While summer and fall are more traditional and popular times for tying the knot, a winter wedding can be a great option for a bride and groom on a budget.
In winter, supply and demand is your friend: fewer couples plan to get married in the winter, which means lower prices and more options for you. Even if you don’t consider yourself a cold-weather person, don’t rule out a winter wedding before you consider these five ways to have the wedding of your dreams without the hefty price tag.
Pick an Off-Season Venue
Many wedding venues, such as historic houses or botanical gardens, are highly in demand during the summer months but struggle to book out their weekends during the winter. A beautiful spot is a beautiful spot no matter the season, but fewers couples are looking in the cold months, which can help you get a great deal. Many venues will offer lower prices as a matter of course during the winter — or you can ask. Chances are, they don’t have a waiting list to fall back on and will be able to offer a package within your budget.
Use Seasonal Greenery Instead of Flowers
Flowers are expensive; luckily, greenery is not. And in the winter, there is an abundance of seasonal greenery in all sorts of shades and shapes for you to use as part of your decor. Swap greenery and candles in for floral centerpieces; use pine swags and holly berries along the aisles instead of bows and blooms. You could even consider carrying a “bouquet” of greenery instead of flowers. Your decor will still be seasonal and festive, without the cost of specially-grown, out-of-season flowers.
Embrace Being Inside
Many couples marry in the summer because they want to take advantage of outdoor spaces and beautiful weather. But the costs this adds on, it addition to the base price of the venue, may surprise you. A tent for 180 guests, for example, will run an average of $900; the average cost to rent fans ranges from $40 to $200 each, depending on the size; and extra tables and chairs for outside will cost about $30 for every six people.* That doesn’t include the added costs of port-a-potties, lighting, or a dance floor.
In winter, by contrast, you pay for an indoor venue that usually includes tables and chairs. The dance space is already there, as are the lighting, bathrooms, and climate control. You’ll find yourself with far fewer surprise expenses if you embrace the cozy, indoor style of a winter reception.
Buy Your Tickets in the Fall
Are you planning to travel for either your winter wedding or honeymoon? Then you can save a bundle by buying your plane tickets in October. Fall is considered an off-peak season by the travel industry because it falls between the busy summer and holiday travel seasons. If you buy plane tickets or vacation packages during that time, you can get anywhere from 25-50% off regular fares.
If you marry later in the winter — from mid-January to February — you will also find yourself with cheaper air fares and hotel costs. Coming right after the holiday season, this month and a half is far less busy for the travel industry, and many airlines or resorts will offer deals in order to entice you to travel.
Politely Negotiate With Vendors
Vendors who rely on weddings for all or most of their business — such as limousine suppliers, videographers, and photographers — have far less demand for their services in the off-peak winter months. This lowered demand gives you an opening to negotiate for package deals or discounted prices. Some useful phrases to use are:
Is that the best price you can offer?
Do you have any packages available?
Can you offer me any additional discount?
You should always approach negotiation for a place of respect for the services vendors provide, but don’t be afraid to ask politely. You may be surprised by the amount you can save!
Though a wedding in the middle of winter might seem like a non-traditional choice, it may be the perfect way to have the beautiful celebration you want on a small budget.
Would you consider a winter wedding as a way to save money?
*Average costs provided by CostHelper Weddings