Planning your dream wedding in the beautiful landscapes of California but trying to keep those costs all within your budget? I’ve got your back! As an experienced California wedding photographer, I understand the importance of creating a day that’s not only magical but also budget-friendly. Let’s get into some savvy tips to make your wedding dreams come true without breaking the bank.
Save on your Venue
Choose a date thats off-peak season or a weekday. You can book a breathtaking venue at a fraction of the cost, leaving more room in your budget! Choosing a venue that matches the theme or vibe of your wedding with its natural features so you can save on decor. Since the venue is already so beautiful, you wont have to decorate as much and it leaves you with more money in your pocket.
If you’re a crafty person (or have a crafty bridesmaid), doing a few things yourself can save big bucks! Personalized invites, centerpieces, and wedding signage can have your wedding looking beautiful and add a personal touch. Your guests will love the thought and effort you’ve put into every detail. Using tools like a cricut and templates found online can make this a breeze.
Wedding Dress Shopping
Start browsing wedding dress shops on social media ASAP. Bridal shops often have “sample sales” where they sell the dresses right off the rack. Sample sales usually happen late spring and early fall. Even if a sale isnt happening, dont be afraid to ask the boutique if they’re looking to sell any samples. If you don’t want a dress from the floor, purchase your dress asap to avoid rush fees and last minute alterations. You can also find veils and accessories on Etsy or other online shops for a fraction of the price of a bridal shop. Lastly, opt for a wrist bustle/hanger instead of buttons and hook/loop bustle.
Intimate Guest List
Choose your closest friends and family for your wedding day dinner. A smaller guest list means fewer mouths to feed and fewer seats to arrange. If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down, scroll through your text/call list and see who you’ve actually talked to in the last 6 months – year. Focus on the people who matter most, and you’ll find yourself with more budget to allocate to other areas.
Ceremony Florals on Double Duty
The flowers you choose for your wedding day are beautiful and expensive, so use them in as many places as possible can help you get more bang for your buck. After your ceremony, move those florals to the head table for decor. Bridesmaids bouquet also make great decor for the bar or cake/dessert table. Ask your coordinator or a few bridesmaids to be in charge of this task.
Why Not Repurpose Your Chairs, Too?
Repurposing design elements can save HUNDREDS. Renting double the amount of chairs is unnecessary. Assign a few friends or groomsmen to move the chairs after the ceremony. Or simply have your officiant or DJ make an announcement for guests to grab their chairs. Your guests truly won’t mind folding their chair and walking it over a few feet.
Plated Meal VS Buffet
Talk with your caterer about the pricing differences between plated meals and buffet. Sometimes plated meals could be more expensive due to the extra staff needed to serve and clean up. Could you find servers from other vendors, like your coordinator team? Other times, buffet meals could be more expensive so the station looks great from start to finish. In turn, that means caterers have to factor in additional portions so your guests wont have a “picked-over” experience.
Nix the Cash Bar
A sure way to save money is to have a cash bar. That means each guest has to pay for their own drinks. But, no one wants their guests to have to come out of pocket at their wedding. Instead, ask your venue if you can supply your own alcohol. If they don’t allow that, limit the time your bar is open. This way, you can still offer your guests an open bar, but it wont come with the price tag of an all night service. Along with limited hours, have a few speciality cocktails for guests as well as serving beer and wine. That way you wont have to stock a full bar and your guests will be just as taken care of.
Saving money in all these areas can be freeing knowing that you can splurge on the parts of your wedding that matter most, like photography. We all want to have a night to remember, but having a photographer who understands your vision will keep this night preserved forever.
After the cake has been ate, the florals have dried and your dress is hung back on the hanger in the back of your closet, the only tangible thing you will have to reminisce about your wedding day is photos. If this is your first time here, my name is Aleena. I am a California Wedding and Elopement Photographer. I’m an expert in making your wedding day vision come to life through photographs. If you want photos that you can feel and bring you right back to that very memory, then I am the right photographer for you! Are you ready to create lasting memories? Head over to my website and drop me a message HERE.
Remember, your wedding day is about celebrating love, and with a bit of creativity and smart planning, you can have the wedding of your dreams without the hefty price tag. Cheers to love, laughter, and budget-friendly celebrations!