Keeping your budget under control will be probably be the biggest wedding-planning challenge you'll face. No matter how good of a "guestimate" you start out with, there will always be variations in your budget. You may choose a more expensive villa for your venue, or decide to add a videography package that wasn't considered before. It happens. But there are tricks to keeping some things under control.
1. Have as few different kinds of music as possible.
If you're getting married in one location and having the reception in another, choose to use either a band or a DJ at the reception. Not both.
2. Do not over-decorate your ceremony space.
Whether you're getting married in a church or on a beach, remember that the most beautiful thing on the altar is supposed to be the bride. It isn't necessary to have flowers and bunting draped everywhere.Beautiful bouquets, petals on the aisle, and maybe some other little decoration are enough. For inside venues, candles are amazing for an evening wedding — and cheap!
3. Choose a local wedding photographer wherever you are getting married.
You can almost always find somebody terrific within a reasonable drive from your wedding venue. Bringing in a fancy photographer you found online from thousands of miles away, and paying travel and accommodations and per diem, means you're going to spent at least twice what you have to spend.
4. Don't buy multiple wedding gowns, unless you got a good deal on the second one.
It's trendy now to have a ceremony gown and then change into a more party-style dress for the reception. Some girls even buy a third gown for a trash-the-dress shoot because they don't want to ruin their real wedding gown. Stop and look at what you're spending before you start shopping for multiple dresses.
5. Forget throwing a farewell brunch the morning after your wedding unless you have extra money to spend.
A number of your out-of-town guests will be departing to catch flights anyway. Plus, some guests may be staying in accommodations that provide breakfast, so they've essentially already paid for it. You don't need to pay for it too.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.