Don’t spend more than 30% of your wedding budget on the wedding venue
Regardless of how beautiful the wedding venue is, it would be best to not over capitalize by spending more than 30% of your overall wedding budget on the venue hire. There are still many other aspects of the wedding day which will require significant financial contributions such as catering, beverages, décor, entertainment, wedding planning etc.
Using the venue’s complimentary furniture, cutlery, and crockery
When considering wedding venues, your or your wedding planner should ask questions so that you are holistically informed as to what the venue includes in terms furniture and tableware. When the venue is booked, aim to utilize as much of the included items as possible.
Use local floral instead of imported options
If you are hosting your wedding in South Africa, we are extremely fortunate with the wide variety of locally grown floral options at our disposal. Wedding planners and florists are very informed as to which floral options would work within your chosen colour scheme to create your overall desired look and feel. Try and use local floral as far as possible because imported options may be unusual, but they are significantly more expensive.
When decorating a high venue ceiling space, use lighting instead of hanging floral
There are so many lovely options available for effective hanging lighting which will fill a venue space and create a warm atmosphere. Naked bulbs, fairy lights and suspended shades are just a few options you could consider.
If you do wish to include hanging floral or greenery, perhaps have your wedding planner combine this with effective lighting therefore decreasing the amount of hanging foliage required.
Use hired candles instead of excessive table floral
Your guest tables will already include 1 -3 sets of cutlery, 1-2 base plates, 2-3 glasses per person and a linen base in the form of a runner or table cloth. Over and above this your beautifully designed stationery would be placed per guest position. Your wedding planner will only need to fill the central section of the table with décor therefore you could consider using cost effective hired candles within beautiful vases or on stylistic stands. These hired candles look new and include fresh wicks so guests would never know you have hired them instead of purchasing them. If you include quite a number of candles, this will decrease the amount of floral décor required per guest table.
Reusing your decor within different phases of your wedding
If your guests are moving through different ceremony, pre-drinks and reception venues, they will not notice the discreet movement of decorative items from Ceremony to Reception while they are in the pre-drink’s venue. Your wedding planner could assign staff to shift your ceremony arch to behind your bridal table which would save décor expenses within your wedding reception venue.
Combine your stationery items
If you are a lover of stationery and would prefer to stay clear of large menu boards, you could combine your menu and name card and rather create a personalized menu for each of your guests. This not only makes the guest feel special, it also becomes the central décor piece on each guest’s place setting. Your wedding planner can show you assorted menu placement options within your table layout.
Choose a 2-course menu and serve your wedding cake as dessert
Wedding cakes are often not eaten at weddings because by the time the bridal couple cuts the cake, guests have already been served a 3-course meal and they are about to start dancing. For this reason, instead of serving a plated dessert, you could have you wedding planner liaise with the catering team to cut up and serve your wedding cake as the plated dessert. You could cut the cake as you walk into the reception venue, before the meal is served, giving the chefs time to plate the cake beautifully for each of your guests to enjoy during speeches.
Serve a harvest table instead of bite size canapes during your pre-drinks period
Canapes, as beautiful and tasty as they are, take a considerable time to prepare. For this reason, canapes are usually the most expensive part of your wedding menu relative to their size. Consider serving an extravagant harvest table including cold meats, cheeses, fresh breads and preserves which your wedding planner and florist could decorate in your colour scheme.
Serve garnished water on arrival along with other beverage options
Guests have often travelled a considerable distance to get to the wedding venue and hence they are often thirsty when they arrive. Consider serving infused water, garnished beautifully by your wedding planner, along with other non-alcoholic beverage options on arrival. This will keep your bar tab relatively low in comparison to serving alcoholic options on arrival.
Hire a photographer and videographer who are associated with one another
When booking your photography and videography professionals, it is particularly important that they work well as a team to capture all of your special wedding moments. This is because they have a limited period to get all of the shots required with your attention as well as the ideal lighting. If they are associated with one another, they may also be open to offering a discount of sorts should you confirm both of their services. Your wedding planner could suggest companies associated with one another or companies which offer both photography and videography services.
Hire an experienced and versatile wedding DJ as opposed to live entertainment
If you were to hire a DJ which who is able to read a crowd and play an assortment of music genres, you could create a different experience for your guests within each period of the wedding day. Your wedding planner could also suggest DJ’s who include a live entertainment addition to their usual package, such as a saxophonist who would play along with the DJ’s music. This would also save further expenses on supplementary live entertainment options.