How to Save Money on Your Wedding: 30+ Ways to Trim Your Wedding Budget
So, you have found the man or woman of your dreams, and you are going to tie the knot. This is a time of great excitement, wondrous expectation, and severe sticker shock for many couples. Because most people do not take part in planning numerous weddings, the cost of everything from twinkle lights to tiaras is overwhelming, to say the least.
Think of the most recent wedding you have attended or a celebrity wedding you admired. Now imagine every pretty little detail down to the last scrap of lace on guest favours with a price tag. Go ahead and double or triple the price you think is accurate for the beautiful trappings. You now have an idea of how much you may pay for a walk down the aisle to wedded bliss.
Coming face to face with the potential cost of your wedding will likely leave you wondering how to save money for your wedding. Before you refinance your home or look for ways to sell spare body parts, spend some time looking over these tips to help you cut costs while still having a glorious wedding.
Know What You Want
This is the most tangible and vital bit of wedding planning advice that you hear. Notice it does not say know what Gran wants or what your future mother-in-law wants.
Before the ink hits the spreadsheet of your wedding budget, the happy couple should take a little time apart to decide what is non-negotiable. Each partner should write down three things that they feel are essential to the big day.
Perhaps the bride has her heart set on a wedding at sunset, or the groom dreams of being driven away in an elegant classic car. The couple will have a list of half a dozen untouchable components; everything else is on the chopping block. Making a list of priorities is a valuable tool to help you see how to save money on your wedding because the non-negotiables are clear.
Here Come the Wedding Guests
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, events with 100-300 wedding guests were not surprising in the least. These days, we embrace smaller, more intimate weddings. Creating a manageable guest list is at the heart of saving money on the wedding. Ideas to trim your guest list
- Invite the People You Know – The concept is simple, but the process can be a challenge depending on those involved. Your dad’s new golf partner may be a wonderful guy, but if you have never met him, he can be eliminated from the list. The same principle is true for your cousin’s second husband’s nephew.
- Consider Live Streaming Your Big Day – Extended family members, coworkers, and casual friends can share your day without adding to the bar tab.
- More Than One Reception – The idea sounds counterintuitive to saving money. However, it has merit. If all of the guests who attend your wedding ceremony take part in a cake and punch reception straight away, your immediate family and wedding party can have a more formal dinner later.
- Customise Your Reception – Opting for an adults-only wedding or not adding a plus one to your invitations can make a big difference with your bottom line
What a Big Bridal Party You Have
It is easy to be caught up in the excitement of your engagement and decide to ask your 12 closest friends to be bridesmaids or groomsmen. In theory, many very close friends or family members can make up a couple’s wedding party. However, the larger the wedding party, the greater the expense. Here are a few ways to save money no matter your wedding party size.
- Be Realistic About What You Can Afford – Many couples are not in the financial position to pay for bridesmaids’ gowns, hairstyling, professional makeup, nails, and the other typical wedding trappings. Be sure to let your potential wedding party know what you will cover and what you will not.
- Skip the Odd Little Tokens – While many couples give their groomsmen and bridesmaids personalised wine glasses or engraved flasks, you would do better to focus on a single useful accessory as a gift.
- Allow Some Choices – Many couples choose to let the wedding party decide on the dresses or suits for the big day. This becomes a cost-effective option because there is no pressure for the bride and groom to cover the expenses of fancy clothing that will go straight to the back of the closet after the ceremony.
- Keep It Small – An option that is quite popular is having small wedding parties made up of one or two siblings or lifelong friends instead of a large group. Doing this will cut down on many of the expenses associated with a large bridal party.
Flowers Speak the Language of Love (and Money)
Your wedding flowers are a traditional and beautiful addition to your special day. However, if you are realistic, flowers can be a huge expense that will be dead hours after you say “I do” Fortunately, there are several ways to have exceptionally lovely flowers on a budget.
- Embrace the Season – Perhaps you imagined a bouquet of gardenia, lilies, and orchids. However, this selection can be quite pricey, especially if your wedding is when the flowers are not in season. Take your floral cues from mother nature and work with what is plentiful and seasonal to save a little green.
- Banish Boutonnieres – Yes, they are (usually) just a single blossom, and they are traditional for weddings. However, when you multiply the cost of a boutonniere by your groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers, ushers, singers, readers, and so on, you can see the sense of colour coordinate pocket squares.
- Choose Details Wisely – While the idea of a gorgeous centrepiece at every table sounds ideal, it is also extremely expensive. However, if you try to scale back the centrepieces, you have unnoticeable arrangements which are still quite pricey. A beautiful alternative would be using effects from lights. Whether you prefer fairy lights in glass, a mixture of candles, or another option, decorating with lights creates a dramatic and memorable scene.
- Double Duty – Some floral elements can go from the ceremony to the reception, serving another purpose. One easy way to adorn the bridal table is to use the bridesmaids’ bouquets in place of centrepieces.
- Make the Most of the Green – Foliage and greenery are much less expensive than flower blossoms and add interest and impact when used in bouquets and centrepieces.
- Spend on High Impact Pieces – Depending on what types of flowers and greenery you choose, a stunning floral wall set with dazzling fairy lights can cost the same or even less than the middle of the road centrepieces.
The Perfect Place
Each bridal couple will put their personality into their wedding. Choosing where to say I do is a personal decision. Some people dream of being married at a specific place, and nothing else will suffice. Of course, the where of the ceremony and reception encompasses a large portion of the budget. There are ways to spend less. Check out how to save money on a wedding venue.
- Be Flexible – Is there a true life or death reason you must be married on the second Saturday of December? If not, being open to other seasons and other days of the week can help you save a considerable amount of cash.
- Time Changes – While evening weddings and dinner receptions are lovely; they also can cost more. If you have your heart set on a specific wedding venue, talk to the event planner about prices for other times of the day. For instance, a morning wedding with a brunch reception typically costs less than a sit- down dinner at 7:30 pm.
- One-Stop Wedding – Many couples save by having their wedding and reception at the same venue. The concept is popular with wedding guests who appreciate everything in a single location.
Say Yes to a Dress
Choosing a wedding gown can be a dream or a nightmare for the bride-to-be. Aside from the myriad of design choices, the perfect dress is often out of reach. And on a practical note, even if spending $3,000 on a wedding gown is financially feasible, is that where you want to put your money?
- Skip the Bridal Shop – Instead of looking for your wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses at a traditional bridal shop, try visiting a dress shop. Many have fantastic selections of dresses that are ideal for a wedding.
- Historically Significant Dresses – While the idea may not initially seem feasible, find out if a family member or friend has an heirloom wedding gown available. With advanced planning, heirloom gowns can have alterations to perfect the fit or update the style.
- Consignment Shopping – When is the last time you saw someone out and about with a tag on their clothing that reads purchased at a resale shop? Most likely, you never have and probably never will. While the results may be hit or miss, consignment shops are worth a look.
- Samples and Sales – Often, bridal shops will have sample dresses for sale at remarkably low prices because of seasonal turnover. Other shops run sales at specific times of the year.
Save With a Little Help
Generally, when a couple announces their engagement, those close to the pair offer their assistance with various wedding-related tasks. Accepting those offers for help can lead to significant savings.
- Penmanship Practice – You can save a significant amount of money by rounding up volunteers to address invitations and calligraphy place cards.
- Heavy Lifting – Instead of paying for chair delivery or table set-up, a few sturdy men can do the job
- Calling All Seamstresses and Florists – If someone with sewing skills or floral design experience offers their help, consider accepting the offer. The savings can be considerable.
Other Ways to Save
There are more ways to trim your wedding budget. These include:
- Serve food buffet-style rather than sit-down dinner.
- Hire a DJ or create your wedding playlist.
- Serve one or two signature cocktails in place of an open bar Consider unique dessert ideas like cupcakes or individual pastries in place of a towering (and expensive) wedding cake.
- Plan for one fantastic moment, such as the couple being driven away in a classic vehicle instead of overwhelming guests (and your budget) with a host of activities.
Whatever kind of wedding you choose, remember the most important thing is that you are starting your life with the person of your dreams at the end of the big day.