• Tash Heyder

Tash's Top Five tips on How to Keep Costs Down on your Wedding Day!

Okay so I feel like this is an important one.

All my clients want their dream day to be perfect. I want my clients dream day to be perfect.

I want it to be exactly as they have imagined in their heads every time they think about it.

However, unfortunately, we have a little (not little at all) thing called a budget. Budgets are important because you need parameters to stick to so you can have your perfect day without sending you broke. In having a budget though, you may have to cut items out of your invoice, or minimise quantities in order to make it work.

Nick + Jess | Diktat Photography

I thought I'd write down my top five tips on where you can cut the fat, so that you can have the wedding you've dreamed of without becoming homeless when it's all said and done.

Tip One.

Venue choice. Venues can put a huge dent in your budget, so make sure you're choosing the one best suited for your needs.

Some couples literally only want the venue for the sake of the wedding, so with most having a minimum night stay of three nights, you might be able to pay prices in the higher bracket.

Others however, want to extend the wedding and stay for a week to have their loved ones over for recovery parties, dinners and so on, so with more nights needed, you'll need to search for venues with smaller costs per night.

Don't forget that having your wedding at a villa will also incur event fees and Banjar fees, so make sure you include those plus and taxes on top of the advertised costs, as these extra fees are often not included in the final price you see on the websites.

Also keep in mind what the purpose of the venue is. It's to have the wedding, so dont go choosing villas just because they're pretty inside or they have a nice bathroom - although granted, I'm a sucker for nice bathrooms. You're better off going for a villa that may have been around a little longer, but that has ample space for set up, and/or sections you can set up for the different elements of your reception. I go through the specifics of this in my previous post on villas which you can read here.

All in all, remember that a villa doesn't look like a villa once we've done it up for the wedding. It totally transforms, so make sure you consider the space relative to the costs before you settle on one.

Chris + Louisa | Eyecon Photography

Tip Two.

Less IS sometimes more.

What girl doesn't love flowers. Well, actually, I've met a few brides now who aren't that fussed, but generally, we've become accustomed to thinking that weddings are synonymous with copious amounts of flowers. This doesn't need to be the case.

Florals can quickly add up, and if you're after imported flowers, well then you may as well set aside a third of your budget to pay for it.

Bali is naturally a stunning place, and as many of you already know, the villas are landscaped so beautifully, that half the work for setting up a beautiful outside area to celebrate is already done for you! Manicured lawns, lush vegetation and more often than not a pool that always elevates the atmosphere when the sun goes down and the candles are lit up.

My advice is, don't go overboard with florals. Instead focus on lighting. Lighting is what lifts the whole vibe. You have daylight for about 2 hours before it goes dark, and the quality and abundance of the flowers are often lost. Lighting is what creates the magic feeling, the feeling of otherworldliness. Every single time the lights come on - and it doesn't matter if they're fairy lights or lanterns or festoon - the guests are always in awe.

I'd say keep table decor to a minimum, highlight the bridal table for sure if you're having one but no need to go over top. Keep it majority foliage. Have your bouquet and jazz up your arbour, but that's it. Really no need to go too hard with flowers.

Rupert + Junie | The Outdoor Escape Photography

Tip Three.

Choose your dessert.

Whether or not you have a sweet tooth, chances are most of your guests do so you do need to consider what you'll have. And unless you both are major sweet junkies, there is absolutely NO need to get a cake, dessert, a gelato cart AND a donut wall. There just isn't. Choose one!

Cakes are obviously traditional, but many couples now are opting to go without because in reality not many people eat it. If they do want it, they'll often just choose a small one for cutting purposes, and utilise the "free" dessert from catering. I put "free" in inverted commas just because most menus include dessert so you've already paid for it. Get a larger cake if you want to remove dessert from the menu.

Gelato carts and donut walls are a great novelty, but again, dont need them all. An alternative is having a donut tower cake so that it kills two birds with one stone - a cake equivalent for traditions sake, as well as dessert for everyone in an easy to eat format.

Adam + Sharrna | Eyecon Photography

Tip Four.

Don't feel obligated to pay for things outside the wedding day.

Destination weddings are expensive as it is. You're paying for your dress and suit, the rings, the flights, the venue, and of course, the wedding.

Its not uncommon to have sunset drinks or dinners before the wedding to serve as an ice breaker or welcome to all the guests who have made it, as well as recovery parties to carry on the festivities after the wedding, but don't feel pressured or obligated to pay for all of it.

Most guests are happy to buy their own drinks for ice breakers. Or you can even put a tab for beer and wine, and if people want cocktails they can buy them on their own.

Similarly with recovery parties. If you have them at your villa, you can organise the villa to provide some basic food and everyone coming can BYO alcohol.

Some couples feel they need to pay for accommodation for their guests, or at least their immediate families. This is also not needed unless its something that is really important to you. Your planner will give you so many accommodation recommendations that will be close to your wedding venue in a range of budgets to suit all travellers. And if you personally want to save on accommodation costs, then instead of filling your villa with the bridal party or immediate family, fill it with people who are happy to share the costs and contribute to the cost of the venue by paying per room.

Jordan + Kate | Terralogical

Tip Five.

Be smart with your food choices. This means knowing your guests well.

Are you guys big eaters? Grazers? Formal? Casual?

With so many different options on how to feed your guests, it can get a bit overwhelming and the temptation to choose everything can be all too easy. There is nothing worse though than under ordering or having too much food at the end.

If you and your crowd are more the grazing type, dont be afraid to steer away from traditional meal formats and go for extended canapés. Usually a selection of about twelve canapes sent out throughout the course of the event, so people can pick as they drink. Theres no need to have a buffet on offer just sitting there, or forcing guests to sit down if its not what they want.

Alternatively, if you guys are big foodies, then make sure you choose something like a sit down or market style so your guests are adequately fed. You don't want to under order then have to order take away late at night to feed everyone. This can quickly add up, take a long time and ruin the mood.

Speak to your planner about all options and choose which best fits your guests.

For those with kids? Let the villa whip up some pasta or kiddie meal that they can have earlier on during the event, you can save a lot on catering fees here if there are a lot of kids coming to your wedding.

Kent + Leilani | Terralogical

There are so many other ways to save on your wedding, and your planner should have an arsenal of options for you.

It IS possible to have your dream wedding that suits your budget, and I'm a firm believer that almost anything is possible.


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