1. Personalize Your Ceremony

Many brides are choosing to write their own vows these days, but few are considering a completely personalized and unique ceremony. Talk with your officiant and see if you can work together to come up with a not so general, uniquely you ceremony! Words won’t cost you a thing but they can make all the difference in the impression your guests walk away with.

 

2. Customize Your Bar

 

As a Bride you might be feeling quite a bit of pressure when it comes to the selection at your wedding bar, but it is up to you how much of your budget you want to put toward drinks. According to a survey by Costofwedding.com the average amount spent on wedding bar service is between $1,799 and $2,998. With this in mind it is important to think about the bar that best suites you, your budget and your guest demographic. If you have a heavy drinking crowd it might be best to go with an open bar which is typically a set number and brand of labels at a predetermined price per person. But for the bride on the fence about spending that kind of money, especially if she knows a good percentage of her guests don’t drink, the bar is a great place to add a unique flair for a more reasonable price.

Consider having two signature “His and Her” drinks with custom names that you create and don’t be afraid to talk with the venue and wedding event planning companies to discuss the options available to you. If your Venue allows you to purchase and bring in beverages separately try to purchase from a distributor that will allow returns of unopened bottles and/or cases. To help plan the number of bottles or cases to buy use a party planning calculator such as the one found here.

 

3. Use Non Floral Centerpieces

 

It’s no secret that flowers can eat up a large portion of any event budget, but there is an alternative; Non-floral centerpieces have been showing up more and more at weddings and events and let’s hope this is no fleeting trend! Non-floral centerpieces, such as artistically arranged lanterns, vintage books or suitcases can have a dramatic impact on the overall feel of an event for much less cost than floral arrangements. lf you are hosting your event at a venue that does not allow outside decor to be brought in try to discuss the option of non-floral design options with the venue designer.

Most venues with in house design studios or preferred designers will have tons of non- floral centerpieces to choose from. Even if you have half of your tables adorned with floral accents and half with non-floral options you are still sure to create a unique atmosphere and save on your budget! Does your venue allow you to bring in your own decorations? If so, even better! You can begin by browsing craft stores, vintage antique flea markets and even around your house to see if anything resonates with your wedding theme.

Wedding Wise Tip: While selecting your décor, try to stick with one consistent theme, too much variation can look cluttered and uninspired.

 

4. Skip the Program!

After several years of being in the wedding industry I began to notice a common theme regarding wedding programs. Although programs don’t take up a large portion of the wedding budget they can still be a frustrating and time consuming project only to end up in the trash at the end of your event. The good news is that many brides are ditching the tradition of paper programs and opting for large program displays instead. Not only are program displays more environmentally friendly, they save you time and money too!

Wedding Program Display Ideas:

  • Large chalkboard or sandwich board placed near the ceremony
  • Framed program poster on an easel

5. Forget the Favors!

Bride on a budget? Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief. Wedding favors are not necessary! It is perfectly fine to skip favors. However, there are several economical wedding favor options, and if done correctly, they can be a wonderfully thoughtful way to thank your guests for sharing in your special day. Create a big batch of your Grandma’s famous cookies and package them separately for guests to enjoy later or combine the favor with another item you are giving guests, like a wedding program that doubles as a fan (we know, this totally contradicts idea number 4, but for some brides, the program is non-negotiable!). Many couples are choosing to make a charitable donation to a cause that is important to them or their family in place of favors. If you decide to make a donation, create a framed sign to place at your event that explains your donation to guests. It can say something like this: “Thank you for sharing our special day with us! In lieu of favors, and in recognition of your generous love and support a donation has been made to {place charity name here}.”