How To Save Money On A Wedding: 33 Ways In Which You Can Save On Your Big Day

how to save money on a wedding

A wedding is one of the many anticipated days of your life. And if you are just like other couples, there have to be things that you and your spouse must have planned for you both that are a little bit over your budget. Let’s understand how to save money on a wedding?

Who am I kidding? It is your wedding; you have every right to plan things according to your wants. It might be something that you want to do on the wedding day itself, or something exotic for your honeymoon, or maybe you just want to save those extra bucks for your own future.

But the question is how to save money on a wedding?

Everything about a wedding is extremely tempting; you just want to get it all. From beautiful locations to a huge guest list, to maybe a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress, all of these are insanely expensive, and there is absolutely no way that you can save the big bucks if you are planning for the extravaganza wedding that you once dreamed of.

However, saving on a wedding is not much of a big deal. To help you plan an efficient budget for your wedding, we did some digging and came up with some of the best ways in which you can save some of those extra bucks and spend them on your own needs.


33 Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

33 Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

If you are confused about how to save money on a wedding, we have some of the best advice from experts in the industry.

Read through this article to learn the most effective ways to save money on your big day.

Look For The Days of the Week

There is no hard and fast rule that you have to get married on the weekend. Many experts have, in fact, claimed that you can, in fact, get married on any day of the week.

Most wedding venues charge extra on weekends compared to the weekends. So, you can just choose a day from among the week to get married.

Trust me that will make no difference.

Choose Your Card Stock Wisely

You get a huge platter of options when it comes to picking the perfect invitation cards for your wedding. However, there is one element that can drastically raise the cost of your wedding invitation card the type of paper that you choose to get the card printed on.

If you like the look and feel of thicker paper stock, use two-ply for your invitations and make the rest of the insert cards one-ply only. You’ll save $270 for every 100 invitations.

Erika Henrikson, Bella Figura.

Skip the Envelope Liner

As beautiful as an envelope liner may look, they are one of those extra costs that may really add up, especially if you have quite a lot of invitations to send.

“Using a colorful or otherwise untraditional outer envelope in lieu of an interior envelope liner means you could pay $1 less per invitation. Plus it’s a fun surprise when it shows up in your wedding guests’ mailboxes.”

Cheree Berry, Cheree Berry Paper & Design

Direct Your Guests to Your Wedding Website

Keeping multiple cards inside your invitation suite no doubt looks extremely aesthetic and beautiful, but that, too, comes at a price.

So, it is more economical to provide the guests with a single insert while providing all the other information online.

“You can save as much as $800 by having a single insert directing guests to your wedding website instead of [sending] multiple cards for your other events—like the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, or day-after brunch—as well as logistics, like transportation and details about the hotel that you’ve set up for your guests.”

Erika Henrikson, Bella Figura.

Get a Jump on Wedding Dress Shopping

Get a Jump on Wedding Dress Shopping

One thing that brides often forget to realize is the rush fees that they pay after their wedding dress. These small costs here and there can add to really higher costs to your wedding budget.

To avoid that, order your wedding dress at least eight or nine months before the wedding. This way, you avoid the rush fees or alteration charges that you might have to pay for the dress otherwise.

Save During a Trunk Show

Trunk shows are the supreme ways to save bucks on your wedding dress.

“Shopping during a designer trunk show means you could pay anywhere from $150 to $500 less for your gown. Some salons will even throw in complimentary customization—like a neckline change, size adjustment, or veil—which could be another $150 to $800 in savings.”

Camille Wyn, The Dress Theory.

Snag a Sample

Sample sales are yet another great way to save some extra bucks on your wedding dress. In fact, these results may result in a retail price reduction of 20% to 90%.

“Most [sample sales] occur before or after Bridal Market—which happens twice a year, in late spring and early fall—but even if a sale isn’t happening, don’t be afraid to ask if the boutique has any samples they’re looking to sell. Chances are, some gowns have already been set aside for the next one!”

Anna Walsh, from bridal salons Anna Be Bridal Bouquet and A & Be Bridal Shop.

Embrace Minimalist Bridesmaids’ Bouquets

Embrace Minimalist Bridesmaids' Bouquets

Cutting down the florals doesn’t necessarily mean that you would need to cut down on the style as well.

Kelly Revels of The Vine Garden Market says,

“You need only two or three large blooms with a little bit of filler to create bridesmaids’ bouquets that are minimalist-cool—and $50 cheaper apiece.”

Have The Ceremony Florals Do Double Duty

Any flower that you choose for your wedding will definitely be your favorite and beautiful, too, so try to decorate as many places as you want with the same flowers. That will help you cut down the expense of having multiple expensive flowers at the wedding.

“There are so many ways to repurpose your wedding flowers. Use decorative florals from your ceremony site to adorn the escort card table or the bar, and bridesmaids’ bouquets work great for reception tables.”

Lindsay Coletta, Lindsay Coletta Floral Artistry and Design.

You may ask your florist or the venue manager to get the switch done, or just notify the wedding planner or a couple of members from the bridal party to get the task done.

If Flowers, Then Why Not Your Chairs?

A little repurposing of different design elements within different parts of your wedding event may actually save you hundreds of dollars.

For instance, you can reuse the same chairs from your wedding ceremony for your reception.

“You may have to pay a moving fee, but it will still be cheaper than ordering twice as many seats.”

Maria Svensson, Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore.

Ditch the Escort Cards

However pretty as escort cards may look, they are not an absolute necessity for your reception to run smoothly.

Courtney Jentzen from Swiss Cottage Design says,

“Have your stationer (or another DIY maker) design one main seating chart poster or display instead of personal escort cards, which can be $3 each. If the poster costs $250, that’s $50 saved per 100 guests, and the savings only increase from there.”

Lose the Linens

There is no doubt that linens are absolutely stunning, but the fancier the stuff, the more you are supposed to pay for it.

“Instead of renting expensive linens, top your venue’s standard cotton or polyester tablecloths with a decorative runner and save about $25 per table.”

Suggested by Emarie C. Vangalio from La Tavola Fine Linen Rental.

However, that is only applicable if the tables underneath are beautiful enough to be displayed.

In that case, choose a less expensive neutral-colored linen and let your floral and other decorations do the job for you.

Cut Transportation Costs

cut Transportation Costs

This may not cross your mind initially, but shuttling your guests in between the ceremony locations and reception venue can add to your wedding costs.

Jennifer Stiebel from Soco Events explains,

“If you can plan your wedding day so that your ceremony and reception are at the same venue—or at two locations that are within walking distance of each other—you can save up to $4,000 by eliminating the need for guest and wedding party transportation.”

Forgo Top-Shelf Liquor

Trust me when I say this, the guests at your wedding do not need the most expensive Champagne or only the top-shelf alcohol to enjoy at your wedding.

Most guests at a wedding do not even know the difference between Pinot Noir and Merlot. Therefore, skip the insanely good bottles and settle down for affordable ones which will not stress your pockets.

“If your guests want gin, they don’t need Bombay Sapphire to be happy. You’ll save $1 to $4 per drink—and up to $25 per pour of fine scotches and bourbon.”

Maureen Donegan, Presidio Social Club

Skip The Champagne Toast; Serve Bubbly Only At The Bar

You can always replace the glass of champagne that you serve to each of your guests or the one that you pour at your reception event with a bottle of bubbly.

Experts claim that you are most likely to pay $10 less for each guest, and no one would toast with a glass of straight Champagne.

Remember, Not Everyone Will Have The Late-Night Munchies

It is not mandatory for you to have a late-night snacking option at your wedding. Not every guest will be in need of a little something to munch at the late hours of the night.

“Order late-night snacks for only 70 percent of your headcount. Some guests may leave early, and others won’t want to eat.”

Brooke Keegan, Brooke Keegan Special Events

Combine Food And Favors

Combine Food and Favors

Sara Fay Egan from Jackson Durham Floral and Event Design says,

“Instead of passing out late-night food and favors, combine the two by offering ready-to-eat edible favors, like milk and cookies or freshly-popped popcorn that’s ready and waiting for guests as they leave the reception.”

Skip The Sugar Flowers On Your Cake

If you are looking for a cake that will look unique and beautiful on your wedding day, try to avoid putting sugar flowers on your wedding cake.

Sure, they look gorgeous, but they are not one bit economical. Betsy Thorleifson from Nine Cakes advises you to look for any other cake decoration other than sugar flowers if you are trying to cut down on wedding expenses.

She says,

“I love the look of fresh fruit as a way to decorate and save some money. Typically this could save $4 per serving compared to sugar flowers.”

Don’t Hire Two Professionals For Videography

You may have gotten reviews from multiple people, but you absolutely do not need two videographers to shoot your wedding.

Alex Dodds from Something Blue Creative says,

“Almost every couple I speak with is shocked to hear me say you don’t need two shooters. In my experience, the only places you really notice only having one shooter are during prep and cocktail hour. However, with a solid timeline and a plan to execute the timeline, you can make it work.”

Ask About Package Deals and Service Bundles for Photography

Next, coming to photography, couples must be curious and inquire about the different package deals that are available and the benefits that they get with them.

“Some photographers offer package deals that include both photography and videography or offer a discount when booking both services.”

Michael Fayehum, F10 Studio.

This statement was further backed by wedding photographer Amy Anaiz who confirmed that couples must consider bundle services if they are offered.

“Many times photographers offer Photo Booth/Boomerang Booth services as well, usually at a better rate than if you were to hire a separate vendor.”

– she added.

Skip The Unnecessary Florals

Your wedding does not require a bunch of unnecessary floral decorations that will just cost a few hundred bucks more.

Erice McNeff from Everbloom Floral Design suggested that, although these small flowers may add that extra touch to your wedding, they are not something that guests will at all remember.

Pass On The Drone

While an aerial shot of your wedding may look spectacular, it is also a great area where you can easily save quite a good number.

Cindy Caughey from Harborview Studios suggested some questions to ask yourself before you decide to get a drone to shoot your wedding.

“Really think about the location you’re getting married in—is it scenic? Are drones allowed to fly where you’re getting married? Are you getting married near an airport or a military base?”

She further added,

“Depending on how complicated the set-up is for your drone request (multiple locations, flying during the ceremony) it may even require an additional videographer with a drone license to make these shots happen and be done correctly and safely. That can be a surprisingly large expense.”

Skip The Raw Footage

Skip the Raw Footage

Getting the raw footage from your videographer may sound quite romantic, but it is not. Cindy Caughey says,

“It’s not a super-long-ultra-extended-just-not-fancy edit of the wedding day. It’s unrefined footage. While we love raw footage, because it’s a wonderful place to find hidden gems and a fun addition to your family archives, know that your videographer has already pulled out the best of the best to use in your films. If you’re feeling a [budget] squeeze, this is definitely a safe place to skip.”

Consider Steak Alternatives On The Menu

Kimberly Ashlee from Kimberly Ashlee Catering suggested some of the better alternatives when considering the more expensive items for the dinner menu.

She says,

“For many weddings, a steak on the menu is a must. Look past the filet—don’t worry, a little marbling never hurt anyone!”

She had also urged couples to go for other beef cuts like a flank steak, which costs a fraction of the price.

“And it can be sliced and plated elegantly. Also, consider proteins such as chicken, quail, or pork, because when prepared correctly, they can be elegant.”

– she further adds.

Go for A Plated Meal Over A Buffet

It may sound pretty surprising to you, but buffets are not really very cost friendly when it comes to weddings.

Considering the suggestion of Kimberly Ashlee where she says,

“From a caterer’s standpoint, there is so much more volume required for a buffet or stations. My philosophy is the station must look great from start to finish—no guest will appreciate a picked-over experience. This means that caterers have to factor in additional portions to ensure that the displays look great and also to account for seconds or even thirds from your guests. On that note, the caterer must anticipate the consumption which would be at least one of everything, which further increases the amount of food.”

However, presenting plated meals is much more economical as the calculations are done beforehand; hence the chances of wastage of food are much less.

Don’t Over-Order the Invites

Try not to order extra invitation cards. The cards will not only go to waste but also are not at all economical.

“The biggest mistake I see couples making when ordering wedding invitations is that they usually order an invitation for every anticipated wedding guest when in actuality you only need one invitation per couple or household. Imagine the money you will save ordering half of the invites you originally thought you were going to need!”

Ashley Haglund, Ashley Elizabeth Wedding Stationery & Signage..

Use the Standard Invitation Size

Haglund has also stressed on the fact that in order to cut down the costs related to the invitations, try to go for the standard size of 5X7 rather than going with a square or any other tough shape.

“This will save you significantly on the postage used to mail your invites.”

– Haglund adds.

Embrace Vintage Items

If you are thinking about how to save money on a wedding style, Alicia Mae from ILE Events has the best suggestions for you. She had urged couples to shop from their own homes. This means looking for vintage items from your friends or family.

“Consider vintage items that you can borrow from close family members to use or wear for your wedding.”

– Mae.

Try to pick the veil from your mother or the cufflinks from your father; after all, you do need your “something borrowed.”

Cut the Guest List

Most wedding experts will agree on the fact that the best way to cut down on your wedding expenses are by cutting down the guest list.

“In my years of planning weddings, the most tried and true way to save on a wedding is to cut the guest list. The proposed budget may not be best suited to provide a brilliant experience for 150 guests, but it may be ideal for 75 or 80 guests. In cutting the guest list, clients are saving on the cost of meals, rentals, centerpieces, menus, and more. Surprisingly, there’s often room to include that wish list item that otherwise would have had to have been removed. For example, upgrading the entertainment from DJ only to a Band and DJ jam session or upgrading the culinary experience from chicken to butter poached lobster. We remind our clients that the quality of the experience they are creating is the measure.”

Roxanne Bellamy, Roxanne Bellamy & Co.

Say NO To The Cash Bar

Waverly Coleman from Waverly Coleman Events suggests refusing a cash bar when you want to save bucks on alcohol.

She recommends,

“Instead, limit the hours you serve.” 

By doing this, you can avoid the cost of an all-night service of an open bar and won’t even disappoint your guests.

Skip Save-the-Dates

In this case, Coleman added,

“I’ve never been a fan of physical save-the-dates. By the time you send them, half of the guests you’re sending to already know your date so now you’ve wasted paper.If you must, opt for a virtual version or use the landing page on your wedding website as your save-the-date.”

Lean On Specialty Cocktails

Instead of getting a bar fully stocked, Mackenzie Irland of Amorology insists on having a few special cocktails instead, alongside beers and wine.

She says,

“Create some specialty cocktails to pair with beer and wine to serve throughout the night rather than a full bar and your guests will be just as taken care of.” 

Cut Down The Cost Of Music

You do not need a live band playing at your wedding. By the time of the reception, people are usually too occupied to focus on the authenticity of the music. Instead, try sticking to regular record players, as they will do the work just fine.

The Bottom Line

If you have been equally confused about how to save money on a wedding, just like the hundreds of other brides out there, this article is your ultimate savior. 

Once you go through this, you can discuss with your wedding planner to plan out the wedding beautifully while still keeping some bucks for yourself.

I hope this article was insightful to you and that I have successfully answered your question. If there is anything else that you feel the need to know, feel free to comment below; and I will be happy to help you.

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Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.


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