Q: Hi Deniesha, My finance and I come from huge families, do you think it's possible to have an elegant wedding with 200 guests on a budget of 15k. Please let me know if you think I'm daydreaming.
Thanks a bunch!
A: I tell all my clients anything is possible depending on the choices you make. Like most brides, I'm sure you want a wedding that you and your guest will remember forever. My honest opinion is you will more than likely have to increase your budget by at least another 10k. But I do have some tips on how to save.
1) Choose an off day for your wedding date. The most expensive day to get married is a Saturday night. Fridays and Sundays are usually cheaper at most venues. Even consider a weekday if possible. An early Sunday afternoon wedding is the cheapest and most convenient option.
2) Keep your menu and bar selection simple. Instead of serving 3 choices for your main course (chicken, beef or fish) just serve chicken. Most people eat chicken and if you have some guest with special dietary needs, like vegetarians, you can ask your caterer or venue to have those meals prepared as well. There is usually no extra cost for this. If you are getting married in a venue where you can bring in your own caterer, have a buffet instead of a sitdown dinner.
3) Be a DIY!! If you are a crafty person, take on some of the wedding day projects yourself, like invitations, programs or favors. There are many DIY kits out there that are fabulous.
4) Look out for sales! When shopping for items like your wedding day attire, look out for sample sales and trunk shows. You can get a beautiful dress at a great price.
5) Shop around and be creative. When you are searching for vendors, like photographers, videographers, or DJ's look around for vendors that may be starting out in the wedding industry. They are willing to offer their services at a discount or sometimes free in exchange for exposure, a recommendation and the opportunity to increase their portfolio. Be sure to make an appointment to view their portfolio and if possible read some reviews from former clients.
6) Track your spending. Keeping track of your spending will help you stay on top of your budget at all times. So when making your selections you will always know how much money you can spend on that particular item. I strongly recommend this because as time goes on you book vendors, you buy things and before you know it, you are way over budget.
Many brides on a budget think they cannot afford a wedding planner but that is not that case. Hiring a planner will save you time and money. A good wedding planner will help you find vendors that suit your budget and give you guidance along the way. I've worked with array of budgets so I know exactly what you are going through.
I hope I was able to help and feel free to contact me if you ever have any more planning dilemmas.
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