We want to let you in on a little secret: You can save major bucks on the wedding of your dreams without compromising style and elegance. Yes, you read that right. There are literally dozens of ways to cut costs on every detail, from your invitations and food to the flowers and cake—if you know where to look. Here, with a little help from some of the country’s leading wedding experts, we’ve rounded up the best budgeting and cost-cutting tips around, . Use these ideas, and watch the savings pile up!
- It makes perfect sense: Stationers and printing companies have sales just like any other retailer. Very likely they’ll occur after holidays like Christmas and Easter, but it’s smart to ask to be alerted when sales come up at your favorite stores.
- If you buy all your paper goods—“save the date” cards, invitations, ceremony programs, menus, thank-you cards and so on—from the same stationer, you’ll probably be able to get a break on the price. If a bulk discount isn’t offered, just ask. If refused, shop around.
- Believe it or not, classic white or cream-colored invitations with black ink may be the most cost-effective ones you can buy. But you must select the details carefully: For instance, choose cotton paper, rather than jacquard or linen—it’s a lot less expensive, but it looks just as luxe. Thermography, a printing process that uses heat to create a raised-letter look, costs half of what engraving does, and it looks virtually identical. And forgo embellishments like colored paper, ink or borders. These “extras” will jack up the price.
- Design an invitation/response card combination, where the response card is attached by perforation to the bottom quarter of the invitation (guests simply detach that part to respond, postcard style). You’ll reduce the cost of the invitations because you’re using less paper. You’ll also save on postage costs: Lighter invitations require less postage, plus you’ll only need to buy postcard stamps for the response cards.
- Some stationers charge a fee just to fold an invitation, let alone stuff it into an envelope. So, assemble your own—perhaps with the help of your fiancé, mom or bridal party.