Save not Squander
As we discussed last week, finding alternative priced dresses can save hundreds to thousands on the budgets, but so can all of your other day of details when you can find ways to get what you want at better pricing!
On your day you'll be in need of multiple vendors who will all work behind the scenes to do the grunt work you don't want to worry about. There's a lot of labor intensive work to be done - from coordination, decorating, setting up, and tearing down. Everything from moving tables and chairs, draping, lighting, putting out ceremony seating and decor, setting up your facility for your cocktail hour, reception areas, gift and card locale and tons of other heavy lifting, moving, back breaking jobs that most bride and grooms want no part of that morning. But by planning ahead - you can save costs here too.
Determine areas that family/bridal party can do without much time or effort... if they can set up your tables with a card box and some pictures, and put the centerpieces on a table while everyone takes turns having hair and make up done, you can forgo having a few extra hours of wages for a coordinator to do that for you... save the money and have them come in for the bigger harder set up areas and to actually coordinate and assist with making sure everyone is arriving and performing their designated duties, and then have them care for all of the tear down responsibilities. At the end of the night - no one will want to be worrying about packing belongings back up after such a long day!
Instead of having a 12 piece ensemble to play your music throughout the event - see if you can have a smaller entertainment group that can perform. Less band members= less cost per hour and less mouths to feed! Will the music itself change that much from having a 5 man band compared to a dozen entertainers? Consider a dj to perform the ceremony or cocktail hour along with your reception. You can typically receive much better rates if they can give you a package deal. This can usually save a few hundred dollars or more, compared to sourcing out entertainment for those areas from additional vendors.
That photographer you've always dreamed of having? Thousands of dollars may be the average price tag- but consider asking their apprentice who has been working under them for a few years. Many times they have the same styles in their work they've learned from their masters, and are willing to do the same work at a fraction of the cost to get themselves established and work on their portfolios...
Try to find vendors that offer multiple services as a one stop shop... you will get the best pricing hiring the one company that can provide your music, photography, officiant, lighting and photobooth - compared to hiring them all individually.
ALWAYS find out if your vendors are charging travel and mileage fees as well... these sometimes hidden charges will make a large impact on the wallet when you aren't prepared for the additional costs. Find out if they can be waived - or plan ahead for those extra dollars. Typically try to find vendors within a 30 minute / 30 mile radius of the venue to skirt those tacked on charges.
There are numerous ways to continue to find savings on your big day... It's just knowing the budgets you need to stay in, finding places that you can use alternative sources, or cut extra fees, and focus on spending the money where it matter most to you...