Save $$$ on planning your event!
Many event planners will say that in terms of saving money on events, it really comes down to what’s the most important, and what you can “live without”. And while there are always ways to cut costs by cutting “unnecessary” things out, over the years, we’ve been challenged by a handful of our clients to find creative ways to keep everything they want, and keep it all under budget. Here are my top 4 favorite insider tips to save on your wedding day:
1. Flowers - Everyone knows the trick of choosing floral options that are in season to save money. When you’re not willing to budge on your dream floral design, another way to save is to choose a florist who can bring the savings to you. When you’re not working with an event planner who can find things at wholesale cost for you, choosing a florist that has a storefront - versus one who solely designs out of a warehouse for events - is a great way to get better pricing. These shops typically make most of their money on day-to-day sales and will be more willing to decrease their pricing on event services when asked. Another way to save is to find out who else is getting married before or directly after you in your wedding venue. See if they’d be willing to split the cost with you, and share the flowers (they get them after your event, or vice versa).
2. Dessert Hour - Many weddings these days feature a dessert hour with a large, beautiful, buffet spread of desserts, paired with a slice of wedding cake for each guest to enjoy. While impressive, it’s very rare that guests consume all the food that’s offered during this portion of the event. One way to save money here is to instead offer each guest a dessert plate, with a slice of cake and a few other small sweet treats. This helps the caterer plan for an exact amount of food, rather than displaying more food than can possibly be eaten, which translates into money saved on your bill. Another way to save, if you still want a “buffet” feel to the dessert hour, is to instead to platters of dessert foods on each table. You can still budget your amounts, yet still give your guests the luxury of choice on a smaller scale.
3. Wedding Cake - If you want the look of a big, beautiful wedding cake like the ones they had in the 80’s - go for it. But 4 and 5-tiered cakes can get pricey. A way to save here is to have a 2 or 3-tiered cake for the slicing ceremony, and then have sheet cakes for the kitchen staff to slice and serve to the guests. The secondary benefit here is that everybody’s cake slice will look neater, as it will be perfectly square or rectangle, versus a slice of a big round cake with multiple layers.
4. Bar Service - Instead of offering all top-shelf liquor and unlimited varieties of libations at your wedding, instead opt for signature cocktails. This is a great money-saver, and it’s actually a big trend right now in weddings too. Rather than paying a per-head rate for unlimited options at your event, come up with 2 signature drinks that represent each member of the couple. Perhaps the groom likes gin and tonic and the bride likes mimosas - offer a few different variations on those two cocktails to your guests, alongside beer, wine and soda. If limiting your bar service isn’t doable for your entire event, try it for the cocktail hour, opening up full bar service during the reception.