1. Have a budget! This may seem like a no brainer, but it is the most essential part of staying on track. If you know you only have $3,000 to spend then only spend $3,000! The biggest no-no is looking at things (venues, dresses, etc.) that are financially outside of your budget. It would be better to start your marriage without the debt of the wedding trailing behind you as you run down those chapel steps.
2. Prioritize everything. What’s really most important to you when you look back in 30 years? Are your guests going to remember that you didn’t serve alcohol? Do you want a keepsake dress that can be passed down through the generations? Do you just want nice pictures to remember everything? Asking questions like these in the perspective of the future instead of the here and now will help you to really define what is important. Once you have a handle on what is most important to you, then start by booking/buying/acquiring those items first and devote the largest part of your budget to them.
3. Food and Drink: Alcohol is super costly when it comes to weddings. Not only do you have the cost of the alcohol but you also have additional security deposits and off duty police officers that have to be paid. Sometimes skipping the alcohol is an easy and simple way to save a TON of money. Also, in terms of food, do your guests really want a sit down dinner or do they just want to see you get married? Often scheduling your wedding and reception at an off peak time can avoid the necessity of a meal and save you money from simply being “off peak” (i.e. 1:00pm on Saturday instead of 6:00pm).
4. Take out the emotion. When you are emotional about something you tend to spend more than you would otherwise. When shopping for dresses, cakes, caterers, etc. take out the emotion of the purchase and focus on the facts: Does this make me look good? Is it comfortable? Does it taste good? Is it appealing to the eye?
5. Location, Location, Location! Often Brides think that by choosing an outdoor venue or “rec center” type venue that they will save money, but that isn’t always the case. When you go to a venue that lacks tables, chairs, linens, plates, napkins, utensils, cups, water, sound system, etc. you will have to purchase those items separately. Often, a venue like Special Moments Wedding Chapel and Reception Hall has such a good value by providing everything you need that not only will you save money over the DIY solutions, you’ll save time as well. Also remember that on this most important day, people will all be willing to drive a little further than they normally would so feel free to search outside the geographical area that you might deem as close to where you live.