Save money on wedding planning

So, you’re planning a wedding! Congratulations! Weddings are a very exciting and special time but it’s no secret that expenses can add up quickly. Here are some tips to have your dream day while sticking to a budget.

Make a plan and a budget. Your first step should be to make a plan of exactly what you want your special day to entail along with how much it will cost. Be generous with your estimates and make sure to factor in gratuities for your vendors.

Know what you don’t want. Take some time to talk to your future spouse about what truly matters (and doesn’t matter) to you both. There’s no sense in paying for a seven-tier cake when you would both rather have a DIY candy bar.

Shop around. Before getting too attached to one venue or caterer, get quotes from several different vendors to get a better sense of the market rate. Visit a designer boutique for your dress, but also consider bridal consignment stores or department stores.

Go Paperless. Invitations can be expensive and are easy to misplace. Consider using an e-vite website such as paperless post. Create a wedding website (The Knot has an easy-to-use website builder) with all the information your guests will need. If you send an e-vite, you can link to the website and guests can keep all the information they need in one place.

Be flexible with your date. Saturdays are the most expensive days to get married, so consider an alternative day. Winter months are less in-demand so venues may be cheaper. Check WeddingWire’s wedding date calendar to get a sense of how popular each day of the year is.

Consider the talents of your friends and family. Is your friend a calligrapher who could create place cards? Is your cousin a violinist who knows Canon in D? Often friends and family will feel honored to have a part in your big day and their contributions can help you cut costs.

Get crafty. The internet has a wealth of DIY wedding crafts. If you aren’t handy with a glue gun, get the members of your wedding party together for a night of decorating centerpieces. It will save you money and help your wedding party bond.

Limit vendor hours. In order to manage your photography budget, hire a professional photographer for the ceremony and then create a unique hashtag for the reception and let the guests take over as photographers. You will save money on the contract with the photographer by limiting their hours.