Budget Wedding Planning – Setting a Date & Time With Your Budget in Mind – Part 2

In part one of this two part series on wedding dates and times, I discussed the differences between holding your wedding at different times of the year. In this – part two – I discuss what kind of impact you can have on your budget by holding your wedding on a non traditional day and time.
Venue rental rates are normally much cheaper during the week as well as on Sundays. Hotel rates are usually cheaper Sunday – Thursday as well. This can be a big consideration if you are paying for your own wedding suite or for a room for your wedding party. Airlines are normally cheaper on weekdays too. Keep this in mind for honeymoon plans…
Other vendor rates will likely be cheaper during these off times as well. This is especially true for photographers, florists, DJs, bakers and cake designers. Fridays and Saturdays are super busy for these folks, so they are able to charge more. Many of these type of vendors are happy when they can pick up some additional business during the slower business days and are generally willing to offer a discounted price to you. If they don’t offer a discounted price up front, be sure to ask for one during the Sunday – Thursday time period.
Of course the main reason most couples get married on a Saturday is so that their guests will have an easier time getting to the wedding. But, if you were to get married on a Thursday, your out of town guests would save on airfare and your local guests would be able to get the day off if you gave them 6-8 weeks notice.
The time of day can have a big impact on cost as well. Let’s take a look at how you could save by having your wedding at times other than in the evening.
Hold it a 9AM
Sure, this sounds nuts, but just because it’s not normally done doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You could hold an elegant brunch for your guests. Breakfast food is a lot cheaper than lunch and dinner fare. Plus, you can have plenty of fresh fruit, a made to order omelet station and offer various breads and pastries. As an added bonus, you’ll even be able to invite more guests to your wedding and provide a wider variety of food. Best of all, you’ll be able to stick to your budget.
Hold it at 2PM
This isn’t all that uncommon, but hold it with a cake reception instead of a big sit down affair. Have cake and a variety of beverages such as coffee, tea, soda and punch. Supplement it with a unique buffet of sweet and salty products. On top of that, maybe you include fresh fruit along with a chocolate fountain with graham crackers, pretzels and chips for dipping.
Hold it at 4PM
Again, not all that uncommon. But perhaps instead of the sit down affair, you set it up so that you have butler passed hors d’oeuvres and stations with cheese and crackers along with fruit, vegetables and dip.
The key here is to get the timing right. If you do this correctly, you can give your guests a wonderful time that they will talk about for some time to come. And you can do it for a fraction of the cost of a big to do sit down meal.
Needless to say, you don’t want to be serving only hors d’oeuvres when your guests are expecting a full meal. If you are absolutely set on a 6PM wedding, then you are kind of stuck – you’ll have to feed your guests a full meal. But at least consider these other options, or get creative and come up with one of your own. Where the reception is one of the big three costs, your decisions here can have the biggest impact on bringing your wedding in or under budget while still having the wedding of your dreams.

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