Everyone loves to save money! Weddings can be expensive, and it is easy for the costs to get out of control. Follow these tips on how to save money on your wedding.
Save money using wedding planning strategies
Determine what is important to you both as a couple, and prioritize. It is easy to get carried away when you are planning your wedding, especially if you pay any attention at all to Pinterest or wedding magazines (duh! Who doesn’t?!). I think a little mindfulness as you plan can go a long way towards saving. When you first start planning, ask each other what your big priorities are for your day, as well as the things you don’t need for the day. Try to keep those things in mind as you go.
Consider the off season, or not a Saturday night
Many venues & vendors (but not all) use “peak season” pricing, and some may offer a lower price for week-days/nights. Spring and fall are lovely, and you might like them better if a Saturday in late May or early October can save you a few thousand bucks over the Saturday in July or August you had first considered! If you can, you might also consider a weekday event, or even a Friday night.
Check your guest list
It is obvious but it bears repeating – each guest costs a lot, once you figure in the cost per head for catering, beverages, dish rentals, chairs, etc. If you really need to control costs, try to keep your wedding more intimate. This can ultimately lead to an even-more-special feeling day, if only the very most meaningful people are around you and you don’t need to make any small talk with less familiar cousins or your father’s boss. It is perfectly acceptable to say to people who ask, “we are having an intimate wedding with only our closest family and friends”.
Trust the experts
There is this odd mentality out there that wedding vendors are out to gouge their clients, and that couples need to be vigilant and guarded against getting ripped off. I know that this doesn’t apply to me – I pride myself in supporting my couples to stay on a comfortable budget (or I wouldn’t be writing this post!) and all the vendors I know and trust would say the same. We are experts in our various aspects of the wedding industry, and we know where to splurge and where to economize. If you need to save some cash, ask your vendors for their advice on how to do so and still employ their service. I’m sure you’ll get great advice.
Being strategic with floral ad decor choices can help you save some cash.
Tips for saving money on flowers and decorations:
Limit the size of your bridal party, so you spend less on bridesmaid bouquets and groomsmen boutonnieres.
Think outside the box for bridal party flowers – instead of a bouquet for your maids, do a small nosegay, a single stem, or a very fashion-forward cuff corsage/bracelet. For the groomsmen, look for foliage-based boutonnieres instead of floral ones.
Reuse your bridal bouquet & attendants’ bouquets as accents on the head table, or for the décor on the cake table or bar.
Create a few statement pieces/areas, and let more of the rest of the décor be simple. Position near the entrance, and where guests will see them a lot. Just a few big-impact pieces can elevate the whole event.
Similar to above, combine a few different “looks” for the centerpieces on your tables. By spending a few bucks extra on a more lavish-style centerpiece for a few of the tables, you can get by with a less expensive look (think candle clusters, stems in budvases, a sprinkling of greenery) on the other tables.
Let your florist suggest blooms that will be economical. For example, in the photo above, that impactful arrangement is solid Queen Anne’s Lace, which is very romantic, locally grown, and quite affordable!
Rent stuff, don’t buy it.
Have a considered wedding décor theme, and stick to it. Resist the temptation to go crazy buying extraneous stuff.
Use the color of your linens to help elevate and reinforce your décor theme.
Don’t do favors, or make them multifunctional. You can have your gift be part of your décor & escort card strategy, like these cute potted herbs in the photo above. Not only will they guide people to their places, but once your guests takes them to the table, they augment the centerpieces. Or make your favor be a late-night snack they can indulge in on their way home. Or make it an activity – give everyone wacky sunglasses and then take silly group photos.
There are several ways to save money on your wedding invitations and stationary.
Save money on Invitations & Stationary
Use the main invite to make the splash, and let the other cards be less designed, not letter press, and less costly paper stock.
Skip the escort cards and use a seating chart instead. Instead of having a card printed for each guest telling them where to sit, consider doing one big chart. This method is a little trickier for accommodating last-minute changes, bt it is more economical.
Use an online rsvp tool, not enclosures. This will save you money and stress. Learn more about that in this blog post.
Use your wedding website to give info to guests instead of using a series of costly enclosures.
Instead of individual menus or programs, make one nice sign with the program or menu instead. Look into renting the sign or the easel from your florist or décor company to save even more money.
Food and beverage will be one your biggest wedding expenses. You don't need to feed everyone pasta salad and punch just to save money! Here are some other ideas.
Save money on food and beverage
Skip the signature cocktail or go for a premixed thing (think Sangria, which can be mixed ahead and served from pitchers).
Have an appetizer buffet, not passed apps.
Skip the champagne toast.
Do a buffet or a family style meal, not plated.
Do a signature cake for the couple and the wedding party, but a sheet cake or other desserts for the rest of the guests.
Consider high-end disposables?
Wedding photography is one of the best places to spend your money. Photos help reinforce our memories, so choose a great photographer!
Save money on wedding photography
This is an area that I’d almost never advise to make cuts on, since this will inform how you remember your wedding for the rest of your days. I actually think this is an area where you should spend all the pennies you can afford since you get what you pay for, and a good photographer is worth a lot. And carrying back to my first point, all the wedding professionals I know are sincere and good humans, so you can ask your photographer how they can best help you economize, and they will do their best to help you.
What is your saving strategy?
I think it would be pretty neat if we all could use the comment section to help each other out. Are you planning a wedding? Have you run across some great budgeting strategies or opportunities to save? Please share! Are you a wedding professional who has advice to offer that I neglected to give? Please chime in! Thanks for reading, too!