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How to save money on your wedding: 5 Extras you can skip

Updated on September 8, 2013

Weddings are an expensive event. Maximize the money that have and skip on some of these items that really won't make much of a difference in how your day will turn out. You'll have more money for items that you want to spend on.

Save the Date / Day Cards are unnecessary

"Save the date" cards have been increasingly popular throughout the years. They started out as a simple postcard reminding family and friends to reserve or save the date of their wedding. This, however, has evolved into an elaborate item.

On the average, custom save the date cards can range in price from $5 to $10 each. If you have a larger wedding, this will surely add up. If you have a guest count of 100 guests, and were to send each guest a save the date card, you would be spending $1,000 just for this alone. Don't forget, you need to mail the cards. This costs money on postage. If you mailed out 100 cards, you will easily spend $45 just to get them mailed.

How do you get the "save the date" idea out there without spending money? Create a free website and direct your guests you intend to invite to that site. Not only will you save money, you'll be saving precious trees and postage. Why not go this route? Many people have email addresses, so you have nothing to worry about.

Hiring a Disc Jockey (DJ) and Master of Ceremonies (MC) are often not needed

No one is doubting that DJ's help set the tone of the night, keep the program moving and play great music. But, not always will a DJ be necessary for the type of wedding you want to have. For your budget, skip the DJ. Opt to have some close friend that you know, or even a family member be the MC (Master of Ceremony). Have a program ready for them so they can just go according to the way YOU want your reception to flow.

Many wedding venues have an iPod hookup that plugs in to their audio system. Who needs a DJ when you can be your own! Create a playlist of great music for different times of the reception. A few suggestions are to pick music for the following: Wedding party entrance, Bride & Groom entrance, Dinner background music, Garter toss, Bouquet Toss, Cake Cutting, Bride & Groom first dance, and music to dance the night away!

When you're allowed to create your own playlist and act as your own DJ, you're in control of what you want to play and when you want to play it. Since you know your guests more than a DJ would, you will be sure that the party music will get people to the dance floor and keep them there all night.

Catered or Open Bars are a waste of money

One of the biggest expenses for a wedding is the food. A subset of this comes primarily from the beverage bar. If you want to give your guests an option (and a treat!) you can choose to go the open bar route. However, if you provide this option, costs will quickly increase. If you offer different types of beer and wine, you'll surely see the tab increase astronomically. Some people (and guests) believe that not having alcohol is cruel. My response to that is this: they're not paying for it, you are. Guests should be happy they're invited to your event. You make your event what you want it to be....not what the guests want to have.

There are 2-solutions to this dilemma.

1. Don't have alcohol or open bar at your reception. I remember that at my wedding, we did not have an open bar. The only beverages that were offered were the following: coffee, tea, water, and fruit punch. None of our guests complained. They understood costs and respected that. Yet, our wedding was nothing lesser without alcohol. In addition, you don't have to worry about guests getting rowdy and acting strange due to being inebriated.

2. If you absolutely MUST have alcohol and wine, try finding a reception venue which will allow your guests to bring your own beer/booze/beverages (BYOB). With this scenario, you keep everyone happy and will just need to ask if there is a fee to have a few waiters stand post at a bar.

Before finding your caterer, here's some tips and questions to ask them BEFORE you hire your caterer.

Church Decor is not needed if having a wedding in a church

I have never seen a church that was not decorated in a tasteful manner. You have the added benefit of stained glass windows (should your church have them) and this can be a wonderful place to take portraits of your wedding party. Some churches will not allow you to decorate certain sacred areas. It is important to respect this and just go along with whatever decorations the church has already there. It is definitely the better way to go, and also unique and adds character.

Any Customized Wedding Products are a waste of money

Everyone wants to be different, and that is understood by many wedding vendors. They try to make everything "you." What kind of personalization do I mean? Well, how about personalized name cards that you give to guests at the reception table telling them which table they are going to sit at (if you have assigned seating). What other customizations are out there? In one word, many. Want a custom engraved cake cutter? They have that. Do you need one? Absolutely not.

The only thing you should consider getting "customized" are these items:

  • Invitations: Why? Because you add personality to them and whomever you're inviting will appreciate that you took the time to think about something unique.
  • Customized Wedding Rings: Not necessary, but I feel that this is okay. You may want to find a jeweler that engraves inside the band of your rings with names and a date. Or you may want to pick out a unique ring that no one has. This is definitely okay.

Only splurge on the items that you know will make you happy. And in the end, being happy is all that matters because you only get married once (or we would like to think you will!).

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