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Wedding Planning Tips from the Pros: Ways to Save Money on Your Big Day

wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancingCall it experience, call it history.  We guess it’s fitting that the staff of a historical wedding venue would give out tips on how to save funds during wedding planning; we’ve been part of the planning of a wedding or two (or three or 40 or…) and can give you tips on how to stay within your wedding budget while still planning the day of your dreams (we’ve done it before!).

Look for beauty and budget-friendly when choosing your wedding venue.

When you start planning your wedding, sit down with your fiance and create a wedding day budget.  This helps you fall into the trap of 1) spending without a plan; 2) paying too much for one area of your wedding, such as your wedding venue, and not having enough funds for other areas.  That doesn’t mean you have to hold your wedding in a dirty wedding hall; don’t make assumptions about the cost of a beautiful wedding venue before you contact the wedding hall.  Believe it or not, beautiful, budget-friendly wedding venues do exist.  There are several in Milwaukee, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, which is located near hotels for guests and is an elegant, affordable wedding venue.

Set a unique wedding date when other couples don’t.

wedding planningLate fall, winter, or early spring are considered off-season, which means that many wedding venues and vendors give discounts to couples who choose a wedding date during these times of year.

Choose a wedding venue where you can choose your vendors—and your savings.

If you want to add up all the savings from an off-season wedding date, or just want to choose the vendors that can give you the biggest savings, look for a wedding venue that lets you select the vendors (called an open vendor policy).  Not every wedding venue has an open vendor policy, so add this to your list of questions to ask your wedding venue.

Plan a Friday evening, Sunday brunch or holiday date for your wedding date.

If you want to hold your wedding during “peak season,” but want to shave dollars off your wedding budget, ask your wedding venue if there are discounts for holding your wedding on a holiday, weekday, or Sunday. Again, these non-typical days are often open because they are less popular wedding dates.

Hold your ceremony and reception in the same wedding venue.

cookies for wedding guestsIf you want to eliminate costs associated with transportation from the ceremony to reception, choose a wedding venue with space for both.  Make sure you ask about specific spaces for each part of your wedding day so your guests don’t have to stand in the middle of the clean-up being done by venue employees.

Take it easy with wedding favors.

As wonderful as wedding favors are (we’ve even given you 50 ideas for the perfect wedding favor for your big day), resist the temptation to order too many.  It’s one of the most common mistakes made by couples: ordering way too many favors and wasting money that doesn’t get used.

Ask for ideas.

Many wedding venue and vendors have had experience with helping couples stay within their wedding budget.  Don’t be afraid to ask them for ideas.  Staff members can make recommendations that help you make budget-friendly wedding decisions that keep you on track and give you the day of your dreams. Some wedding venues, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, even offer a final wedding planning meeting that allows you to see the wedding venue costs before your wedding day, allowing you to make final changes that keep you within your wedding budget.