Budgeting for a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding
With all of the options available it can be very easy to get carried
away and spend more than you can afford on a wedding at Disney World.
Before you start planning, work out your budget. Then write a list
of the things you simply cannot do without at your wedding. Continue
the list with things that you'd like to have, and finish with things
you know are simply too expensive. Get costs for the things that
are the biggest priority and note them down on your list. Add everything
together and see how much is left from your budget. Next, get the
prices of the things that you'd like to have. Work out which of these
you can afford, and which are most important to you both.
to allow extra for tax, gratuity, tips, dresses, groom's attire,
gifts, favors, travel, hotel stay, honeymoon, etc.
Here are some ways to save money:
Don't hold your
wedding on a weekend, Disney weddings Monday - Thursday have the
least expensive minimum expenditure totals.
Look at the
food and beverage minimums, and any applicable venue fees before
deciding where to hold your ceremony and reception. The Wedding Pavilion
venue rental fee is more expensive that Epcot locations for ceremonies.
The Grand Floridian has the highest food and beverage minimums of
Begin your wedding
ceremony before 2pm. Weddings starting prior to 2pm have lower food
and beverage minimums than those after 2pm.
Look at the
season rack rates for Disney hotels before deciding on a date and
try to opt for a date in value season. Your guests will also thank
you for this!
Limit the number
of guests you invite. For those you are unable to attend, consider
having a home reception at a later date if that works out cheaper.
You can save
on dress, floral and gift costs by limiting the number of bridesmaids
and groomsmen you have.
welcome parties, bridesmaid luncheons aren't essential. If you feel
you must have one, request that guests who wish to attend pay for
You can save
on transportation costs by careful choice of ceremony and reception
venues. Choose venues at or nearby the hotel in which you're staying.
For example, stay at the Yacht Club, hold your ceremony at the Yacht
Club Wedding Gazebo, & reception at the Yacht Club Ballroom.
If you won't
need the bus or limo for the full 5 hour minimum, consider using
an outside vendor who only charges by the hour and has no time minimums.
Look at ways
you can save on floral costs. The Wedding Pavilion, and many other
ceremony venues are beautiful enough without having to use floral
decor. Centerpieces can be kept simple, maybe just using candles
and scattered rose petals. Altar arrangements can be transferred
to the reception to use on the head table or as centerpieces.
Buy rose petals
for petal cones, flower girl, aisle, or scattering on reception tables
from a local vendor rather than your floral provider. See our links
section for websites to visit.
If you've met
your total expenditure minimums, consider using outside vendors for
photography, videography and floral. You can often get much better
deals than what Disney can offer. But be aware of the escort cost
for outside photography and videography vendors.
If you're using
the Wedding Pavilion for the ceremony, don't pay extra for a musician,
use the organist that's included in the venue fee. You can also use
any of your own CDs here.
If a DJ is out
of your price range, use a CD system instead. There may be a charge
for this, but it will be much cheaper than a DJ.
If you're hiring
a musician for the ceremony, use them at the pre-reception and part
of the reception as well. You may be able to pay extra to hire them
for a couple more hours, which can work out much cheaper than a DJ
or live band.
Don't pay for
expensive place cards and menus. Disney will provide simple ones
at no extra cost. Or consider making them yourself. Card and fancy
paper can be bought at the craft store or online. Your home printer
can produce nice enough results. Add some glitter, embossing powder
or ribbons and people won't know you didn't pay $$$ for them!
If you don't
want a pre-reception, or a full 4 hour reception, you don't have
to have them. Cutting the time will also cut costs.
Limit the offerings
at the pre-reception. A lot of food will only make people too full
to eat the main meal at the reception. And your guests will probably
be too busy mingling to be bothered about eating!
Instead of a
full bar at the pre-reception, just serve soft drinks and water.
Look at the
menu options available and work out if it would be cheaper to have
a buffet or plated meal.
Stick to a simple
menu, and stay clear of the fancy sorbet intermezzos, and expensive
slipper desserts if they are out of your budget range. Menus can
be customized, and if you explain to your Wedding Planner that you
have a tight budget, they will help find a menu to suit your cost
cake instead of paying extra for dessert.
Have a cash
bar rather than hosted or package. If you do intend on paying for
the bar, sit down and work out which would be the best option (hosted
or package), depending on how many light and heavy drinkers you're
inviting. If you have guests that don't drink, speak to your planner
about adding them to the under-21 count. Also, just choose the beer
and wine package rather than adding in the more expensive call brands.
only a half glass of champagne is served for the toast rather than
a full glass.
Search of ebay
for favors, or make your own! Soap molds can be bought on ebay, and
can be used for making small soaps or even chocolates.
If you only
have a small party, consider booking a fireworks cruise (Epcot or
Magic Kingdom) as an alternative to a dessert party. It will work
out much cheaper and you don't have to pay for food (you can pay
to have snacks onboard if you wish though).
If you have
a dessert party, ask your wedding planner if the $12.50 viewing fees
can be waived for those who have used their hopper tickets that day,
or have annual passes.