Chances are, you know someone who recently got engaged. Holidays are prime time for engagement season. Personally, I have three or four friends who have gotten engaged in the past couple months and with Valentine’s Day coming up, that number may increase. I haven’t talked about our wedding in awhile, but one thing I’m very proud of is that we were able to have the wedding of our dreams within our budget restrictions. It’s definitely not easy to do that, especially in the DC area (or any major city), so I thought I’d share a few tips on how we were able to have a dream wedding on a budget. Hopefully this will help you or someone you know – as always, I’m happy to answer questions!
- Think outside your wedding city for professionals. We got married in Frederick, MD and our photographer lives in western Pennsylvania – this is about 45 minutes outside of Frederick and that distance was far enough that her rates were well below what photographers closer to DC charged. Look into seeing if a professional who lives outside your city will travel in and if so, will they charge? Our photographer didn’t charge us any extra travel fees, since it really wasn’t that far for her to go. Huge money saver and we got amazing photos that we’ll treasure forever!
- Pick what’s important and what isn’t. We decided that for us, the three most important things were food, pictures and good music. We focused on making sure we found those and spent as little as possible on the other details. For example, I wasn’t that into the actual wedding dress. Now, I absolutely loved my dress and thought it was perfect. But I wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on my wedding dress. True fact: I spent less than $300 on my dress + alterations. We put that money that we saved towards our awesome DJ!
- DYI. I did all our save the dates and invitations myself using Etsy and Kinko’s. It was super easy to find a design online, and then just print whatever we needed. I also did fans, which served as our programs. I am not crafty but it was simple to pick a design and then just go from there. Take things that aren’t super important to you and do them yourself. Don’t take on too much or you’ll make yourself crazy. For example, I was going to do the floral arrangements myself to save money. That would’ve been a disaster. Instead, I found a florist within budget and we have beautiful flowers and it took me no time or energy. Total win!
- Enlist friends. We were really fortunate to have our friend John do our table numbers for us. He did all the fancy design work and all I had to was print it. If you have friends who are talented and offer up their talents, my advice is to take them up on it!
- Think about the season. You can save a lot of money just by avoiding a summer wedding. We did actually have a summer wedding but had the cost been too great, we were flexible about moving the wedding to another season. Winter is the cheapest time of year and I’ve been to and seen pictures of so many beautiful winter weddings. Many venues are significantly discounted if you switch from say, June, to January. Definitely something to consider as you are scoping out venues!
What are your money saving tips for planning a wedding?