Secrets to Cutting Your Wedding Costs

Couple figuring out wedding budget

Cutting your wedding costs can seem like the new priority once you start to get actual quotes for wedding services. Your initial wedding budget may be way off from those other actual quote numbers! Fortunately, there are often ways of cutting your wedding costs.

To do so, though, you will need to prioritize and agree to spend more of your budget on only a few of those things you both feel are most important. For the rest, you will need to become more flexible or downright cut-throat so you can substitute or eliminate other things often included as part of “traditional” weddings.

Here are several ideas for cutting your wedding costs, if you dare…

1. Avoid or reduce use of real flowers – Use potted plants or other decorative inexpensive items as centerpieces, artificial flowers, or paper crafted flowers (the latter two can also work for bouquets). Or, use extra-large type of flowers so that you can buy less stems overall.

2. Have your wedding reception at a fancy restaurant in a scenic location to avoid renting a location and separately catering

3. Have your wedding ceremony and your reception at the same location

4. Find a venue that gives you the flexibility of using your own outside vendors instead of only theirs

5. Ask for help from friends and family members and use their gifts and talents for your memorable wedding day. You can request their service instead of a traditional gift. You may have a friend of family member who is skillful enough to make your wedding cake, another who can craft flower arrangements, or another who may be willing to help you set up a play list or be skilled as a DJ or musician.

6. Choosing a wedding day that is a weekday or a Sunday (instead of the most in demand day, Saturday). Also, when possible, find out the high season in your area, and see if you can instead book a wedding date during a lower season to reduce costs.

7. For the reception, consider either: no alcohol, limiting alcohol to just beer, wine and champagne (rather than open bar with all liquor) or limiting the hours of an open bar

8. Take a premarital preparation course. In Florida, and in some other states you can get incentives from the state- For instance, if you’re marrying in Florida, you can save money on your marriage license and avoid the usual 3 day wait. Regardless of state incentives, though, taking a premarital course can help you have a more successful marriage and avoid a costly relationship breakup later on.

9. Find and compare all inclusive wedding ceremony and reception deals which can sometimes save money on separate pieces and using various individual vendors. For example, consider a golf club location/restaurant, cruise ship, local botanical gardens, or local dinner cruise boat. They will often offer wedding packages that already include scenery, decorations, music and/or food.

10. Consider use of a wedding planner, especially if they can show you they have discounted deals with various vendors that you can benefit from.


Florida residents complete a premarital preparation course online at




Tips for Getting a Florida Marriage License 3 Day Waiting Period Waiver and Discount

bs-portrait-of-merry-young-couple-15995588 (1)

Did you know that Florida offers several perks to couples who take a Florida premarital course as part of their pre-wedding preparations?

They do! We’ll tell you about them here and also provide you with several tips to help you avoid problems with getting those perks when you’re applying for your Florida marriage license.

Before getting married in Florida, you will need to apply for and get a marriage license in any Florida county. The license is only valid for 60 days, so make sure you obtain it and marry within that time frame. You don’t have to get married in the county where you obtain the marriage license though, because the marriage license can be used in any Florida county. After the wedding, your wedding Officiant just needs to submit your completed and signed marriage license back to the county where you obtained it.

Florida resident couples who plan to marry in Florida qualify for a discount on their marriage license fees of $32.50 if they show proof of having taken an approved premarital preparation course. As an added bonus, the state will also allow them to waive the usual Florida marriage license 3 day waiting period.

However, a few couples may experience challenges with getting these perks when they go to the County Marriage License offices or when talking with the clerks if they are not properly prepared. To help you avoid any difficulties, follow these suggestions.

1. Complete your Florida premarital course within one year of the date you apply for your marriage license.

2. Verify that the Florida premarital course provider is registered/approved (listed as a provider) in the county where you will apply for your marriage license (“your county”). There are only certain types of providers that are authorized to provide premarital counseling services or premarital preparation courses by Florida Statute. However, it is not enough to use the services of one of those licensed professionals or clergy. The provider, their program, or their Church organization also must be registered/approved in your county.

  • Check with the provider’s website, send them an email, or call them to ask if they are a provider for your county.

  • As a further check, contact the county directly. Go to their online listing of providers if they have one, or call their marriage license   department to make sure they can find the provider on their list. Please note that the provider may be listed in some counties under one or another of the following possibilities for the name: provider’s name, instructor’s name, company’s name or church name. Because of this, and sometimes due to errors with spelling a name, it can sometimes be tricky for some clerks to locate any particular provider’s name. If you are prepared ahead of time and know what name to use or what page number on an online list your provider is found on, then things are likely to go smoothly at the marriage license office.

  • In a rare scenario of a clerk still being unable to locate your provider’s information, note the clerk’s name for future reference, and we suggest you speak with a supervisor, and/or call your premarital course provider to ask for their assistance. They can often help to resolve the issue.

3. Take printed copies of your Certificates of Completion from taking an online Florida premarital course, or take original Certificates for each of you to the marriage license office. Most Florida counties will take a printout/copy of the certificates. Just a few counties in Florida state that they require original certificates. Be sure to find out if you are getting a marriage license from a county that requires an original Certificate so that you can arrange to get an original Certificate, if needed. (Although we’ve heard of a few couples who have presented a printed out copy of their digital certificates and obtained their marriage license without incident even though they were told they needed to present an original certificate- to be on the safe side- we suggest that if they say they want an original certificate, take an original certificate).

4. If you are short on time, consider this other idea. You can apply for a marriage license from a neighboring county that accepts a printed out/copy of the Certificate of Completion instead of a county that requires an original certificate. Your provider or the county directly should be able to tell you which type of Certificate of Completion they require.

Envision Love, LLC (also known as is listed as a provider in most counties of Florida. We are found on county provider lists using either our instructor name Elizabeth Hekimian-Williams or using our company name Envision Love, LLC. Go to to find out more and to enroll in our Florida premarital course. You will not only get the perks of learning how to have a successful marriage, but also get the perks that the state of Florida offers you!


Getting Married Soon? Get Some Creative Advice From Guests

Love messages from friends and family

The guest book. An elegant wedding tradition.

Planning a wedding is such a monumental task. Although it takes place in a short time frame, a wedding is such an important life event. Since it represents the union of two individuals, it’s heartwarming to see everyone who attends. It’s nice to be able to look back and remember all of the guests that came to support you as you transitioned from single to married people. During the wedding planning stages, couples typically incorporate some sort of guest book to help them remember those who came to support them as they made their vows.

Add a spin to the tradition.

In many cases, wedding guests have ideas that can go a long way towards helping you get your marriage started on the right foot. But it can be difficult to meet and talk with every single guest, and advice that you receive verbally can be easily forgotten (especially when your guest list is long!). We encourage you to remember the people who attend your wedding and value what advice they can offer, especially those that come from married couples. Here are a few fun and creative ways you can engage your guests and have a great wedding momento.

1. Polaroid Scrapbook 

Have a polaroid camera on a welcome table and have your guests take a photo. Once their photo is ready, they can write their name on the bottom and put it into a photo album. Beside their photo, they could write advice and good wishes for the newlyweds. This is a great way to gather photos of everyone that attended the wedding and get some advice from all of your guests!

2. Photo Puzzle

Another fun and unique idea is having a photo puzzle with a photo the couple has chosen. As guests arrive, they can pick a puzzle piece and write on the blank side. At the end of the event, the newelyweds will have a puzzle they can put together, glue and frame. As the newelyweds put their puzzle together, they’ll read all of the advice and wishes that their guests have given them.

3. Jenga Game

One of the most creative ideas that we’ve encountered is taking a game, such as Jenga, and having your guests write advice and wishes to the couple on a piece. Throughout the years as the couple plays the game, they will receive the advice and remember their wedding. What a fun way to get some advice and recall the day your lives were united.

Planning your wedding is an exciting time, but don’t forget to plan your marriage for success too! If you’re getting married soon, take our Florida Premarital Course to skip the 3-day marriage license waiting period and get valuable insight and knowledge to help you achieve the marriage of a lifetime.