We are launching a new series on the blog called “Ask Primpy”, where we answer your most burning wedding planning questions. I’m kicking this series off with the most popular question I hear from engaged couples which is…“How do we cut down on wedding costs?”
By far, the most efficient way to save money on your wedding is to cut down your guest list. The cost per guest you incur usually includes catering, rentals and even the number of centerpieces needed (most couples are surprised by this but think about it–more guests + more seating = more centerpieces). Because the number of guests directly impacts all of these things and more, this is where you’ll see the biggest cost savings when planning your wedding.
Cutting the guest list can be done in a number of ways, but there are certain things to consider before deciding if sweet Aunt Josie will make the cut or not. First, who is paying for the wedding? If you and your spouse-to-be are responsible for most or all of the budget, then you pretty much have free reign on determining who will be invited or not. If either of your parents are paying for the wedding, this is where things get much more complicated. As the hosts, your parents can pretty much dictate the guest list. So unless they have explicitly told you that they are leaving the list in your hands, avoid going bridezilla on them if they decide to invite their childhood friends, college friends and the guy at Starbucks who makes their coffee “just the way they like it”. After all, they are footing the bill!
Now if you are in charge of the guestlist, cutting the number of invited guests can be done in a number of ways. Here are my top tips on saving big bucks for your wedding!
Have your ceremony and reception at the same location. This can potentially save you a ton of money and stress. You’ll be saving big on transportation costs and having to pay for separate ceremony and reception rental fees. And having all of your events at one location is less stressful overall since all of your vendors only need to show up to one location.
Make it an Adult-Only event (aka leave the kids at home). If this is the route you decide to go, it’s fine if the only children invited are ones that are in the bridal party.
No Unknown Plus Ones. What this means is that instead of giving guests free reign on the RSVP to invite “Guest”, make sure you actually know who “Guest” is and that person is invited by name.
Consider having a destination wedding. If you are really keen on getting your guestlist down, but know it’ll cause lots of drama if you have a local wedding and don’t invite certain local family and friends, my favorite solution is this…have a destination wedding! For the most part, your key guests will make an effort to travel where ever your wedding will be and you won’t offend guests (if you invite them and they can’t make it, that’s not your fault!). Just note: if your destination is far enough to require getting on a plane, obviously this won’t work if any of your VIP’s have a flying phobia, so chose your location wisely.
Have a wedding planning question that is stressing you out? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll answer it on the blog! And if you find yourself in need of a wedding pro, check out the various wedding planning services we offer at This Modern Love Events. We’d love to help you plan a stress-free wedding day!