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10 Areas Where You Can Easily Save Money on Your Wedding

My goal with this article is to help you to plan the perfect wedding while maintaining your budget and giving your ideas where you can save money,

Your wedding day is one of the biggest events that will ever happen to you in your life and it should be a special memory. It’s completely natural to feel a little anxious when you think about planning a wedding and keeping your budget. It all adds up so quickly but you also want it to fulfill all your wedding dreams.

Below, you’ll find some super helpful cost-saving tips for your wedding ceremony and reception. Think of all these extra savings as “honeymoon money.” These are extra dollars you’ll have to spend on your honeymoon and “happily ever after.”

In this article…


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First Thing’s First: Come Up with a Wedding Budget

Your wedding budget is important for obvious reasons. A budget gives you strict guidelines to follow and help keep your spending in check. You can have the wedding of your dreams without overspending!

Here is a very general rule of thumb for what percentage of your budget you should expect to spend on each category

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Now that you have you’re wedding budget established, you’re ready to start planning. As you start getting the details in order, here are some great tips for making sure you save the most money and get the best deal.

1. Save Money on Your Wedding by Choosing a Different Day of the Week

Saturdays have been the wedding day of choice for years. However, with many venues you’ll find that it’s cheaper to get married on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday night. In fact, if you can get a Sunday night on a long holiday weekend (such as Memorial Day or Labor Day), you’ve hit the money saving jackpot! Another popular wedding date that is less expensive is the 4th of July,


What is the Best Time of Year to Get Married?

Choosing the wedding date is one of the first decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. Keep in mind that it’s cheaper to get married on almost any day except Saturday. You’ll have to make the decision if any other day besides Saturday will work to have your special day.

Maybe you’re set on getting married on a Saturday. That’s okay! Another thing you can do is think about choosing a different time of year. Spring and Summer are the most popular and most expensive times of year to get married. You might be able to find a less expensive Saturday in Fall or Winter to help save money.

2. Planning an Inexpensive Reception Menu and Bar

When it comes to the wedding reception, food and bar costs are one of the biggest expenses you’ll have. Whether you decide to cater the reception meal yourself or serve no alcohol at all, these are some helpful cost saving measures that you might find helpful.

Some people have even gone so far as to cook the food for the reception themselve and store it in a freezer a week in advance. Others have even had their local grocery store cater their wedding reception.

Another way to save money on your reception is to choose a different time of day to hold your reception. You can save a lot of money by scheduling your wedding during a time of day when folks are not as hungry. The amount of food you’ll need to feed your wedding guests depends on the time of day you hold your reception. Here are some potential wedding times with receptions immediately following:

Another way that you can save a ton on your reception is by only serving non-alcoholic drinks. Non-alcoholic drinks like sparkling cider or grape juice are a few great alternatives to serve your guests. This is completely understandable to guests especially if the bride and groom don’t drink.

It’s really expensive to have an open bar. You can give your guests a good time and keep the costs down as well. You can save money by limiting the amount of time for the cocktail hour. Once the cocktail hour is over, you can offer only non-alcoholic beverages or wine.

SERVE GOOD FOOD, NOT EXPENSIVE FOOD

You can save money by serving food that not only tastes good but also costs a lot less. You don’t have to serve lobster and filet mignon when chicken and pasta is just as tasty. You could also consider having a buffet as opposed to a sit-down dinner that costs more.

Don’t worry about fancy dishes that take hours for your cook or caterer to prepare. You can a meal prepared that isn’t expensive, requiring hours of preparation time. Also, another way to save money on your wedding reception food is to avoid dishes that require expensive ingredients.

EAT AND THROW THE REST AWAY

For some people, the concept of serving your meal on disposable dishes sounds absolutely preposterous! However, you can save money on your wedding by using paper plates, plastic cups, and disposable utensils. You can save up 10-20% over the cost of renting breakable china, glasses, and silver.

3. Reception Location and Entertainment

The location where you’re going to have the reception is also a huge wedding expense. Parks, forest preservations, and even a backyard wedding are all great alternative options that are much less expensive than your traditional venues. You could even choose a wedding theme that plays off the natural decor of your location. For example, if you found a beautiful park for your reception, perhaps you would have a picnic theme for your food and decor.

RECEPTION MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

Instead of hiring a professional DJ or live band, you could simply find someone you know who is talented and you trust to to perform for your wedding reception.

You can have a friend or relative play a musical instrument. Maybe you don’t know someone personally, but one of your friends or relatives might know someone. The key to this is to make sure the person is good.

Another option is to use the above combination along with some pre-recorded music. I like this option because it gives you a little of both worlds. You can even record your own music using high-fidelity recording equipment.

4. Wedding Flowers and Decor

Flowers play a huge part in how your wedding looks and feels. They play an important part in setting the tone and theme for your wedding. In order to save the most money on your wedding flowers, you’ll want to choose flowers that are in season. Flowers that are in bloom are easier for your florist to get which means they will be cheaper.

If you don’t have enough money for fresh flowers or if your favorite flower is out of season then you may want to think about using silk flowers. The nice thing about artificial flowers is they can be less expensive and they never die!

5. Wedding Photographer and Videographer

The photographer and videographer are going to be one of the biggest expenses of your wedding day. You will have to pay for a good one there’s really no way around that! However, there are ways to cut costs without skimping on the talent of a professional.

It can be very expensive to hire both a photographer and a videographer. The professional rates begin as little as $100.00 an hour. It’s well worth the cost. There’s nothing like a person with an “eye” that knows what to look for in pictures and capturing video.

THE VIDEO RECORDING

Many people chose to have their video beautifully edited after the wedding for a nice, complete film they can watch. However, you could save some money by not paying your videograher to edit the film and only give you the raw footage. You can choose to watch it exactly as it was shot, edit it yourself, of have a friend do it for much cheaper. This is a great way to save money without skimping on the professional talent of shooting the video.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS

An average wedding photography package includes around four 8X10’s, forty 4X5’s, and a leather album. A wedding photographer can cost you as much as $1,500. On top of that, you can get other photographs for an additional fee. One way to save money is to provide your photographer with a checklist of the shots you would like. This way they aren’t spending any more time on your photography than what you want and need. This is a great way to potentially save money on your wedding.

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Photographer Questions Checklist

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6. Wedding Guest List

Everyone who even remotely knows you will want to attend your wedding! It’s inevitable that someone is going to be disappointed because they were not invited. However, keeping a tight lid on your guest list is very important to staying within your budget. If you’re having a hard time choosing who you should invite and who you shouldn’t, if you haven’t seen them in over a year and can’t see yourself spending more than a minute speaking with them, they shouldn’t be invited.

One of the biggest ways to keep costs down is keeping your guest list down. You can invite only close friends and family. You could also ask your guests not to bring dates and children.

7. Save Money on Your Wedding Planner and Coordinator


Ultimate 3 Month Wedding Planning Timeline & Checklist

A wedding planner is just that… they are responsible for helping to plan the wedding from the beginning to the very end. However, you can do this yourself. It takes time and effort, but it can be done by yourself and your close friends and family. Some people save money by only hiring a wedding coordinator that only helps on the day of the wedding.

Sometimes, a church, reception hall, hotel and other venues will provide you with a wedding coordinator on the day of the wedding as part of your package.

Nevertheless, with a little guidance, you can plan your own wedding and coordinate everything yourself. Just makes sure you set a schedule, stay organized, and have lots of friends and family who can help!

8. Choose and Inexpensive Wedding Theme

You don’t have to have a wedding theme, but having one does give you some direction with your wedding planning. However, it’s important to choose a theme that is cost-effective. For example, should you choose to have a Cinderella themed wedding, the glass slipper, and horse-drawn buggy might get a tad expensive!

Some less expensive wedding themes include:

  1. Roses and Sunflowers

  2. Picnic in the Park

  3. Rustic Country

  4. Fresh Greenery

  5. Country Wildflowers

  6. Neutral Colors

Here are 101 Wedding Theme Ideas for Every Season that you might find helpful in choosing a cost-effective theme!

9. Save Money on Wedding Attire

You can help your wedding party look good by finding dresses, tuxedos and other attire that compliment them without breaking the bank. You’ll also want to keep in mind the theme of your wedding. Here are some great ways to save money on your wedding attire.

SAVE MONEY BY RENTING YOUR WEDDING ATTIRE

It might sound a little odd and, for some, a little weird. Why would you want to wear the same dress that how many other women have worn? However, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a dress that you will only wear once, why not spend a few hundred dollars?

You could also save money by renting a prom dress instead of a wedding dress. Let’s face it… a lot of prom dresses actually look like wedding dresses, so most likely no one will notice. This is a great idea for your bridal party as well. Even if you can’t find all the same dress in the same color, a new trend is to have different style dresses in the same color family but different shades. This had become very popular and looks really pretty in pictures as well!

A TUX FOR HIM

While it’s perceived that the man’s attire is not as important in a wedding as the woman’s attire, tuxes are an important side issue. More and more people are opting to buy tuxes because they can be used over again for other occasions as well.

Should you rent a tuxedo or buy one? Tuxedo’s cost anywhere from $300.00 to $500.00 depending on where you buy them. Renting a tux is about 30% of the price of a new tuxedo. If you’re planning on wearing the tux for at least three formal functions during your first few years of marriage, you should go ahead and buy instead of rent.

CHOOSING A SUIT OR BUSINESS ATTIRE INSTEAD

A lot of grooms these days are choosing to forgo the tux and go with a suit or business attire instead! You can definitely cut costs by choosing a suit that could be worn for multiple occasions or simply getting a nice button-down and dress pants. A black suit can have the same effect as a tux. Also, depending on your wedding them, you might even find that more casual attire is appropriate, which cuts costs dramatically.

10. Go on a Cost-Effective Honeymoon

Now that you’ve saved a bunch of money on your wedding, why not continue that savings on your honeymoon?

In addition to saving money, you can even set up a honeymoon fund where your guests can give money instead of a gift to go towards your honeymoon. Gift givers can also pay for certain activities for you in advance while you’re on your honeymoon which definitely saves you money.

Getting your honeymoon planned early is key to saving money. While all of the attention is focused on planning the wedding an reception, don’t forget about the honeymoon. Last minute plans will end up costing you more, depending on the season.

Consider working with a travel agent who can do the leg work to find you the best deals and discounts for your destination. If you don’t want to work with a travel agent, you can find some really great deals by booking your honeymoon trip online. There are several websites where you can find great deals that will save you a lot of money!

PLAN AN OFF SEASON HONEYMOON

Even if you get married during peak season, you can delay your honeymoon untill off-season to save some money on travel expenses and activities. Off-season doesn’t necessarily mean bad weather but it does mean cheaper rates on almost everything!

Off-season simply means that fewer people are traveling to these destinations for a variety of reasons. It could have something to do with the end of summer break and the beginning of the school season. One of the biggest advantages is you’ll get cheaper prices on hotel and airfare. That’s because there are fewer people traveling during off-season. You’ll also get better service from cab drivers, tour guides, hotel and restaurant employees, etc. They’ll just be glad to see you around because the crowds won’t be around.

CHEAPER DESTINATIONS

Some of the most beautiful and romantic destinations are also the most expensive. Going to a cheaper destination does not mean that you won’t have a good time or find amazing views. Places like Mexico and Canada are more affordable based on their low currency rates. Other places like the Bahamas and Jamaica are so frequently traveled that it has helped to bring down the rates. Choosing a cheaper destination could be a great way to save money on your honeymoon.

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kristin-the-wedding-blogger-2020-300x300.png

Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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