There are many ways to cut corners at your wedding so that you don’t have to break the budget to meet your vision of your very special day. However, sometimes people cut in the wrong places and, in the end, the guests can tell.
Here is a list I created using tips from clients who were married around the area and found ways to make some real good savings without sacrificing from the desired vision of the special day. This is a totally doable top 10 list of ways to save money on your wedding; a list that actually works:
1. PRIORITIZE EVERYTHING– A few years ago, I picked up a neat little tip I like to pass along to my clients from the Williams, who got married at The State Room in Albany, NY…“Before you even begin planning your wedding and reception, you really need to sit down with your partner and make a list of your top five priorities. This way you know what absolutely stays and where cuts can really happen.”
With it spelled out on paper, you both know what is important. This allows for everyone to be on the same page.
2. LIMIT THE GUEST LIST, BOTTOM LINE – Forget about corner-cutting on the DJ, the decorations, or the dinner, those are only savings that amount to pennies on the dollar… The best way to really save is to be ruthless with your head count. Keeping the guest list down as best as possible will drastically reduce your wedding cost, overall.
The Sefik’s, a fun couple from Clifton Park, NY got married at Mallozzi’s Wedding Hall in Schenectady. They pointed out that, “most caterers, venues, restaurants and banquet halls charge per-person.” They noted that if you have a 150 guests and can cut it down to 125, there alone you will save about $1,300.
So how do you do this? One tip if you see your guest list is getting out of hand, omit children and coworkers. Making category cuts across the board is the best way to make people not feel that they were being singled out.
3. FOOD & DRINK – Research all of your options and do not be afraid to ask questions. The Bovairs of West Sand Lake, NY who got married at Lakeview on Crystal Lake in Averill park, NY, recommended that you, “consider a buffet instead of a sit-down meal, or break tradition all the way. Why not go with a dessert reception, or a brunch or luncheon instead of a multicourse meal?”
Some people actually go with an all appetizer / finger food reception now.
Alcohol – Eliminating or limiting a traditional full bar to one or two hours will really cut costs. The Bevans got married at Herbert’s at Birch Hill in Kinderhook. Alternatives include serving beer and wine only, but not serving alcoholic mixed drinks. at all or only pouring a champagne toast.
Depending on the local laws and the rules at your reception hall, if you are able to buy the liquor yourself and then hire someone to pour it — the savings potential is enormous. If you can, in fact, bring your own booze, you can even return any full bottles that your guests don’t drink in the end.
4. Location, location, location. There are boat-loads of options for low-cost or no-cost locations, including local and national parks, forest preserves, your own back yard or that of a friend or relative.
Paul Diamond who got married at a nice little restaurant called, Cella Bistro in Schenectady, NY said, “Unthought-of restaurants are usually a under-rated option. Many establishments would love to have your business and, at the same time have gorgeous tables and chairs, and décor. You could save a bundle, all around.”
Also, by choosing a location that allows outside catering or you to bring your own booze, you are also opening up the potential for great savings! Saratoga’s Museum of Dance and Pryne Hall of Latham both allow for these potential savings, for example.
5. Wedding Attire – Here’s where you have many options for stretching your bridal dollars. You don’t have to buy at a traditional bridal salon. You could purchase a gown at an outlet or from a department store in the special occasion’s off-the-rack area.
6. FLOWERS – If you choose to wed in a location that is already naturally decorated, you will see big savings. To set a stylish mood without much work, plan the wedding to take place in a garden, art museum or even at a beautifully-gardened home.
Saving on flowers – Choosing flowers that have bigger buds means you’ll need fewer stems, thereby helping your bottom line.
Self-proclaimed “hippies,” The Losaws of Hudson Falls, NY got married at The Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, New York. They planted 200 bulbs months before their wedding, and then married right in the middle of the fully-blooming cheerful yellow tulips.
7. INVITATIONS – You don’t need to print invitations up on thick paper and chalk up another $500 bill. Invitations are definitely an area where do-it-yourselfers can show off their skills and can create great savings by pocketing the difference in costs.
Orvin Bennitt and his wife-to-be will be getting married at The Edison Club in Rexford, NY this summer. They showed me their announcements. They printed their wedding invitations on their computer, and I would have never have guessed!
8. GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS – Think of it as cost-free outsourcing. Posse up your friends and play to their strengths. Some people may have a creative inner-circle of peers who will want to donate services to you! This could be in the area of music for the ceremony, or even for photography!
Also, befriend teachers! Try calling a few schools if you want a decent student ensemble to play your wedding ceremony music! Or call your votec (like Capital Region Career & Technical School of Albany, NY) and get the floral class behind your wedding as a school project!
Initiate an Officiant – Are you looking for an intimate ceremony that has meaning AND affordability at the same time? Consider having your vows administered by a relative or friend, like the Carbones did at The Inn in Saratoga. Web sites like Universal Life Church (ulchq.com) and Esoteric Interfaith Church are two organizations that “ordain” laypeople so they can officiate weddings, legally.
9. Embrace The Off-Season – Wedding receptions that don’t fall during peak months will help you save big bucks. The Bucklands got married at a popular location called Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs, NY early in April. By doing so, they estimate that they were able to negotiate a savings of nearly $3,000!
10. Lose The Limo – “Transportation can be a huge cost,” says Mike Brooks, who got married at Crystal Cove in Averill Park, NY. “Since my bride wasn’t obsessed with having a vintage car drive us one mile to the reception, we just borrowed my friends’ SUVs to shuttle the bridal party and family. Nobody noticed the difference.”
Looking to really save yourself some money on your wedding and still have it come off great? It can happen if you plan everything correctly.
A recent affordable wedding I DJ’ed at South Schenectady Fire House Banquet went perfectly and was classy, to boot. The hall is new, super clean, has all the facilities you need and a full kitchen. It also comes complete with the tables and chairs needed for about 100 people. And, most importantly, they allow for outside catering (this is key).
The bride and groom had to quickly put their special day together, due to a life threatening health situation with a family member. They wanted their loved one to be able to attend and didn’t have a whole lot of time to save.
HOW TO BOOK A GREAT WEDDING (HALL & FOOD) FOR ABOUT $1,000!
Here is what they did:
1) They contacted and rented the South Schenectady Fire House, and was able to rent the hall for $300. This was a great place to have the wedding because, across the street is a fabulous Italian restaurant called Canali’s.
2) They then had Canalis Restaurant (at 126 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady, NY) provide the catering, just the food as a pick up order for 100 people or so. The food bill came to under $700.
3) Next, during the cocktail hour, someone went over and picked up the food. Then, they served dinner buffet style.
4) They did their own bartending (beer and wine).
5) They cleaned up the hall themselves.
Now mind you, they did not have anyone serve the food, but the quality was as good if not better than many of the big name wedding halls in the area.
What can we learn from this?
If you can find a hall that lets you bring in your own catering, you can save a whole lot!!! What you are typically paying for at an expensive wedding hall is serving, clean up and facilities. Finding a nice place like The South Schenectady Firehouse with a great restaurant nearby that will cooperate with time is a game changer!
South Glens Falls Wedding DJ – Eagles Club. Black & Red Skull Wedding theme
I was in South Glens Falls as a Wedding DJ recently for a young couple at The Eagles Club. This was a nice little alternative place for a small wedding where the bride and groom could save money by bringing in their own food.
A great night had by all! They used a read and black theme with skulls!
Here are a few shots and a video of the new MR. & Mrs. Mead… including a sweet congo-line cameo by my friend Shane Alden.
CHECK OUT SOUTH GLENS FALLS WEDDING VIDEO BELOW
If interested in using the hall for your own function, contact: Fraternal Order of Eagles in South Glens Falls – 80 Main St, S Glens Falls, NY 12803, (518) 793-4511
WAYS YOU CAN REALLY SAVE AT YOUR WEDDING VIDEO BLOG
DJ Kenny Casanova drops the bottom line on how to save money with your wedding in this inspiring Top 10 List video blog. If you need to be a bit of a spendthrift at your wedding, but don’t want your guests to know, relax. There is a way.
Invest in only 5 minutes of your time with watching this video. You will come up with some nifty ideas that will save you money, but not make you look like you have deep pockets in doing so on your special day.
Do you want the wedding of your dreams, but don’t think you can afford it? Paying for a wedding can be really expensive, to really get everything you want. However, where there is a will, there is a way…
FOOD IS NOT CHEAP – No matter how you slice the wedding cake, your largest bill at a wedding will waht you pay to the caterers. If you will be feeding say 120 guests or so, by today’s industry stanards you are probably looking at $50 a plate, or more. Then, add $6,000 for meals to additional venue costs, and whatever package you are choosing for booze, and you will quickly come close to the $10,000 mark. If you are like many people in today’s economy, you may be asking yourself, “how can I pay for it all?
Breath easy. Aside from the most important way to save money (keeping your invite list down to save on catering), many brides & grooms have been same boat as you are in, and have come up with ways to still make their dream wedding happen.
ONLINE INCOME SOURCES – If you are like many people today and do not have a whole lot of time in your week to work extra hours, some customers have told me that offering a skill on Craigslist is a great way to pick up some extra work here and there to generate some extra income. If you do well with landscaping, carpentry, housekeeping, babysitting, or even bartending, you can go online to craigslist at any time and pick up some extra temporary work to supplement your income.
If you have a product you can sell, others tell me that Ebay and Amazon both offer storefont potential with no overhead. That means, if you have a product you can sell, you can do so on these sites and reach tons of customers, without having to pay rent or employees to man a store. If you don’t have anything to sell, some of my customers have told me that they make thousands by finding collectibles at yard sales and reselling them on Ebay/Amazon.
PART TIME JOB – However, I have found that a number of my DJ customers have decided to treat their wedding budget the same way as some families treat huge Christmas lists; by taking on a part-time job for a short period of time to make it happen. A part-time job really is a great way to pay for things, with the potential to just go back to your comfortable lifestyle, soon after the wedding kitty is full. Here are some good resources to use, in case you are thinking about taking on some side work, so that you can have the wedding of your dreams!
However, if you don’t mind throwing a few hours into the dream wedding kitty, a part time job with an additional hundred or two dollars of income for a few months may really be the way to go!
PROFESSIONAL RESUME – To get that extra little job, you really need to stand out from the rest in today’s economy. It is alll about packaging. If it is skill-based, bringing a portfolio to your interview with lots of great pictures is a good idea. But first of, you need to have a professional resume to get your foot in the door. Sometimes 100-500 people may apply to the same job, so you have to stand out from all the rest. Professional resumes are not just lists of dates and addresses, today they have finely crafted bullets with action phrases displaying what it is you did at a past work experience.
I am a succesful wedding DJ and have seen it all. Also being a certified English teacher in a Career & Technical school, I have some career resources that I would like to share with you, in order to help your dream wedding become a reality.
Resume Template <- Here is a link to a great RESUME TEMPLATE that I have created. TIP- make sure to make EVERYTHING uniform on your resume. This is your first impression to a potential employer. Make it count!
Resume Action Verbs <- It is always important to add ACTION VERBS under your work experiences. These will help the potential employer understand what kind of experience you have that may be a good match for them. This link is a list of those words that will better help them to visualize you working for them.
Resume Sample <- Here is a sample of what the RESUME might look like when you are done.
ADD A COVER LETTER – Don’t forget to add a COVER LETTER along with your resume, before sending it out. Here is a few links to some cover letter resources that I have created to help make your resume stand out from the rest:
COVER LETTER logic <- Here is a link to a list of things to think about when writing your cover letter.
Cover Letter Sample <- This is a sample of what a cover letter might look like when it is done.
LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE WEDDING HALL IN YOUR AREA?
If you are looking for a nice event hall for a small-to-medium sized wedding that allows outside catering, you probably know that your choices are limited. Many places today, have in-house catering, as this is a big money maker for the venues.
If you live in the Troy area, or nearby, and are working with a budget as many of us are, Petersburg might work for you.
LOCATION – “Petersburg, NY? Where the heck is that?” It’s funny. I’ve been a disc jockey for a number of years now and never heard of Petersburg Memorial Hall before, either.
I live in Wynantskill, off of Pawling. This is between Troy and Albany and I asked the same question. After I initially talked with the bride and groom about providing music for their special day, I had to run a Google map search to familiarize myself with a town that was less than 25 minutes away from me. (In case you are like me and are wondering, Petersburg is the next town down Grafton State Park.)
The reception I DJ’ed for was at a cute little place called “Petersburg Memorial Hall,” located conveniently on 71 Main Street. The venue is located right before the Petersburg Town Library. The hall provides plenty of parking and does work out to be a great little place for a great little wedding to take place.
AFFORDABILITY – Someone looking for a smaller wedding with the potential to meet affordability restraints can benefit considering this venue. While many halls in and around the Capital District that house wedding receptions also provide their own dinning packages, at the Memorial Hall, this is not the case. Here, you can book any catering service that you like and also make provisions to set up your own bar. This means an incredible amount of savings, as these two expenses are quite often the largest for any wedding.
SPECIFICS – The Memorial Hall can seat 80-100 people fairly comfortably. It has two side access doors to allow easy access for vendors and also any decorating purposes you may have. It has plenty of chairs and tables and a decent linen selection resource, along with seat covers. The hall also has very high ceilings and also a great little stage with draw curtains that could easily be used for your DJ or even a small live band.
There are a few little facility points to note. There is a decent kitchen, but it is not very large. It is probably, however, suitable for your outside caterer to make due with for what the hall can comfortably occupy. Also, it is import to note that there is only one shared bathroom. It is, however, handicap accessible, I believe.
On a technology note, the town of Petersburg is out in a rural area. It does not provide any Sprint cell phone coverage, but it does have Verizon cell phone coverage. Internet access is also provided to the hall through a wi-fi hub in the town library, nearby.
I would give it a three out of four stars for a good affordable wedding venue/hall option.