If there is one "Universal Truth" to weddings, something we all can agree upon, it would be this:
"These mutha's are expensive as #%@&, yo!"
Pulling off the wedding of your (and more specifically, your spouse-to-be's) dreams won't come cheap. Your budget will be stretched thin many times over, and you'll be scratching your manly noggin, wondering where all your greenbacks have gone.
But fear not, bro-tato chip. We here at Manly Bands are here to help with a series of tips and tricks to make your wedding budgeting a little less hemorrhoid-ish.
TIP #1: KISS (Keep It Small, Stup... We mean, Stud)
We've talked about how to navigate your wedding invitation list on this blog before, and this is one of the biggest reasons. No one doubts how much you want to see every member of your extended family, or every friend you have ever made, and kept. But inviting them all to your ceremony, and especially, the reception, poses some challenges.
First, you need to have a venue large enough to accommodate every last individual invited to the event... And their "+1's"... AND all the little children they may opt to bring if they aren't instructed not to. That means parking, seating, and room for everyone to move about, not to mention attempt the "Macarena" later in the night. And as basic common sense should tell you: Larger venues yield larger price tags.
On top of that, you need to feed these people, and provide some sort of beverages at the reception (alcoholic or not, people need something to drink, dude.) Whether you opt to have the event catered by actual professionals, or go the "DIY" route with your manly nuptial meal, it's gonna be a chunk of change. Like, $10 -$150 or more per person costly, and that is a conservative number.
Point is this: You can afford to be picky in who you invite if you can't afford to feed a small nation. Your closest friends and family will be there, and everyone else will just have to be understanding of your situation. If you want to throw them a bone, broadcast the whole shindig on one of them fancy social media streaming options. "Go Live," so everyone who couldn't "Go In Person" gets to be a part of your special day, and you save some cash in the process.
TIP #2: Choose Your Costumes Wisely:
We know, we know, you want to look your best on your most special of days. But don't let getting all "decked out" leave you "broke as $&#@."
First of all, you don't need EVERYTHING the tux rental guy/wedding dress saleswoman says you do. It is their job to get sales first, and make you look stellar second. Leaving an item or two (or five... These folks can get pushy) off the final invoice won't kill your look.
In fact, buying/renting the basic outfit, and dressing it up with homemade touches elevates your look to a level you just won't get from any store. Your grandpa's old (but clean, please, for the love of Odin, make sure they are clean) handkerchiefs can be the most awesome pocket squares your tux will ever see. And your bride doesn't need some $400 pair of shoes she will only wear once, when she can get a cheap pair of something comfy, and bedazzle the snot out of them. A tiny key chain picture of a recently passed loved one isn't something you see too often, is cost effective, and is super effective for upping the emotional value of the piece. Save the cash, and put in a little work.
And while we are on the topic of saving cash, have you considered browsing the clearance rack? Wedding boutiques and tux rental shops are always putting older and less-popular items on the cheap racks to get them moving. That perfect dress may require a bit of altering to earn it's title, but if you save half the sticker price on the dress, who cares? There are also services that will rent you a dress to tux!
In fact, check with the store to see if they have any "buy X, get one free" deals going on. If you have enough groomsmen already (or have a spare you can promote), why not get a group order, and score your manly Groom tux for free? (Shameless plug for Men's Warehouse, and their "Rent 5, Get 1 Free Deal... Which saved THIS groom big time for his big day.)
TIP #3: Cheap Invitations Still Get The Job Done:
This one is easy: Don't jump on the first option you see for classy invitations. Sure, you want them to look great and be memorable. But you have to be honest with yourself, and accept a lot of folks will just toss them out once the event has happened.
Shop around, and find a service with a price point you like, then see if they have an option that fit's your needs. Invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, you'll want to check into all of these, and see what sorts of deals you can find.
Also, skip the extra charges for having the envelopes pre-addressed for your guest list. For one thing, it's a rip-off (you can do the same thing at home on your own printer with a database, a couple hours, and a six-pack.) For another thing, you will ALWAYS find someone else you forgot about that you will want to invite. Addressing the envelopes yourself gives you flexibility AND saves you extra fees. So put the work in, man!
If your budget is even tighter, consider an option like Paperless Post for an even cheaper solution (or a good ol' FB Event, because those are free...), and roll with it. Sure, you may have a random crasher show up if you forget to make the event post private, but is that really so bad?
As a final note, you can always save by shopping smart for your manly wedding ring. Check out our amazing classic collection bands, and find that perfect ring without breaking your bank account.
See you next time, when we offer up more money saving tips!