You’ve kickstarted your wedding planning journey by creating your ideal budget. You’ve begun comparing vendors, venues, and catering options…and now you’re officially overwhelmed. These hefty price tags might take you by surprise, especially if this is your first rodeo. But we’re here to remind you: you can pull off your dream celebration without breaking the bank.
Our goal is to help couples–no matter their vision or desired budget–plan the wedding of their dreams. So if you’re looking to save money, here are some simple ways you can cut costs and still get everything you’ve dreamed of.
How To Save Money On A Wedding
1. Use a Free Wedding Budget Tool
Starting your planning process by using a free wedding budget tool will make it easy to see where your money is being spent. It’ll keep you organized and allow you to keep track of your wedding finances all in one place.
2. Use A Credit Card To Score Rewards
We owe a big “thank you” to TikTok for this handy wedding planning tip. Before spending any money on your wedding day, consider getting a credit card specifically for wedding purchases. This allows you to keep track of your spending and gives you the chance to score rewards and cash-back deals. These can be used to pay off your celebration or to book an epic honeymoon.
3. Hire Local Wedding Vendors
If you hire vendors outside your surrounding area, you’ll likely be responsible for covering their travel costs. This will be added on top of their quoted prices. That’s why we recommend searching for trusted local vendors first. This will save on any additional fees you might not have accounted for in your budget. Want to start the search but not sure how? Check out our directory of wedding vendors from around the world!
4. Start Shopping Early to Score Deals
Don’t wait until the last minute to start your shopping, especially when it comes to wedding day attire. Not only will a head start eliminate any stress, it also gives you the opportunity to shop around. You’ll have time to look for the best price and hopefully score some money-saving deals.
5. Rent Your Wedding Day Attire
Rather than purchasing your wedding day attire, do some research on rental companies. There are an abundance of online and brick-and-mortar shops that help couples save money. They offer short-term rentals for wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, suits, and even accessories.
6. Host a Weekday Wedding
Weekend weddings are typically the most popular, and venue prices will reflect that. That’s why it probably comes as no surprise that hosting a weekday wedding will save you a significant amount of money.
7. Create a Wedding Website
Don’t have room in your budget for paper invitations? No problem. Don’t want to have to worry about keeping track of mailed RSVP cards? We understand. Wedding websites are your money and time-saving solution. They are a handy resource that stores all your event information in one place—your wedding timeline, registry, and even an RSVP option.
8. Trim Your Guest List
Creating a wedding guest list is a difficult task—and unfortunately it’s one of the most important. But, for those looking to save money, we recommend taking one more look. Is there anyone you feel obligated to invite? If the answer is “yes,” trim your guest list a tad bit more.
9. Limit Your Plus Ones
If you’re unable to trim your guest list, consider limiting your plus one invitations. Extend the option to those married, in long-term relationships, and to those in your wedding party. There’s no need to give one to every guest.
10. Host Your Ceremony and Reception at One Place
When finding your dream venue, there’s a lot to consider. One important detail to think about is the venue size.Is it large enough to host your ceremony and reception? This is an important question to ask before signing any contracts. Hosting both of these events in the same location will save big bucks on transportation.
11. Pick a Venue With Stunning Existing Features
When venue shopping, it’s important to find a space that has existing features you can incorporate into your overall wedding design. With a stunning foundation, you’ll be able to cut down on the amount of decor you’ll need to purchase.
12. Tie The Knot in your Backyard
Backyard weddings have become increasingly popular, and it’s a trend we don’t see going away anytime soon. It adds a sentimental touch to your celebration and saves money that can be allocated to other wedding day elements.
13. Repurpose Your Ceremony Decor
Bridesmaid bouquets can become centerpieces. Your ceremony backdrop can become the backdrop to your sweetheart table. Your ceremony seating can be pushed into your reception tables. There are a variety of ways to repurpose your ceremony decor to save money in your overall budget.
14. Go Thrifting For Decor
Time is money during your wedding planning season. But if you have extra time to spend hunting down unique glassware, rugs, and even furniture, you’ll save big dollars on your decor.
15. Your Jewelry Can Be Your Something Borrowed
If you’re searching for your something borrowed, you just found it. Jewelry often costs a pretty penny. That’s why you should consider wearing a family heirloom or ask special loved ones to borrow their cherished pieces.
16. Stick to Custom Cocktails
Creating custom cocktails is just one way to add personality to your reception. Rather than having a fully stocked bar, limit your alcohol options. During your cocktail hour, you can serve up your signature cocktails. And when the reception begins, you can add more options like wine and beer.
17. Purchase Your Own Alcohol
Stocking your reception bar can be a bit pricey. This is especially the case if you’re having a third party take on this responsibility. If you have time and want to save a bit of money, consider purchasing your own alcohol before the big day. Wholesalers such as Costco and Sam’s Club are lifesavers for this.
18. Skip Hors D’oeuvres During the Cocktail Hour
After the ceremony, it’s common for guests to be served drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail hour while the couple snaps photos with their photographer. During this time, focus on the drinks and skip the snacks. Being so close to dinner time, they aren’t necessary for those trying to cut costs.
19. Ditch the Formal Meal for a Buffet
Newsflash–you don’t have to drain your bank account to serve up a memorable and delicious meal at your wedding. You can actually save money on your catering by choosing a less-formal, buffet-style menu.
20. Host a Brunch Wedding
There’s a reason why everyone loves brunch. And we think bottomless mimosas and breakfast foods are underrated in the wedding world. Not only will a daytime rental save you money on your venue, but hosting a brunch celebration will also give your wedding a unique spin—much like this couple did with their cereal bar.
21. Wedding Cake Alternative
When you think of dessert at a wedding, odds are your mind immediately pictures a large tiered cake. And we understand this may be the dream for many couples out there. But, if you’re trying to save money and plan a truly unique celebration, you should consider a dessert alternative. We’re talking s’mores, donuts, an ice cream bar—the options are endless.
Wanting a creative dessert option without having to skip that oh-so-sweet cake-cutting moment? Scale down your original cake design or use a styrofoam replica. You can use that for your photos, then serve up your alternative desserts to the guests.
22. DIY Photo Booth
Any DIY project is sure to save you money while planning your wedding. You can DIY anything from bouquets to signage. But one major decor and entertainment element we recommend trying to DIY is your photo booth. In need of some ideas? Check out our favorite photo booth ideas to spark some inspiration.
23. Recruit Friends and Family
I you find yourself wondering “how to save money on a wedding,” you might just have the answer on the guest list. Have a florist in the family? Maybe a baker? If you have some talented loved ones, ask them to get involved. Not only will it save you money, but it’ll make them feel important and will give you some quality time together.
24. Skip Wedding Favors
Wedding favors are a great way to show your appreciation for your guests, but they’re not required. For couples looking to save on their wedding day budget, these might be the first to go. After your incredible celebration full of food, alcohol, and a whole lot of dancing, your guests aren’t going to be upset if there aren’t any favors. In fact, a lot of times they end up getting left behind.
25. Consider an Elopement
If the wedding planning process becomes too stressful or expensive, eloping is always an option. You can go down to the local courthouse or plan a low-key destination wedding for just the two of you. These intimate weddings make you the priority while helping you cut costs.
Talking about money isn’t always the most fun conversation to have, especially when wedding planning. It’s easy to get lost in the fun details like creating mood boards, dress shopping, and assembling your floral arrangements. That’s where we come in.
Kickstart your planning process by reading our how-to guide for creating a wedding budget fit for you and your partner. Then download and use our free wedding budget tool throughout your journey to stay on track.
This was really helpful. Thanks for the tips!