Planning a wedding can be stressful and downright expensive. Trust us, we know! So, any way that you can save money can be a huge relief. The first step to saving money is, of course, figuring out your budget. However, here are some more specific ways to save money on your wedding!
40 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
Here are 40 of our ideas for saving money on your wedding!
1. Go dress shopping early
We recommend wedding dress shopping at least 9 months in advance! Wedding gowns can take many months to come in once they’re ordered, so coming in early ensures that you won’t have to pay rush shipping fees. It also helps to prevent any last minute alterations charges!
2. Ditch the escort cards
Order. or DIY, a seating chart sign instead! Plus, this doubles as a decoration.
3. Use a fake cake
Find out if your baker can make you a fake cake to have on display and provide you with a sheet cake for your guests to eat! You could even have the bottom layer of the fake cake be real, so that you can actually cut it for your cake cutting.
4. Take advantage of kids’ meals
Kids meals aren’t just to appease picky eaters — they also save you some money! See if your caterer offers them. They could end up making children’s plates half the cost, or they might even have a specific kids menu to choose from for the little ones!
5. Cut down on printing fees
Order any of your day-of items that need to be printed (signage, programs, menus, etc.) at the same time as your invitations! This will save you a little bit of money on printing fees.
6. Have a friend get ordained
Rather than spending a few hundred bucks to have someone that you don’t know very well marry you, look into having a friend or family member get ordained online to marry you! Of course, look into your local laws and regulations regarding this. However, it can be very special to have someone who knows you as a couple be the one to marry you!
7. Use lots of candles
Candles are a great way to fill up your space and use less florals! Candles are of course much less expensive than flowers. Use varied heights of candles and vases to add some depth and dimension!
8. Don’t have hard liquor
If you want to have an open bar, but want to find a way to cut costs, don’t offer liquor. Serve just beer and wine — most people will be completely fine with that! If you feel like you should offer liquor but still don’t want to go all-out, offer a signature drink or two!
9. Offer your signature drink for a limited time
If you decide to offer a signature drink, you can save some money on it by only offering it during the cocktail hour.
10. Don’t offer top-shelf liquor
Finally, if you decide that you just need to offer liquor at your bar, don’t serve the top-shelf stuff. Most people won’t even know the difference!
11. Shorten your photographer’s time
Consider hiring your photographer for 8-10 hours rather than 12-14. They will still capture all of the important moments, but this will save you a decent amount of money!
12. Hire a new up-and-coming photographer
Take a look on social media for some new up-and-coming photographers in your area! Their work could be just as good as the pros, but they just don’t have as much experience under their belt. That means that their prices will be lower, too! You could always ask a more experienced photographer if they know of any up-and-comers, too.
13. Save money on programs and menus
Save money on your ceremony programs and menus by not ordering as many! For programs, you can order enough for one per couple/family, rather than one per guest. They usually get tossed anyway!
For the menus, you could consider just printing one per table and framing it in an inexpensive frame. This also serves as decor and guests will love it!
14. Bulk up on florals
Getting your flowers ordered in bulk can save you some serious money. Often, if your florist orders 3-5 different types of flowers in bulk, they can get a discount.
15. Repurpose your ceremony florals & chairs
Talk to your florist about different ways that you can repurpose your ceremony florals to your reception! You’ll be surprised at what they can come up with.
Plus, if you’re renting chairs, see if you can have the ceremony chairs moved to the reception! You may have to pay a labor fee to have them moved, but this will typically be cheaper than buying twice the amount of chairs.
Anything that is being repurposed from the ceremony to the reception can be done during cocktail hour, without your guests even knowing!
16. Use food trucks
Depending on how you do it and the area that you leave in, food trucks are usually less expensive than a caterer. If you’re having more of a casual wedding, food trucks would be perfect!
17. Hire a planner/coordinator
We know, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest hiring an additional vendor as a way to save money. Plus, we may be a little biased.
However, hiring a planner or coordinator really can save you money! A planner truly works with you to create your budget and stick to it. They also typically have relationships with vendors where they can receive some discounts.
Even if you hire a coordinator, it will at the very least save you time and stress. You won’t have to worry about a single thing on your wedding day, and neither will your family or friends!
18. Have a weekday wedding
You’d be surprised at how much less expensive weekday weddings are versus a weekend wedding. Back in the day, we used to suggest having a Friday or Sunday wedding. While this can still be less expensive, they are much more common now, so you may not save as much money as you’d think.
Having a true weekday wedding (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) will likely save you a lot of money! Wedding vendors are not typically hired on these days, so they will often times offer discounts — especially venues!
19. Direct your guests to your wedding website
Rather than having a bunch of insert cards in your wedding invitations regarding various details, just have one to direct guests to your wedding website. All of the information that they will need can be placed there, such as the dress code, if kids are allowed, rehearsal dinner information, and more! You can even invite people to RSVP directly on your website.
20. Brunch, anyone?
If you’re set on a Saturday wedding, you can probably save some money by doing a brunch wedding! For starters, the venue may offer a discount for having your wedding earlier in the day. Plus, breakfast food is inexpensive when compared to a full dinner meal!
21. Add some fruit
Looking to fill some more decor space without buying more flowers or candles? Add some fruit to the decor! It’s fun, colorful, and unique. Perfect for a boho wedding!
22. Have a polaroid station
Rather than renting an expensive photo booth, have a polaroid camera set up with a backdrop. This can double as a guest book, too!
23. Save on linens
Save your money and don’t buy or rent the expensive tablecloths. Use the standard ones that come with your venue, and decorate with some table runners!
24. Save money on staffing costs with a buffet
Having a buffet can save you money on staffing costs! The caterer will need less staff to run a buffet.
25. Have minimal bridesmaids bouquets
Keep your bridesmaids bouquets minimalistic to save money on your florals cost!
26. Have a honeymoon fund
Looking for help to fund your honeymoon? Have a “honey fund” box at your reception! You’d be surprised at the number of people who will drop some cash inside!
27. Look for trunk shows
When you’re wedding dress shopping, be on the lookout for trunk shows! These are events that bridal shops host to feature a specific designer, and they typically offer a small discount on the gowns, like 10%. It’s a great chance to buy a new wedding dress for a lower price!
28. Don’t use boutonnieres
If you’re looking to save even more money on florals, skip the boutonnieres, especially if you have a large wedding party! Opt for pocket squares instead.
You could also have only the groom and fathers wear boutonnieres!
29. See if your venue offers a lounge area for less
See if your venue has furniture that you can use to set up a lounge area, rather than having to spend the money to rent pieces!
30. City wedding? Get your caterer from the suburbs
If you are getting married in a city, chances are, all of the caterers are pricey! Look into caterers in the suburbs that are willing to travel to your wedding. You may have to pay a travel fee, but it could end up being cheaper than what you would pay for a caterer in the city!
31. Use alllll the greenery
Greenery will be your best friend if you’re trying to save money on florals! It’s less expensive than flowers and will be gorgeous!
32. Have a “wow” moment
Rather than spending money to have a ton of flowers all throughout your reception space, splurge on a single “wow” moment, like a statement flower wall! Guests will gush over it and you won’t need to have as many flowers throughout the rest of the space.
33. Look for special deals and sales on social media
Whether it’s a bridal shop or a venue, be sure to follow as many wedding vendors in your area as possible when you start to wedding plan! They might post about special sales and discounts that you wouldn’t know about otherwise.
34. Have an invitation stuffing party
Rather than splurging on your a full invitation suite, DIY them yourself! While it will be time-consuming, you can make it easier by inviting your closest friends and family over to help you out.
35. Borrow jewelry
Use your jewelry as your “something borrowed!” There are companies out there who rent out expensive jewelry for a more affordable price. Or, you can always borrow it from a close family member or friend!
36. Buy a sample wedding dress
Often, Bridal shops will hold sample sales. Or, they most likely have a section of their store dedicated to sample dresses that are for sale! Sometimes, you might even be able to purchase one of the newer dresses right off the rack.
Sample dresses are the gowns in the bridal shop that brides try on. Eventually, the bridal shop will want to sell them to make room for new gowns, so you can usually get them for a discount! Of course, it will have to be somewhat close to your size so that you can alter it to fit you perfectly.
37. Use digital invitations
If you want to spend next to nothing on your invitations, send them digitally! This is especially easy if you are having a wedding on the smaller side. There are plenty of websites out there that offer digital invitations, whether for free or for a much lower price than paper invitations!
38. Take advantage of signage
Use signs as much as possible throughout your wedding, rather than buying individual pieces for each guest (i.e. menus, programs, etc.). You’ll probably end up paying less!
39. Use RSVP postcards (or, use online RSVPs!)
Having your RSVP cards be postcards rather than physical pieces of mail will save you money on postage. Postcard postage is less expensive than first-class mail postage!
40. Splurge on your main invitation, save on other pieces
Finally, to save money on your invitations, you can splurge on your main invitations but find a cheaper alternative for the inserts, envelopes, etc.
When it comes down to it, there are a lot of different ways to save money on your wedding! It all comes down to what your needs & desires are. We can really help you nail down your budget, vision, and where to save money!