Your Wedding Budget – Where to Spend and Where to Save on Your Wedding

Weddings are becoming increasingly more expensive and the average couple is bombarded with ways to spend their wedding budget. But, there are some places where you can spend your wedding money more wisely and get more bang for your buck. So which areas of your wedding should you save on and which should you splurge on? When you know where to spend money and where to cut costs, it will be much easier for you to get what you want from your wedding budget.

Where to cut costs:

Wedding Favors

Favors are the little gifts that you give your guests at your wedding reception. Brides and grooms can pay from as little as $0.30 to as much as $3.00 per favor. For a wedding with a guest list of 150 guests, $3.00 per favor will end up costing the happy couple a whopping $450.

When it comes to wedding favors, the big question is “Who cares?” Many guests who will come to your wedding don’t know that it’s customary to receive a favor and a lot of people don’t even know what a wedding favor is. What’s more, how many weddings have you been to that you remember the wedding favor? There are better places to spend your money. Cut the cost for your wedding by doing a very inexpensive wedding favor or skipping them altogether.

Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations run the gamut in terms of cost and you can find them on the internet from anywhere between $0.87 and upwards of $6.00 per invitation. With such a huge difference in price, one has to wonder what the big difference between these invitations is. Well, it comes down to printing methods, types of ink, paper and extras (like ribbons or vellum.) But for the average wedding, you can definitely err on the cheaper side when it comes to invitations and no one will be the wiser.

Most wedding guests are not well versed on the difference between thermography and engraving and they will not notice whether you have your invitations printed or if you print them on your computer at home (as long as they’re on professional card stock of course.) So, to save your budget for other things, do your wedding invitations for less than $1.00 each. Depending on the size of your guest, you can save $100 or more. Doing so will give you a little extra room in other areas.

Where to spend a little extra:

Wedding Reception Food

The reception at your wedding may be the biggest party you ever host. And as a good host, you’ll want to make sure that your guests are well fed with delicious food. Particularly with a long wedding ceremony, most guests are famished by the time that the food is served at your wedding reception.

Reception food costs can range from the mid $100’s to the mid $1,000’s depending on the type of reception you have and how many guests attend. Catering for your reception is one place that you do not want to scrimp on. Don’t subject your hungry guests to bland pasta or tough meat in order to save money. If you go cheap on your reception food, it will leave guests with a bad taste in their mouths about your wedding, literally.

Providing excellent food at your reception will add something wonderful to your experience and your guests’ experience of your wedding. Splurging on reception food is one thing that’s definitely worth the money.

Wedding Photography

The pictures taken at your wedding allow you to remember your wedding day forever. When you look back on your wedding photos in years to come, you’ll remember your wedding day and you’ll have a clear record of who attended and what everything looked like. Wedding photography is one place that you don’t want to cut costs.

Typical wedding packages will run from $500 to about $2,000. If that seems like a lot of money, think about what the memories from your wedding are worth to you. Be sure to hire a professional photographer who specializes in wedding or event photography. When you hire a quality photographer, your photos will be worth every penny.

Paying for a wedding is a huge undertaking for most couples. With the right knowledge, you can make more of your wedding budget. When you trim a little in certain places, you’ll be able to splurge in other areas or cut your overall wedding cost for a less expensive wedding.

Weddings at Sea

A wedding, whether it is your first or fifth, can be the best, and the most stressful, experience of your life. Except, of course, if you choose to tie the knot at sea. When getting married on a cruise ship, you’ll have a host of professionals trained to accommodate your every need during your cruise wedding. From cakes to tuxedos, accommodations to the reception hall, you won’t have to go off-board for anything. Unless of course you choose to have your reception on shore. In which case, the amenities come to you.

Imagine saying your vows on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, on a hillside vineyard in Italy, or on the snowy-white glaciers of Alaska. The possibilities are endless.

There are a few stipulations when getting married on a cruise ship. First, the captain generally does not marry the couple (except with Princess Cruises). A wedding officiant will be provided by the cruise line for that purpose. Second, cruise weddings take place while in port, not while at sea. You can choose to get married on board when in port or at a selected location on shore. Finally, the bride and groom must be sailing on the cruise in order to get married on it. Your guests can, however, board the ship for the wedding without sailing on the cruise.

Many cruise lines provide cruise wedding packages and coordinators to make sure that your day is special and runs smoothly. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, all provide wedding packages for couples sailing on their ships. Crystal Cruises and Cunard Line do not allow weddings on their ships. The cost of tying the knot at sea ranges from $900 to $2,400 and generally includes transportation to and from the port, wedding facilities, wedding officiant, wedding coordinator, ceremony music, flowers for the bride and groom, cake, champagne, photographer, wedding album, and dinner. Many will also arrange spa and hair appointments, as well as tuxedo rentals. Of course, each line has their own packages. Read below for information on the most popular cruise lines and their wedding options.

PLEASE NOTE: Prices provided on this page are general indicators of wedding package costs. They are provided to give a general indication of costs for couples in the early stages of planning their weddings. Stated prices are not guaranteed and do not include taxes.

Carnival Cruises
For those looking to celebrate a special occasion, Carnival offers a variety of packages designed to suit every need. Wedding ceremonies are performed by a wedding officiant before the ship sets sail and Carnival provides a photographer who takes pictures both during the ceremony and the reception. These photos are available for purchase during the cruise.

The basic cruise wedding package is for eight guests (including bride and groom) and includes the ceremony, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, bottle of sparkling wine, wedding cake, wedding music, and photography service. This package is priced starting at $750, prices vary depending on the port. The other wedding packages offered by Carnival add to the basic package with a combination of wedding luncheon, open bar, champagne, and the accommodation of up to 20 guests. These packages range in price from $1,050 to $1,450. Guests may wish to add a videographer, tuxedo rental, additional food and beverage service, or live entertainment.

Holland America Line
Holland America Line offers a variety of packages for those celebrating weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.

Holland America’s wedding package is called Anchors Away. It includes the ceremony setup, personal wedding coordinator, personalized wedding ceremony, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, wedding cake, champagne, and a cruise album. This package starts at $1,295 USD.

Renewal of Vows
Holland America Line’s renewal of vows package is priced at $99USD and includes flowers in your stateroom, renewal ceremony with hors d’oeuvres and beverages, as well as a photograph and photo album.

Special Occasion
The basic celebration package includes flowers in your stateroom, champagne, a special dessert in the dining room, framed photograph, and special recognition. This package is $79USD. You can add to this package with amenities like a dozen roses, a pair of terrycloth bathrobes, a special chocolate pillow gift, couple’s massage, and a guaranteed table for two in the dining room. The price for the more elaborate package is $410 USD.

If your special occasion is of a romantic nature, Holland America has a romantic package that provides you with flowers, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a framed photograph, $25 in casino chips, and an aromatherapy massage. This package is priced at $169 USD.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Lines gives passengers a variety of options when planning a wedding on one of their ships. Wedding packages range in price from $1200 USD to $2,399 USD and can accommodate anywhere from eight to twenty five guests.

Wedding Package
Norwegian’s basic package will accommodate a maximum of eight guests (including the bride and groom) and includes the wedding officiant, wedding music, keepsake marriage certificate, ceremony location, wedding cake, champagne, and a photograph package. The photograph package provides the bride and groom with twelve portraits, a mini-album, and two 8″ by 10″ selected portraits. You can add to this package with such amenities as additional guests, a one-hour, open bar reception with hors d’oeuvres, additional champagne, additional photographs, a two-hour sit-down lunch with wine, and live music.

Anniversary and Honeymoon Package
Whether you’re looking for a deluxe package with all the fixings or a small combination of some simple luxuries, Norwegian Cruise Line can accommodate your needs. With prices ranging from $79 to $329, the basic package includes champagne and strawberries, canapes in your stateroom, photograph, and romantic dinner for two in the bistro with a complimentary bottle of wine. The most deluxe offer gives couples champagne and strawberries, spa wrap, massage, breakfast-in-bed, a formal portrait, and a romantic dinner for two in the bistro with a bottle of wine.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises offers customizable cruise wedding packages that include everything from bouquets and wedding cake to portraits and tuxedo rental. You and your Cruise Consultant can work together to create the package that suits all of your wedding needs. One special bonus with Princess is that your wedding ceremony will be conducted by the captain of your ship.

Renewal of Vows
The basic package costs $205 and includes the ceremony, bouquet, boutonniere of orchids, commemorative certificate, a bottle of champagne with engraved champagne glasses in your stateroom, and a framed portrait of the ceremony. For an additional cost, the package can be upgraded to include champagne and breakfast-in-bed, two Princess terrycloth robes, a thirty-minute massage or facial per person, and a visit to the bridge while the ship is in port.

Special Occasion
Celebrating a birthday, promotion, or graduation? Do it in style on a Princess ship. Princess Cruises offers a variety of packages for people celebrating something special. The most basic package includes a bottle of champagne, framed formal portrait, hors d’oeuvres delivered to your stateroom, and breakfast-in-bed with champagne. All for $135 per couple. Passengers can add to that package with amenities like Princess terrycloth robes, spa visit, a visit to the bridge, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Prices range from $135 to $430 per couple, depending on the package.

Royal Caribbean International – Weddings
Royal Caribbean offers seven wedding packages ranging in price from $1,095 to $1,595.

Duet, the simplest onboard package, includes the wedding coordinator, wedding ceremony, wedding officiant, ceremony music, bride’s bouquet of roses, groom’s boutonniere of roses, wedding cake for four, photographer, one wedding photo, wedding certificate keepsake, and champagne. Additions that are made for other packages include more wedding photos, larger bridal bouquet, champagne and breakfast-in-bed for two, round-trip transportation to the port in a chauffeured limousine, and chocolate-covered strawberries in the couple’s stateroom.

These packages can be enhanced to include live music, videography, beauty appointments, tuxedo rentals, wedding invitations/announcements, wedding reception, and marriage license processing. Ask your Cruise Consultant about the cost of these additions.

Shore Weddings
For weddings on shore, Royal Caribbean includes many of the same amenities found in the Duet package, but adds indigenous wedding flowers, escorted transportation to and from the territorial court and ceremony site, local wedding cake, and secured, marriage license documents.

Renewal of Vows
If you would like to renew your vows on a cruise ship, you can do so for $400. Your vows can be renewed in the wedding chapel (if there is one) or in a designated spot on board. This cost includes the ceremony, ceremony music, bouquet for the bride, boutonniere for the groom, keepsake certificate, wedding cake for four, photograph, and champagne.

Wedding Favor Ideas – How To Find Wedding Favors

Selecting the wedding favor is not a big task. If you have the idea of what are the wedding favors available in the market and what is the budget for the wedding favor, you can select the wedding favor. Do it your self wedding favors can reduce the expenses for wedding favors and will be well appreciated by the wedding guest. Selecting wedding favors which are practically useful is the best thing. Thousands of ideas are there for choosing the truly unique and memorable wedding gift. Wedding favors which will match with the theme of the wedding, color preference of the wedding can be selected. Giving personalized wedding favor will add the value of the wedding favor.

Wedding favors are a way to say the guest that you are grateful for their presence during the wedding. You can make an ordinary wedding favor stunning by having some beautiful inscription on that. Books make an extra ordinary choice as wedding favor, books illustrating the love, the couples were feeling can be selected or a book or novel which matches with the wedding theme is another rare option. Beach and island wedding favors incorporate the beauty of the nature to your wedding. Beach theme wine favors, seashells, framed pictures of the beach or island all these are very fine wedding favors. These wedding favors can be use even if your wedding is conducted indoors.

Themed candles or coasters are some of the other great ideas for wedding mementos or favors. Candles and coasters are practically useful for the wedding guest and will last for years. You have to simply choose one themed candle which will reflect your style and which is affordable to you. Another simple idea for wedding favors is the cookies. They are versatile and add a special touch to your wedding. Chocolate cookies are a favorite wedding favor. Assorted cookies kept on a good container and personalized packing will be a feast for everyone’s eyes. If you want have some expensive wedding favor for your guests.

Crystal or silver wedding favors are an enduring idea. From keep sakes, charms, Key chains, bride and groom figurine, small mirrors to other accessory, the items used as wedding favors are innumerable. if you are a person with lots of imagination then you can think about a hundred thing which can be used as wedding favors . Giving apiece of wedding cake, or chocolates shaped like miniature wedding cakes are all traditional wedding favors. Do it your self wedding favors, make your gift unique and inventive as you wish.

You can think about diverse ideas, with the help of your family members and friends. Flowers, sugar candies, chocolate candies, a bunch of colored almonds with a decorative ribbon are some inexpensive items which can be selected as wedding favors. Guests of any wedding will love to leave a wedding with a memento to remember the special day. If you think, you are creative enough; you can make and give hand made ornaments, mini vases, candle holders or picture frames. Picture frames having the photo of the couples or ornament having the name of your guest printed on it are innovative ideas. Another wedding favor which is catching up is the CDs of the wedding it self. It is possible to make copies of the wedding CDs or DVDs of the wedding while the wedding is going on and to give it to the guest while they are leaving the venue of the marriage.