Today, I’m going to share a stupid-simple strategy about how to save money on your wedding – without feeling like you’re making a major sacrifice.
I’ll tell you about how my husband and I were able to stretch our wedding budget enough to get pretty much everything we wanted for our big day – by making just ONE simple decision…
We got married in the off-season. On top of that, we got married on a weekday. Off-season date + weekday = extra savings 🙂 So if you’ve been trying to figure out how to save money on your wedding – consider the wedding date.
We literally chose our wedding date to maximize our budget. The pricing sheet for our venue made it very easy for us to see the cost savings between the off-season (November through March) and the peak-season (April through October).
Luckily, we didn’t care about seasons so we immediately narrowed down our options to the off-season dates, and then we narrowed it down to the month of March.
We were also open to having our wedding on either a Friday or Saturday – and the price difference was large enough that we narrowed our search to Fridays only.
At the time, our venue had all Fridays in March available – so we chose Friday, March 31st.
That means that the very next day was a peak-season Saturday.
What do you think the price difference was between one day to the next: Friday, March 31 to Saturday, April 1?
The difference was about $2,000!
That decision alone literally saved us $2,000 – and that’s just what we saved on our venue. This decision came with many other savings from all of our other vendors – I’ll get into that a little later.
First, I want to talk about how this makes you feel. Are you open to it? Or are you set on having a Saturday wedding? Or can you already hear your family complaining about a weekday wedding date?
“You CAN have it all. Just not all at once.” ― Oprah Winfrey
This is one of my favorite Oprah quotes – because it’s so true both in life and in wedding planning. We’d all be able to have the wedding we want if we had unlimited time, money, and help. But the reality is that many of us don’t have unlimited resources, so something’s gotta give.
For us, it was easy to “sacrifice” a Saturday wedding for a more affordable Friday wedding. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice, though – because we cared far more about other things besides the date.
If you’re not flexible on the date, you will HAVE to be flexible on everything else. Like I said, something’s gotta give. If the date is super important to you, that’s totally ok – just know that you may need to compromise on other things.
So if you picked a date that has some sort of significance to you as a couple – and that date happens to fall on a Saturday in June … GOOD LUCK! Especially if you’re on a strict budget.
The Benefits of Getting Married in the Off-Season
The cool thing about getting married in the off-season is that pretty much all of your wedding vendors will be available for your wedding – so you’ll have plenty of options!
In our experience, after we booked our venue we started shopping for other vendors around August for our March wedding. We’d tell the vendors our date, and they’d almost always respond with something like, “We have plenty of availability during that time – so you have plenty of time to decide if you want to book with us. If your date was in the summer, then you’d be out of luck because I’m all booked up for next summer.”
It was definitely reassuring to know that we could take our time as we booked our vendors. We could take our time to research, interview, and weigh our options – rather than rushing into something without being 100% certain about our decision.
Since many vendors are not booked in the off-season, you have more leverage to negotiate pricing. Since they’d prefer to have clients when business is slow, they are generally more willing to offer discounts. This is classic supply and demand – there’s plenty of supply and very little demand – and this tends to drive prices down.
And now that you know you have some leverage, use it! Don’t be afraid to negotiate! It’s not as scary as you think, and the worst that can happen is that a vendor declines your request. We negotiated nearly everything for our wedding and it saved us thousands of dollars.
For example, I bought my wedding dress at a fancy bridal boutique in Beverly Hills … in June! That means the soonest that it would be ready would be in December – which is super off-season. So I negotiated the price and saved nearly $2,000 on my couture wedding dress. I knew the timing was right for me and gave my leverage, and I was really excited when we struck the deal!
Another perk of choosing an off-peak season? The honeymoon! It’s no secret that summertime is the peak travel season. Airfare prices are higher, hotels are more impacted, tourist destinations are crowded. So taking your honeymoon during the off-season will save you money on your honeymoon too! (Plus, if traveling is your thing – you’ll also save money every year when you take your anniversary trip!)
The Benefits of Getting Married on a Weekday
Having a Friday wedding was cool because it made the weekend feel longer 🙂 After our Friday wedding, we were able to spend all day Saturday and Sunday with our guests.
Many of our guests traveled from out-of-town, so it was especially nice to be able to spend time with them for the rest of the weekend. And it was great for our out-of-town guests too because they were able to spend more time in the area and many of them made a mini-vacation out of it!
And here’s an added bonus of having a weekday wedding: it’s a low-key way of keeping your guest count under control. Not everyone will be able to make it to a weekday wedding, so if you’re concerned about your guest count, this can be a great way to limit your guest without actually having to decline invitations!
And by the way, your guest count is another major factor that has a HUGE impact on your bottom line. So having a weekday wedding will keep your guest count under control, which will save you money on your venue and on your food and beverage costs.
Give it a Shot
I hope you can see by now, that getting married in the off-season can truly save you a lot of money on your venue and pretty much everything else like apparel, decor, catering, etc. If you haven’t chosen a date – consider the savings that come with either an off-season date or weekday – or both!
Next week, I’m going to walk through the step by step process of choosing your wedding date – can’t wait!
Are you ready to choose your wedding date? Download the worksheet to choose your date with this easy, free, downloadable guide!