Planning a wedding is complicated. Once couples choose a date and location for their ceremony, they can then can get down to the nuts and bolts of the big day.
When planning a wedding, many couples are governed by a budget. Budgets often get stretched, but even those brides- and grooms-to-be who spend more than they had initially hoped often find themselves not going too far over budget. One of the best ways for couples to stay within spitting distance of their budget or even come in under budget is to take steps to simplify the ceremony and reception. Simplifying a few aspects of the wedding can save couples money without forcing them to make sacrifices that affect the look or feel of occasion.
* Turn floral arrangements into multi-purpose accessories. Bridesmaids typically carry beautiful floral bouquets during the wedding ceremony. But such bouquets are quickly put down and forgotten once a couple has officially tied the knot. Couples can save a few dollars by repurposing floral bouquets and other floral arrangements used during the ceremony. Once the ceremony has ended, repurpose floral bouquets as centerpieces for the reception tables and turn flowers used as aisle markers during the ceremony into small centerpieces on the escort card table or place them alongside the guestbook. This saves you the trouble of choosing various floral arrangements to display throughout the reception venue and also saves you money.
* Scale back on the alcohol offerings. Some couples opt for a full-service, top-shelf bar at their wedding. While that's a nice gesture, it's also an expensive one. Couples can save a substantial amount of money by simplifying the alcoholic offerings at their reception. Instead of a full top-shelf bar, offer guests one or two choices of popular liquors such as whiskey, rum and vodka and steer clear of especially expensive brands. The majority of guests likely won't even notice, but couples will notice how much money they save.
* Choose a classic cake. Elaborate cakes may be de rigueur, but the cost of an especially elaborate wedding cake can make a cost-conscious couple's collective jaw drop. Instead of a specially designed, labor-intensive cake, choose a classic cake that won't break the bank. Classic cakes can add an elegant touch to a wedding without extending a couple's budget.
* Trim the guest list. Trimming the guest list is arguably the most effective way to simplify a wedding while simultaneously saving some money. Once you have compiled a list of potential invitees, peruse that list to determine if there are any people who can be trimmed from the list. This is easier for couples paying for their own wedding, as they won't feel pressured to invite any friends or colleagues of their parents whom they don't know personally. But even couples splitting the cost of their weddings with their parents should speak with their parents about trimming the guest list to make the affair a little less expensive.
Traditional weddings are anything but simple. But there are ways for couples to make planning their wedding less complicated while saving some money at the same time.