If you've always loved the idea of having an estate wedding, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to have one!
"But... estates are a bit pricey," you might be thinking, "and we just don't have that kind of money in our wedding budget."
Though estate weddings can cost more than hotel nuptials or other types of venues, this doesn't mean having your wedding at one is completely out of the picture.
In fact, one of the wonderful things about an estate wedding is that you have lots of customization options, and many estates are eager to help you have the best wedding you can within your budget. Additionally, there are several things you can do as the couple to help lower the price tag that comes with these types of weddings.
Here are just a few tips to get you started on your money-saving expedition so you can afford that luxurious estate wedding of your dreams:
Have an Off-Season Wedding
This is probably one of the easiest ways for you to save a whole lot of money.
An estate wedding is the most expensive during traditional on-peak months, usually from late spring through early fall. So if you've always liked the idea of a fall wedding, or thought people's winter wedding objections were ridiculous, you're golden.
However, keep in mind that winter weddings can be just as expensive as spring or summer ones if you need more amenities. For example, if you're in a part of the U.S. where it snows during the winter, you might need to look into the cost of outdoor heaters and bags of salt to melt any ice on the pathways. These additional items all add up quickly.
Overall, your best bet is to compare the price points for your local estate venue for both on- and off-season dates before you find the best deal for your budget.
Pick a Less Popular Estate
Many times, estate pricing is based on popularity, with the more popular venues charging more because they can command such a high rate because they're so desirable.
So if you really want that luxurious estate wedding you've always dreamed of, consider hosting your event at a less popular estate.
There are extra benefits to having your wedding at a less popular place, besides saving more money. For example, if you book an out-of-the-way estate venue that can only host one event at a time, you're not going to run into other events taking place there on the same day. Complete exclusivity!
Keep Your Guest List Smaller
As with most weddings, prices go up quickly when you start looking at catering options, wedding favors, and more.
One of the best ways to keep your budget under control is to avoid inviting a ton of people to your estate wedding.
Though it's one of the best options, it's certainly not the easiest. Deciding who you want to attend your wedding and who should "stay behind" can be stressful, but if you already know you don't want a ton of people there, the decision should be easier.
And depending on how much money you save by cutting back your guest list, you can always host an after-wedding get-together in your new home or at a friend or family member's house.
Employ As Much DIY As Possible
All DIY brides don't need to be told how much money this can save you.
Couples on a strict budget should seriously consider as many DIY options as possible. It's easy to save a huge chunk of cash if you make your own wedding invitations or centerpieces. It's especially easy to do this when you make a big crafting party out of it with your friends and family.
One caveat: make sure that your chosen estate venue doesn't require use of their decorations or rental decorations. As mentioned above, most estates are glad to accommodate your wishes, but don't sign a contract assuming that you can bring in your own DIY projects.
Bring in Your Own People
On that note, it's also a good idea to talk about how you can save money bringing in your own help.
Sometimes hiring a friend or family member to do some of your wedding tasks can save you thousands of dollars. If you have an aunt who's a certified florist, for example, she's going to give you a discount that any old florist probably wouldn't.
Again, though, you need to be careful here. It can be important to stick with vendors that your venue or planner recommends, to avoid any problems or extra fees. However, if there are no restrictions in place by your estate (and your own people can get into the venue to learn the lay of the land plenty of time beforehand), this is an easy way to put more cash towards your estate wedding venue.
Avoid Paying for Things You Don't Care About
As much fun as the wedding industry can be, it does have its share of pressure.
Many couples start wedding planning and are overwhelmed with everything they "should" be buying. But not every couple is the same.
Lots of the smaller decisions don't necessarily need money thrown at them. If you could care less that you buy blank invitations from Target and print them off on your own printer, for example, you can save hundreds of dollars compared to getting your invitations professionally printed and assembled.
Don't let the industry tell you what you must buy to have a successful wedding. Decide for yourself what you want to make your estate wedding day special, and you'll save money in the process!
Saving money to afford an estate wedding isn't as hard as you might think. It just takes some careful planning, organization, and a little extra effort on your part.
And you won't regret any of that when you get to experience the estate wedding of your dreams!
What's one way you've cut corners so you can afford an estate wedding?