Let's be honest - there is a myriad of wonderful ideas for making your wedding talked about and memorable. Many of them cost more than your budget will allow. But there are some basic moves you can make in the planning phase that will help you produce a wonderful event without competing for your budget dollars earmarked for student loan debt repayment.
Have the budget discussion very early in the planning process. Be clear about the source of your funds, the total you will spend and then make sound allocation decisions. Consider these significant guidelines to help you manage the available funds.
1. Think seasonal - Can you handle a wedding in the winter when every fiber of your being says "I want to be a June bride"? Re-evaluate that dream and consider how much money you can save by being married in the "off" season. Both ceremony and reception venue flowers "in season" are likely to be money savers.
2. Remember that there are 6 other days in the week and various time slot options beyond Saturday night at 6 or 7 PM.
3. Find a venue that is all inclusive - ceremony and reception in the same spot. There is frequently economy of scale.
4. Pare down your guest list. The money saved on your reception will be significant. Consider the per guest cost by estimating per person charges at the reception, the cost of invitations, reply cards and postage. Will that work for you?
5.For your reception - consider a late morning wedding followed by a brunch reception. The food and beverage costs differential is likely to be quite amazing. And no one will expect a "mini party" after the big dance as couples who have huge evening weddings are funding.
6. Rethink reception beverages. Do you really need a champagne toast to the new bride and groom?
Couldn't guests simple stand and toast you with whatever they're drinking? The toast will be no more sincere with an expensive champagne.
7.Carefully weigh the difference in cost between serving a plated dinner or serving buffet style. Work with your catering site manager to explore the many options available.