It’s getting closer and closer to my husband and mine’s wedding anniversary (July 12th), and although my wedding was absolutely beautiful, a year later we still have some credit card debt from that day. I got sucked into the excitement of having the ‘perfect wedding’, and once I had that mentality, all my hopes of maintaining a budget went out the window. Don’t get me wrong; my wedding was beautiful. I just wish I had been able to take a better look at the cost of everything without my emotions getting in the way.
And so I present 5 ways I could have saved more money at my wedding.
Actually, I started out not wanting flowers at all! I wanted to make my own centerpieces and bouquets. My husband really pushed for live flowers, and in the end, I just never found the inspiration I was looking for, so flowers it was! My florist went with a colorful wildflower theme which was absolutely gorgeous, but looking back, did I really need ALL of those flowers?
I barely remember the centerpiece at our head table, and I have NO recollection of the guest centerpieces. So I’m willing to bet my guests don’t remember either. Flowers for the bridal party and parents are another thing I wish I would have cut. Looking back Boutineers for all the guys seems like a total waste of money. I think one for my husband would have been enough. We also got corsages and boutineers for our parents (in addition to gifts). Although they appreciated it, that money would have best been spent elsewhere – or put into savings!
2. Makeup for the bridal Party
Originally, my plan was to pay for the bridal party’s hair as my gifts to them and makeup for myself only. If anyone else wanted their makeup professionally done, they would reimburse me for it. Even though I told the hair/makeup artist this in the beginning and she stated she could accommodate, she still drew up a contract for full service for everyone. I didn’t question since I figured this day had to be perfect anyways. Although my bridal party enjoyed having the full service, and it was fun having everyone get done up together, if I had only stuck to my original plan, I probably would have saved about $600!
This is one of the few things my husband just could not see eye to eye on. He wanted his grandmother to perform the ceremony, I wanted a neutral 3rd party to officiate. I was so caught up in the idea of the perfect wedding that I refused to consider what he wanted. Our officiant was great, but I regret not taking my husband’s wants for the wedding seriously. His grandmother would have done a great job, and it would have meant a lot more to my husband. Not to mention it would have saved us about $200.
Looking back I think all I really needed was a comfy pair of undies! Hindsight is 20/20 though. When I went in to shop for my dress, and subsequent fittings, all of the employees I encountered convinced me I needed all kinds of fancy undergarments. This included both a long line bra and crinoline slip to give my dress more shape. However, my dress already included metal boning, crinoline skirt, and was even modified to include a rainbow theme color which gave my dress more poof. The dress was had corset top so tightening the actual dress gave me more shape. Some point in time after I had already purchased all of these items (nonrefundable at this point. Clever big box wedding store) I tried my dress on without them and it looked exactly the same! I did still wear them on the big day, but I was a big sweaty July wedding mess – and the extra layers of fabric didn’t help. If I would’ve skipped the undergarments not only would I have saved myself some sweat, itchy skin and difficulty breathing, I also would have saved around $200.
Okay, so this isn’t at my wedding, but it’s wedding related, so I’m saying it counts. My husband and I took a 2 week honeymoon to Florida, spending half of our time in Orlando enjoying theme parks, and the other half lounging on the beach of the Florida Keys. It was an amazing honeymoon and we really enjoyed ourselves. However, this was the first time I’ve ever planned a such a big trip, so I made a lot of mistakes during the planning process. My husband was not proactive in helping me plan what to do, where to stay, but I think the few opinions he did have hurt our budget. For instance, he insisted we not stay on Disney property as it was too expensive, but agreed we should stay at a nicer place then a budget motel since we only get one honeymoon. Although the place we stayed at was very nice and included a Jacuzzi tub, it ended up being so far from all the places we wanted to go, that we ended up having to rent a car (cabs would have been even MORE expensive with how far away we were). Since we didn’t rent in advance, and both of us were under 25 at the time, we were charged with multiple extra fees. So although our hotel room might have been cheaper, we ended up paying more total because we hadn’t thought about all these extra costs.
Overall, I think we’re carrying more debt from the honeymoon than the actual wedding!
In the end, I’d rather regret something I did have rather than didn’t have, so it all works out. I encourage all bride to bes to take a look at everything that’s going into their wedding and ask themselves, Do I really need this? Or Will I even remember this? If I had stopped for a moment to ask myself these questions, I think I could have saved myself quite a bit of money.
As a bonus, here are a few things I’m glad I made room in our budget for: photographer and videographer, rainbow hair extensions, 4 hour open well bar. And something I wish I would have spent more on: invitations (I actually hated ours. I wish I had spent more time/money looking)!.
Hindsight is 20/20. What are some of the ways you wish you had saved more money on your wedding, or are planning to?