Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.
Whether you're looking for creative ideas or just want to know what might be possible, we've rounded up some of our favorite tips for lowering costs while still
Consider a non-traditional wedding venue.
If you're looking to save money on your wedding venue, consider a non-traditional location like an outdoor or urban space. These venues can be less expensive than traditional wedding locations and are often more memorable for your guests. You may also be able to negotiate a discount with the venue owner if you agree to pay for everything—food, beverage, furnishings—themselves.
If you live in or near New York City (or another city with lots of exciting neighborhoods), there are plenty of great spots where couples have gotten married over the years: Central Park (and other parks), rooftop bars and restaurants, public buildings like libraries and museums (if they allow weddings), street fairs, galleries and art spaces. If you don't live near any cool neighborhoods or landmarks that might lend themselves well to being turned into a wedding venue, then check out this list of 100+ ideas that brides have used as inspiration over the years!
Invite fewer people.
You can always invite fewer people to your wedding. This is a great way to save money, as the average wedding costs over $30,000! If you've been dreaming of a long-term engagement or an extravagant destination wedding, consider inviting fewer people instead.
It's also important to remember that not everyone deserves an invitation. There are several reasons why someone might not deserve an invitation:
- They don't want the marriage ceremony in their presence
- They don't want their presence at the wedding reception (or vice versa)
- They are likely to spoil other guests' enjoyment of the occasion by wearing loud clothing or being inappropriately drunk
Think less flowers, more greenery.
Instead of flowers, you can use greenery. Greenery is more affordable, more sustainable, and more versatile than flowers. It also happens to be earth-friendly as well! Here are some examples of greenery that can be used for your wedding:
- Pinecones – These are great for adding a rustic touch to your ceremony or reception. They look especially nice when used in arrangements with other natural elements like branches or twigs from trees like oak trees or birch trees (depending on where you live). The pinecones can also be given away as favors at the end of the reception!
- Other cones – Another great option is using other types of cones including pine nuts which come in small brown cones similar in shape to pinecones but smaller (and edible!). You could also consider using large seedpods like those found on locust trees or mulberry bushes; these make beautiful centerpieces for tables during cocktail hour too!
- Seaweed – If you're planning on having an ocean theme wedding then consider incorporating seaweed into your decorations—it's cheap, easy-to-find (you might even have some lying around at home!), and it looks great hanging from chandeliers or draped over tables as table runners."
Get creative with desserts.
There are so many ways to make your dessert table unique. You can turn it into a dessert buffet, with some fancy and delicious treats for guests to try throughout the evening. Or, if you have a big budget for your wedding day, you could go all out and make a full-on dessert bar.
Whatever type of dessert display you choose, it's important to keep in mind that most people will not just eat one serving of cake or cupcakes—they'll want at least three or four servings! So while it might be tempting to buy small individual cakes instead of one large cake because they're cheaper per slice (usually), don't do this unless none of your guests will want more than one piece each (which might mean 10 or 11 people). If this is the case then go ahead and get those small cakes—just order one larger square-shaped tier instead of several smaller round ones so that you can still have an aesthetically pleasing look when they're cut up into slices.
But if there's any chance anyone will want seconds then consider ordering two large tiers instead of one big rectangular tier with several smaller circular tiers stacked on top because this arrangement has more surface area per person compared with multiple round layers stacked together vertically (which would only provide about 1/4 inch).
Create your own playlist.
One of the easiest ways to save money on a wedding is to make your own playlist. You can easily do this using streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, which have free versions that allow you to create playlists. If you're not a tech-savvy person and don't want to use those services, there are plenty of other options online where you can pay someone else to do it for you!
As long as they have access to the right equipment (smart speakers), they'll be able to play the songs directly from their phone at any point throughout the day. This means no more expensive DJ fees!
Choose your bar carefully.
You should avoid the open bar, which is a huge waste of money. If you don't have a liquor license, the only option that makes sense is to get a bunch of beer and wine for your guests. But be careful—not every bar has this type of drink available.
If you're going with alcohol at all, try to find an establishment with a good selection of both hard liquor and beer/wine. You want something that offers variety so everyone can find something they like; otherwise you'll be stuck handing out vodka shots all night long!
Incorporate multiple uses for your decor items.
- Use your decor items in multiple ways.
If you're on a budget and don't want to purchase a ton of decorations that will only be used once, try thinking outside the box! Instead of just using your table decor at the tables, try using them as centerpieces too. This can help save on costs and also create an interesting display. Additionally, if you're going for an outdoor wedding or if it's spring/summer weather-friendly where you live, consider making your decor part of the backdrop for some candid shots (and maybe even formal portraits) by using it in place of flowers or adding some color to otherwise bland scenery.
- Make favors from decor items
Have any extra vases lying around? Make floral arrangements out of them instead! Or have vintage mason jars sitting around collecting dust? Fill them with candy or matchbooks for guests to take home as souvenirs after their big day! This can help keep costs down while providing everyone with something useful and memorable from your wedding day—which is what matters most at the end of this whole ordeal anyway!
Have the ceremony and reception at the same venue.
- Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This is probably one of the first things you think about when planning a wedding, but it's also one of the most important things to consider. Venue costs can easily be the most expensive part of your wedding, so you should look for ways to cut costs by having everything take place at once.
- Hire a wedding planner. If possible, hire an event planner who specializes in weddings rather than just throwing together parties with no experience or knowledge of what they're doing (though some do have experience). Event planners know how much vendors cost and can help manage expectations with them based on their previous experiences with other clients' budgets; they're also likely familiar with many local resources that could help make your special day even more memorable—for example, maybe there's a nearby park where you could have a first look before heading off for photos!
Avoid a Saturday date (and especially avoid the summer).
You might think you’re saving money by picking a date that doesn’t conflict with any holidays, but there are other ways to save even more. If you can avoid Saturdays and especially the summer, you’ll save hundreds of dollars on venue rental fees, caterers and other vendors who will be able to charge more because they have fewer options for clients during those times. You can also avoid holidays (particularly Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve), the end of the year and weekend afternoons in general. And don’t forget to check how much it costs if your ceremony starts at noon instead of 3 p.m., or if your reception begins at 7 p.m., not 9 p.m!
Plan at least 12 months in advance (or even longer).
The more time you have to plan your wedding, the more likely it is that you will find deals and discounts. Wedding-related companies and venues offer promotions for weddings that are booked far in advance. If you can get a deal on discount flowers, save yourself some money! If the DJ has a special weekend package for couples who book at least 12 months in advance, take advantage of it!
Planning ahead also allows you to be creative with your wedding theme. It gives you more time to think about how certain elements of your wedding will work together as a whole and what kind of style or aesthetic feels right for your special day. If there is something specific about the venue or location where you want to get married that doesn't appeal to your sense of style—maybe the décor doesn't match what's already in place at said venue—then planning ahead gives both parties more leeway during negotiations so they can come up with an agreeable solution (and hopefully one that won't break the bank).
If planning well ahead isn't an option due to other commitments or if it seems like too much effort given how close we are getting now (less than three weeks!), enlist someone else's help who is willing/able: parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles... anyone really!
You can save money on your wedding without giving up your vision.
You can save money on your wedding without giving up your vision.
A lot of people think that the only way to save money is to cut corners, but there are actually other ways to manage your budget so you can still have a dream wedding without having to make sacrifices. Here's how:
As you can see, there are many ways to save money on a wedding. And if all else fails, remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your wedding! You can still have an elegant affair without spending thousands of dollars. So go ahead and plan the wedding you’ve always wanted—it will be worth it when it comes time for your big day!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Shanon Sandquist