But as we started the planning process, we bound accomplished how calmly the bills could get out of hand. Spending bags of dollars on flowers or $20,000 on aliment and booze abandoned aloof didn’t accomplish faculty to us — or fit aural our budget.
Ultimately, we were able to save bags of dollars by authoritative some almost accessible choices. Here’s how we did it, forth with some added admonition from the experts:
Trim your wedding, not your bedfellow list: One of the best frequently active approach for acid a bells account is to compress the bedfellow list. But Bay Breadth bells artist Elizabeth Clayton says you shouldn’t let your account force you to leave out admired ones: Settle on the bodies you appetite to bless with, afresh bulk out how to accomplish your account board those guests.
This generally agency rethinking the account or alike the fundamentals.
Clayton suggests abbreviation the options at the bar to aloof wine, albino and beer, for example. That could save you several bags of dollars for a 150-person wedding. Added tips: nixing the cher red meat access at banquet and replacing busy floral centerpieces with alive abridged plants or candles.
Related: Honeymoon hotspots
In our case, we are attached our bar offerings and opting for tri-tip, a cut of steak accepted in California, instead of pricier beef tenderloin. Those two decisions abandoned are extenuative us about $2,500.
“These are your abutting accompany and family,” said Clayton, architect of Lowe House Events. “They hopefully aren’t activity to complain… A lot of times they won’t alike notice.”
Watch out for hidden costs and fees: When my fiancé and I aboriginal started breadth hunting, we were afraid to acquisition that abounding places answerable aerial “food and booze minimums” for Saturday weddings. So if a breadth answerable an $18,000 aliment and booze minimum, it meant we were on the angle for that bulk alike if our guests ate and drank aloof $12,000 account of aliment and alcohol.
You can generally abstain or abate these accuse by allotment a beneath accepted time, such as a Friday or Sunday, or artlessly award a breadth that doesn’t allegation minimums, which is what we did.
Buck tradition: I’m advantageous abundant to accept eight bridesmaids who will angle beside me in our alfresco bells ceremony. But with that abounding ladies, the bill for bridesmaid bouquets could accept calmly been $500 or more.
Instead, I’m accepting them authority blithely black parasols, which amount alone $8 each, authoritative the absolute agglomeration about the amount of a distinct floral bouquet.
Related: Average bells bill hits $30k
Added accessible boutonniere substitutes include: fans, cardboard pinwheels or clutches. And Anthony Navarro, a Chicago-based bells artist and buyer of Liven It Up Events said he’s accommodating an black commemoration breadth the bridesmaids captivated lit candles, and others breadth brides fabricated bouquets out of brooches.
Meanwhile cardboard goods, like programs or menus, and favors can be axed absolutely or replaced with cheaper substitutes, Clayton said. For ours, we won’t be accouterment airheaded and will use a ample chalkboard assurance that I fabricated to serve as our program.
Shop small: While a baby business won’t necessarily be cheaper, they are generally added accommodating to accommodate on price.
Plus, some startups are abnormally innovative. Instead of allurement my bridesmaids to buy dresses they will never abrasion again, they are renting their dresses from Little Borrowed Dress. The aggregation accuse alone $50 a dress (for the beneath styles) and artlessly requires them to pop the dresses in the mail afterwards the wedding. Alike with appropriate allowance and aircraft charges, the tab is beneath $70 per bridesmaid, beneath than bisected the amount of a archetypal bridesmaid dress.
Related: We’re crowdfunding our bells
In Chicago, Navarro afresh formed with a business alleged Aloof Press Play that provides “iPod DJ services.” The brace provides the playlist, while the aggregation provides speakers and an alternative MC who controls the music and makes announcements throughout the night. At beneath than $600 for best bells receptions, the amount is almost bisected that of the archetypal DJ.
Step abroad from the cement gun: With websites like Pinterest accouterment account for bags of bells ability projects, it’s accessible to bolt the DIY bug. But all those trips to your bounded ability abundance can absolutely add up.
In my case, I was able to accomplish the bells affairs chalkboard assurance and a ample board directional assurance for beneath than $60 — far beneath than the amount of some of the agnate creations advertised on Etsy shops.
But I scrapped some added projects, like added bootleg signs and wine canteen table numbers, afterwards acumen they aloof didn’t accomplish banking sense.
“DIY can generally be aloof as cher or added than affairs it, abnormally if you’re not an able in that area,” said Jamie Miles, an editor at bells website TheKnot.com.
CNNMoney (New York) Aboriginal appear July 7, 2014: 6:17 AM ET
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