There is a lot of information on how to cut the cost of your wedding, and most of it is valid. However, there are a few areas where you can get even better value for your money, whether you have decided to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, saving money just makes sense. Even if you have a very high wedding budget, why not save and get even more for your money, right?
After some wedding planning experience and wedding budget discussions with friends and colleagues, we have come up with my list of 10 ways to save money on wedding costs. Maybe you can add a few more?
Top 10 Money-Saving Tips to Save on Your Wedding
First things first, remember that the wedding rings, the wedding dress, and the wedding venue make up one of the biggest portions of your wedding budget. If you know that you’re going to spend a ton on these 3 things, do some research beforehand so you can get them at a better price. We’ll discuss these in our tips. Let’s get to that list.
1. Invite Fewer People
This is a great way to cut down wedding costs no matter how much your wedding budget runs. If you invite too many people, the costs per person go way up. Our general rule of thumb: if you haven’t spoken to this person in a meaningful way in over a year, you can probably cross them off the must-invite list.
2. DIY Wedding Table Decorations
this is a great one to make your wedding feel more personal. Have you ever thought of making wedding favors yourself? Making wedding favors in advance and putting them out for display on the tables will not only give your wedding dinner a special feel, but it will also save some money. (Centerpieces can get very expensive, fast). Search online for ideas or simply go on Pinterest. You’ll see tons of examples!
3. Give Edible Wedding Favors
Weddings are usually expensive enough, why not include wedding favors that can be enjoyed during the wedding? Sugar cookies and cupcakes are a great way to add a personal touch to wedding favors while also giving guests something delicious at the wedding. You can even hire people from local bakeries or markets to come out and provide them. This way, your guests get to try a local favorite place and you save money, too!
4. Cut the Cake (literally)
Instead, offer wedding cupcakes! You’ll still have the wedding tradition without having to pay for a wedding cake. Additionally, people love wedding cupcakes! The overall cost is usually less and they’re a great way to get creative with wedding favors. You can always get a small cake for you and your significant other to cut (for the wedding photos).
5. Get Your Friends/Family Involved
Ask friends and family to help with planning, set up, breakdown, etc. Wedding planning is already tough, so getting help will make it easier. On your wedding day, the last thing you need is to be stressed out, trying to keep up with the details, timeline, setup, etc. Ask for help! You’ll be glad you did. This will help you save money on having to hire staff to help with these things.
6. Be Realistic With Your Wedding Budget
Who’s paying for what is crucial for the wedding? (This will avoid any wedding day drama). Set a wedding budget that you can afford and do your best to stick to it! If you’re in debt, make some sacrifices and cut back on the wedding details. Don’t go into debt, trying to impress people who already love you and simply want to celebrate with you.
7. Stay Away From Costly Engagement/Wedding Rings
I know this is a tough one, and many people don’t consider an engagement ring as part of the wedding, but it actually is. Engagement rings (and wedding bands) can be quite expensive. You don’t want to go into debt as a newly married couple before you even started planning for your wedding!
Try to set a budget with your fiance and stick to it. We know this can be tough because oftentimes, getting engaged is a surprise. Talk to your significant other about the idea of getting engaged, if you feel the time is right and you’re comfortable with it. At that point, bring up the expense and budget of wedding rings and wedding planning in general. You’ll both be happy that you talked it out and that’s a great way to start the wedding planning.
8. Say Yes to the Dress (the right one)
I know this is a tough one to discuss, but let me at least try to offer some advice. 🙂 Yes, the dress has to be amazing (obviously). Yes, you are going to look amazing. However, will people really be able to tell whether you spent $1,000 or $10,000 on that dress? Maybe, but maybe not.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. What makes it important is that you are making a huge commitment in your life and this is a major milestone. Also, you get to celebrate with your closest friends and family on this special day. That’s what really matters.
Try to keep in mind that you’ll wear this wedding dress once. That will hopefully help you stay within your budget. 🙂
9. Save on the Wedding Venue
Want to save money on your venue without going into debt? Set a wedding date in the “off-season” of weddings. It varies in every market, but for the Austin/central Texas area, the non-peak season is mid-summer, July & August, and winter, December – early February. If you have your wedding during those times, you can often save big on your wedding venue.
Want to save even more – consider the off-season and a non-Saturday event! You can often save money on your venue, and possibly on your other vendors, by having a Friday, Sunday, or weekday wedding. You can get huge discounts! When you look back at your wedding photos in 5 years, and you see everyone having fun, will you be able to tell that it was a Friday or Saturday? Nope. 🙂
10. Book a Photographer For Less Time
You can save big when you don’t book a photographer for the full day. Full days are usually 12-14 hours. You can hire a photographer for 8 hours and save.
If you really want to hire a photographer for the early part of the day, (getting makeup done, getting dressed, etc), consider hiring your own second shooter just for that time. Save even more by hiring an up-and-coming photographer. Just be sure to view samples of their work, before you hire them and communicate exactly what you want.
Overall, when wedding planning, try to avoid going into debt as much as possible. Talk about wedding costs and wedding ideas with your fiance before making any major decisions. Try to get creative and come up with wedding planning ideas on the cheap–that way, you’ll save money and still have an awesome wedding! Happy planning!
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Want more tips? Check out our other money-saving tips for more info!