Let’s stop avoiding the topic: weddings are pricey. What do you do when you want a really nice wedding but don’t want to break the bank? You’re in luck! We have talked to some of the best wedding professionals in Raleigh to find out what they suggest doing so you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for cost.

  • Select your top three dream elements for your wedding and spend more money on those. Do you dream of getting married at the same location as “The Notebook”? Maybe a dinner of steak and lobster makes your mouth water, or perhaps the thought of walking down the aisle in that Vivienne Westwood gown you saw on Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex in the City” brings tears to your eyes. Whatever elements are integral to your vision for your wedding, make sure those are included to make your special day extra special.

    Sullivan's Steak and Lobster

    It’s your day, so enjoy it on a full stomach. If steak and lobster is your fix of choice, then consider Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Raleigh. The have a phenomenal Surf n’ Turf dish. Drooling yet?

  • Consider booking your wedding on a Friday evening or Sunday. These days of the week tend to be less expensive than a Saturday, and still give your out-of-town guests time for travel.
  • Look into dates between the months of December and March. These off-season months tend to fetch lower booking prices and people are less likely to be busy with other weddings and more likely able to attend your wedding day.
  • Put your money where friends will notice. For example, if you have high top tables, no need to splurge on fancy sashes. Also, if you aren’t having a sit down dinner, there is little need for tall elaborate centerpieces. Simply put, if it’s not essential to your day, then reallocate the money to something that will result in the panache you desire.
  • Ask your florist about in-season flowers and inexpensive fillers. You can have a few roses (always classy and available year round for reasonable costs) as the focal point and surround it with inexpensive fillers to have a beautiful and full bouquet.
Buffets are a great way save money. Rocky Top Hospitality has a great dessert buffet laid out here. With so many options available, the combinations are endless!

Buffets are a great way save money. Rocky Top Hospitality has a great dessert buffet laid out here. With so many options available, the combinations are endless!

  • For dining, try to opt out of a sit-down, plated dinner and go with a light buffet or maybe even a brunch. Brunches and buffets offer a larger array of foods and can be 20-30% less than plated sit-downs.
  • There is no need for a full open bar. Consider a custom, specialty cocktail for your wedding, or have a cocktail hour. To cut champagne costs, consider having the champagne toast for only the bride and groom and have all other guests toast with their beverage of choice. We found these great open bar alternatives that will cut your alcohol budget significantly and still keep your guests happy.
  • When it comes to the cake, count for only 75% of the guests to actually eat it. Cakes are pricey and charged by the slice, and trust us, not everyone will eat it. Also, try to select more common—but still delicious— flavors like vanilla, chocolate or lemon. These tend to be less expensive than carrot cake and red velvet.

    Morse Entertainment DJ Setup

    Morse Entertainment had a fantastic setup at this recent wedding. Hiring a DJ can be extremely cost effective and allow your guests to enjoy a variety of music.

  • Consider a candy buffet. Everyone loves candy, especially the younger guests. With everyone on a candy high, the dancing is sure to go on for hours into the night.
  • If you are having a smaller wedding, you may not need a second camera person with your photographer. One may be enough. Also, opt for the smaller photo packages with the option to upgrade later. Better to have the option for more than to order more than you need or have room for.
  • While everyone loves to dance and bands are always a great addition, they can be significantly more expensive than a DJ. If you do opt for a DJ, you can opt for your iPod or even that violinist you loved for the cocktail hour. That way you get both the DJ for the dancing and the live music for the cocktail, and you didn’t break the bank.

We hope these bits of advice and tips help you during the planning of your special day. Remember that just because it looks expensive, that doesn’t mean it has to be.

-XOXO Forever Bridal Team