Every decision of the wedding preparations comes at a cost. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re constantly forced to negotiate with yourself about the expense of every item. If I spend more in this area, I’ll have to cut back in another. Here are some ways to splurge and save on the big areas of your wedding and reception:
SPLURGE: Buy the dress of your dreams and have it altered to perfection. It is, after all, the centerpiece of the day and probably the other time you’ll justifiably be able to spend such a significant amount of money on one item of clothing. Plus, you’ll look and feel fabulous all day and in all of your photos. Designer Wedding Dress
SAVE: There are a number of ways to save on your wedding dress. Shop the racks of bridal discount stores, sample sales, or expos. Or wear the wedding dress of your mother, grandmother, or another close female relative. Even if it’s outdated, you can often have it redesigned for a fraction of the cost of a new designer gown. Dress Preservation
SPLURGE: You should absolutely have the flowers that you love at your wedding and reception. They add a punch of color, contribute to the overall theme and feel of the day, and complement the décor. In the hands of a skilled florist, your bouquets and centerpieces can become works of art. So find a great florist who understands your vision and put them in charge of the entire flower scheme.
SAVE: You can still have the flowers of your dreams but for considerably less if you purchase them through a floral wholesaler. Nowadays you can order almost any flower in bulk on the Internet and have them delivered to your home. Find a friend or relative who is skilled with floral arrangements to create the bouquets or gather your bridesmaids together the day before the wedding to each arrange her own. There are books and magazines that offer a step-by-step guide for creating professional and beautiful bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres on your own.
SPLURGE: Splurging on food for your reception is as easy as it gets. Simply hire an amazing caterer, select the most indulgent fare, and offer seven courses for your guests. Throw in an open bar and a dessert buffet to create an unforgettable meal that you’ll be paying off for a long while.
SAVE: Saving on food doesn’t mean sacrificing taste and quality. Opting for a more unique meal is a great way to save cash and make your wedding more memorable. Consult your favorite local restaurant about catering the wedding. They’re often much less expensive than traditional catering companies and you already know you love the food. You can also opt for an elegant brunch instead of dinner or an extravagant array of appetizers and tapas instead of a full meal. If your wedding is themed (think rustic, carnival, or Southern), opt for a tasty but inexpensive meal that supports the theme.
SPLURGE: There are a number of amazing venues that will wow your guests and rack up a big bill. If there’s a location that you absolutely love or has significant value to you, spend the cash to reserve it for your reception. You can also rent creative locations like aquariums, zoos, or museums that are unique, memorable, and entertaining. Even if the venue rental costs more than you intended on spending, you might be able to save in other areas like décor (if it’s ornately designed), rentals (if it comes equipped with tables and chairs), or food (if it’s included in the price).
SAVE: If you know someone who owns a great piece of property, approach them about renting it for a small fee or even using it for free. Family homes, vacation spots, or parks can be great for hosting your wedding and reception and great on your wallet.