If you’ve gotten engaged recently and have started the planning process, what I’m about to say likely won’t come as a surprise. Hosting a wedding is a hefty financial commitment, especially if you intend to invite a large number of guests to your celebration. But, like any investment, there are ways to allocate your funds to guarantee the best return. So where should you spend the money?
When it comes to food, there are so many creative ways to ask for a dish in a budget-friendly format. For example, a salad with nuts and cheese is great, but if your caterer can remove the extra elements, you will likely shave off a few dollars. Or, if you have your heart set on serving beef, ask your caterer to swap the tenderloin for a braised short rib. This is a fantastic way to save more on your per-person price without sacrificing taste or quality.
Another trick is, instead of having a late-night food station for your guests, opt for passed canapés — they’re typically less expensive per person than a food station and prevent your guests from being pulled away from the dance floor.
Table décor presents another great opportunity to spend less. Instead of one large centrepiece, spruce up your tables with smaller deconstructed vases (rented from your florist) that hold fewer flowers but create a fuller look than a single arrangement. Then backfill the gaps with side-by-side pillar candles from an inexpensive home décor store for an extra-romantic feel.
Another important décor detail that will go a long way is a cohesive print set for menus, table numbers and bar signs. You can find a digital download online (Etsy is a great source), update the file with your personal details, and print them out at your local printing shop on a thick cardstock.
Finally, do your research and ask questions. If you have your heart set on a wedding vendor, ask them for creative ways to help stretch the dollars you spend with them. Don’t hesitate to communicate your budget upfront and let them tell you what works. This way, you won’t have to overspend or re-negotiate once you’ve fallen in love with a certain product.
Oh, and maybe now is the time to get a money tree for the house. Happy saving!
Natalie Ho has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years and is currently is the director of event sales for Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality. She has personally planned 350+ weddings and momentous events. Both creative and business-minded, Natalie is dedicated to growing her events business in out-of-the-box ways.