So here we are, already more than half way through 2023 already (I mean – how!? )…
We’re coming out the other side of a 3 year Global Pandemic and all the chaos that caused and NOW we have a cost-of-living crisis on our hands too!! Our economy has never been in a more volatile state and it’s a scary time to be planning anything major when house prices are plummeting, interest rates are sky-high and the cost of just about everything seems to just keep rising.
Chances are, if you’re in the midst of planning your wedding – you’re worrying about keeping to or even cutting back on your budget. We’ve been chatting with couples and vendors alike who are noticing the rising cost of food, flowers, fuel and everything in between and all are feeling very nervous about the impact that it’s having and will continue to have on the upcoming Wedding Season.
So with that in mind – we’ve put together a list of 5 easy ways you can cut back and save some money, without having to compromise on the Wedding of your Dreams:-
SHOP LOCAL and SEASONAL – lets be honest, it’s not the first time you’ll have heard us bang this drum, and we can promise you it won’t be the last. The rising cost of fuel means that travel costs just keep going up – and if you’re ordering dresses, props or decor items from overseas or booking Vendors who need to travel from out of town – the shipping and travel costs can start to mount up. With the cost of petrol currently sitting at around $2.67 a litre (average across NZ) – Vendor travel fees could very quickly start to eat up your contingency budget. This extends to asking your florist and your caterer to use local produce where possible – this will help to further reduce your costs AND will help to support your local economy too. You can save $$ on both your florals and your catering by using what’s in season at the time. The cost of importing florals that aren’t in season can be extortionate, likewise with produce that needs to be brought in from overseas. Using what is available in season will work out significantly better for your budget.
BUY OFF THE RACK – lots of Bridal Stores offer gowns off the rack at a slightly discounted price. If you’re gown shopping and you’re standing in a gown that fits you well – ask the store if there’s an option of a small discount off the stock gown. They might not always say “yes” – but if they do – it could save you anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, or even more that you can then put towards your bar-tab or your catering bill. With that being said however – don’t be tempted to buy a gown that needs significant work done (ie. is too small or needs significant customisation) in order to save $$ unless you know that alteration costs won’t over shadow the saving. Never buy a gown that is too small or that is more than 2-3 sizes too big (depending on the size and style) as the alterations could wind up being complex and expensive, outweighing the saving you’ve made in the first place. Additionally – practice caution when purchasing second-hand gowns that may already have had alterations made – while a pre-loved gown can be a great way to get your dream gown at a discounted price – depending on what alterations have been made and by who, they may not be able to be altered further without incurring significant additional costs, if at all.
EAT FAMILY STYLE – opting for a buffet or family style dining over a plated meal will reduce your catering bill with less staff being required to plate and deliver meals to tables. Offering a buffet as opposed to a plated meal with multiple options generally runs at a lower cost and guests are able to choose what items they want to eat too.
LOWER YOUR NUMBERS – truth be told – you don’t need to invite EVERYONE you know to your wedding. You’re under no obligation to invite your childhood next door neighbour, all your cousins or all the people you work alongside. The same can be said for your family and friends children or plus-one’s you’ve never actually met. Reducing your numbers will massively reduce the overall cost of your wedding – it’s not just about the food they eat, but the chair they sit in, the glasses they drink from, the staff who are serving and even sometimes the size of your venue/marquee. Alternatively – consider inviting some friends or distant family members to the evening reception only (from the First Dance onwards) – they still get to celebrate with you but your catering costs will be reduced.
PRIORITISE WHAT YOU NEED – it’s easy to get caught up, and caught out, on all the little details and spend money on things you don’t actually need for your wedding. Some examples might be Wedding Favours that people won’t value, won’t use and will probably just leave behind on the table, Bridal Party proposal gift boxes filled with personalised “bridesmaid” mugs, pens and sunglasses they’ll probably never use again, when a beautiful card and a handwritten note is more than sufficient, pointless signage indicating the obvious for aesthetic purposes (think “Sip Sip Hooray” and the likes), personalised “getting ready” outfits and expensive fancy transport options when no one is going to see you arrive at the venue. When it comes to budgeting for your wedding and deciding where to allocate your funds – make a list of all the things you need and want for your wedding and order them from what you consider to be most important to the least important – when you start to find your budget is getting tight or funds are running low, then it’s easier to decide what things you can happily do without.
Happy Wedding Planning