16 Easy Tips to Help Save Money on Your Wedding
You don’t need to spend obscene amounts of money on your wedding. It’s possible to do it cheaply even if you’re looking for something totally unique. Figure out what the biggest expenses are and try to cut back on those. Plan ahead so you have time to scope out the best deals and sales.
Planning a wedding at a budget isn’t as impossible as people would make it seem. Sure, you’ve been talking to brides and gawking at the price tag of their wedding dresses. Or you’re scrolling through Instagram and seeing all the drool worthy flower arrangements (how tall can you really make them?) you just have to have.
The bad news is that wedding costs can creep up if you’re not careful. But the good news is that planning a wedding on a small budget is possible — and you can make it a unique experience for everyone to remember.
Before heading to the nearest designer wedding dress boutique or seeking the help of a wedding planner, here are some cheap wedding ideas you can incorporate into your plans.
1. Make Your Own Wedding Invitations
It might be nice to have some fancy invitations, but you don’t need to hire a designer or go with an expensive printing service. Consider doing it yourself at home or going to your local office supply store to get them printed. Some places even have blank wedding invitation kits — if you’re feeling fancy, buy some extra things like ribbon to dress it up. Now that’s a unique wedding idea.
2. Prune Your Guest List
Having a big wedding can be fun, until you get the bill. There’s nothing wrong with holding a small intimate wedding if that’s what you want. Besides, you don’t have to invite everyone you know. Consider cutting out random acquaintances or other folks you’re not necessarily close to.
3. Get Your Own Alcohol
Alcohol can be a big expense. Of course, you can do a cash bar or limit the types of alcohol you serve like beer and wine. You can also ask if you can bring your own alcohol depending on the type of venue you go with. Then stock up on basic items like wine, beer, and even cheaper liquor.
But don’t be so cheap that you run out of drinks partway through the reception.
4. Enlist the Help of Friends
Instead of hiring professionals at your wedding, consider finding friends and family that can help instead. For example, maybe your friend has really awesome DJing skills, or your aunt is a retired wedding photographer. In lieu of gifts, ask if they’ll gift these services instead.
5. Get a Local Caterer
Food can be expensive, y’all. It’s probably one of the biggest line items on your wedding budget. Get it for cheaper and you’ll save boatloads on your wedding day.
How? You can prepare your own food and hire out catering help (or ask friends and family to serve themselves). You can also seek out local mom and pop restaurants to see what they can do. In many cases they’re more inexpensive and ensure you get top notch food.
6. Consider The Day of The Week
There are certain times of the week (or year for that matter) where many people will want to get married — typically a Saturday. Instead, consider getting married on a Sunday or a weeknight and see if you can negotiate for a lower price.
It may not seem as convenient as a Saturday, but those who want to come will find a way.
7. Choose Your Venue Carefully
Renting out a banquet hall or part of a fancy hotel can get expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a unique wedding ceremony and reception. Instead, consider a community center, a beautiful back yard (assuming it’s big enough), or a park if local law allows it.
8. Omit Bridesmaid or Groomsmen Gifts
Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean you have to do it for your wedding. Sure, buying gifts for your bridesmaids or groomsmen is considered customary, you don’t have to. Besides, you may end up getting something they don’t like or use. Instead, consider a thank you card or offering to do something nice for them after the wedding.
9. Be Your Own Wedding Planner
There’s no need to hire a wedding planner if you’re a super organized person. As long as you have a to-do list and make sure you have all your tasks prioritized and with due dates, you should be fine. If you feel overwhelmed, you can always ask family members.
10. Buy Used Decor
Most wedding decor is used once and sits in someone’s home or donated to places like Goodwill. In this case, why not buy used decor? You’ll be fairly certain that these items are in excellent condition and your guests will be none the wiser.
11. Do The Flower Arrangements Yourself
Do you live near a flower market, or a really well-stocked WalMart? Consider making the flower arrangements yourself for the reception and even the bridal bouquet.
12. Head to the Consignment Shop (Or Online) For Your Wedding Dress
There are plenty of places to buy a used wedding dress — some with the price tags still on them! Try heading to places such as your local consignment store, vintage shops and even online.
If getting a used dress isn’t up your alley, there are plenty of online options where you can get a tailored dress. There’s also the option of asking any friends or family who happen to be talented at making dresses.
13. Skip Bridesmaid Dresses
This may not save you money (unless you’re the one buying them), but it might help your bridal party do so. Buying a new dress may not be in everyone’s budget, especially for something someone will wear once.
Instead, ask your bridesmaids to wear dresses in your wedding’s theme colors.
14. Rent Tuxedos or Wear The Same Colors
On the same vein, don’t ask your groomsmen to buy tuxedos. Rent them.
Better yet, see if they already have suits in their closet that are in the same colors.
15. Skip Church Decor
Getting married in a church is great, but getting decor for yet another venue can cost you more cash. Instead, consider skipping it — maybe during certain times of the year the church is already decorated. Or if you want decor, see if you can repurpose items you’ll have for your reception as well.
16. Track Your Expenses
It’s important to plan when embarking on such a big life transition as getting married. Make sure you list out all your expenses and track them ruthlessly to make sure you’re not going overboard.
To ensure you’ll be less stressed, start tracking these things as soon as you can, ideally as soon as you start wedding planning. That way you’ll have plenty of time to compare prices, scope out sales and not end up spending exorbitant amounts because you’re down to the wire.
Don’t forget to enjoy your wedding day. Good luck!