Wedding planners can be expensive, and when looking for that perfect day many opt not to delegate the responsibility to someone else. Yet wedding planning can be a really great experience, a chance to flex those creative muscles, and you only do it once! If you’re looking for ways to plan a wedding on your own, these are five tips that will save you money and allow you more control over the festivities.
1) Set up your own registry instead of registering at an expensive store. It’s not necessary to register at an expensive store that has planners on staff if you don’t want their services. Why should you pay them for something you can get for free? There are lots of great registry sites out there like Amazon that have a lot of the same items, at lower prices than big box retailers. You’ll also be able to look at pictures and read reviews from other users. Many stores even offer cash or credit bonuses when you use their site to register.
2) Learn how much things will really cost ahead of time. If you’re going to have a traditional sheet cake, for example, the cost can be really high even when you factor in the tips of your baker and assistant. The cost of the cake alone is not what most couples find to be the most stressful part of wedding planning. It’s what they find after it’s been delivered that drives them nuts! It’s easy enough to get an online calculator that will provide you with an estimate of how much each item will cost without having to call every store in town.
3) Create a budget. If you don’t know what your total budget will be, you’re bound to go over it with all the other little things splattered throughout wedding planning. Think of what you can do with the money that’s left over. If you want, make sure that every expense in your budget is accounted for before you start shopping. Compare prices between stores and restaurants, local and national merchants, and even do some research online to find good deals on items such as lighting or entertainment.
4) Don’t get suckered into the free wedding websites. While these sites can be useful and are free, in most cases they serve as a way to get you over the door at a high-priced bridal salon. They offer coupon discounts, but then when you walk in the door you realize that they’re really just trying to sell you some expensive gown. Don’t believe it!
5) Keep things simple. Letting your personality come through is the best way to personalize your special day. Keep it casual by doing things such as saying your vows on a beach or mountain top. Sew a handmade wedding dress for the bride, or have a friend make one for you to wear instead of renting one. Have all of the little decisions made for you by the professionals rather than doing it yourself will save you time and money.