Hack your wedding with these 5 ‘top secret’ tricks

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You don’t need to be a visionary event planner or have deep pockets to make the most of your wedding. 

From elaborate, cheap wedding cakes to attractive dollar-store-worthy decorations, there are a few simple tips and tricks that you can use to hack your wedding and make it run a little smoother. 

One of the most important things that Madison Rhoton, a freshman nursing major from St. George and local wedding videographer, learned after planning her own wedding was the importance of delegating responsibilities to friends and family so you aren’t stuck doing everything yourself. 

“When you delegate things to people, you can just sit back and enjoy your wedding rather than being a crazy bride that’s all over the place,” Rhoton said. “I wish I would have done that at my wedding. I was a crazy bride.” 

Here are five more wedding tips to keep in mind to avoid being that crazy bride or groom on your special day. 

Start looking for venues early

The location of your wedding is more important than the date you get married, said Cyla McBride, an event coordinator at The Falls Event Center in St. George. She said the first thing you need to do while planning your wedding is to pick a venue.

While professional wedding venues are expensive, McBride said if you are getting married in a backyard or park, there are rental costs for tables, chairs and decorations that can rack up costs quickly. 

“You’re going to spend a little bit more money (at a professional wedding venue), but in the long run, you don’t have to store everything afterwards and you have someone there to kind of help create your vision,” McBride said. “It’s just more convenient.”

There’s also the option to get married in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church building or the St. George LDS temple for free if you’re Mormon, like Jarom Young, a junior communication major from Green River, Wyoming. Young said he will be holding a separate wedding reception in a church building when he marries his bride in the St. George temple next month.

“The weekend we’re getting married is right before spring break,” Young said. “Start planning early. We looked at a few other places for the (reception) venue, but the other place we looked at was already booked for that weekend.” 

Fake your cake

No wedding is complete without a cake, but Rhoton said she discovered a trick that made her own wedding cake only cost $10 yet still looking ornate.

Rhoton said she bought styrofoam rounds at Michaels and asked the bakers at Walmart to frost it. The bottom two tiers of her cake were completely fake — they were just frosted so they looked real. 

“Only the top of the cake was real, because of course you have to cut into it and shove it into your groom’s face, but the rest of it was totally foam,” Rhoton said. “This is top secret; I’ve never told anyone this before.”

Make your own decorations

McBride said young couples can actually save money on decorations by buying or making their own decorations themselves instead of renting them. She said one of the cheapest forms of wedding decorations are flowers. 

“Flowers, especially fresh flowers, are probably the most cost-efficient way to make something look elegant and beautiful while saving money,” McBride said. 

Young said he is renting most of the decorations for his wedding, but his future mother-in-law is helping with the decoration process by making their own centerpieces for the tables. 

“The centerpieces will kind of be a little tree stump with a Mason jar, painted, and with flowers in it,” Young said. “We’re going for a rustic theme for our decorations.”

Buy the suit, rent the dress

McBride suggested that grooms forgo a tuxedo and buy a new suit for the wedding because it will be something he will wear again and again. For the brides, McBride said it’s much easier and cheaper to rent the dress. 

“Wedding dresses are wonderful and so nice to have, but if you can find one to rent, that’s great because you save a lot of money,” McBride said. “You’re never going to wear your wedding dress again.”

McBride said another option for those who are looking for a unique style is to buy a custom-made dress.  

“That sounds kind of pretentious, but you tend to save money on custom made dresses, especially in the location that we’re at,” McBride said. “That’s because we have professional tailor here — you don’t have to travel to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City for tailors and you can save money and get exactly what you want because they’re local.”

Splurge on photos

Wedding photography, though pricey, is something you’re never going to regret, McBride said.

“As a wedding coordinator, I suggest photography 155 percent,” McBride said. “I’ve known some people who have had just phone pictures and have loved that outcome, but I have never met anyone who has regretted hiring a professional photographer or videographer.”

Rhoton, who currently films weddings as a professional videographer, said the photographer at her own wedding lost all of her wedding pictures, and she didn’t have a backup shooter or videographer, which is something she regretted.

“Even though it’s expensive, with a professional photographer or videographer, you’re basically hiring someone to run around and appreciate all the little details you put into your wedding day,” Rhoton said. “They’ll capture all the little moments from the cake topper to your grandpa and your cousin swing dancing on the dance floor.”

Rhoton said wedding planning can be stressful, so the first thing you need to do in any wedding planning process is setting a budget and prioritizing what you actually want and need at your wedding. 

“You don’t need everything at your wedding for it to be beautiful,” Rhoton said.