Have you finally decided to pronounce the famous ‘I do?’ Undoubtedly, tying the knot may seem more manageable than staying within budget for the big day. Many couples get perplexed when they realize how much organization and funds an average wedding requires.
Yet, worry not because we got you covered! If you’re flexible about your big day, we can assist you in reducing the overall cost. Consider the following ideas to stay within a budget and save money on the wedding without compromising your dreams.
Table of Contents
- 1 Save On The Venue
- 2 Cut The Cost Of Invitations
- 3 Cheaper Flowers And Décor
- 4 Reduce Apparel Costs
- 5 Select The Right Catering
- 6 Bridal Cake Alternatives
- 7 Save On Wedding-Related Services
- 8 Do I Need A Wedding Planner?
- 9 Minimize The Civil Officiant Fee
- 10 Final Words
- 11 FAQ
Save On The Venue
The most significant part of the wedding budget will go towards renting out the venue. More specifically, the reception cost will take up to 50% of the total planned funds. Applying the following ideas will help you reduce the overall wedding expenses.
Go For The Off-Peak Season
There’s no guarantee that a wedding on a Saturday in May will meet your expectations. Even worse, expecting too much of a particular, seemingly perfect day has disappointed many newlyweds. Hence, consider organizing your big day somewhere in the off-peak season, ranging from November to March.
Off-season weddings held in December or January can further slash the cost. In short, pick a date in less popular months when the demand is low. You might get surprised at the amount you’ll save compared to the reception venues’ regular rental fee. Anyways, ensure you have everything planned in case of inclement weather.
Say Bye To Saturday
Arranging your wedding day on a Saturday entails excessive costs as the interest is enormous. So, ditch the idea of getting married on the first weekend day and hold it on a Sunday instead. Above all, it doesn’t have to be an evening event; you can transform it into a morning brunch wedding.
If you decide to celebrate during the week, the likelihood of reserving at a lower price is even greater. Our last insider’s hack is to pick a holiday weekend when most people are off traveling. Venues will be ready to give you up to a 15% discount to fill in days when the demand is lousy.
Opt For A Non-Traditional Venue
Some of the most affordable yet perfect spots for your wedding day are local restaurants. The upside of restaurants is that they don’t charge for the venue. Even better, there’s no surcharge for lightning, silverware, dishes, linens, furniture, or fancy display items. All this gets included in the final price, so you only pay for the consumed food and beverages.
Alternatively, select a brewery or a vacation house. Whatever your preference, always check what’s included in the venue fee and the features offered. A venue with tents, bathrooms, and lighting will save you thousands of dollars on additional rental costs.
Moreover, choosing a non-traditional place such as a private beach will give your guests a unique feel. Bear in mind that even though you don’t pay rental fees, other services can boost your spending. Last, outdoor weddings held at private properties or a public spot tend to be cheaper as newlyweds avoid venue expenses.
One Venue Wedding
We urge you to host the entire celebration in one place. So, when you pick a specific venue, organize both your marriage ceremony and the reception at that spot. By doing so, you’ll save on floristry costs, and you’ll bear the costs of only one venue.
Having the entire wedding in one place will spare you the trouble and fare of transporting everyone around. Plus, you won’t have to move the bridal equipment and props from the ceremony site to the reception.
Cut The Cost Of Invitations
The best ways to save money on a wedding are in the details. That said, wedding invitations can be highly impressive, and often overpriced, decorative elements. To help you out, we’ve prepared a few tips on reducing the cost of wedding cards.
We understand that invitations are a unique way to express how much you appreciate guests. Plus, these special-occasion cards are the initial glimpse invitees will take into your big day. Hence, if you’re ready to save hundreds of dollars on invitations, ensure your e-stationery is stylish and well-designed.
Apart from your pocket, going paperless is also beneficial for the environment. One of the latest trends includes inviting guests via wedding websites. This way, you’ll simplify the process, and everyone can RSVP online.
Print Your Own
Stationery costs can be as high as $7 per envelope set. Therefore, think about personally designed DIY invitations. You can even ask skillful relatives or friends to assist you in the process. Consider writing the guests’ addresses and names to save on calligraphy costs as a last resort solution.
It may also be useful to look at ready templates on sites like Etsy. Then, find a convenient place to print them without any letterpress or engraving. For extra embellishment, wrap the cards up with a lovely ribbon.
Cheaper Flowers And Décor
Fresh flowers and lavish décor can quickly add up to the final cost. More precisely, about 8% of your budget will go for flower arrangements, bouquets, decorations, and unique lighting. To save money on a wedding, it’s essential to consider our nifty tips.
Choose In-Season Blooms
Renounce the idea of picking your favorite hue and variety of flowers if that increases the cost beyond your estimates. Keep an open mind and set for a different shade or species that grows locally. As an added benefit, in-season local blooms tend to be less pricey and look fresher.
Furthermore, ask your florist to suggest cheaper blooms such as garden roses, daisies, or carnations. It would also be less expensive if you stick with the same type of flowers for all the bouquets and arrangements.
One way to save on florist costs is to move flowers and greenery around on your big day. Meaning, instead of buying tons of blooms, think about how you can repurpose ceremony flowers for the dinner reception. For instance, reuse the ceremony arch to adorn your sweetheart table during the reception.
An even more affordable strategy is to use bridesmaids’ bouquets as arrangements for the dinner tables. Or use ceremony florals to embellish the bar or the escort-card table.
Statement Floral Displays
A centerpiece filled with gorgeous dahlias is going to be pretty pricey. So, why don’t you choose one stunning bloom and fill up the rest of the centerpiece arrangement with cheaper flowers? To create maximum impact, go for several statement floral displays.
Ask your florist to use cheaper filler flowers in arrangements. This way, you’ll need a few large, standout stems to add color, dimension, and texture. Set such displays in places where guests are supposed to mingle and take photos.
Consider Flower Alternatives
Adding more foliage to your flower arrangements is a smart way to save but never compromise lavishness and splendor. Apart from being inexpensive and marvelous, greenery adds volume, depth, and texture to your centerpieces. Depending on the season, consider various twigs and pinecones for an impressive look.
You may never have thought about this, but artificial flowers look just as pretty as real ones. Above all, the chance of allergies to guests is non-existent. Think about hiring items like flower arches and table runners to beautify your big day. Companies like Blooming Essentials may arrange all the floral items, including the bouquets.
Get fruity and make your wedding stand out. Adding fruits and vegetables to the arrangements is super creative and leaves a unique impression. Incorporate apples, citrus fruit, pineapples, pumpkins, and grapes, or anything that suits your taste and matches the celebration theme. Overall, fruit is a less pricey way to fill in centerpieces and add color and dimension to the wedding décor.
Alternatively, you can select a different focal point for the centerpieces, such as lanterns, candles, or books. Candles and seashells, in particular, look fabulous when artfully arranged on tabletops. If you scale down the floral part, you may save a significant amount of cash.
Reduce Apparel Costs
If you’ve been wondering how to save money on a wedding, reconsider the apparel costs. Our little secrets may assist you in striking a superb wedding gown deal.
Think Sample Gowns
Give sample gowns a deep thought when you’re on a tight budget or running out of time. Depending on the dress’s condition and your negotiation skills, floor samples can cost you half the retail price. However, don’t forget to scrutinize the gown before taking the plunge. The only downside of sample gowns is that the size selection may be limited.
Also, make sure you attend trunk shows at local salons of your favorite designer. Here, designers present their lines of new dresses, and some gowns can get discounted. Moreover, if you make an order on the spot, expect a 20% lower price, including free extras.
To keep the price tag reasonable, go for a classic gown without embellishments. Materials such as beading and lace can cost over the moon. A more economical variant would be to dress yourself up and achieve a unique look with the help of accessories.
Avoid custom alterations as this can cost you up to $300 on top of the retail price. For example, reshaping the neckline or altering the sleeves will undoubtedly exceed your spending threshold. Hence, pick a dress you like the way it is and skip transformations to couture gowns.
Snap up your dream dress that was only worn once for a fraction of the cost. It makes sense if you’re on a tight budget or you’ve fallen for a gown that costs more than your wildest imagination. Second-hand wedding gowns aren’t for everyone but for those that can think out of the box, this is a real budget-friendly solution.
Check out bridal boutiques that specialize in preowned wedding dresses. Alternatively, take a look at websites like Wore It Once, Stillwhite, or Nearly Newlywed. These sites abound with once-worn or often, never-worn gowns. Once the big day is over, sell your wedding dress the same way you procured it for ultimate savings.
You’d be happy if it were only the dress cost, but unfortunately, you’re far from the final amount. Think about the cash you need to spend on jewelry, a veil, shoes, hairpins, and a purse. To cut the cost, use family heirlooms or borrow accessories from close friends.
This way, not only will you save money on wedding, but you’ll also relive old valuables. Conversely, if no such items exist in the family vault, borrow bridal accessories from wedding boutiques. We bet you’ll save hundreds of dollars and still look mesmerizing.
Save On The Tux
First, consider wearing a suit instead of a tuxedo if you can skip the satin part. Whether you decide to rent or buy, a suit will always be a cheaper variant. Today, suits are available in many styles and are as elegant and appropriate as tuxedos.
For further savings, make sure you’re flexible with fabrics and brands by focusing on the fit, style, and price. Additionally, purchase accessories you can wear over and over again. These include shoes, cufflinks, and a tie that you can wear in various combinations later on.
First, make a wedding budget and then use our tips and tricks to cut down the costs until they suit your spending plan.
Select The Right Catering
Delicious food is the heart of any celebration, and this is particularly true of weddings. Our easy-to-follow suggestions will save you money on your big day catering while still serving memorable and tasty dishes.
If you book well in advance, the chances you hire renowned chefs and catering companies are higher. Plus, you may land a discount for any event organized in the off-peak season. The best advice we can arm you with is to keep the food simple but tasty.
To this end, attend various shows and expos dedicated to catering at weddings and locate the best rates. During such events, couples can book on the spot and take advantage of superb promotions and special discounts.
Serve Budget-Friendly Food
Select your menu very carefully to reduce the overall catering cost. In a word, opt for cheaper food over more exquisite entrees. More specifically, you’ll pay way less for pork, turkey, and chicken than for lobster or steak. You can apply the same strategy with sides, desserts, and appetizers.
Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with serving a traditional dinner consisting of chicken, vegetables, and potatoes. Ensure you hire a professional caterer who’ll make sure the dishes are well-cooked, flavorful, and decorated. A top-notch catering company can turn a frugal menu into an impressive and mouth-watering feast.
If you go for a backyard wedding, you can even use our cheap party food recipes and save double the cash.
Go For Buffet-Style Catering
If you want to save money on a wedding, skip the plated full-service dinner and opt for a buffet. Buffet style calls for less staff, which in turn diminishes your catering expenses. Conversely, plated dinners require more rental items, such as plates and cutlery, for the different courses served.
Be aware not to confuse buffet service with open bars or stations. Such food may rack up the costs since it involves experienced chefs to manage the stations. On top of that, open bars stretch the menu with hard-to-prepare dishes like sushi rolls that may burden your wallet.
Simplify Drink Options
We all dream of an open bar packed with liquor, cocktails, beer, and wine. Yet, scaling up your beverage options can break the bank and bring about unwanted behaviors. Hence, stick to standard options like beer and wine to keep guests hydrated.
In case you want something more impressive for the bar, pick a signature drink. Margaritas, mimosas, and sangrias are some of the most iconic and ever-popular flavors. Your limited-edition cocktail can get served for an hour or two, and then bartenders can switch to beer and wine. This way, you’ll limit the bar and your expenses while giving guests the chance to sip their choice.
Trim The Guests List
Cutting the guests list is a challenging job, but no one can do it better than you. So, sit down and analyze your relationship with each probable invitee. Pick plus-ones wisely by inviting couples you have shared memories with and who have been dating longer. Also, think about eliminating your parent’s friends and relatives you haven’t spoken to for years.
Overall, trimming the list by 20 people can save you over $1,000 on alcohol, food, and rentals. Plus, making the event more intimate will give you the chance to spend quality time with familiar faces. After all, why waste time and money on people you’ll probably never see again in the next five years?
Bridal Cake Alternatives
If you thought your ways to save money on a wedding are scarce, you were wrong. We’ll prove that you can have a fabulous cake without blowing your budget. We’ll also advise you on tackling the high costs of music, photographers, and additional wedding services.
Dress Up A Custom Cake
Don’t underestimate local bakeries since their cakes are delicious and affordable. Why splash out on gold leaves or hand-painted accents? Ask your local bakery to decorate the tiers’ edges and reduce the overall cake cost by up to $100.
Pick up a simple design and decide what kind of decorations you want for the cake display. Go for natural instead of sugar flowers to embellish the cake. Not only will the cake look amazing, but it will also cost you a fraction of the actual price. After all, your cake doesn’t have to abound in intricate details to be elegant and tasty.
Serve Smaller Slices
Downsize your cake and tell your caterer to serve about 1″ thick slices. Lately, higher-end weddings have been serving thinner pieces as they look more impressive. Hence, make sure the person who’s cutting the cake knows how to get the right number of slices.
You may also be worried about guests not being satisfied with the small dessert. In this case, serve other low-cost desserts along with the main one so that attendees have more sweet options. Supplement sweets may include assorted cookies, mini truffles, or chocolate-covered fruit.
Skip The Traditional Cake
Everybody loves the cake masterpiece at weddings, but if you’re not fussed about it, you can save a lot. After all, who claims you must have a cake display and not something else? Think outside the box and choose another unusual dessert that may awe your guests.
Serve ice cream for a wedding in the summer or a savory pie in the autumn. Pick up cookies or cupcakes from your favorite bakery if that’s what you and your partner love. Such alternative sweets can get arranged as a tower and give the impression of a cake display. Growing trends urge newlyweds to serve unique dessert bars featuring various confectionery.
Wedding decorations are essential for having a festive and beautiful atmosphere. Yet, that doesn’t mean that you must spend a fortune on it.
Save On Wedding-Related Services
Not considering the side fees is a huge mistake that will probably make a significant dent in your wedding plans. Therefore, take our advice on how to cut the cost of extra services in the overall budget.
Frugal Hair And Makeup
Your best shot to save on bridal hair and makeup is to ask a skillful friend to do it. Your friend will be flattered, and this may be her gift for your big day. Just make sure you have a trial run to state your makeup wishes clearly. Last, pick a less expensive hairpiece as you’re only going to wear it once, or ditch it altogether. Plus, we have some excellent ways to save on beauty products and cut down the costs even more.
In case you visit a salon, avoid the word ‘bride’ and tell them the makeup is for another special occasion. Hairdressers and makeup artists tend to attach obscene markups to anything related to weddings.
Save On Video And Photography
To save a significant amount, limit the shooting hours on the ceremony and the reception’s first hours. Also, photography companies charge less if they have a short distance to travel, and the entire wedding runs in one place. In videography terms, skip the raw footage if not included in the package, and keep the edited video.
Moreover, hire photographers that include the album price in the package. Alternatively, go for a less-expensive package that excludes hard-copy prints and albums. Pictures can always be bought or printed later after a thorough selection.
Economize On The Music
When it comes to music, we have several ideas to cut the ceremony music expenses. Check them out and decide what best suits your style and plans.
- Ask a friend or relative to perform. Everyone knows at least somebody with musical talent. Use this as your benefit and have a personalized performance by a friend who’ll be honored to perform.
- Get a DJ instead of a band. Unless you adore live music, opt for a DJ you know or an acquaintance with the appropriate equipment and talent. Depending on the type and average age of guests, a DJ may be a better option. Above all, DJs cost far less than a live band, and most of them know how to please the crowd.
- Ditch the solo instruments. A single solo instrument will add to the live music cost. Alternatively, if you prefer a specific solo performer, give up the expensive quartet.
- Hire a smaller band. The fewer people a band consists of, the less equipment they’ll need. Meaning, you’ll pay a fraction of the initial cost for four instead of eight musicians. Plus, you can ask them to take a break during the cocktail hour and negotiate a lower price.
- Leave out live music. If you’re musically inclined, give your wedding music a personalized touch. Download your favorite music and make mini playlists. Don’t forget to pick the melodies for each segment of the big day and some crowd-pleasers.
Do I Need A Wedding Planner?
An experienced wedding coordinator can help you create a realistic budget and arm you with saving tips. If your time is precious, a knowledgeable planner will handle the little details, and you won’t stress out. Plus, wedding planners can hook you up with an extensive vendor network for further savings.
Moreover, wedding experts will save you the trouble of running into last-minute surprise costs. Such pros know how to locate red flags in contracts and negotiate on your behalf. Hence, finding the real helper can fit your style and personality and achieve maximum impact with limited resources.
Minimize The Civil Officiant Fee
Why spend $500 for an officiant if you can formalize your marriage in a slightly altered yet cheaper way? The ideal option to cut the entire wedding officiant expense is to ask a friend or relative to do it. Before asking, ensure the person you have in mind is up for the job.
Also, check the state laws and requirements if you want a friend to officiate the ceremony. Most importantly, you’ll need a carefully composed script to pull off the wedding. Last, make sure you rehearse the act and learn to fill out the marriage license.
Tying the knot is the onset of a whole new realm of responsibilities. Couples learn this when they realize that the overall budget for a dream marriage ceremony is far from reasonable. The pressure from close friends, relatives, and social media can further boost their spending plans and expectations. Hence, applying strategies to save money on wedding is of utmost importance.
Did you organize a wedding lately? What hacks helped you save and stay within the projected budget? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get further advice on smart living.
How can I spend less money at my wedding?
To your amazement, numerous hacks can save you thousands of dollars on the marriage ceremony. First, name the day wisely and avoid Saturdays in the peak season. Then, ensure you hold both the nuptial rite and the reception at the same place. This way, you’ll save on transport, florist, and catering costs. Last, focus on ancillary services that add up to the final budget. Keep a watchful eye on the funds you spend on the cake, the music, and the photographers.
How much money should you save for a wedding?
Before you start saving for your big day, determine who pays for what. When you’re confident of the portion you’re covering, create a detailed budget. An average wedding event in 2020 cost couples approximately $30,000, and the amount seems to be lower than in 2019. So, if you’re having wedding plans for 2021 with an abbreviated guests list, expenses can get more reasonable.
What is the cheapest way to have a wedding?
Here are five ways to host a relatively cheap wedding. Limit the guests to the closest family and friends. Host the reception at a public location or in your backyard. Ask invitees to exchange skills for presents and help you out to organize the big day. Then, go with a small cake and a buffet brunch. Last, make the most of your money by renting props, apparel, and accessories.
How can I save money as a wedding guest?
The best hint we can give you is to start planning transport, accommodation, and gifts early. The sooner you start exploring, the better deals you’ll find and reduce your spending. Another great idea is to consider a group gift with friends who are also attending the matrimony. This way, you’ll remove the pressure from your bank account and buy a pricier gift rather than a few smaller ones. Finally, if you’re a resourceful person and adept with your hands, offer to exchange your skills for a present.