Save Money. A Little or a Lot.
Event planners suggest ways to pare down the cost of a standard $40,000 New York City wedding for 125 guests.
|Starting Price: $40,000|
|Simplify the Flowers||“You can save about $500 if the bride is happy with a small, elegant posy and you stick to one arrangement for the maid of honor,” says Bridget Vizoso of the Designers’ Co-Op. “Ask your florist if there are any large orders before or after your event. You can lower your price by $800 by going with the same kind of flowers,” Jennifer Brisman of Jennifer Brisman Weddings New York advises. Approximate Savings: $1,300|
|Get Down With the D.J.||"Good bands tend to be really expensive, and it’s better to have a great D.J. than an average band,” says Josh Brooks of Fête. “You can get an excellent, noncheesy wedding D.J. for anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000,” says Xochitl Gonzalez of Always a Bridesmaid. For the ceremony and cocktails, she adds, “instead of a string trio, consider an acoustic guitar.” Approximate Savings: $4,500|
|Drink Responsibly||“You can save 40 percent if you have a wedding from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. because the venue can turn the space around for another event,” notes Jeannie Uyanik of C&G Weddings. “A brunch can save you $10 to $15 per person on bar costs because you can opt for a ‘brunch bar’—beer, wine, mimosas, and Bloody Marys,” says Gonzalez.
“Limiting bar options can save up to $6 per person—offer wine and Prosecco, or a single-liquor specialty cocktail, and forgo Champagne” Loulie Walker of Loulie Walker Events advises. “Have one hour of open bar, and just serve wine during dinner— it can save $10 per person,” suggests JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions.Approximate Savings: $8,000
|Go Green!||“Use an Evite as the save-the-date, and include a link to your wedding web page with more information. It’s free and more informative than a traditional card,” says Jennifer Gilbert of Save the Date. “An amazing invite doesn’t have to have a formal reply card. An e-mail reply is a great way to save,” notes SideKick Events’s Ellen Kostman. Approximate Savings: $1,000|
|Skip the Fancy Cake||“Find your cake at a bakery, such as Soutine on the Upper West Side—their regular cakes are delicious, beautiful, and a fraction of the cost of a formal wedding cake,” says Walker. “Delivery can also be costly. If you are having a one- or two-tier cake, ask a trustworthy friend or family member to pick it up and bring it to the reception,” Brisman advises.
“Have a mini-cake for you and your groom to cut, then offer guests cupcakes or have a dessert bar featuring your favorite confections,” says Walker. “In lieu of the cake, try specialty desserts like mini-pies or mini-cake shots,” Gregoli suggests. “Wedding cake usually costs $10 to $20 per slice, but mini options can be half that.”Approximate Savings: $1,250
|Limit the Photographer||“Hire one for the ceremony, cocktails, and formals, but skip the end of the reception,” says Brisman. You can save $1,000 by shaving two hours off the photographer’s time, Brooks notes. “The end-of-the-night shots are never that great. How many photos do you need of people dancing?” Approximate Savings: $1,000|
|Beware of the Loft||“Lofts will never be as economical as venues where the chairs, tables, staffing, and lighting are all packaged into the same price,” Gonzalez says. “Going to a venue with catering included or a private room at a restaurant will save you at least $25 per person.” Approximate Savings: $3,125|
|Plan Last Minute||“If possible, plan your event within three months,” Uyanik suggests. “Venues and vendors that have’t already booked a day by then know they probably won’t, and they want to work, so they’ll be more open to negotiating. This can save you 30 percent.” Approximate Savings: $6,000|
|Total Savings Up To: $26,175|
From the Winter 2010 New York Wedding Guide