Here is our top 20 tips on how you can save money on your wedding without it necessarily looking tacky or cheap. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience and you can have the wedding of your dream without overspending.
1. Off Season and Morning Weddings
You can save money if you get married during the off-season months of May, June, July and August. Many vendors and venues have specials for those times as they are not fully booked. A morning wedding is also in general less expensive than an evening wedding, because people eat less in the morning than in the evening. You also don't need a bar and can serve light alcohol refreshments like orange juice mixed with champagne.
2. Rent your Wedding Dress or buy second-hand wedding dresses
There are so many stunning wedding dresses that is available to rent. It is much cheaper than buying a dress that you are probably never going to wear again.
3. Buy neutral coloured bridesmaids' dresses
Shop for bridesmaids' dresses during matrick farewell season at normal retail shops and go for a neutral colour like white, silver, grey, black or gold that is still part of your colour theme. You can always add something of your own like beading, flowers and lace to make it fit in with your theme. Also, your bridesmaids will have more use for the dress than a tailor made fancy dress.
4. Shop for wedding shoes in the summer
Shop for those pretty wedding shoes in the summer, when white and silver shoes are readily available in every shoe store. Shop in the afternoon, as your feet swell during the day and they'll also be swollen on your wedding day. Remember to buy some flats with which you can dance on your wedding day.
5. Rent your decorations
Before you buy any decorations like serviettes, flowers, crystals, candles, tablecloths etc. visit a wedding decor rental company who can rent it out for half the price. Many garden centers also rent out plants and accessories to decorate your hall.
6. Hand-made Invitation
To make your invitations more personal, do them yourself. There are a number of paper stores and websites available where you can find original ideas and ways to make your own invitations. Rather send your 'Reserve-this-date' notifications per email to save money on printing costs.
7. Don't have dessert and a wedding cake
First off its a waste and people is usually so full after the second course that they only have a small helping of dessert. You can serve you wedding cake as dessert instead. Substitute sugar flowers (which takes time and is expensive) with fresh sugar coated roses on your wedding cake or use other interesting inexpensive decorations. Wedding Cupcakes is also nice and a less expensive way to provide something for the sweet tooth. You can ask a friend or your mother to bake it the day before and everybody can help with the icing. There are great and stunning ways to decorate them which will save you money.
8. Get an all-in-one beauty specialist
Try to hire one person or company that does both hair and makeup. Only the bride needs a trial run. The more people they have to makeup and do hair for – the less it costs per person, so hire a specialist to do everybody's makeup. Please get your nails done and make sure the groom's hands are also manicured, more than likely you'll be photographed that shows your hands and the wedding bands. People will be constantly asking to see your rings so ensure that you put your best hand forward.
9. Get a venue who can provide everything
More and more venues are providing an all-in-one service from catering, crockery to even decorations and flowers. Check with your venue about their prices and what they have to offer. You might save a penny here and there at a different decor hiring place, but take into account your petrol for driving around as well as the hassle after the wedding.
10. Pick food that is in season and stick to familiar food
Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season. Stick to serving food that everyone is familiar with - maybe with a slight twist if you want it to be something really special. Guest is quite picky and in general they will more likely enjoy food that they know then fancy food they have never tried before.
11. Choose Buffets or Fingerfood
Buffets generally cost a good deal less than plated dinners and give your guests the opportunity to get up and mingle with the other guests, and they can pick exactly what they would like to eat and how much.
12. Have a cash bar
Liquor can be a very expensive item if you provide it. Let everybody buy there own drinks - you will not only save money, but in a way you will save yourself from guests who gets too drunk. Depending on your culture and where you live, having a cash bar is totally acceptable.
13. Provide Less Alcohol
Consider only serving wine and juice. One medium-sized bottle Champagne is enough for 10 people.
14. Invite less people
Common sense tip - the more guests the more cash you're going to put out. Try to keep the wedding party rather smaller than bigger. However this is a matter of personal taste and it is your wedding day and nobody elses.
15. Choose flowers in season
You will not only save money, but the flowers will also be fresher and at its best.
16. Keep decor and flowers simple
Less is more - a very simple glass vase with 3 single flowers like roses can sometimes be far more prettier than a very over "designed" flower assembly. Do not overdo the decor - first off it costs more and its does not necessarily look so good.
17. Do and make your own decorations
This is more hardwork for you and your helpers - but you can save quite a few bucks by doing somethings yourself like for example just placing the decorations where you want it. Have all your friends and family help you.
18. Less is more
In general if you keep things more simplified and make use of less services - you can save money. For example a wedding band with a singer and a DJ is far more expensive than just a DJ, who can provide quality music on his/her own anyway.
19. Borrow what and where you can
If you are not picky about your wedding car - do think about borrowing one from a friend of family you know. If you are buying any wedding decor - try to buy things you can use afterwards like glasses etc. If you are buying material for runners - choose something that you can use in your house afterwards as a curtain or table placers etc.
20. Don't just accept the first quote and ask service providers where you can save money
One wedding service in Bloemfontein can be more expensive than another - although they provide precisely the same service. Make sure when you look throught the quotes - what precisely do you pay for and what hidden costs or vat is not included.