Weddings are expensive, but they don’t have to be. By following just a few of these easy tips you can save hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. In fact, with a little foresight and planning, you can even profit from your wedding!
If you are or will be planning a wedding, pay close attention. You may be cost savvy, but I guarantee that you haven’t considered all of the options.
What, your guests thought they would be going to the wedding event of the century for free? You wouldn’t expect to get into Cirque Du Soleil for free, or the Smithsonian. Why is your wedding any different?
Pro Tip: don’t tell people there is an admission fee so they will still get you a gift.
Axe the DJ
Your Spotify playlist can do this job, no need to pay somebody. The only reason to have a person at the music station is so you can charge $10 per song request.
Pro Tip: Don’t start the music until somebody requests a song.
Get a Discount Cake
Cake is basically sugar, flour, and butter, so you shouldn’t need to pay more than 20 dollars. If you can’t find a reasonable baker do what I call the “gas station sampler”: buy an armload of powdered donuts, Twinkies, and little cupcakes and a nearby gas station. Mash them all together into a large cake pan and cover with whip cream just before the reception.
Pro Tip: Hide the beverages before cutting the cake, then charge guests for milk.
Do Your Own Flowers
Most wedding venues have an array of colorful flowers and decorative plants on premise. Send a member of the wedding party to surreptitiously harvest them until you have several bouquets worth.
Pro Tip: A pair of garden clippers and admission to a nearby botanical gardens costs way less than hiring a florist.
Tiered access levels
Ideally, you would use the idea of charging admission and take it one step further. Have several different levels of guest access. Platinum guests, for example, would get to sit closer to the bride and groom and eat first. See the chart below.
Geld Moet Rollen
An ancient Amish proverb, roughly translated to mean that “a good friend is a good helper.” Put your wedding party to work. They should man the bar, setup for the reception, take all the pictures, wait tables, and even do the cooking.
Pro Tip: Choose servant’s garb for the wedding party attire so that guests will know who to ask for help.
Grandmaster: Have them aggressively collect tips, then take the proceeds at the end of the night.
Charge for Parking
The key to generating maximum profit is utilizing all resources available, including the parking lot. Really your only question is whether you should charge an hourly rate or a one time fee. If you are planning on a long ceremony, charge hourly, otherwise a one time fee is easier.
Pro tip: have the ceremony and reception in different places, and charge for parking at both.
Charge for Drinks
How do you think restaurants make money? This will be one of your primary moneymakers. Buy all of the alcohol up front, then sell it for a high margin to your guests. You could potentially generate thousands of dollars in profit.
Pro Tip: Have the bartender increase drink prices as the night goes on, as sloshed people won’t realize they’re getting gouged.
Double Duty Thank You Cards
Instead of sending each guest a separate bill and thank you card, combine them into one letter to save on postage. The thank you card should be carefully written with a well thought out sentiment. Inside include an itemized bill for the dinner, dessert, drinks, and admission if you decided not to charge at the door.
Pro Tip: charge an extra “convenience fee” to guests who didn’t get you something off of the registry.
Invite as Many People as You Can
This goes without saying. If you are correctly monetizing all of the revenue streams, more guests will only mean more profit. Invite all of your friends, relatives, coworkers, former coworkers, acquaintances, landlord, and even the people you know least of all: your “friends” on Facebook.
Pro Tip: Describe the elaborate 5 course meal in the invite, but don’t mention that it will cost non-platinum level guests $299.