10 TIPS TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE YOUR WEDDING COSTS
Welcome back all you beautiful brides-to-be! Worried about ever-increasing wedding costs? Worry not! Our post today is especially for you! As wedding planners, we often come upon a situation where we see couples overextending their budgets just because of a lack of foresight. It might sound harsh, but remember, if you want everyone to have a great time at your wedding without having to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to wedding costs, you have to make a budget and stick to it.
It’s very easy to go overboard and there’s no limit to the amount you can spend. But we sincerely advise you to know when to draw the line – and draw it. Wedding expenses can add up quickly, and there’s nothing wrong with being a bit frugal. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to trim your costs and still have the big day that you’ve dreamed about.
There are several decisions you can make early in the planning process to cut wedding costs, such as the number of guests you invite. Other decisions can be made as you go along if you discover that your wedding expenses are going to exceed your total budget.
These 10 tips might sound simple and repetitive, but our experience tells us that if you carefully consider the following tips, you might save anywhere between a staggering 5-10 lakhs on your wedding costs.
- DECIDE ON A BUDGET
Sit down with your family and decide on an approximate budget for the wedding. Make sure that you have the consent of your spouse on the agreed amount. Create a spreadsheet or notebook that lists the highest and lowest prices for all aspects of your wedding. This includes food, flowers, entertainment, rental fees and any other costs. When deciding which areas to cut down on, you can refer to the list and choose whether to forfeit certain things or use the cheapest option.
- PRIORITIZE! PRIORITIZE! PRIORITIZE!!!
Prioritize aspects of the wedding that are most important to you. By compromising in some areas, you can afford to splurge on others.
For example, if you can’t cut the guest list down, consider having your wedding on a weeknight or a Sunday night, when demand is down and venues look to make deals in order to book clients. Speak with prospective reception venues about which dates are usually slow and negotiate on pricing.
It’s okay to cut back costs. Economizing is thoughtful, not something you have to apologize for. If you prioritize, guests might not even notice what you have not included in your festivities as the arrangements were done tastefully.
Hiring a wedding planner may sound expensive, but planners help in reducing the cost of your wedding. They know the insider rates and best deals available in the market and can also help in negotiating a better deal with the venue. In this way, you can use professional services of an experienced planner to help lower you budget.
- PLAN AHEAD, DO ALL YOUR BOOKINGS IN ADVANCE
If you get started early, you’ll have the time and flexibility to shop during sales and comparison shop from different wedding suppliers. Visit local bridal exhibitions to get some good deals. Book you hotels, flight tickets, train tickets and other transportation in advance as the costs may soar last minute.
- NEGOTIATE, ASK FOR DISCOUNTS, COMPARISON SHOP FOR BETTER DEALS
Before signing a contract with your caterer, photographer, or florist, try to negotiate a lower yet still reasonable price. Vendors may offer you a better deal to beat competition. When you have found your dream lehenga, ask for a discount before going ga-ga on your precious find.
- SEEK EXPERT ADVICE OR HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER (OR BOTH!)
Most brides think that hiring a wedding coordinator will break their budget. It’s a little-known fact that wedding coordinators can actually save you money after you get all the discounts and perks they have arranged with partner vendors.
Wedding planners may seem like an unnecessary cost, but depending on the size of your wedding, they may not only be able to save you money by using their connections and knowledge of the industry, but also save a lot of time. Their knowledge of weddings will help reduce the stress of planning and make your wedding a better show in terms of innovative décor and design.
Also ask friends and relatives who recently planned a wedding about the vendors they hired and their experiences. This will also help you to understand recent trends and vendor prices.
- SPEND WISELY ON JEWELRY
We Indians spend a great deal of money on wedding jewellery so it’s important that we manage this cost carefully. You can opt for a wholesale jeweller or a jeweller working from home instead of a designer store to save considerably on making costs of jewellery. Moreover, if you do your homework on what kind of jewellery you wish to have (jadau, kundan, gold jewellery, diamond jewellery) and visit a jeweller which specializes in that craft, again you will be saving a good amount of money.
- CONSIDER ALTERNATE WEDDING VENUES AND INNOVATIVE WEDDING IDEAS
The most popular hotels and banquets in the city are bound to be exorbitant. In fact, why get married where everyone else does as well? Use your imagination and think out of the box to save big on your wedding venue. You can opt for a quaint town near your city or go for a temple wedding that is traditional and beautiful (remember Alia Bhat’s South Indian Temple Wedding in Two States?!) or even get married at a friend’s farmhouse.
If you stay in Mumbai, why not host your wedding in Lonavala or Mahabaleshwar. Or if you stay in Delhi, why not opt for the serene beauty of Nainital?
Other than venue, there are plenty of ways in which alternative ideas can save costs. For instance, consider wearing your mother’s wedding saree in any of the wedding functions. The costs of cleaning and alterations will likely be far less than the cost of buying a new wedding dress.
Another example is to research hidden gems in your city. For example, there are many talented photographers who haven’t made a name for themselves yet, and their lack of fame can save you a fortune. If you fall hard for a photographer who’s in high demand, ask if they will refer you to a lower-priced colleague (just make sure you like his work before you commit).
Instead of spending on a designer label, scout local shops for lehengas and sarees that are equally beautiful and maybe even half the price!
- GET MARRIED OFF SEASON
Getting married off season can save you a great deal of money. You can strike a good deal with your preferred venue and vendor in this case. In fact, getting married off season means that the vendors are not in a hurry to finish things off and can pay more attention to service.
Vendors will be more likely to reduce fees if you choose a date from March- October rather than scheduling it for November-February, when rates are at their highest. This doesn’t apply, however, during holidays. Fridays and Sundays are generally less expensive than Saturdays for renting a venue.
For a destination weddings as well, you can book a date that is not as popular for travel in the region.
- CUT DOWN YOUR NUMBER OF FUNCTIONS
This might seem tough, but if you cut down on the number of functions you can save drastically on your costs. Our weddings typically consist of Mehendi, Sangeet, Engagement, Wedding and Reception. Instead of having these functions on different days, why not club two functions together. For instance you can have your Mehendi and Sangeet on the same day and Wedding and Reception on another day.
If you wish to have your wedding and reception on separate days, why not opt for a small and intimate wedding followed by a grand reception?
10. CUT DOWN ON YOUR GUEST LIST
Try to keep the number of attendants as small as possible. Bigger your guest list, the higher the expenses. Keeping the guest list as limited as possible will cut down on food, invitation and reception costs.
So don’t feel compelled to invite your third cousin that you’ve never met! Make your wedding an intimate affair and you’ll spend considerably less.
11. RELY ON MY WEDDING PLANNING!
And yes, if everything else fails, we are always there for you 🙂 Check out our wedding packages and wedding decor packages that suit all budgets. We even offer a 10% discount (up to Rs 10000) on photographers listed on our site. Check it out guys!
Happy Planning to all our wonderful readers!