If you’re in on the secret that great weddings can be done on a budget, you’re a smart bride indeed because you know that you can have your (wedding) cake, and eat it too, with a special day that’s big on style but reasonably priced. But even smart brides can use a few tips every now and then. So on that note, here are four of our best wedding shopping tips to help you stay on budget while still getting everything you need to create the kind of day you deserve. It’s all about the planning!
Set your max wedding budget (and write it down!)
Weddings are complex and most people have trouble remembering the details of a budget that they’ve tried to commit to memory. So either write it down on paper, organize all the details in a spreadsheet (Excel, or use a free service like Google Sheets online if you want something easily accessible in the cloud).
Having everything well thought out and organized in this manner will help you to keep on track and stay laser focused on finding pricing that fits your budget goals. Writing it down also helps to make sure you don’t forget about anything in the planning process – no bride wants to show up for her wedding day only to find that she forgot to order wedding favours for the guests, right?
Know what kinds of items are most likely to be discounted
16 More Wedding Budget Saving Tips
But established online stores do tend to offer discounts on a wide range of supplies, decor and accessories – everything you’ll need for your wedding day. In fact, many have a sign up form where simply entering your email address will generate a coupon code for you. (If the shop asks more information than your name and email, you likely shouldn’t bother!)
Here are some of the types of items for which you should look for discounts and coupons: wedding decor, invitations, wedding accessories (ex. garters, tiaras, veils, purses, parasols, cute bridal flip flops, cufflinks etc.), bridal party gifts, and favours for your guests
There are five main types of discounts to be on the lookout for when shopping online for wedding supplies:
- Sales – Start your shopping well in advance so you’ll have time to wait for the items you want to go on sale. While not every item you need will end up with promotional pricing, some of them probably will.
- Discounts on discontinued items – When a manufacturer decides to stop making a product, they often offer it at a great discount to online retailers, who can then pass the savings along to you. As long as you’re able to buy the quantity you need, there is no disadvantage to buying a discontinued item.
- Price Matching – Only the competitive shops offer price matching to win your business. When comparing similar items, though, be sure you’re getting the same quality brands.
- Off-season pricing – Look for winter-themed wedding supplies to be discounted at the end of the season. Ditto for summer-themed supplies, and so on. If you start your shopping early enough, you may be able to find coupons and discounts on these types of items, allowing you to buy them early and store them until you need them on your big day.
- Bulk order discounts – Items that are purchased in bulk, such as wedding favours and stationery such as invitations, are great candidates for bulk discounts.
Another tip is to sign up for the email list of your favourite online wedding supply stores because they sometimes offer special discounts for email subscribers. Plus, by subscribing, you’ll be among the first to know about important announcements such as new product lines that could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Know where to find online coupon codes and deals for services that aren’t usually discounted
But it may be possible to find a steal of a deal by checking out a site like Groupon or a deals site like Dealsplus and keeping an eye out for special promotions. There are talented people who are just getting started in the wedding biz that will sometimes offer huge deals via sites like this just to get their name out there and build a portfolio.
Look for deals on wedding photography, wedding venues, limo rentals, catering, flowers and more. Of course, you’d want to shop locally. If you’re in Toronto, get local services there. If you’re shopping online, it’s best to shop from a Canadian wedding shopping site if your’e in Canada (avoid any duties or hidden fees, of course, not to mention shopping in your own currency saves you money!).
Referrals and your network
Do you know a friend who’s getting married soon too? See if your local photographer or venue will offer you a discount for a successful referral.
Important tip: timing is everything if you want to save big on your wedding venue
This isn’t something you typically think of in relation to online shopping and your wedding, but the savings can be huge so it’s worth a look.
Remember that by choosing a non-peak day to get married, you can get big discounts on wedding venues.
If you have some flexibility surrounding the date you want to get married, consider choosing a day that’s not in peak wedding season. Another tip is to avoid getting married on a Saturday, and choose a weekday instead. Nowadays there are so many people who work weekends that the old fashioned reason often given for choosing Saturday (because people used to be off work on the weekend) no longer applies.
Reach out via email or phone to the wedding venues that are at the top of your list and find out whether or not you can get a discount by avoiding the days they’re in highest demand.
Smart brides & wedding planners stay on budget with coupons and discounts
You work hard for your money, so make it stretch as far as you can. Create a budget to keep you organized, know what types of items are most likely to be had for a steal of a deal, sign up for the best coupon sites, and make use of opportunities for referral discounts when possible. These smart shopping strategies combined with coupons and discounts will ensure that you get the most out of your wedding day budget – and you’ll end up with a special day that makes your dreams come true without breaking the bank!