6 Ways to Save $1000 on a Wedding

Ah, the blissful feeling of a new engagement – your clients are dreaming of their big day and writing out their wedding wish lists. But nothing will bring them back to reality quicker than a wedding budget.

Let’s face it – weddings are not cheap!

Budgeting is probably the most complicated and stressful aspect of planning a wedding for both newlyweds and wedding planners alike. It involves a great deal of compromise, patience, and the ability to be upfront. However, there are some easy ways to save money on a wedding. Specifically, to save $1000, which in the grand scheme of things will make a serious difference to a budget.

Join us as we share 6 ways to help your clients save money without making too many sacrifices on their big day!

1. The Wedding dress

During your event planner career, you’ll meet a huge number of brides with different personalities and backgrounds. A common thread throughout all of these different clients is the importance of the wedding dress, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise! A great deal of time, money and emotion is invested in this detail, and as the wedding planner, you’ll very likely be involved in the process of helping the bride choose her gown.

Because of this involvement, you’ll be able to make helpful suggestions that will save your bride a significant amount of money. Instead of looking for your client’s dream wedding gown at high-end bridal salons, make a list of trunk shows and sample sales in your area. Your client will be exposed to gorgeous gowns that will end up costing a fraction of what she would pay at a bridal store – just to give you an idea, she can expect to pay $150-$500 less for her gown this way. Some salons will even provide complimentary customizations (which will inevitably be needed), saving your bride even more money.

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Pro tip: If your client has her heart set on a custom-made, high-end wedding dress, don’t discourage her from purchasing it. After all, this is her big day, and one she’s dreamed about for years. DO suggest that she sell the dress after she wears it, as this could result in a hefty sum of money for her to enjoy once the big day is over!

2. The Guest list

It’s incredible how quickly a guest list can add up, especially when your clients have many friends, family, and colleagues. As much as they want everyone to be present when they take their vows, trimming down the guest list is actually one of the most effective ways to save money on a wedding (although we know it’s not easy!).

Early on in the planning process, as you organize your wedding planning checklist, encourage your clients to take some time to reflect on who they absolutely need to have at the wedding reception. Dinner is a huge cost – most caterers charge per person – so the bigger the guest list, the more expensive dinner will be. And you certainly don’t want to skimp on dinner itself – it’s a central part of the night and is definitely worth spending on. A buffet is a great option, as it allows you to save money and your guests will get more food for the amount you pay.

If your clients can pare down their guest list to less than 100 people, they’ll be much more likely to save a large chunk of money upwards of $1000. Keep in mind that the wedding ceremony can accommodate more guests than the reception, and often for free, so mention this to your clients as they build their guest list.

3. The Venue

When your clients envision their wedding day, one of the most important details is the venue. It’s where the magic happens – they want it to be memorable, romantic, and reflect their personalities. However, weddings don’t need to be held at a fancy hotel, banquet hall, or art gallery in order to be beautiful and unforgettable. Some of the loveliest weddings are held in backyards, in restaurants, or even local community centers.

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It’s up to you, as the wedding planner, to offer venue options to your clients that will help them stick to their budget. In some cases, they may even come in under budget! Choosing a less expensive venue, such as a backyard or restaurant, and then decorating it with carefully selected items will save your clients oodles of money. Borrowing sofas, chairs, and tables instead of renting them, or choosing table runners instead of linens are just two suggestions that will go a long way to help stay within the budget (and still create a wedding that is absolutely gorgeous).

For some helpful ideas on how to limit spending on décor for events, check out this post.

4. The Entertainment

It just wouldn’t be a wedding without some celebratory music now, would it? Your clients may have their hearts set on a live band for their wedding reception, but a local band can cost between $750 and $1500, and a more popular band can be even pricier – at $10,000 or more!

If your clients won’t be happy unless they have a specific band on their big day, suggest that they invest most of their budget into this wishlist item, and pare down costs elsewhere. If they aren’t dead set on a specific band, entertainment is an easy way to save money. Hiring a cost-effective DJ, or having your clients play a list of their favorite songs, are great options that will end up saving them well over $1000.

5. The Flowers

We would never suggest that you skimp on flowers for your client’s wedding. They’re lush, lovely, and add to the romantic atmosphere in a way that no other details can! However, event planners need to advise their clients to be slightly flexible with flowers, as this will save tons of money.

Just to give you a brief overview, the most expensive flowers out there are calla lilies, gardenias, hydrangeas, and roses – if they sound familiar, it’s because they’re extremely popular at weddings and events. On average, brides spent over $2,000 on flowers alone when planning a wedding, and many aren’t aware of other types of blooms that are much more affordable (and no less beautiful).

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Suggest seasonal flowers to your clients, such as daffodils and lilacs in the spring and holly and poinsettias in the winter. These are cheaper options, and just because choices are slightly more limited with seasonal flowers doesn’t mean you can’t arrange them in stunning ways. Research some centerpieces, bouquets, and other arrangements that can be achieved with the seasonal flowers your client has chosen, and they’ll be thrilled that they saved money while still having beautiful blooms on hand.

6. The Cake

For such a simple yet essential detail, wedding cakes come with a hefty price tag. No wedding would be complete without a dessert of some kind, so if your clients have a very specific, three-tiered cake in mind, you’ll need to work around this to ensure that it fits their budget.

The great news about tall, extravagant cakes is that you can actually fake it. Hear us out – some cakes are made out of foam and topped with icing so they look absolutely decadent in photos, but the newlyweds and guests are actually served a sheet cake instead. Or, choose a smaller (but still lovely) cake and throw in a dessert bar that includes cupcakes, ice cream, and candy. Guests will love this, we promise!

Another idea is a naked cake, which is a wedding cake served without any icing on the outside – for a 100 person wedding, each slice of this cake would be significantly cheaper, saving your client around $300-$500!

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Ultimately, you want to help your clients save as much money as possible while not sacrificing too much on the most important day of their lives! Keeping the items above in mind and trimming costs here and there will add up quickly.

Discover the top 6 budgeting tips you’ll learn in QC’s online event planning courses that will make your job much easier!

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