Weddings – it’s an event every woman thinks about at any point of her life.
When you were back in high school, you probably thought of a fairytale wedding, complete with your dream destination and a designer princess-esque dress. When you got to college and entered a serious relationship, your friends were probably teasing you and your partner and asking when your wedding was going to be. Then, you joined the real world, and working a 9-to-5 job made you realize that you needed to work hard and save harder if you wanted that fairy-tale wedding you dreamed about when you were young. Even years or decades after the big day, there are still moments where your memory brings you back to that time you were walking down the aisle. Weddings have a special place in a woman’s heart. It’s a magical event where anything you want goes.
That is, of course, if you have the budget.
You want your dream wedding, but you know you’d have to shell out large amounts of money. The costs of celebrity weddings go well into the millions. How is it possible to have your dream wedding on a budget?
Below are easy ways you can save big on your dream wedding. The tips require you to put in the time and energy to make these happen, but on the bright side, they will largely trim down the cost.
Table of Contents
Collect and then select
No, this doesn’t pertain to your husband to be. Just like you have a ‘Top 3’ when it comes to shoes, clothes, websites, social media accounts, and what have you, you probably have a ‘Top 3’ when it comes to your favorite designer, restaurant, or wedding venue. It’s safe to say that among the three, there’s one that’s going to be the most affordable option. When planning for your dream wedding, always research your top 3 (or more) instead of going for your first choice or the first one you see. By collecting and comparing price points, you’ll be able to save big by choosing the most affordable option for you.
If you have a creative side, now is the time to bring it out. From the flowers to the invitations, you can save tons by doing-it-yourself. John, who had a sister who worked as a graphic designer, was able to spend Php 0 on wedding invitations, table centerpieces, dinner menus, and giveaways. This excludes the cost of materials. Still, John and his wife were able to save thousands of pesos, and in return, they just treated his sister out to a nice lunch at her favorite restaurant.
Another aspect you can D-I-Y is forgoing the wedding planner. Kara, who works as a project manager, has been managing large-scale projects for close to a decade, so she didn’t break a sweat when she was deciding on her color scheme, the wedding venue, the guest list, and what have you. Take note that she was working in Hong Kong, her bridal party was in the Philippines, and her wedding venue and videographers were in Europe all throughout the planning phase. Doesn’t that sound like a dream wedding? If you have the time and the management expertise, you can use this to your advantage and become your own wedding planner.
Don’t use the word ‘wedding’
From wedding cakes to gowns, there’s a huge markup just by adding the word ‘wedding’. Wedding gowns start at Php 30,000, but you can have a ball gown done at a fraction of the cost. The same goes for your wedding cake. Your cake might not be the seven-tiered extravaganza you imagined, but a cake is a cake, and there are numerous one-tiered cakes that are beautiful and will do any picture justice. Pastry designers are getting more and more creative, so there’s no doubt you can still have a picture-worthy cake that is as wonderful as it tastes.
Other aspects of your wedding which are prone to markups are the wedding venue, video and photo package, and catering.
Limit your guests
The number of guests you invite can make or break your budget. In high-end hotels, receptions range between Php 3,000 to Php 5,000 per plate. At Php 3,000 per plate, a 500-person guest list amounts to Php 1.5 million. If you invite only 50 guests, your costs drastically go down to Php 150,000. That may still seem a lot, so to further bring down the cost, you can have your reception at a restaurant which costs less. If you have a wedding guest that you know has a wonderful home, you can maybe ask for his or her help and have the reception at his or her place instead. This example is closely related to the next tip you can use to save big on your dream wedding.
Use your network
As with your professional life, your network plays a big role when planning your wedding day. You may have a friend who’s a make-up artist and can offer her services for a discount; your friend may have a friend who is a videographer-slash-photographer; your mother and your aunts are known to be masters in the kitchen, so they can take care of the food prep. Melanie, who spent around Php 150,000 for her wedding, was able to get her venue for free because she knew the owner.
Pretty sure there’s someone in your network of friends who can help you when it comes to your big day. They all want you to be happy and will do what they can so you can make your dream wedding a reality.
Quality AND Quantity
With the tips above, you can see that there’s no need to sacrifice quality to make your dream wedding happen on a budget. You can ask your friends for help and exert the time and energy to do a few aspects yourself. You may lose a few hours of sleep by forgoing the wedding planner or designing your own invitations and table centerpieces, but it will be worth it when the big day comes and you see that everything is what you want. Even better, you didn’t have to spend hundreds of thousands (or even millions) to make it happen.
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.