Planning your wedding budget can be an exciting, if not stressful experience for newly engaged couples. With so many details to account for, it’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to watch their overall spend creep upwards. The good news is, with the resurgence in DIY wedding trends, reducing costs is an option for couples willing to dedicate some extra time. Creating your own favors, decorations, taking care of most venue details by yourself, and more will give you a bigger budget to spend on the things that matter most to you. Learn how you can incorporate DIY elements into your planning and reduce your spend below!
Start with a Plan
Sites like Pinterest, Weddingbee, and The Knot* offer endless suggestions for couples looking to get thrifty with their wedding day. Before you start pinning and bookmarking, it’s best to make a list of all of your ceremony and reception essentials and prioritize in order of importance to you. For example, if a venue with stunning views, guest accessible facilities and plenty of room to celebrate is a key priority, you’ll want to make sure your budget allows for extra wiggle room to account for any additional costs.
Bridal Party Attire/Makeup
Looking perfect on your big day can cost a pretty penny going the conventional route. For many brides, finding “the dress” is an integral part of the wedding experience. If this is the case for you, that’s perfectly fine! You can save by shopping early to avoid rush alteration fees, keeping an eye out for sales, purchasing a sample gown, and considering secondhand options (many dresses that are left in pristine condition end up being sold later on). You can also save money on attire by allowing your bridal party to choose their own clothes that align with your aesthetic.
Makeup can be another costly element, especially for those with a large bridal party. With a little practice and the right resources, doing your own glam can be an easy way to save money.
Sharing your big day with friends and loved ones is important, and saying thank you is a must, especially if you have guests coming in from out of town. The good news is, even if your guest list is relatively large, your favors don’t need to break the bank. Handcrafted gifts give a special sentimental flair and will save you plenty in the long run.
A Note on Food
Depending on your wedding style, you may be able to reduce your budget by providing your own food. While this may sound great in theory, as experienced caterers and wedding planners, we’d like to add a few caveats for you consider:
Food preparation takes a considerable amount of time and effort, even for a small guest list
Sourcing ingredients, cooking, reheating, and catering to dietary restrictions can be incredibly time consuming for couples, even with plenty of help in the kitchen. Add in the risk for foodborne illness if your food is spoiled, reheated incorrectly, or even left outside for too long, and you’ve got a huge amount of avoidable stress on your plate (no pun intended)!
Having your reception catered is a worthwhile expense for (in additional to many other factors) the simplicity it allows you to enjoy on your big day. Working with professionals means that you are far less likely to have issues with preparation, presentation, food safety, timing, and more. With so many other details to attend to, knowing that your food is in capable hands provides priceless reassurance for most couples.
Finally, since food plays such an important role in developing our sensory memories, spending a little extra on a meal that you and your guests enjoy the day of, and fondly recall in the future is well worth it. At Cornerstone Theatre and for those saying “I do” at the Canmore Nordic Centre, our caterers work closely with couples to find the menu best suited to your personal tastes and ensure that no one is left with a rumbling tummy! The food served at your reception should serve to enhance the overall experience of everyone attending, giving you plenty of opportunity to relax, toast in style, and then hit the dancefloor full of energy! Experienced caterers will be able to work with you to find the best menu for your budget point, giving you room to customize comfortably.