Planning > Wedding-0n-a-Budget > Budget / Cheap Wedding Ideas

Use Your Head, Not Your Budget!

Shannon Valente - Frit Fru Weddings

Have you ever heard of the saying ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder'? It is a rule we should all try to incorporate into our lives a little more and definitely into our weddings! There are a lot of things you can do to create a stunning wedding on a budget and wouldn't it be great if we could do all of the little things, the bottom line is... well there is a bottom line, the budget, if only it were endless. Being a successful wedding planner one of biggest hurdles and most common constraints I receive is the budget. Everyone wants their dream wedding; unfortunately not everyone has a dream budget. My advice: choose items that make the most impact.

A few examples

Chair Covers - One of the best ways to transform a drab banquet room into a wedding wonderland in a matter of minutes, is chair covers! Classic white provides a clean, crisp look and makes it look like, well, a wedding! Dramatic black can change any venue into a chic evening reception that guests will be raving about for years. Sashes in designer colours, adds the final touch to tie it all together, incorporates your signature colour and adds that extra pop! See for yourself, the before and after photos don't lie.

Lighting - Flood the room with rays of shimmering light to create a romantic atmosphere and ambiance all while incorporating your signature colour. Custom Lighting Packages are one of the best ways to transform a room, making maximum impact, for minimal budget. Lights can be used along the walls, along stair cases, along an aisle, behind the head table or bar, the possibilities are endless! A great way to warm up your winter wedding or create a hot sizzling summer reception.

Centrepieces - Dramatic centrepieces make a statement and draw your eye away from the less favourable aspects of the venue. Create drama using, colour, lights, height, greenery, branches, feathers, etc. A few things to keep in mind, tall centerpieces can create a huge impact; however, make sure you keep the bulk of the centerpiece above seated eye level so as not to obstruct your guests view.

Money Saving Tips For Your Wedding

Tips by Without A Hitch Wedding Consultants

Couples are always looking for ways to save a little bit of money on their wedding. Who doesnʼt like to get a discount, or spend a bit less on a purchase? There are many ways you can save a lot of money on your upcoming wedding without sacrificing everything youʼve always wanted.

Hire a wedding planner: It sounds a bit counter-intuitive to spend money on their services when youʼre attempting to cut costs, but planners can actually save you money! A wedding planner not only knows where to find the best deals for quality services, but because you are using their services to book your other vendors, companies can give business-to-business discounts. Many wedding companies like to keep wedding planners happy, because they are one of the only people that are able to bring them repeat business. In turn, that company may give a discount because you've used a wedding planner. A good wedding planner should be able to get you enough discounts to surpass their fees.

Do-It-Yourself: The more things you can do yourself, without having to hire anyone will save you a lot of money. For example, print your own invitations, place cards and menu cards. It doesnʼt take a graphic designer to come up with these yourself. There are many online resources where you can use free templates to create wedding invitations and other stationary. The more you can do yourself will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Ask for favours: Do you have a relative that makes great cakes? Someone who has taken photography classes? A good seamstress? Start asking trusted people you know about their talents. More often then not, that person will charge you a minimal fee or will do a service as a gift to you. Just make sure you know they are capable of doing the task ahead of time. Ask for a sample of their work, just so you can feel confident in their abilities.

Decide on that one item you can live without: It can be very difficult, but think about all of the items you have on your wedding To Do list and decide on one that you donʼt have to have; that one thing that won't make or break your wedding day. Is it the cake? Do you really need a limo? Do you have to buy the most expensive wedding favours? Choose the one thing you know you can cut and wonʼt feel badly about afterwards.

Think about having a Friday/Sunday Wedding: Many wedding vendors will give discounts to couples who chose a wedding date on either a Friday, Sunday, or during the off season (usually November to March). These discounts can be significant, especially with your reception and can help you to save several thousand dollars on your wedding.

You can still have a fantastic cheap wedding day, but you don't have to break the budget in doing so.

Budget Wedding Photography Ideas

Photography is usually a large portion of the wedding budget. When the budget is a concern, a professional wedding photographer may not be possible; however, hopefully one of these will be the right solution for your wedding photography woes.

This first option allows you to get a true feeling of what your guests are experiencing at your ceremony and reception. Purchase one or two disposable cameras for each table and row at your ceremony. Have your greeter or usher request that your guests take as many pictures as they would like, but to leave the cameras on the table when departing. All you have to do is collect the cameras and send them off for developing. Simple, right?

The next option would be to con a friend or family member into taking all of the photos for you. Pick someone who is creative and energetic, as you are requesting them to invest a considerable amount of time and energy on the event day. You would be surprised at how many people would love the opportunity and consider it an honor.

The final option is to set up a fixed, digital, video camera to record. This will allow you to select pictures from the recorded video. This option is best when used in smaller, more intimate, weddings.

Lastly, if you are looking for great wedding photographer at a discounted price then check out an Ontario based company, Julie Broadbent Photography. They are currently offering a great special for the rest of 2008, 25% off.

Story by Carol Callahan

Cut Your Wedding Budget In Half—That's Right Half!

By Tracey Porpora

Psst! Did you know your wedding can be amazing and affordable? We've come up with 10 clever budget-slashing moves guests at your Canadian wedding will never even notice.

Great news for all you brides and grooms out there worried about burning holes in your pockets planning your dream affair: You can literally save thousands of dollars on wedding services—from invitations to catering to flowers to entertainment—and do so without making noticeable sacrifices in quality or style.

10 ways to slash your wedding budget

  1. Save $$ On Your Wedding Venue:

    Having a short engagement? Lucky you. Some venues will reduce their fees if you book less than six months before your wedding day because they weren't counting on renting out their space for a wedding so close to that date (most brides and grooms book a year or more in advance).
  2. Cheaper Invitations:

    Cut invitation costs in half by using a printing technique called thermography rather than pricey engraving (thermography is a process that uses heated powder resin to give the print a raised lettering feel).
  3. Floorplan Designs That Save Dollars:

    Instruct your caterer to set up big, oblong or rectangular tables that seat 12 or 14 people, rather than round ones that accommodate just 10, which will allow you to cut down on the number of floral centerpieces you need.
  4. Cheaper Flower Arrangements (That Don't Look Cheap):

    Ask your florist to use full-blooming flowers rather than buds that haven't completely opened up. This decreases the number of flowers you'll need, saving you money since you pay on a per-flower basis.
  5. Slash Catering Costs:

    Cut down on the number of courses you serve and reduce your catering bill—which is a huge chunk of your wedding budget (40% or so on average)—and shave as much as 30% off the total.
  6. Cut Cake Costs:

    Cut the price of your cake by half simply by asking your baker to use butter cream instead of fondant frosting. (Fondant is a soft, creamy frosting that costs a lot more)
  7. Slash Your Photography Budget:

    Hire a photographer for less hours. You don't need photos before the ceremony or after the cake is cut. Save on your shutterbug's hourly cost!
  8. Save Money On Liquor:

    Serve guests a stylish signature drink, like an “apple martini” or “cosmopolitan” along with only beer and wine, rather than a costly full open bar.
  9. Have Fabulous Favors for Less:

    Purchase favours at a retail outlet or department store during an “after holiday sale ” and save as much as 50% to 75%. The days after Christmas and Valentine's Day, in particular, are great for buying ornaments and candles that can be used as gifts the following year.
  10. Fine-Tune the Entertainment:

    Make sure you have only one lead singer in the band you hire. If you have to pay the salaries of three or four singers, you pay per-musician cost will sky rocket.

Cheap and Chic Weddings – Some Tips For The Bride and Groom

An elegant, modern wedding doesn’t have to break the bank – with a bit of forethought, you can minimize expenditures without sacrificing style. Once you’ve determined a budget that works for you, you can get creative, finding inexpensive flowers, food - even bridal gowns! Style has never been about money, and you should keep that in mind, as you put together a wedding that won’t leave you with a lot of debt.

If you are planning a budget-conscious wedding, but still want all the bells and whistles, you should look at our tips for saving money and creating a special ceremony and reception…

Weddings can be very expensive, but they don’t have to be... here is a list of tips that will save you a significant amount of money…

  1. Flowers
    • There are many ways to save here: flowers can be a huge expense if you are not careful. Consider the time of year – if your wedding is close to a big event, like Mother’s Day, the price of your blooms will skyrocket. If you’ve yet to set the date, give thought to when flowers will be cheapest.
    • Simplicity is modern: instead of big, showy arrangements, consider simpler groupings of a few pretty flowers, such as pink roses or lilies. Visualize the flowers you see in magazines (i.e. a few blooms in a small round vase, tied with a ribbon): they are simple, gorgeous, and inexpensive. Also, they work perfectly at a dining table, as they won’t obstruct anyone’s view.
  2. Food
    • Your food budget will affect your invitation list: you must be realistic about how many people you can afford to feed. Consider having a reception during the late afternoon, with wonderful mixed cocktails and elegant appetizers, to avoid the expense of main entrees.
    • If your heart is set on a full dinner, try to incorporate a buffet: it will cost less. You can fill chafing dishes with cheaper staples like roast potatoes and rice pilaf, and spend money on one or two main dishes everyone will love, such as Beouf Bourgignon or Poached Salmon. As well, make your own salads and other such items to avoid catering fees.
  3. Your Wedding Dress
    • Ebay or Craig's List is the simplest answer to pricey dress woes – you can find deals on designer dresses at a fraction of the original price. As well, many dresses sold on Ebay still have the tags on them; they are brand-new: just be sure you check the buyer comments about the seller of the gown.
    • Consignment Stores – You don’t need to use Ebay if you’d rather try things on first: visit consignment stores in elegant neighborhoods – you may find a treasure for a really amazing price!

Holding your wedding as cheaply as possible is just good sense. You can cut costs by using these strategies, and still have everything you want on your special day.