How to Save Thousands on your Wedding Day | Jessica Pledger Photography

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How to Save Thousands on your Wedding Day

Houston Wedding Photographer - Jessica Pledger Photography

We are in a challenging time now, and I think moving forward there will be even more Houston couples that are looking for ways to cut costs on their Wedding Day without having a tacky cheap wedding!  I have been photographing weddings for over ten years, and while I am not the most affordable wedding photographer, I have photographed every budget of wedding there is! Every couple deserves to have that beautiful memorable wedding day celebrating with friends and family.
The average cost of a Houston Wedding is around $35,334  (According to the Knot’s real wedding survey released in Spring 2019). Many couples and their parents are surprised by this number when they become engaged , but they still want their children to have that memorable dream wedding.   This guide is not realistically going to give you a $10,000 wedding range. I have seen it done, but it is very hard to accomplish!
Here are a few ideas that I have learned over the years to save some wedding couples money!
Hempstead Winery- New Houston Wedding Venue - Ambrosia Crossing - Houston Wedding Photography by Jessica Pledger | Houston Wedding Photographer

Choose your venue wisely

The biggest wedding expenses are Wedding Venue and Guest count. If you can book a reasonably priced venue, this can save thousands alone. Also, just because a wedding venue is All-Inclusive, doesn’t mean it automatically means savings.  I do think there is a huge advantage to having an Event-venue coordinator included in your day in terms of reducing stress on the couple and their family! I also love a venue that is beautiful on your own. Then you don’t need to add a lot of extra decor! Let the venue do all the work for you!
Here are a few of my favorite reasonably priced venues:

All-Inclusive Houston Wedding Venues

Customize your Vendors Wedding Venue (No Coordinator included)

These are all really beautiful wedding venues that won’t bust the budget.
River Oaks Garden Club Wedding Ceremony

Limit Guest Count

Like I mentioned before, limiting your guest count is another one of the biggest factors in budget. More people means more food, tables, chairs, linens, dishes, tables, cakes, security, transportation etc. I know from experience it is so hard to limit certain guests, but if you can keep it to the closest friends and family of you and your parents. The Houston Chronicle reported the average cost per guest being $500-$600! AHHH!

Kate Spade Inspired Wedding at Tuscan Courtyard -Houston Wedding Venue

Book Non-Saturday Wedding dates

If you still want a late-night dance party, book a Friday date since no one has to work the next day. If you do this, I would recommend having your wedding during Summer or early Fall (before the time change). If you want beautiful outdoor photos, you want to start your ceremony about 90 minutes before sunset time. In the winter, the sun will set at 4:30pm and it’s hard to start a Friday wedding at 3:00pm. But, Consider a winter or late Fall date for a Sunday wedding, so your best lighting will be earlier in the day!
Side note: Sometimes my Brides and Grooms worry about ending a wedding at 9pm, but once the bar is open guests start hitting it – that’s what makes for a good dance floor! Wedding guests aren’t worried about what time it is, unless it is a Sunday and they have to work the next day! It does help if it is dark outside, or at least dark in your venue once the dance floor opens up. Some venues like Agave Estates, have dark but beautiful reception areas where you wouldn’t be able to tell as much if it was dark outside.

Book your Wedding Date on Shorter Notice

Booking wedding venues and vendors late increases your chance of being offered a discount, but it can also increase the chances the vendor is booked.  There are TONS of wedding vendors in the Houston area.  Chances are you can find someone good!  You might have to ask around a little extra, but you can still find someone!  If the vendor is not too busy and is available, then they are more likely to offer discounts to fill up an upcoming date they wouldn’t book otherwise. I know this is true for me if a wedding is just a few months away, and I have a date still available.Planning a wedding two years out gives you more time to save, but you are probably going to keep adding onto the wedding budget than if you just had 6 months to plan!
Big Sky Barn Wedding | Houston, Texas White Chapel Wedding | Jessica Pledger Photography | Kelly Kennedy Events | Montgomery, TX | Houston Wedding Photography, Houston Wedding Photographer, Houston Wedding Photographers, Montgomery Wedding Photographers, Montgomery Wedding

Limit the Bar

I have photographed super fun weddings with no alcohol, but alcohol definitely helps get a party started!  Alcohol is expensive as well. A way to save on alcohol is just offer beer and wine. If you really want more, you can add a margarita machine or a few signature cocktails. Venues that allow you to buy and bring in your own alcohol is a way to save too!
Joslyn Bridals at Big Sky Barn

USED {GASP!} Wedding Dress Shopping

This choice is not for everyone, but buying a used wedding dress can save you a lot of money. I have had a couple of Brides buy their dresses from Marry Go Round wedding resale shop, and the dresses were gorgeous. You could also find a dress you like and check if your size is for sale used online. Looking for a used veil (or borrow from a friend/Bridesmaid!) is a great alternative!
If buying used is not for you, I love the shop Something Blue Bridal boutique in Angleton. I don’t know how much you will save, but their dresses are gorgeous and the customer experience is awesome.
Kate Spade Inspired Wedding at Tuscan Courtyard -Houston Wedding Venue

Serve Italian Food!

Pasta and Italian food is easier to serve on a budget and still fill people up.  BBQ is another popular option, but typically includes more meat!

Butlers Courtyard | Jessica Pledger Photography | League City Wedding

Bridesmaids do their own Hair & Make-Up

I love the idea of gifting your Bridesmaids! They are your besties and often spend a lot of time and money on your wedding too.  Gifting their hair and make-up, pedicures,  Bridesmaid dresses really add up with a big wedding party, so choose what means the most to you!  Handwritten notes are always a nice touch, and they don’t cost you anything! They could always meet you at the venue if they wanted to go to a salon to get it done. You can also have them wear a short black dress as their Bridesmaid dress and it looks classy and it’s affordable!  They might actually wear that again!

Italian Destination Wedding Florence

Simple Invitations

Keep these simple! Direct them to your website to RSVP and find the information about the wedding!  Many guests will throw these away, lose them, not respond to RSVPs, etc.  Save the hassle!  I always thought it would be a nice touch to call people to invite them to your wedding.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Cut the favors!

You are feeding them and giving them free alcohol.  Most people don’t want a cheap knickknack! My favorite favor is a photo booth!

10 Ways to incorporate Gold Accents into your Wedding Day decor - by Jessica Pledger Photography - Houston Wedding Photographer

Simplify the Flowers

The flowers will be dead after a few days.  Flowers are so beautiful, but you can use smaller arrangements to save money on guests tables. I recommend putting a couple of big arrangements at the ceremony site (if it’s in the budget), and then you can move them to the reception!  That way all of those beautiful arrangements can be in all of your ceremony photos, posed family photos, and then move them somewhere near the sweet heart table or dance floor! I have seen people save money by ordering their flowers through HEB.  If you are looking for a true floral artist, Haute Flowers is one of my favorite Bay Area Florists, and they specialize in weddings.

St. Cecilia & Agave Estates Winter Wedding - Houston Texas - Jessica Pledger Photography - Houston Wedding photographer - Katy Wedding Photographer

Photographer & Videographer

You can save money on photography by booking fewer hours, cutting albums and extras, and only booking one photographer. Usually, I would prefer to have 2 hours of getting ready time and I would finish after you exit!  You can have the photographer leave before the exit since the last few hours is dance floor. If you are going to have a crazy dance floor, you might want those photos later! For me, Hours are what cost the most!

I hope this list is helpful for you to find ways you can cut costs on your Wedding Budget!  Imagine, if you could cut $5,000 off your wedding budget- that is a big number! Have a wonderful wedding and focus on what means the most to YOU!

Save Money on your Houston Wedding Day!

Save Money on your Houston Wedding Day!



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