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If you want to save money on your wedding, do not miss this blog post! We’ve rounded up one hundred of the best ways to save money on weddings with creative finds and unique places to skimp (where people won’t even notice). Bookmark this one and pin it for later! You’ll want to refer back to it while you plan your wedding. Enjoy!
Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
Before we get started, we wanted to share a few pointers. When it comes to your wedding, the things you should spend the most money on are things that matter most to you. But always make sure you have these two things: good food (and plenty of it) and good music. These are two things your guests will remember most.
DON’T SKIMP ON…
And there are some services you should never skimp on: photography (a cell phone with filters does not a photographer make) and a disc jockey (don’t replace a real DJ with a friend holding an iPod). The DJ does WAY more than just hit “play”.
And Never Forget To…
TIP! Never skimp on giving tips to your service vendors, provided they have done a good job.
Now, let’s talk about 100 creative ways to save money on your wedding!
100 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
1. Trim your guest list.
The first and easiest of our ways to save money on your wedding is to trim your guest list. The greater the number of guests invited equals more favors, place settings, dinners, invitations, etc. Read: How to Cut Your Wedding Guest List WITHOUT Guilt.
2. Get married on any day but Saturday.
It’s the most expensive day for weddings, for sure. Venues charge more simply because they can on a Saturday, the most popular wedding day of the week.
3. Consider a non-traditional wedding venue.
You might save a little money going with somewhere other than a traditional banquet hall. Keep in mind, though, to factor in additional costs such as renting tables, chairs, decorations, utensils, glassware, and your caterer, just to name a few. Find out if the venue of your choice offers any of these in a package to save some money.
4. Have a longer engagement.
It may give you the time you need to scope out deals far in advance.
5. Get married off-peak season.
Peak season is expensive. Even if you choose the first weekend AFTER peak season, you’ll still enjoy great weather at a lower cost.
6. Seat more guests at larger tables.
Use larger tables so you can seat more guests, which means you will require less centerpieces.
7. Fit your ceremony program on one page.
And find one in a printable format so you can print at home. Just buy the design file! This one is by Splash of Silver. ↓
8. Hire a DJ instead of a band.
9. Opt for less expensive favors.
Favors are one of my favorite details (especially these and of course any of these). You could theoretically skip them if you really need to save money on your budget. However, favors don’t have to be expensive. For instance, favor bags like these from Mavora Art and Design are adorable and require no customization. This means you don’t have to pay for a custom design; just buy and fill. It couldn’t be any easier! Plus, who doesn’t love pretzels? Yum.
10. Buy your wedding dress on Etsy.
You may be surprised at what kinds of wedding dresses you can buy on Etsy — like any of these wedding dresses under $800, for instance. Sometimes you can also save money with an Etsy wedding dress because the designer may be testing new designs or just getting started in the retail space.
The added benefit? Besides the awesomeness of ordering a dress directly from its maker, you can have a custom dress made exactly as you want it, rather than limiting your choice to what is on the rack. And you can save time, too: no traveling to and from bridal shops and making appointments. You can shop in a comfy robe while sipping on coffee! It doesn’t get much better than that.
A few tips: find your own seamstress, as a perfect fit with any wedding gown is essential. And do your homework first: read reviews on Etsy from past buyers before you commit. Reviews are a great way to gauge whether the shop is trustworthy (and most of them are). Read: 7 Tips for Buying a Wedding Dress Online. Also see: 30 Best Wedding Dresses on Etsy Under $800.
11. Get married at a park.
You’ll probably need a permit and to pay a small rental fee, but it’s a beautifully landscaped area that makes for a beautiful ceremony backdrop. And you can add your own personal touches — like a custom ceremony arch or carved arbor — to make it feel like your own space.
12. Buy your wedding veil online.
Similarly to buying your wedding dress online, consider buying your wedding veil online from the same designer as your wedding gown (some designers offer both, and will know what style veil looks best with your wedding dress). Or seek out independent professional veil designers online. There are many beautiful designers on Etsy (find more in The Marketplace). One example is Veils of Art, whose collection contains styles for every bride in every price range.
I especially love this bubble veil:
When you order online, you can save money versus retail spaces which tend to charge more — and you’re limited again on what is available in-store.
13. Send postcard style response cards with your invitations.
You’ll save on postage PLUS the cost of an extra envelope for each response card.
And for some reason, guests seem to RSVP sooner!
14. Send postcard-style save the dates.
You’ll save money on postage with a postcard style save the date card. And not everyone needs to receive a save the date. If you want to save money on your wedding by skimping on save the date cards, just send a handful to your immediate family members and close friends. And choose a postcard style to save even more!
And save the date cards aren’t mandatory, so you can skip them altogether if you need room in your budget. Read: When to Send Invitations (If Skipping Save the Dates) for helpful info.
15. Choose escort cards that double as favors.
Like these! From Original Animal Magnet.
16. Or thank yous that double as menus.
17. Or table numbers and menus in one.
18. Print guests names on a board instead of escort cards.
A seating chart offers an all-in-one solution. It requires less time, takes up less space, and costs way less than individual escort cards. Plus, less waste!
19. Assign a table to guests and skip the place cards.
20. Choose a one or two tiered cake.
Then hide a sheet cake in back to serve! Sneaky. And inexpensive. Oh and delicious. Who doesn’t like cake, no matter how it is served?
Alternatively, you can even get a fake cake, like this one from Mika’s Party Shop:
21. Choose a succulent bouquet.
It’s cheaper than flowers and can be planted after the wedding! This may be my favorite bouquet idea EVER.
22. Forego maps inside invitations.
With GPS so readily available, you really just need to provide an address. Guests can take it from there. We do recommend you include directions and map information on your wedding website though. Speaking of, do you have a wedding website yet? You can get one for free (that actually looks beautiful, too) right here.
23. Offer beer and wine.
Or even a signature drink. It will cut costs on an entire full-scale bar with liquor included.
24. Make your own inexpensive DIY wedding favors.
DIY wedding favors can often save you tons of money by assembling them yourself. For example, s’mores anyone? You can get a s’more love tag kit and assemble your own for a fraction of what you would pay for an entire set.
25. Borrow a veil.
26. Buy shoes you’ll actually wear again.
Shop for shoes you’ll actually wear again, rather than just “wedding” shoes. Plus, you’ll find something colorful and fun: a pair you’ll slip on again and again! Make sure you read 7 Wedding Shoe Mistakes to Avoid before you buy yours! Also, see 31 Best Handmade Wedding Shoes for shoe-spiration.
27. Buy affordable (yet awesome) gifts for bridesmaids + groomsmen.
Your bridesmaid gifts and groomsmen gifts don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Check out these gift guides for inspiration. And keep in mind that a gift is supposed to be a gesture of your thanks and appreciation — it’s not about how much it costs. Read: 50 Most Unique Bridesmaid Gift Ideas and 100 Best Groomsmen Gifts for seriously awesome gifts they will love.
28. Consider a non-diamond engagement ring.
You’d be surprised how amazing moissanite really is! This is one example:
29. Reserve a block of rooms at the hotel to save money.
30. Hire a wedding planner.
It seems counter-intuitive to save money by hiring another person to help. However, wedding planners know how to make the most of your budget and creative ways to save money.
31. Skip fancy cake fillings.
32. Skip appetizers.
People will be filling up on dinner, anyway! You can offer small snacks at the bar, though. However, you will not want to skip appetizers if you plan to have a large break between the ceremony and dinner, where guests will be waiting on you (to take photos, change into a reception dress or bustle your gown, touch up your makeup, etc.)
33. Choose less pricey flowers in your bouquet.
Roses are a beautiful alternative to peonies, which are in season for only a short window of time.
34. Have bridesmaids carry clutches instead of bouquets.
35. Skip fresh flower boutonnieres.
Any of these will do! So much cheaper — and they last forever.
↓ This one is under $10 each!
36. Re-use decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
For instance, lanterns along the aisle can be re-used as part of your centerpiece design; floral arrangements on your altar can be used on your cake table and guest book table, etc.
37. Consider succulents for centerpieces and favors.
38. Pick a guest book alternative that doubles as decoration.
A monogram letter, for instance, is inexpensive and can be displayed at home after the big day.
Money well spent, I say!
39. Choose non-floral centerpieces you can re-use later.
Instead of floral centerpieces (that will wilt and be tossed away), spend your money more wisely. Lanterns are one example and you can give them away to friends and family after the wedding (and keep one for yourself).
You’ll also love these amazing geometric candle holders.
40. Pick simple tablecloths.
White is always a tasteful, elegant, and classic choice. Instead, add a table runner — like this runner made of burlap and lace — to add texture.
41. Skip the chair sashes.
They’re not a must-have, unless the chairs underneath are in bad shape.
42. Choose flowers that are in-season.
You’ll save from having to pay extra to have them flown in from elsewhere. Here’s a handy guide for flowers and when they’re in season.
43. Offer guests three entrees to choose from.
Instead of four or five. Typically it’s beef, chicken, and a vegetarian option.
44. Skip the dessert table.
Cake is plenty, especially after a huge dinner feast.
45. Buy your wedding invitations and other paper goods from the same place…
… And at the same time. You’ll save on custom design fees and shipping charges. Plus, you’ll get everything at once = less stress for you. See 50 Best Wedding Invitations — 2016 for a round-up of beautiful choices.
46. Use faux flowers.
The nice ones, though, obviously!
47. Use coupons when buying items from craft stores.
48. Make your own photo booth backdrop.
It’s fun and easy. Here’s how to do it!
49. Give bridesmaids a break on the dress.
Saving money for your bridesmaids is just as important as saving money for yourself! Choose a dress that isn’t too expensive — particularly a convertible dress or a dress they’ll wear again — and you’ll pretty much be the best bride ever.
P.S. ↓ These convertible dresses are only $75. That’s an awesome deal. Black goes with everything and your bridesmaids will wear it again. There are also other colors available, of course. By The Jerseymaid.
50. Make your own signage.
We love wedding signage: you can get creative and make it yourself to save some serious dough.
51. Opt for a diamond alternative for your engagement ring.
Check out these 40 Best Engagement Rings on Etsy and 21 Alternative Wedding Bands for Men, along with 19 Most Beautiful Raw Stone Engagement Rings — Under $100.
52. Make large purchases from the same shop on Etsy to save on shipping.
53. Skip square invitations.
The postage costs extra!
54. Choose buttercream or frosting instead of fondant on your cake.
Fondant costs more. Or, skip frosting altogether and choose a naked wedding cake:
“Naked cakes” are essentially cakes without frosting. See 6 Jaw-Dropping Naked Wedding Cakes for more inspiration.
55. Choose an inexpensive cake topper.
This is only $8! By Topper and Twine.
56. Or skip a topper and use a single flower instead.
57. Opt for no limousine if you don’t really need it.
You can skip it altogether or rent a town car (many limousine services offer them, as well) for just the two of you at the end of the night. You’ll get a romantic transport back to your hotel at a fraction of the cost.
58. Skip the fancy custom or vintage postage stamps.
You can ask for wedding themed or flower stamps at the post office. They’ll look beautiful and won’t cost any extra.
59. Use a chalkboard sign in lieu of a ceremony program.
It looks beautiful and wastes less paper.
60. Proofread everything twice before ordering.
Wedding invitation mistakes cost a lot of money because you end up re-ordering. Can you imagine having to order your invitations twice? Save money by giving everything a once over (and then have someone else do a second check, just to be sure).
61. Order thank you cards when you order invitations.
It’s a money saver and convenient, too. No need to order them after the honeymoon and pay for shipping a second time!
62. Bundled services to save money.
Some wedding vendors work with other vendors to bundle services together. For instance, a DJ might know a photo booth operator and offer a discount to referrals he sends. In this way, you can get an affordable rate by booking them together.
63. Buy flowers wholesale and find a florist who can make simple (yet elegant) arrangements.
64. Use more greenery and less blooms.
65. Use candles instead of flowers in your centerpiece design.
66. Book local vendors to save on travel expenses.
67. Do a one-night bachelorette or bachelor party.
Save everyone some money with a one night party instead of an entire week or weekend. And keep it local to save even more. Read: How to Plan an Awesome Beach Bachelorette Party (find one close to home), How to Plan the Perfect Wine Tasting Bachelorette Party, and How to Throw a Spa Bachelorette Party at Home for ideas + fun inspiration.
68. Choose a restaurant for your rehearsal dinner.
Instead of a full scale banquet hall. Or do a casual backyard bbq or party at home.
69. Choose white napkins.
They often cost an extra $1 per guest, which really adds up. Classic white is just as functional — and often free. Plus, guests use them for only a few seconds and probably won’t even notice them if they were a different color.
70. Order printable invitations (+ stationery) and print them yourself.
Printable invitations are all the rage. Read: How to Print Save the Dates & Invitations Immediately.
71. Toss fake petals instead of real ones.
72. Serve champagne to the head table only.
Guests will most likely have a drink from the bar by the time toasts are given. So, they’ll simply toast with whatever is already in their hand! Great cost-saver.
73. Have invitations with laser printing instead of more expensive letterpress.
74. Choose groomsmen attire with a deal.
Many tuxedo rental places offer deals where the groom’s rental is free when you rent a certain number of tuxes. Be on the lookout – it’s an easy way to get his rental for zero dollars.
75. Attend wedding shows to get deals on local services.
76. Enter giveaways to win free wedding stuff.
77. Buy your wedding favors in bulk.
78. Use re-purposed items as decor — like vases, antique books, candle holders, photo frames, etc.
This is one of the most popular ways to save money on your wedding. Search out garage sales, estate sales, ask on Facebook for particular items people can lend you, etc.
79. Shop Black Friday deals.
Craft stores always have deals, and so do many shops on Etsy for Cyber Monday. We do a special feature every year on Black Friday and Cryber Monday with TONS of wedding discounts and deals. (Join the list so you don’t miss it this year!)
80. Choose a ceremony venue and/or reception venue that requires little decoration.
81. Get married around the holidays and save on decorations.
Most halls decorate early for the holidays, so everything will look beautifully decorated without any extra money!
82. Choose a basic bar package.
83. Schedule your fitting close to your big day.
This ensures you won’t need to pay for any last minute alterations for your dress, since many places incur a rush fee on last-minute orders.
84. Use an in-house tailor or seamstress.
You’ll often get a discounted rate (or it will already be factored into the cost of your gown).
85. Hire your photographer for a specific amount of time.
Make a very detailed list of photographs you’d like to get and have them taken early. Then, book the photographer for a certain amount of time and have them all taken during that period. This saves you money since they charge by the hour. (As a side-note, don’t forget to set a place for them and your at dinner!)
86. Skip the late night snack.
If people are really hungry, they’ll make their own late night run to Taco Bell post-reception. :) I don’t know how late night snacks became a thing but it’s definitely one of the easiest ways to save money on your wedding by nixing it altogether.
87. Use your own (pretty) penmanship instead of a calligrapher.
I recently notice Minted now offers free address printing and it looks gorgeous. My friend used it for her wedding and I received the invite in the mail. It looked just as beautiful as hand calligraphy!
88. Enlist a friend for ceremony music.
If you have a musician friend, and you like their music, ask them to be a part of your ceremony by playing the music.
89. Choose short centerpieces.
They cost less. And to be honest, shorter centerpieces are better for conversation across the table! These candles look gorgeous grouped together, don’t you think?
And I love anything in a mercury footed vase:
90. Use in-house table numbers.
Most venues have table numbers you can use. Use them if you don’t have a specific table number preference. It will save you money.
91. Hire a videographer for a limited block of time.
Hire a videographer for just the ceremony, or the ceremony and part of the reception (such as the first dance or toasts). Many charge by the hour, so if you need to save money but want a videographer, compromise by picking a specific time to capture.
92. Buy your wedding rings at the same time.
And order them from the same jeweler. Some places offer discounts for more than one order — shipping is usually less expensive, too. See: 12 Rustic Wedding Rings for Brides and Modern Wedding Rings for Men and 21 Alternative Wedding Bands for Men and 40 Best Handmade Wedding Bands for some serious inspiration.
93. Choose buffet style dining.
94. Let bridesmaids wear any dress they want.
95. Skip the aisle runner.
96. Opt for an adult-only reception.
If kids aren’t invited to your wedding, your guest list may be smaller, which will save you money.
97. Use a photo booth as entertainment and favors.
Have these available for guests to take home and display on their refrigerators.
P.S. Props are really inexpensive and add so much fun. Guests really love a photo booth!
98. Hire a friend who is an excellent baker to make your wedding cake.
99. Use these coasters.
With coasters like these, your guests won’t find their drinks disappearing (being bussed) while they are dancing. This means they won’t go refill as often, so you aren’t wasting any drinks. Smart idea!
100. Crowd-source for more (+ free!) wedding photos.
Create an Instagram hashtag and share it at your wedding. Guests will snap photos and tag them with your wedding hashtag, which means tons of extra photos from your wedding — all in one place! This is a great thing to have in addition to your professional wedding photos to capture the fun directly from guests. Don’t forget the sign!
We hope you enjoyed these unique ways to save money on your wedding! Which tip was your favorite? What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments section below!