How to plan a time and cost efficient wedding to get the most of your time and money.
Tips on how to plan a time efficient and cost cutting wedding to get the most our of your time and money.
- Make an itinerary on what is happening on your wedding day, make this schedule realistic and make sure there is enough time to do all the things on the list. This schedule should be given to all your vendors. If you can’t keep to the schedule don’t fret it is just a guideline to know what activities are important to you.
- Find a reception hall that is somewhat close to your church and possibly also near an outdoor photography location too (see our other blogs). This way all the locations will be quick to get to and a lot of time is not wasted on traveling from one place to another. This will same on some gas and limo service as well.
- Don’t cut corners with your only two records from this most important wedding day. Wedding Photography and wedding videography are your only record of the day.
- Do a (practice) drive from one location to another on the same day of the week as your wedding day. This will give you a guideline for how long it takes to get from one location to another. Use this information in your itinerary and invitation.
- Consider hiring wedding vendors that offer multiple services. Many companies offer big discounts on booking multiple wedding services on the same day at the same location. Milestone offers $250 in savings a for couples who book BOTH wedding photography and wedding videography on the same date.
- Shop for your reception hall on a Saturday during the normal wedding season. Dress properly for a wedding and you can check out these halls like a guest. Take a look in the rooms and see how they are decorated and how the food is served.
- Have a tasting at the hall on an actual wedding day to see how the actual food will taste. Bring others to have then give their opinion on the taste of the food.
- Consider writing and printing your own invitations. You must use expensive paper or parchment to give an expensive look.
- Wedding consultants and planners are great for organizing your wedding day, however they can be expensive. Some consultants require a “kick-back” from the vendors that they recommend. These “kick-back” consultants should be avoided because they should recommend vendors based solely on the vendors service quality not a “kick-back”. Consider hiring a less expensive “day of” wedding consultant. They will help with making an itinerary and getting things to run smoothly on your important wedding day. Another idea is have a friend who previously had a well-run and memorable wedding be your guide. She will make YOUR wedding day just a well-run and memorable. Friends have some great suggestions.
- Make a note of what romantic songs are important to you. That way you can make good suggestions to your DJ, band or videographer on what music to use on your most important wedding day. DJs play an average of 45 songs during an average wedding reception, so choose wisely.
- Make sure your wedding photographer allows you to keep and own your wedding photographs on DVD. Some wedding photography companies require that the couple order a certain amount of photographs (sometimes $3,000 worth) for the couple to have full rights and a DVD of the corrected wedding photographs.
- Consider having your wedding on a Sunday or Friday instead of a Saturday which is more popular. Also consider having your wedding in a slow month between November and April. Having your wedding on these less demanding times will earn you 10% discount for an off season or Sunday/Friday wedding. To save even more have your wedding on a weekday. This can save you up to 40% as well. Also your guests will have less conflicts when your wedding is the only one on a certain day. Milestone Photo and Video has offered may discounts for this in the past.
- If you are having trouble affording Limousines, consider hiring the limo starting AFTER the ceremony and having them just drive you to the reception and the service would finish at the beginning of the reception. Limiting the amount of time of the limo service (and the mileage) will lower the price of the service. The photographer will still have to limo for photos after the ceremony and at the reception.
- For a great way to entertain your guests at the reception consider showing a photo montage of old photos of the bride and groom growing up over the years at the wedding reception. This can be presented on a monitor during the cocktail hour or projected on a big screen during dinner. Milestone can do a montage and show it during the reception
- Send a “save the date” pre-invite card out before the actual invitation. This will make sure that your guests will reserve your wedding date BEFORE they receive your formal invitation. These “save the date” cards consist of a 4″x6″ photo usually an engagement photo of the couple and the date of the future wedding they should be sent about 9 months before the wedding date. Milestone Photo and video has made some great “save the date” cards in the past for a nominal charge.
- Consider picking out bridesmaids dresses that don’t look like obvious bridesmaids dresses. That way your bridesmaids will feel more comfortable and they can wear their investment on another occasion saving your bridesmaids money on clothing.
- Don’t plan your wedding on Super bowl Sunday or other day that may distract your guests or cause them not to show because of a date conflict.
- Instead of an expensive photo booth, have your photographer bring a separate photographer who only shoots portraits and group shots all over the reception and prints the photos at the reception just like a photo booth. Milestone can provide this service as well.
- Portillo’s makes great chocolate Chicago wedding cake. This cake is much less expensive than other wedding cake alternatives. You will need several Portillo’s chocolate bunt cakes depending on the number of guests at your wedding.
- You do not need to pay (directly) for a meal for your wedding vendors (photographer, videographer, DJ). You need to tell you hall that you have 2 or 3 vendors that need to eat but don’t include them in your guest count. On the wedding date these vendors will take the meals or places of your no-shows. In the event of all people showing the hall should still be aware that these vendors need to eat and they should be able to accommodate these vendors.
- A lot of time is wasted getting guests from ceremony to the reception. Consider moving the wedding ceremony to the reception site. This is especially good for couples who do not regularly attend church or are not very religious or are short on time for their wedding. Rev. Phil Landers, of I do weddings a professional wedding reverend, can be a perform a scripted and personalized wedding ceremony that the guests will remember.
- For your honeymoon trip, book an all inclusive package so there are to surprise charges for room and food.
- DJs charge much less than Bands, and do a better job of keeping the wedding well structured. Bands offer a more personalized service, but choose one that gets things done according to your itinerary.
- If the couple likes the look of chair covers that cost as much as $6 per chair. Try to find a reception hall that will throw it in as a bonus.
- To save money on a sign in book; hire a photographer who provides a free sign in Engagement photo that the guests sign around the edge of the engagement photo. Milestone makes an 19″x13″ engagement photo mounted on a 20″x30″ black matt that guests sign with gold and silver pens.
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.