration for beautiful low-cost weddings readily available, you just have to think outside the box and not get carried away in the planning process. This can be tricky, as there is a lot of societal pressure that makes us believe that we have to splurge on a huge, extravagant wedding, but just remember that your wedding day is about you and your significant other, so focus on the act of what you are doing, rather than how much you are spending.
Sian Clark // Social Media Manager