When you’re a bride on a budget, you will constantly ask yourself: “How can I have an amazing, Pinterest worthy wedding on a tight budget?” I have to reassure you that you are not alone. As a matter of fact, I asked myself this very question.
Since money was tight, I knew I had to find some tips, tricks, and bargains to pull off a miracle with my budget. Especially since I, like all brides, had over the top expectations of what I wanted for my wedding. I know the feeling. You have this wedding vision, and you know what you want the outcome to be, but you just can’t figure out how to pay for it. Between my wedding experiences and hours of research, I have simplified this feat for you with 12 ways to save money on a wedding. I pray this helps you.
1. Cut down the guest list.
I know you’ve heard this a million and one times, but it’s the truth. This is the number one tip when it comes to how you can save money on a wedding. This very act alone could save you a ton of cash in the long run. Think about it. The less people you have attending the wedding means fewer guests to feed and drinks to serve, fewer tables and linens, and even fewer centerpieces. I mean the list goes on darling.
- How I cut down my guest list: I had an adult only wedding. With no children attending, it really helped the budget and allowed the adult guests to get away for a romantic kid-free weekend.
- How to cut down your guest list: Start with writing out your entire list. Add all of the friends and family who you feel you can’t live without having at the wedding. Then, do the process of elimination. It will be easy if you haven’t spoken to, heard from, or have a deeply rooted connection with a someone in the past several years. I call it the one year rule. I know it’s hard and sounds cruel, but it can be done. Especially after you get a food and beverage quote of over $7000. I was a deer in headlights when I got my food and beverage quote! Sure there is a long line of people congratulating you and wanting to be invited to your wedding. But there is an extremely short line of people that will help you pay for this wedding, so cut down that list girl.
2. Have your wedding during the off season.
Getting married in the winter months like January, February, and March could save you some crazy cash. As a matter of fact, many planners and vendors offer specials during these months when business is really slow. Using the off season could even be helpful when purchasing bridal party gifts, décor, and jewelry as well. Think about how many times things go on sale after Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Valentine’s Day.
3. Don’t have a Saturday wedding.
I actually had my wedding on a Sunday. It was a great decision to make for my budget because I got a great venue discount. This was such a great decision for me because I was able to have more of a wedding weekend with my family instead of just one day.
4. Have your ceremony and reception at the same place.
This tip really helps because it keeps you from paying two separate reservation fees for two different venues. I mean, why pay twice when you could just pay once.
5. DIY your wedding décor.
Make things yourself and get your creative juices flowing. If you need some guidance in this area, just reach out the me by clicking free planning advice at the top of the website.
6. Opt for a cocktail party theme reception.
In other words, skip the seated dinner or buffet. When you have a seated dinner or buffet you may have to pay for additional chefs and serving staff. Changing it up a little could have a positive effect on your budget. You can serve your favorite food items as well as beer, wine, and a signature cocktail. Think of this as an extended cocktail hour, but with all the usual wedding reception traditions.
7. Fake that cake, girl!
Choose a one or two-tiered cake to cut for the reception, but have some awesome sheet cake in the kitchen to be served. Trust me. Guests won’t know the difference because the cake will already be cut when its served to them. Plus, Publix has some pretty awesome cake anyway. Their raspberry bliss cake is to die for and it tastes like some super fancy wedding cake with awesome fruit filling in the middle. I know from experience. They sell pieces by the slice in the bakery if you’d like to try a piece. Ok, now I want some.
8. Email your save the dates.
Hey, I did this one! It was the best decision I could think of to cut down on stationery costs. I saved a couple hundred dollars on paper, printing, and postage by doing this. I simply got email addresses during the holidays when I knew I would see everyone. Then, I designed a save the date in PowerPoint. Yep, you can do that! There are even some great photo editing sites out there to design them as well. Once your engagement session is complete, ask your photographer to provide you with a jump drive that includes your photos and start designing your save the dates.
9. Only use real flowers for the bridal party or just simply don’t have them.
I did this one too! If you look back at our wedding, you will see that we had real flower bouquets and boutonnieres, but centerpieces and other decorative elements were made of tissue paper flowers. The savings I got by doing this were absolutely amazing. I remember the floral designer’s quote for décor and bridal party flowers was almost $3000. I’m sure you see why I made the executive decision to only have real flowers for the bridal party and parents. You could also opt to use your neighborhood grocery store to keep flower costs down as well. If you opt for no flowers at all due to budget constraints, use something else like glam clutches for the bridesmaids. I saw this at a wedding the year before mine. Genius Idea!
10. Choose a venue with great character so you don’t need much décor.
You guessed it. I did this one as well! I chose a historical venue to host my wedding. It was amazing because it had such great decorative elements and southern charm. It had a beauty of its own and as a result, I didn’t need tons of décor to make it pretty. This decision kept costs down for us big time.
11. Use a bridesmaid’s dress as your wedding dress.
Bridesmaid dresses are starting to get very elaborate these days. Many of them even come in white and ivory. With that said, you could score a killer dress and add a glam belt, which you can find at any bridal store or on Etsy. Then, Bam! You have a wedding dress that could turn heads for days. Let me break down the math. Wedding dress costs can start from $1500 and up. But a bridesmaids dress can cost you about $250 give or take. If you add a good quality bejeweled belt for $150 or less, you could come out under $400 for a dress. That’s a major score! That gives you extra cash to put somewhere else in the wedding. If you’d rather not go this route, David’s Bridal is a great place to find wedding dresses on a budget. They have great sales all the time.
12. Wear a pre-owned wedding dress.
I was not a fan of this at first, but with the cost of weddings on the rise, how great is it to get a $3000 gown from your favorite designer for half the price, or even less? If I would have realized this during my planning process, I would have wanted to sign the dotted line immediately! I found a great website for you. I search through several and found a company called Still White. Check them out for some great pre-owned wedding dress options.
I know that one of the hardest pills to swallow is paying a crazy amount of money for your wedding. After the sticker shock wears off, I know how it feels to want something you can’t afford. I really hope these ideas help you to save a little dough.
I wish you peace, love, and happy planning.