Weddings on a Budget: What To Splurge On Vs. Save On

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When you are planning a wedding on a 10k budget, you need to know where you can cut costs and where you should spend your money on. Your goal should be to have a memorable wedding without breaking the bank. Therefore:

Splurge On

Catering

The elements of a great wedding are food, drink and music. Long after the guests head home, they will remember what you fed them at your wedding. Some of them may even bring the topic up when the topic of weddings arises. Furthermore, a good party, no matter the kind of party is about food and drinks.

Alcohol

When we were planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure that our  guests would have plenty of alcohol to drink. And so we kept that in mind when we sought out our venue. It was a DIY kind of wedding which meant that we could buy our own alcohol. Doing so meant that if there was alcohol left over, we could return it (check the store policy before you buy). However, if you do not wish to spend too much, a good trick is to limit the time the ‘bar remains open.’ Let your guests eat other food and drinks before you open the bar. This means that by the time the bar is open, people are already full and will have one or two drinks.

Makeup and Hair

You have one wedding day. It’s the day where you are the most beautiful woman in the room. Makeup and hair should not be sacrificed. If there is any day your hair and makeup should be on point, it is this day. Discuss your ideal look with your makeup artist and hair stylist and arrange a trial beforehand to test how the makeup and hair sets after a few hours. During the trial you should also know if the makeup looks right under various lighting.

Remember that the wedding ceremony may go on for some hours and there may be tears along the way. You want top-notch makeup that will not run the moment you start shedding happy tears.

Photography

Your wedding photos do more than just capture the day; they capture memories. Your friends and family may take out their cameras and phones to capture moments, but you are better off hiring a professional who is well versed in the art of wedding photography. Get recommendations and compare prices before selecting a wedding photographer or videographer.

Learn from my mistakes: Have a brief and a list of shots you want to take. We didn’t capture any family photos! Lesson learned.

DJ or Live Entertainment

Good music gets the party started and keeps it going. Had I known just how many things can go wrong with the music, I would have hired a DJ or a live band. But we were already over our budget and it seemed like the best solution to hire audio equipment and plug our Spotify playlist into it. Little did we know that the venue had very limited wifi to stream the music. On top of that, the music was stored in my phone 7 which was not compatible with the audio equipment. We got lucky though. There was a jukebox at the venue so we had some background music to dance to.

Save On

As you plan your wedding, you can save on some things. Although these things are necessary, they do not have to cost an arm and leg. You can save on:

Wedding Invitations

At one point, I almost spent $20 per invitation. Having been wrapped up with all these fancy designs on Pinterest, I too wanted an invite with gold foil. It turns out that it is a very expensive feature to have. In reality, very few people remember how a wedding invitation of a wedding they were invited to looks like. To add to that, those invitations will just be thrown away after use. You are better off opting for something simple, nice and effective. You can design your wedding invitation with an existing template on canva.com or even order a design on Fiverr.com for $5 and get someone affordable to print the cards.

Wedding Favors

Wedding favours was something we both stressed over. Do we get personalised pens, beer openers or chocolates? We wanted something sentimental without spending too much on it. We also wanted the gift to be meaningful and not something our friends would toss out in a move. And so we decided on something intangible. Instead of spending money on wedding favors, we donated money to Doctors without borders. It is important to remember that your guests do not need expensive gifts to know how much you value them. In fact, they would rather get a personalised thank you note and a thoughtful gift. Decorations

Wedding decorations can cost a lot especially if you use a professional stylist. Thanks to Pinterest, there are a plethora of ideas for you to DIY. But if you’ve chosen a good location and venue, you won’t need to do a lot.

Lighting can do a lot to set the scene. Candles and fairy lights are both inexpensive options. If you don’t have an eye for design, look to your local college to find design and event management students. They may be able to lend a helping hand at a fraction of the cost.

Beauty Treatments and Facials

Everyone talks about having a beauty routine before the big day to ensure your skin is glowing. In my circle of friends, it is norm to get regular facials before the big day – not for me. We were on a budget. Though I could have purchased a new set of beauty products, I opted to collect samples from department stores. When you’re on a teeny tiny budget, everything counts. Just be sure to try new products months before the day in case you have an allergic reaction to it.

Once you prioritize your list, you have to create a reasonable budget detailing how you are going to spend the cash. Stick to your budget and cut costs wherever necessary. Remember that everything often costs more than expected.

Take the stress away on the day:

If you’re going to opt for a DIY wedding, don’t try to do everything yourself. Hire a wedding stylist to pick up flowers from the flower market or outsource the transport of alcohol to someone on airtasker.com. Shuttling food and drink may seem like an easy way to save on cost but it’s not something you’ll want to worry about on the day of your wedding.

Tapping into your friends and family:

I had no idea how many talented friends and family we had in our network. If you need inspiration, think of the weddings you’ve been to recently and ask for referrals and recommendations.

Iona

Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.

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