Photos by Green Weddings Film
Planning a wedding can be expensive. When trying to save money on a wedding, costs can pile up quickly.
We love to help brides and grooms save money on their wedding day. In this post, we talk about things you can cut out of your wedding budget to save you money as you plan your wedding and still have a beautiful wedding day.
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How Do You save money on a wedding?
1: You can DIY your wedding
If planned in advance DIY wedding projects are a great way to personalize your wedding and bring together creative friends and family with the skills to create beautiful looks
However, be cautious when you DIY. Follow the 60/40% rule; realistically, 60% of your wedding should be done by wedding vendors and 40% can be DIY projects.
This is because if you do more than 40% DIY, it could become overwhelming and frustrating, taking the fun away from it.
Set a schedule and have your DIYs completed well in advance before your wedding day. Hire a Wedding day coordinator to help make sure your wedding details are set up and torn down correctly.
2: Create a budget and stick to it
The only way to save money on a wedding is to create a wedding budget before you hire any vendor or plan any DIYs. Your budget plays a huge role in determining the success of your wedding.
Don’t spend more than you have budgeted for. When you start spending more than you have budgeted for in one category, you take away from other categories where you may still need to spend money.
There are always small allowances and flexibility in a budget and we recommend having a small buffer for such situations. That said, do not go over your budget in too many categories.
3: Be prepared for unexpected expenses
As you create your wedding budget, set some money aside for unexpected expenses. Plan for an extra 5-10% buffer just in case. There may be taxes, gratuities, and fees that you may have to pay.
Before you make a decision on anything about your wedding, don’t be afraid to ask what the total cost is.
Ask upfront for any potential hidden costs. Knowing the price is important to avoid any surprises at the end of your wedding.
4: Avoid all-inclusive wedding packages
To save money on a wedding, stay away from all-inclusive wedding packages if you are trying to save money.
All-inclusive packages give the impression that you are getting a great deal but that is not always the case.
Some all-inclusive wedding packages may allow you, at an extra cost, to pick and choose from a limited selection. However, many packages will restrict you to a set group of vendors included in the package.
As a result, you lose the opportunity to bring in a wedding vendor who may be more affordable and save you money on your wedding budget.
Skip the convenience of having an all-inclusive wedding package and plan a wedding that requires a little bit more effort. In the end, you will save a lot more money.
5: Choose an off-peak season wedding date
Choosing an off-season wedding date can save you a lot of money on a wedding. Wedding dates during the peak season are in higher demand and have higher costs. Vendors can book up faster in peak season.
Weddings’ off-peak season typically runs from November to March. Talk to your venue and vendors and find out what their off-season dates and prices are.
Be sure to ask for seasonal discounts and save some money on your wedding budget.
6: Consider getting married on a non-Saturday.
To save money on a wedding, book your wedding date on a Friday, Sunday, or even a weekday. Saturday is the most in-demand day for weddings. Venues and vendor costs in turn are usually higher.
By choosing a day other than Saturday, you may have more venues and vendors available and may also receive much more reasonable pricing and discounted rates which results in saving money on your wedding budget.
An added perk of picking a non-Saturday is that you get more attention from your venue or wedding vendors because you probably are their only wedding event on that day.
7: Choose a venue that can host both the ceremony and reception.
Having your wedding day at one venue will save you from having to pay venue fees for both your ceremony and reception. It will also save you the cost of paying for rentals for two separate venues.
An added bonus is finding a venue that includes a free lounge suite for the wedding party and a free wedding night suite for you and your fiance in the price.
8: Choose a wedding venue that is naturally beautiful.
Choosing a wedding venue that is naturally beautiful means it requires very little decor. The less you have to decorate your venue, the more money you save on your wedding budget. Outdoor, beach, industrial venues are some pretty location examples.
Consider getting a ring that is not a natural diamond to save money on a wedding.
You can get a pretty and sparkly ring that has gems or lab-created diamonds that is affordable, cruelty-free, and sustainable to the environment.
Moissanite is a stone that is engineered to give the appearance of similarity to mined diamonds, it is a great alternative for a diamond.
Cubic zirconia is a lab-created stone that is engineered to have the same fire and sparkle like a diamond.
Do some research and look around, there are a lot more ring options that are very affordable and will save you money on your wedding budget.
The quality of these rings today are so good you can’t tell they are not naturally mined diamonds.
10: Buy either a used dress or a dress on sale
To save some money in the wedding budget for attire, buy a gently used dress, dress on sale, or a dress off the rack.
Instead of spending lots of money on a dress, you are only going to wear once for 6-8 hours, buy your wedding dress from another bride or get it when it’s on sale.
If you are a bride trying to save some money on a wedding, this is a more cost-effective way to get your dress.
You can get a high-quality wedding dress at 50% or more off its original price. You can then take that money saved and use it in other categories of your budget. Once you buy the dress, get it locally tailored so that it fits you perfectly.
11: Hair and makeup
You can have your bridesmaids do their own hair or their own makeup and save money on your wedding budget.
For you as the bride try and do as much on your hair and makeup on your own or if you have a bridesmaid or friend who is great at doing hair and makeup ask them for some help.
When doing your own hair aim to get your hair and makeup done 30 minutes before your photos start.
12: Keep your bridal party small
If you are planning to give gifts and proposal boxes to each person in your bridal party, having a large bridal party can increase your wedding budget expenses. In addition, flowers for a larger bridal party can be expensive.
If having flowers and gifts to show your bridal party some appreciation is important to you and you want to save money on a wedding, decrease the size of your bridal party.
13: Have a short guest list
Make sure the guests at your wedding are people who have been important and played a role in your relationship and life. A smaller guest list is a lot less overwhelming, more manageable, and saves you money on a wedding.
14: Skip “Save the dates”
Save the date cards can be cute and a lot of fun to create. However, if you are trying to save money on a wedding, skip sending them and avoid the cost of printing and mailing them.
Designing and purchasing Save the date cards can be expensive. Buying the stamps to mail the cards can also add to your wedding budget expenses. Instead, send your wedding invitations a little earlier.
15: Have your guests RSVP online
For RSVPs to be mailed back, you must include a stamp with your invitations. Like we mentioned in the last tip, the cost of stamps can add up.
The cost of printing the RSVP card can also increase your wedding budget expenses. If you are trying to save some money on a wedding have your guests go online and RSVP.
16: Reduce the amount of hours you book your wedding vendors
When hiring your wedding vendors, don’t cut corners to try and save money on your wedding budget. Always hire wedding professionals however to save money on a wedding decrease the hours that you book them for.
For example, find a photographer and videographer who you like, love their style and are comfortable with. Ask them if they have a 6-hour package instead of an 8-hour full package.
You may miss out on the party videos and pictures but most people do not print those photos anyway. You can also always get the party pictures and videos from your friends on social media.
Another option to cut hours and save money on your wedding is to close the bar an hour early if you are serving alcohol at your wedding.
17: Select in-season flowers and re-purpose your florals
If you want to save money on a wedding budget, before you pick your flowers, ask your florist what flowers are in season. Flowers in season are more readily available and less expensive than flowers that are out of season.
Ask your florist to take your ceremony flowers and use them for your head table, sweetheart table, and throughout your reception.
Once the ceremony is over and your pictures are done, you are likely not going to be using those flowers for anything else so why not use them at your reception.
18: Serve a dessert table
Instead of investing money in a large multi-tiered cake, save money on a wedding budget and opt for a dessert table with a variety of bite size desserts.
Have a small cutting cake for you, your pictures and your cake cutting. The dessert table will have a variety of desserts that will be sure to satisfy your guests’ sweet tooth.
By having a dessert table, you also reduce the number of servers you need to hire to cut and serve the cake resulting in you saving more money on a wedding budget.
19: Alcohol costs a lot of money
You do not need a full open bar to entertain your guests especially when you want to save money on a wedding budget. Instead of a full open bar, have a cash bar or a full bar only during cocktail hour.
You can serve beer and wine during the reception. Another option would be to serve beer and wine for the entire event and add the option of a signature “his and her” cocktail.
20: Skip champagne toasts
Champagne costs extra and you have to have the staff to pour and serve the champagne. Hiring servers increases costs in a wedding budget.
Reducing server time or the number of servers you hire is a great opportunity to save money on a wedding. Instead of having a poured champagne toast simply have the guests toast with what they are drinking at that time.
21: Skip giving wedding favors to your guests
It costs a lot of money and time to buy and assemble the wedding favors. The majority of the time guests forget to take them, leave them behind, or even throw them away.
22: Skip a live wedding band
For your cocktail hour and reception, if you are trying to save money on a wedding budget, skip hiring a live band and hire a DJ instead. A DJ is a lot more affordable than a live band and sometimes offers a photo booth as part of the package.
Your DJ typically is also your master of ceremony. As a master of ceremony, your DJ will keep your wedding flowing and let your guests know the details of the reception schedule. Hire a good DJ and save money.
23: Hire a wedding coordinator/planner
Wedding coordinators cost money but they also save you money.
Wedding coordinators have networks with vendors in the wedding industry and also have a lot of knowledge about prices and average costs of wedding details.
They in turn end up saving you money on your wedding budget and paying for themselves.
There you go! The top 23 ways of how you can save money on your wedding budget.
You don’t have to use all of them. You can pick and choose the tips that apply to your wedding. Try and use as many of these tips as you can to save you money on your wedding day.
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