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Rowling & Associates Blog

How to Save When Planning a Wedding

by Jackie West

Planning a wedding can be a very fun and exciting experience! That said, it can also be a bit stressful, watching as the costs begin to add up. If you’re feeling anxious about planning your wedding, take a look at this blog for some helpful tips for saving money throughout the process!

Finding a Venue

When planning a wedding, finding the right venue can be stressful and tiresome. It’s important to know early on what you want to have on your special day and what you can do without. Do you want to have a location that will serve as both a ceremony location and reception? Having a ceremony location separate from your reception will be an extra expense because you are paying for two location sites. You may also need to hire transportation to get to the reception site.

Another matter to take into consideration is whether the venue is all-inclusive. This means that they provide the following:
• Chairs
• Linens
• Food
• Alcohol
• Wedding coordinator
• Wedding cake

Choosing an all-inclusive wedding venue saves you time and sanity because it will eliminate having to coordinate with vendors.

You should also keep in mind the time of year when your wedding will take place. Most venues consider the peak “wedding season” to be April-November. If you do an off-season wedding, most venues will offer a discount for per person cost or have a lower venue fee. Winter or fall weddings in San Diego can be easily doable since we generally have great weather all year round.

Saving on Vendors

There are many different items you will likely purchase for your wedding. One of these is your wedding flowers. This cost can add up quickly, especially if you choose flowers that are out of season during the time of your wedding. A great way to lower this expense is to find a location that doesn’t need as many flowers for the ceremony, such as a garden or beach location. If you do use a location that needs a lot of flowers, you can try to find a way to reuse the ceremony flowers as centerpieces for your reception. For example, you can use lanterns to line the aisle for the ceremony and then they can be your centerpieces as extra décor for the reception area. This is cost-friendly and helps to not be wasteful. If you are really looking to save when picking flowers, remember to keep in mind which ones will be in or out of season during the time of your wedding!

Another great tip for saving money when planning a wedding is to try and negotiate! Maybe you can get a Friday price for a Saturday. If the venue offers certain things that you don’t want or need, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount for not using them or try and substitute these items for something else you do want.

An additional way to save is to see if you can pay in full for your vendors like a florist or photographer. Some may offer a 10% discount, and while this may not seem like a lot, every little bit counts when planning a wedding!

When it comes to wedding costs, you’ll soon realize that most of your money will go to food and alcohol. You will usually have the option to do either a plated sit-down dinner or a buffet-style meal. Keep in mind that a plated sit-down dinner will be more expensive because the venue will need more staffing service. The benefit to doing buffet-style is that your guests can serve themselves as much as they want, rather than just having a small, limited amount. Planning for alcohol consumption can be difficult and expensive as well. If your venue allows you to bring in your own alcohol, take advantage! You can use a beverage calculator online to determine how much you will need and if you have any extra left over, you can always save it for yourself.

Invitations can be expensive when you include the cost of envelopes, stamps, and return envelopes for guests to send in their RSVP cards. A great way to save on this is to find invitations that are like a postcard. The RSVP card can be torn off and mailed back on its own, which will eliminate the extra cost of having a separate RSVP card and all those extra envelopes. Another option for saving is to use an evite. This eliminates your entire invitation expense and will also help save some trees in the process.

Choosing Who to Invite

When you first get engaged, everyone is excited for you and wants to be included in your special day. Make sure that you are inviting people who you truly want to be at your wedding. Most wedding venues will charge $125 per person, so the cost will add up quickly if you invite everyone that you know. It’s important to remember that this about you and your fiancé, so if you are really wanting to try and save money on your wedding limit your guest list.

Planning a wedding can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful!

It is important to understand your finances from the start and work within your means. Working with a financial planner can help with this, as they can assist you with creating a budget to meet your unique wedding goals. But even if you don’t have the help of a financial planner, you can still save a lot by keeping in mind the tips offered in this article.

Good luck and have fun with planning your wedding!