Frugal wedding planning is about being a smart consumer and getting the most value for your money. It is not about abandoning or skimping on any aspect of your celebration. A frugal wedding plan is an approach that is designed to protect you from spending thousands of dollars that do not significantly improve the quality of your day.
How is it possible to lose thousands of dollars without getting any real value for your money? The answer may seem cynical, but is rooted in the fact that every business in the wedding industry exists to make a profit from your special day. There is nothing wrong with businesses making profits, but it is important to recognize that businesses will be trying to get as much of your money as possible in return for offering you the products and services that you desire. Your approach will have the opposite purpose. Your frugal wedding plan will focus on trying to get those same products and services while minimizing the amount of money that you spend on them. It is, in a sense, an adversarial process.
When you enter into these somewhat adversarial relationships with wedding vendors you will have three disadvantages, and every wedding vendor will know it. Each of these disadvantages has the potential to cost you a lot of money, but recognizing them will put you in a much better position.
Your first disadvantage comes from being a hostage to your circumstances. Although every wedding is unique, they all have common requirements such as food, beverages, location, flowers, photographer, and entertainment. Businesses know that you need these things, and it is such a special day that they know that you will pay good money to get them.
Your situation is similar to that of sports fans who pay an exorbitant amount of money for food and beverages at an athletic stadium. The fans are a captive audience, and they do not get a good value for their money. Similarly, you will notice that products and services related to a wedding have prices that seem much higher than they would be when purchased for different occasions. There are, however, ways for the discriminating consumer to avoid falling victim to some of these markups in prices.
Your second disadvantage in your relationship with wedding vendors is the complexity of the whole process. Planning your wedding will probably be the biggest event that you ever organize. There are countless details to attend to and the process can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if both of you have jobs. In this environment it is easy to overlook many hidden fees and unexpected expenses that vendors will charge, and you may not be aware of them until you are in a financial hole. It is sometimes a good idea to make written agreements with vendors to avoid some of these unanticipated expenditures.
A third factor that makes you vulnerable to financial exploitation is your lack of experience with the whole process. Planning a wedding is not in the normal routine of most people, but all of the businesses in the wedding industry are quite experienced at what they do. You may find the preparations to be a learning process, and one that can be very costly.
Being aware of these points will put you in a better position to alertly and prudently avoid some costs without major compromises in your plan. You can indeed have an elegant, yet affordable day that is a memorable beginning to your new life without placing your financial future at risk.