"How can I save money on my wedding without it looking cheap?"
I've been asked this question during most if not all of my wedding consultations. I know it's a thought that most of us have at some point or another during the wedding planning process. It's not to say you don't want a gorgeous wedding, it's more so that you'd like a little $$ leftover in the bank account when it's all said and done. Am I right?
Mountainesque shares several insider tips on how you can tastefully save on your special day! Priorities vary among couples, don't feel like you HAVE to save in every category; rather pick a few that matter most and stick to that!
Photo by Kara Cavalca
Florals + Décor
Pinterest tempts us... we see all of the pretty trendy things and feel the urge to have it all! It's a $lippery $lope when it comes to rentals, purchasing décor, and honing in on those large floral installs.
I'm a huge proponent for multiple use items that save you $$ while also meeting your aesthetic needs.
Double use florals are a WIN in my book! Alter florals doubling as sweetheart table arrangements, bridesmaid bouquets doubling as bar, dessert, gift table florals. Centerpiece arrangements doubling as aisle décor.... these are a few of my double use favorites. *Bonus, if you have a wedding coordinator they are typically the ones that will transition these items for you. Otherwise, ask your florist about a transition fee.
Custom signage adds a special touch to your day, and is also a super fun way to include little details that make it more memorable. Welcome signs are pretty customary at the venue entrance or ceremony site, however, often times they're overlooked. You can avoid this by also using your Welcome sign as your guestbook! Another idea is to utilize one side as your Welcome sign and the other as your seating chart! Amazing.
Wedding favors.... the #1 thing to end up in the trash :( I'm sorry, but someone had to say it. If your love language is gift giving, and you absolutely feel the need to get each guest something as a "Thank You", I suggest finding a double usage for this as well. Examples include: Custom name items also used as escort cards for guests to find their seats. Items that the guest can enjoy/use during the event (cups, sweet treats, bug spray, koozies). They'll appreciate this much more than a "Let Love Grow" seed packet (as clever as that is).
Tablescape items make up the majority of your décor, and are most times the priciest of it all too. Centerpieces do not need to be grandiose; candles, and greenery go a long way! Make sure there are little pops of color on each table either through a colored linen napkin OR a few bud vases with blooms. Having place-settings also makes the tables look full, and adds that bit of elegance you need for a wedding. But please no plastic.... this immediately takes away from the elegance of your day, and as evidenced in this blog there are other ways to $ave instead.
Photos by Brogan Resch
Food + Beverage
Food and beverage account for 20-30% of your overall wedding budget. That's a big number no matter who you are! Here are a few tricks to strategizing your food and beverage costs without sacrificing the overall look and feel (and taste) of your day.
Firstly, it's important to understand that the type of meal service you provide does not depict the overall perception of your wedding. Plated service is of course the highest level of food service, but does add 20% to the menu price. Depending on the caterer, buffet or family-style are your most cost effective services. (Insider Tip) Family-style is the most memorable among guests, offering a mix between plated and buffet.
Two to three entrée choices are most common at a wedding. However, if your budget is tight you may think about offering one main entrée (delicious of course). If you have guests with dietary needs, you may ask your caterer to substitute this entrée for those guests only. This saves you from offering a vegetarian entrée (for example) to all of your guests.
Appetizers are simply one to two bites of food prior to enjoying a full meal. Two to three appetizers during a cocktail hour are sufficient and your guests will be happy to have had a little something. You can also play around with different quantities of each appetizer.
Beverages can be challenging. More specifically, bars can be challenging. Most couples want to offer an open bar for their guests, knowing that most guests traveled and took time off of work to be there and enjoy the celebration. In this case, I suggest keeping the bar choices to a minimum. A couple of beer choices, one red and one white wine, and two signature drinks. (Insider Tip) Most guests will choose your signature drinks! Meaning your purchase list and ingredient list stays to a minimum. IF you run out of one thing, your guests will move on to another. Guests will be happy with whatever you are offering because well..... it's free!
If your venue allows you to purchase and provide your own liquor, I suggest purchasing from places that offer a buy-back option. This means that anything left unopened can be returned to the liquor store after your event! Game changer!
Photos by Aubrey Beth Photography
Coordination + Planning Services
It's a common misconception to think that wedding coordination and or wedding planning services are only for those with large wedding budgets. It's not to say that wedding planners/coordinators don't cost money, but (Insider Tip) much of our service includes helping YOU stick to your budget.
We have the experience of working with budgets, knowing the costs of vendors in our area, and are always happy to share our money saving tips and tricks to keep you from over $pending!
Let's plan your beautiful, memorable, and tasteful Colorado mountain wedding!