We all know that weddings are expensive and therefore couples are always looking for ways to cut costs. There are the common ways to save, such as limiting the guest list, picking a date off-season and not on a Saturday, doing as much of it yourself, etc. But there are also weird ways to save money on your wedding, too.
Pick (or Grow) Your Own Flowers
Last summer, friends of mine saved hundred of dollars on their wedding by picking wildflowers from the side of the road instead of buying them from a florist. They went out a few days before the wedding and filled their van with buckets full of flowers, which they then stored in their basement to keep them as fresh as possible. On the morning of the wedding, a few of us pulled out the browning flowers and arranged the rest in vases. Everything looked beautiful and all it cost was a bit of time and a bit of leg work.
If picking wildflowers isn’t feasible, you could always try to grow your own instead. This route may not yield enough flowers to decorate your whole wedding, but could be used for either the centerpieces or for the wedding party bouquets, corsages and boutonnières.
Fake the Cake
Not every guest at your wedding is going to eat the cake, so you probably don’t need as much as you think you do – especially if you serve a full meal and have other snacks, desserts or a candy bar available.
Couples can easily get away with having a fancy small cake to display and to cut, and a slab cake for serving. The slab cake can be made by the same bakery at a lesser cost (because it doesn’t require as much work), can be store-bought, or can be made by a friend or family member.
To cut back even more, don’t actually serve the cake to every guest individually. Instead have a cake station where guest can pick up a slice if they choose.
Don’t Hire a Caterer
Not hiring a caterer is a fantastic way to cut costs – but it doesn’t mean you have to cut food entirely. There are other options available, although they may work best for smaller receptions.
With a lot of planing, organization and the right people, it is possible to cater your wedding yourself.
To do so, keep the menu simple and easy to transport. Make as much as you can ahead of time and focus on buffet-style foods that are easy to assemble and that only need to be re-heated or thawed before serving.
If you can’t cook or aren’t quite up to the task of catering the whole wedding by yourself, having a pot-luck is another option. It too requires planning, but should eliminate a lot of the stress.
Better yet, hire a food truck! Because of the growing trend, many upscale restaurants are now offering food truck services, so you aren’t limiting yourself to burgers and fried foods – but that option is still there if you want it. Food trucks will likely be more affordable than a caterer, but they probably aren’t going to be “cheap”. They will, however, provide a unique element to your wedding by offering more customized options for your guests. To keep costs in check, work with the owner to offer a limited menu.
Find a Sponsor
Companies sponsor events all the time, so why not find a sponsor or two for your wedding?
In exchange for a little advertising tied into your wedding, you might be able to get things for free (or at least for a discount). You probably don’t want massive banners at the alter or Nascar-esque ads on your wedding dress. Instead, offer ad space in your program or on your wedding website, allow sponsors to put out business cards, or place small signage near the item or service provided.
What you are willing to accept sponsorship for is up to you. Some of the easier options include the catering, the flowers, the attire, and the alcohol. Use your existing connections to find potential sponsors, or contact new businesses (like Food Trucks) that might be looking to get into the wedding industry.
Unfortunately, no matter how subtle your advertising may be, some people will view it as tacky. Don’t let this deter you from saving money on the wedding you want.
Do you have any suggestions of weird ways to save money on your wedding?