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How to Plan An Event on A Budget

As an event or wedding planner, you probably dream about planning big-budget, extravagant events. However, chances are you’ll have to plan several events with a modest budget, and you’ll be expected to make them look great. This will be especially true at the beginning of your career. Thankfully there are some easy ways to cut costs without cutting quality. Read on for our top five ways to keep costs down at your weddings and events.

There's a lot of opportunity to cut costs in event planning

1. Start Early

This is necessary whether or not you’re trying to stick to a budget, but by looking for a venue well in advance you’ll be able to be more flexible about dates – which can potentially save a lot of money. If your client isn’t picky about which day of the week the event will be held, that just leaves you even more room for savings. As well, some venues offer early booking discounts for those early birds. The earlier you start, the more you’ll be able to shop around and compare prices, making sure you find the best pricing. That leads into the next point…

2. Get Quotes

This is especially important when you’re starting out, before you’ve developed solid relationships with your vendors. The rule of thumb is usually to get two or three quotes from different vendors. That way, you can create competition and keep costs low. A few months ago, we posted a story from wedding planner Lynn Lee, where she talks about learning how to get quotes from vendors in the early days of her business. Read her advice here.

3. Look for discounts

Depending on the event, the venue, and the suppliers, you could qualify for special pricing. Some venues offer discounts to large groups, or events booked well in advance. Many suppliers will drop their pricing when you order a certain number of items. Make sure when dealing with venues or suppliers, you always ask about special pricing options. Don’t be shy to negotiate a better price!

4. Go Buffet!

If your clients are open to it, a buffet style dinner can save a lot of money. With DIY weddings and events gaining popularity, it’s becoming trendier to do a buffet dinner instead of the traditional sit-down. Plus, it will give your guests such a variety of food options to choose from.

5. Skip the Paper

You can save a lot of money simply by cutting out as much paper as you can from your event. And thanks to online programs and apps, you can still offer guests all the information they need.  Your budget-conscious clients might be open to sending e-vites instead of stationery. In corporate events especially, you can put nearly everything online – from programs and schedules, to maps and agendas.

QC offers at-home courses in both event and wedding planning. To learn more, visit