30 Hacks to Outsmart the Bridal Industry
25th May, 2021
The D day is closing in on you. You’re giddy with joy to tie the knot, but there's one thing you can't escape - the godforsaken job of planning the wedding. And this mammoth task will not only require your time and energy but also your money, and lots of it. There’s food and drinks, flowers, centerpieces, wedding venue, music, the wedding dress (top priority), and tons of other things that will quickly rack up the bills. To ensure your hard-earned money isn’t frittered, your first step is to create a budget. We know, we know, it’s the most cliched suggestion, but it works. Having a well-thought-out budget can give you an extra edge over expenses that will affect your pocket the most. At the same time, you don’t have to sacrifice your fairytale wedding. We have listed down the 30 best hacks that can save you thousands of dollars without compromising on any of your celebratory wishes. Let’ get started!
Give the limo a miss
Renting a limo to transport your bridal party to the venue or taking you and your partner home is seriously an unwarranted expense. You can either use your car and/or have a relative or friend drive you home. Honestly, a Lyft or an Uber isn’t a bad idea either.
Mull over a backyard wedding
If you own a big backyard and want to have a small wedding party, then don’t be shy to use it to your advantage. With a big-ticket expense like the venue off of your chest, you can dedicate that extra money for arranging better food, music, honeymoon, and more.
Bring in the bamboo
If you despise fussing over crockery and cutlery that’s only going to be used once, then you can consider bamboo plates. These are disposable and compostable, and they further add a countryside charm to the dining experience, particularly if you opt for a contemporary rustic wedding theme.
Light it up
Another way to save on the florist’s bill is by adding candles to the tables. Introduce depth and romance into the ambiance by mixing high candelabras and tea light candles in short glasses.
Have fun with a family-style meal
A small wedding party means less fuss, and also fewer tables, and sometimes only one table. Besides saving on the table dÃ©cor, family-style meals can be an ice-breaker, giving newlyweds a chance to socialize with one another’s family and friends.
Keep the bubbly bottled at the bar
Most couples waste their money on the champagne that’s served to all during the toast. It is estimated that nearly 50% of the guests don’t touch it, while another quarter of it just have a sip because it's offered. It would be smarter to keep this expensive alcohol at the bar and only serve it to guests who ask for it.
Don’t forget to borrow something
Whether it is your grandma’s dainty necklace or your sister’s earrings, borrowing is not just a terrific way to be thrifty but it will also permeate a deeper meaning to your big day.
Add bloom with in-season flowers
The availability of certain flowers is largely affected by seasons. So if you are getting married in November choose flowers such as roses, delphinium, peonies, stock, snapdragon, and alstroemeria, as youâ€™ll find them in abundance without having to spend a fortune on them.
Add fruits to the centerpieces
To cut back on the flower costs, add fruits to the centerpiece mix. This cornucopia style for the table setting also adds different textures and fresher colors that makes the space look livelier and rustic at the same time. Blood oranges, lemons, peaches, pineapples, kiwis, grapes, and berries are some fruit options that you can experiment with.
DIY wedding cake
If you are not too high on having a custom tiered cake, then just order for a simple buttercream or fondant cake and add your own embellishments including personalized topper, fresh flowers, fruits, glitter dust, crushed candy, and so much more.
Keep it ‘nekked’
Not so much into elaborate cake decorations, then you can just order a naked cake (with little or no frosting on the outer layer) which goes particularly great with an outdoor wedding theme.
Go for a vintage wedding dress
You can hardly go wrong with a vintage wedding gown that’s typically has a charming and unique aspect to it. A timeless attire like this comes at a much lesser cost than the obnoxiously priced wedding dresses sold by contemporary fashion labels. Additionally, you don’t have to get anxious over any other bride mimicking your look.
Seek a sample
If you are purchasing your wedding dress at a sample sale, then you can expect a retail markdown of anywhere between 20% to 90%. Typically, such sales take place twice a year, i.e., in early fall and late spring. Though even if there’s no sale, go ahead and ask the boutique if they have any sample dresses they are intending to sell.
Let go of the linens
Using linens for wedding dining can quickly amplify the total cost of your wedding. A cheaper alternative to this is materials such as cotton or polyester that can look equally tasteful with the right table dÃ©cor.
Embrace a single statement glass
While they are stunning, renting a full set of specialized glassware can seriously drive up your dining expenses. So just pick one ornamental item like a crystal champagne flute or wine goblet and keep the rest of the options standard.
Give the newbie musicians a chance
Graduate-student musicians will charge way less than the pros. So consider hiring them to play at the ceremony or reception.
Save a fortune with a fresh shutterbug
Like the musicians, having a budding photographer capture your precious moments is not a bad bargain. Though remember to check his/her work before you commit.
Don’t hire a photographer for an entire day
Also, instead of booking the photographer for a whole day, check if you can just hire him for 7 to 10 hours. This little trick will keep you from spending those extra thousand bucks that can be used for a new home or honeymoon.
Say yes to flat printing
On the other hand, if your heart is set on printed wedding invitations then you can keep the invoice low in that area by choosing flat printing. It’s much more reasonably priced than thermography, letterpress, or offset printing techniques.
Sharing is sparing
Another way to save on stationery costs is by printing one ceremony program for every couple, instead of one for every guest.
A new set of chairs at the reception will only waste your money. It would be prudent to just repurpose the ceremony chairs at the reception. Now, you might have to pay a moving fee, however, it will still be considerably economical than ordering for new ones.
Cut the conveyance cost
Planning your wedding ceremony and reception in the same venue can save you a lot of trouble. Eliminating the need to transport the wedding party to a new place will save you big bucks.
Do it the buffet way
The best way to minimize expenses on serving staff is by opting for buffet-style service. You will end up saving up to $3,000, depending on the caterer you select. Additionally, compared to a plated service, you often get more quantity of food with a buffet service.
Skip specialty foods
Steer clear of foods that require a live cooking counter. These are often expensive as they need extra staff for preparation and serving.
Whittle your guest list
The higher the number of guests, the bigger will be your wedding budget. So it pays off to be a little ruthless while deciding who makes it to the final invitee list. Preferably, keep formal acquaintances, co-workers and unnecessary plus ones out of the picture.
Ask a loved one to be an officiant
One of the family relatives or friends officiating your wedding will not just save money, but will also add a special meaning to your big day. Organizations such as Esoteric Church and Universal Life Church ordain lay people so that they can officiate weddings.
Off-season is not off-putting
While we all love Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson’s bickering in Bride Wars over the coveted June wedding, in real life itâ€™s overrated. Off-season weddings are no less special than the ones in summers. In fact, your decision to get married in off-season can land you some big discounts especially in the venue department, which eats away most of the budget anyway.
Pass over the printing costs
A wedding invitation suite is more than just postage charges. You’ll have to incur costs for the design and stationery (including envelopes, wedding invitation, itinerary, RSVP card, directions and accommodation card, and reception card). To save hundreds of dollars, you can take the paperless route by directing your invitees to a website that manages guest lists.
By far, Saturday is the most popular day for getting hitched, translating to the grim fact that services are equally expensive. A simple solution - pick any other day of the week. If the thought of choosing a weekday repulses you, then a Friday or Sunday could make terrific alternatives that singlehandedly pull down the wedding cost by thousands of dollars.