Weddings are expensive, it's a fact. If you've come across our recent wedding infographic, you've seen how much a wedding in Maryland costs on average (after you have recovered from the price shock). Don’t worry grooms and brides-to-be! There are ways to cut costs on your dream day without sacrificing the most important aspects of your wedding.
Consider scheduling your wedding in an off-peak time, such as November or most of January through March. Where there is less competition for dates, there is more negotiating power. Day of the week is also important, as Saturdays tend to be the most popular and thus more expensive. Ask about rates for Friday or Sunday evening weddings.
Contemplate choosing a nontraditional venue. Dedicated wedding reception halls or country clubs can be expensive. Renting a park, garden, or restaurant could save you some serious dough.
The more choices, the more expense. Cut out the traditional “guest choice” of an entrée and try a combination plate. By serving everyone the same meal you are able to cut down on the cost of food automatically. Fewer different ingredients, fewer costs. Another way to cut down on food is to host a daytime reception. It is always cheaper to serve brunch or lunch than dinner.
Most reception sites charge for every bottle opened. Offering a limited bar can save you huge bucks on your wedding day. A fun way to have a limited bar, without depriving guests of their favorite drinks, is to create “signature” drinks, which are a series of signature cocktails, that use one type of liquor, that guests can enjoy. Then, stock up on a few other beer and wine options for guests who don’t drink liquor.
Photographers usually offer packages based on the number of hours they work. Instead of booking a photographer for the entire day, take candid shots of the groups getting ready before the ceremony. You can also cut your cake earlier in the reception to allow that to be the last events the photographer shoots. Candid photographs from guests can supplement reception and dance photos. Another way to cut costs is to hire a photography student for your wedding. Be sure you check out his/her portfolio beforehand, but hiring an experienced student instead of a large photography company or professional could cut your photography bill in half.
The Invites, Programs and Favors
DIY! Take advantage of your aunt’s thrifty yard sale tactics and your bridesmaid’s Photoshop skills. Anything you can make yourself becomes a fun, shared effort and can save a lot. From designing invitations and programs, to creating your own centerpieces or favors (see our Pinterest board for ideas!), you can save a bundle of money doing things yourself.
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Infographic: Average Cost of a Maryland Wedding
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