This week’s guest blogger is Richard’s youngest daughter, Amanda, who just married her long-time beau in Austin, TX. This is the last part of a series about wedding planning on a budget - read Part I here and Part II here and Part III here.
- You definitely want good photos of your day, so be sure to choose someone you love, and see if they will work with you on the package to come up with the right price.
- Some packages list a minimum of 6 hours, but we only needed 4 to capture all of the key moments. See if they are willing to work fewer hours for less.
- Brunch and lunch costs less than dinner. Buffet costs less than plated.
- Cash bars remain a hotly controversial topic on the message boards. I personally did not feel right charging my guests for an event I was hosting, so we included free-flowing champagne. Another option is to serve wine and beer, and maybe one signature cocktail that compliments the food.
- Fewer tiers cost less, and round costs less than square. The simpler, the better.
- Buttercream is less expensive (and tastes way better anyway).
- Forego the groom’s cake, or get one at Costco or Whole Foods.
- A one-person harpist or guitar player costs less than a 4-piece string quartet.
- Alternately, you can have a friend use an iPod and play some songs that are meaningful to you.
- A DJ is less expensive than a live band. Plus, a DJ can act as you reception coordinator by making toasts, etc. He can also provide more variety than a live band with a very specific sound.
- You can use the same iPod option here and create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple.
- Set up a honeymoon registry on honeyfund.com. People contribute by purchasing virtual gifts for your honeymoon, but these funds can recoup some of your wedding costs if necessary.
By following these guidelines, I was able to stay within budget and start my marriage completely debt- and stress- free. Everything turned out beautifully, and looked much more expensive than it really was.
Some harmless gossip got back to me, about how some of the guests were marveling at how beautiful everything was, and how it must have cost us a fortune. I believe the exact words were “Cha-ching!” That’s when I knew I had pulled it off, and it was one of the best compliments I received all night.