In our 5 Big Expenses to Add to Your Wedding Checklist article, we mentioned that wedding receptions were commonly the biggest expenses for couples getting married (with honeymoons usually being the other big expense). But are there ways to make sure you get the beautiful wedding reception you’re after at a price you’re comfortable with and without consuming a large portion of your wedding budget? Absolutely! Here are 5 ways you can save on your wedding reception:1. Marry in Winter
You might not be aware, but summer and spring (i.e. the warmer months) are the busiest time of year for wedding receptions. That means they will charge you more if you get married during these periods. However, most wedding receptions offer discounts for winter as they are non-peak periods. Make sure to ask about winter discounts when you’re looking for a wedding reception venue to free up more of your wedding budget for other items on your wedding checklist.2. Marry on a Day Other than Saturday
As you’d expect, Saturdays are generally the busiest day of the week for wedding receptions (regardless of the time of year) and usually attract a premium. Then come Sunday and Friday (which one is busier will depend on the wedding venue). Of course, days that don’t fall on a weekend are the non-peak days and wedding reception venues will generally offer cheaper rates for receptions on these days. So make sure to ask about discounts for different days in order to make room in your wedding budget for other important expenses on your wedding checklist. Combine a non-peak day with a non-peak season (such as a Sunday in winter) and you could save quite a bit!3. Negotiate
Just like buying a car, you can save by haggling with and playing wedding reception venues against each other. Remember, it’s business, so don’t feel bad asking for extra inclusions and – selectively – telling venues what competitors are offering. The worst the venue will say is no, and the best-case scenario is a discount and/or an extra inclusion - freeing up more of your wedding budget! Play hard-ball and control your emotions to make sure you communicate clearly and confidently with sales attendants. Finally, always – and we mean ALWAYS – plan out what questions you are going to ask before you talk to a salesperson (and this applies when you're negotiating any and all items on your wedding checklist). Keep in mind, you will have more bargaining power if you are planning on getting married on a Sunday or in winter.4. Source and Set Up Some of the Decorations Yourself
Some wedding reception venues include venue decorations and will also set them up for you for free, which means that's one less thing on your wedding checklist you'll have to worry about. Others, however, will charge you a hire fee and may even charge you a fee for setting the decorations up. Ask if you can bring and setup your own decorations and, if the venue says yes, organise for a good friend or family member to help you set the venue up in the days prior to the wedding. Remember, don't be afraid to ask the venue to include decorations for free in order to consume less of your wedding budget. This should help you keep those wedding reception venue costs down!5. Consider Unconventional Venues
You may be unaware that many different venues cater for wedding receptions. Examples include golf courses, local RSLs and clubs, and even some restaurants. Do a Google search and see what venues you can find to help you broaden the options available. You'd be surprised what a difference it make for your wedding budget!
We hope you found these tips useful (if you did, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org). Have fun planning that wedding reception!
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