Wedding planning can be stressful, but if you plan ahead and use a few old-fashioned money-saving ideas, you can have a wonderful, low-budget wedding. With the right amount of planning and creativity, you can pull off your dream wedding without breaking the bank.
From choosing cost-effective venues and decorations to skipping extras like favors, you can do a lot to cut costs without sacrificing on the fun or quality of your wedding.
Here are 50 wedding money-saving tips every couple needs to know. Save yourself thousands of dollars with these simple, cost-effective strategies.
Elopement is a great way to save money and simplify your wedding. Sometimes the stress of planning a wedding can be overwhelming, so eloping is an amazing way to get married without spending thousands of dollars.
2. Have A Small Wedding
Having a smaller wedding helps keep the costs down in a big way. On top of that, having a smaller wedding means less time planning and provides your guests with a more intimate setting.
It is important to set a realistic wedding budget that you and your partner both agree on but it only works if you are disciplined and stick to it. Establishing a wedding budget can help you avoid overspending and ensure you are strategic with your spending.
If you're looking to save money on your wedding, one of the best things you can do is to DIY as much of your wedding as possible. Creating your own invitations, menus, decorations and more can help you save thousands of dollars.
5. Get Married On A Weekday
Because of the lower demand, weddings on weekdays are significantly less expensive than weekend weddings—and they're also much easier to find venues for. On average, Mondays are the most affordable day to get married, increasing in price as you get nearer to the weekend.
6. Avoid Peak Seasons
Due to the higher demand for venues and vendors during peak seasons, consider having your wedding during the less popular seasons like winter and autumn. The cost per head for weddings during the off-seasons are typically much lower, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
7. Hold Your Ceremony & Reception At One Place
Having your ceremony and reception at the same place cuts down costs associated with transportation, decorations, food, entertainment and more. Many venues will also have multiple spaces to hold both a ceremony and reception, offering an all-inclusive reduced cost as a result.
Asking friends and family to be part of your wedding day can help save you thousands and minimize the number of vendors you need to book. Perhaps a family member is a photographer or a close friend is a DJ.
While it may seem like the obvious choice to book a wedding venue, you can often save money by having one at a different location. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who has a beautiful backyard, or there is a public park that you are especially fond of.
It's likely that you'll only wear your wedding dress/suit once, so consider renting instead of buying. When you rent a dress or suit, you can expect to pay less than half the cost of buying a new one.
Buying a pre-owned dress or suit is one of the best ways to save money on your wedding. You can pick up a used gown at a thrift shop, vintage store, online or even from a family member or friend. Some people feel weird about buying used clothing but if it's in good shape and has never been worn before then why not?
It's easy to fall into the trap of inviting everyone and their cousin, but you should consider how many people you're inviting before selecting a guest list. The more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.
You can avoid additional costs by asking your family and friends to help you plan and set up your wedding. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to help out. In fact, they might even be thrilled to be involved!
By working with local businesses, you'll not only be able to save money on travel and shipping costs, but also enjoy the unique benefits that come from using local service providers. They are also easier to contact than larger companies.
Invitations and save the dates are a surprisingly expensive part of planning a wedding, but you don't have to break the bank to make them. Not only does sending digital invites save you time and money, but it also helps the environment by saving paper.
If you’re looking to cut costs, consider asking your bridesmaids and groomsmen to purchase their own dresses or suits. Although the decision is entirely up to you, the bridesmaids and groomsmen are generally expected to pay for their own wedding day attire.
If you're trying to keep costs down for your wedding, then going with a simple theme is a great way to do that. Focus on the important things and be selective about the extras. This is especially true when it comes to the decorations you plan on having.
You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional stylist to get the look you want—if you know what you’re doing, just do it yourself! Alternatively, if you know a friend or family member who's good at hair and makeup, consider asking them.
If you fancy a DIY project or are willing to learn about flowers, consider making your own flower arrangements. Buying and arranging your own flowers can cost you pennies compared to what florists will often charge.
If you're happy to have a wedding that's more intimate and less formal, consider having the reception cocktail-style. Cocktail-style is when guests mingle and fill up on finger food instead of sitting at their tables for a formal sit-down meal.
Instead of flying off to some faraway location, consider staying in the city, state or country where you are having your wedding. Traveling is expensive or accommodation is often more expensive at popular honeymoon hotspots.
Consider choosing in-season flowers and those that are easy to arrange and transport. Look for local florists who grow their own product or have access to farms nearby—they'll have fresher offerings and won't charge as much for them either.
23. Limit The Open Bar Options
One surefire way to save money on your wedding day is by limiting the options guests have at the bar. If you want to offer alcoholic beverages, keep it simple by serving beer and wine only—no hard liquor or mixers.
24. Hire A DJ, Not A Band
While there are plenty of great reasons to hire a band, if you're trying to cut costs or save money on your big day, then it might be best to avoid them altogether and go with a DJ instead. On average, a DJ costs less than a band, but there are many factors that affect the price of either option.
25. Skip The Open Bar
You can save a lot of money by skipping the open bar. If your venue allows for it, consider asking your guests to pay for their own drinks. This is a particularly great option if your family and friends aren’t big drinkers.
26. Use External Catering
Catering is one of the biggest expenses couples face when paying for a wedding. The cost for venues to cater for a large group of people is always high. External catering options can often help reduce costs without sacrificing quality.
27. Forget The Limo
If you're on a budget, renting a limo is an expense that can be skipped. In fact, a decent percent of bride’s regret hiring fancy transportation to their wedding. Consider asking a friend or family member with a nice vehicle to drive you to your wedding instead.
28. Use Dried Or Artificial Flowers
On average, couples spend between 10-15% of their wedding budget on flowers. Dried flowers and artificial flowers are typically cheaper than fresh ones, and they last longer too. They also come in the same varieties and colors as fresh flowers.
29. Negotiate Prices With Vendors
Negotiating with your vendors for a better price can help you save a considerable amount of money. The cost of having a florist, musician, photographer and other vendors adds up so consider asking them for a discount, better deal, package deal, payment plans or freebies.
30. Ask For Cash Gifts
Asking for cash gifts is a great way to recuperate some of the money you spent on your wedding. Generally, people are quite happy to give a cash gift instead of buying something that you may or may not like.
31. Use Your Vacation Days
If you're planning a wedding and honeymoon, it's important to save up and use your vacation days for the duration of your celebration. You don't want to be away from work for weeks on end without getting paid, so this is a great way to ensure that you're still getting paid.
32. Skip The Wedding Favors
You can save money by skipping wedding favors altogether. If you don’t think your budget can include them, don't worry - you're not being rude! Consider putting that money towards something else that'll make your day extra special, like a honeymoon or an amazing photographer.
33. Have A Simple/Homemade Cake
There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a wedding cake. Consider baking one yourself or asking a family member or a friend with culinary skills to bake one for you. The other option is to have the cake made but to decorate it yourself.
34. Don’t Use A Wedding Planner
The average starting rate for a wedding planner in the U.S is about $3,000. If you and your partner feel comfortable planning your own wedding, then skip the added cost of hiring a wedding planner.
35. Share Accommodation With Guests
Splitting the cost of accommodation on your wedding night is a great way to save money and to ensure guests have somewhere to stay after the reception. It can also be a great way to continue the wedding celebrations with friends and family the following day.
36. Serve Banquet-Style Platters
When it comes to serving food, you can cut down on cost by serving banquet-style platters. Banquet-style platters are more cost-effective than individual portions. If you are considering a platter, speak to your wedding venue about their catering options.
37. Limit Plus-Ones
To ensure that your guest list doesn’t become too big, we recommend limiting the number of plus-ones. This will help keep things under control while still allowing you to invite the people that matter to you the most.
38. Shop The Sales
Shopping the sales is one of the easiest ways to save money. Keep an eye out for great deals on wedding dresses, suits, venues, vendors and other wedding expenses. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by waiting for a sale.
39. Print One Large-Sized Menu
Instead of ordering individual menus, print one large-sized menu and place it somewhere accessible in your reception space. This will save you money on printing costs and can be helpful for guests who might need glasses or have poor vision.
40. Skip The Wedding Tasting
A wedding tasting is when you taste the proposed menu items with your caterer for your reception and can cost up to $500 per couple. Skip the tasting, and instead, select the most appealing menu options or search for online reviews.
41. Use Your Venue’s Resources
When you are touring and contacting your venue, find out what resources the venue already has. For example, if your venue comes with a bridal suite, maybe you don’t need to hire an AirBnB for the day. Or maybe your venue includes a wireless microphone or some flower arrangements.
42. Limit Your Photographer’s Hours
Photographers are one of the most costly vendors couples hire for a wedding. As photographers charge by the hour, you could book them for fewer hours to save yourself a few hundred dollars.
43. Choose A Venue That Needs Little Extra Decor
Another way to save money is by utilizing the decor that exists at your chosen venue then add what you need. Sometimes a beautiful venue with great views or an amazing atmosphere doesn’t require much decorating.
44. Get Items Secondhand
It is absolutely okay to purchase second hand items for your wedding. In fact, it’s also an amazing opportunity to save money while also preventing waste. You can save big dollars by finding a second hand wedding dress, suit or decorative items.
45. Be Your Own DJ
If you're on a budget and don't want to pay for a band or DJ, consider hiring some speakers and putting together your own playlist. This way, you will be able to enjoy dancing to your favorite songs without having to pay someone else to provide the entertainment.
46. Setup Your Own Photo Booth
Photo booths are a fun way to capture memories, but you certainly don’t have to spend a fortune to have one. To create your own photo booth, all you need is a digital camera, some props and a backdrop.
47. Sell What You Can After Your Wedding
From wedding dresses and suits to decorations and flowers, there are countless items from your wedding you could resell after your wedding. Some of these items will sell for a large portion of the price you originally paid for them.
48. Repurpose Your Flowers
Repurposing your flowers is a great way to get more bang for your buck. From potpourri to bath soaps, you can use your wedding flowers in many ways once your wedding has concluded.
49. Cut Your Own Cake
Many reception venues charge a cake cutting fee, often at an average of about $2 per slice. To save upwards of a few hundred dollars, simply ask a friend of a family member to cut your cake for you.
50. Do Your Research
When planning your wedding, spend some time researching your options to find the best prices. You might be surprised by how much money you can save by shopping around a little bit. Compare prices and packages with multiple vendors before making a decision.
Want To Know More?
If you are looking for long-lasting wedding flowers that you can keep for years after your wedding day, feel free to enquire about our wedding flower packages. Here at Milla Rose, our expertise is in dried and preserved wedding flowers and we offer a range of options to suit your needs. Click here to enquire now.