You are planning a wedding! Yay! This is such an exciting a joy filled time in your life. Your wedding is will most likely be the best day of your life thus far. It’s going to be amazing!
However, I know that wedding planning can also be expensive! I want to help you keep your wedding budget in check. Today I am sharing 5 ways to save money on your wedding because they worked for me and I’m sure they will work for you too!
Sticking to the budget gets more and more difficult the closer to the wedding you get. I know exactly how hard it is to budget for, and pay for, a wedding. My husband and I paid for our wedding ourselves, without accumulating any debt. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy!
1. Lower your guest list
Lowering your guest list will lower the cost of most of your budget items. Your venue or caterer will most likely charge per guest. The amount of centerpieces and favors that you need will depend on how many guests are attending. You’ll also see significant savings when it comes to invitations, save the dates, escort cards, and all paper products when your guest count in lower.
Trim your list and only invite the loved ones that you actually want to be there for your special day.
Don’t invite anyone out of obligation. And don’t feel like you have to explain to someone why they’re not invited. It’s your wedding (and your future husband’s), not anyone else’s.
Go through your guest list and see if there is anyone on there that you don’t actually want to invite. Cross off names as you go.
2. Save the date (at an off-peak time)!
A great way to pay less for an amazing venue (and amazing vendors) is to book your wedding at an off-peak time.
Think outside of summer. Weddings during spring, fall, or even winter can be so beautiful and they generally cost so much less!
Venues offer discounts for couples that book their wedding outside of their peak summer season, because those times are in as high demand.
You can also snag some phenomenal vendors for a lower price tag during the offseason. Just like venues, they aren’t as busy during spring, fall, or winter and they may offer a discount to boost their business during these times. If they don’t offer the discount right away, it never hurts to ask!
Also, think outside of Saturday. Friday night and Sunday weddings are becoming more popular and they usually cost so much less! My wedding was on a Sunday and that one simple choice saved me almost half on my venue.
I also benefited from this decision because my venue hosted 2 weddings on Saturdays (1 afternoon, 1 evening) but on Sunday they only hosted one. This gave me flexibility in timing and allowed me to get ready at my venue, which is something I wouldn’t have had on Saturday.
All of that being said, truthfully Friday and Sunday weddings will be less convenient for some of your guests. This is something to consider. Frankly, it’s my honest opinion that if a guest isn’t willing to adjust their schedule to attend your wedding, they don’t need to be there. It might be one more way to trim the guest list.
3. Find the diamond in the rough
Seek out super talented vendors who are new to the biz. New vendors typically offer very low prices to gain experience, exposure and build their portfolio. This doesn’t mean that they’re not incredible. Think about it. The best vendors out there had to start somewhere! Their start was probably a very low paying gig.
It will take a good amount of research to find an amazing vendor who hasn’t hit it big yet, but it’s worth looking into! For example, if you’re looking for a photographer, look at online portfolios (oftentimes this is their blog). Try to find a photographer with amazing photos that you connect to, but who has only 10-20 weddings in their collection.
Don’t just assume that you can’t afford a vendor because they are so popular and have a ton of great reviews. Always email to ask about pricing and ask if they offer any discounts.
And never be afraid to negotiate!
4. Don’t waste big bucks on things that don’t really matter to you.
When you begin your wedding planning, decide on the areas that are most important to you. Those are the places that you should spend the bulk of your budget.
For me, my priorities were my venue and my photographer. These were the 2 things I cared about the most and they were the things I wanted to spend the most on. As I mentioned in tip 2, I ended up saving a lot of money on our venue by booking my wedding on a Sunday. As a result, I was able to get a more expensive dress that I otherwise would not have splurged for. Start with your most important items and go from there.
Side note: It’s important to decide on your priorities early on. A few months before the wedding, it can be hard for a bride to remember that you don’t want fancy napkins. (Do not pay for fancy napkins!)
You should also decide on which areas are least important to you. And then make sure that you don’t waste too much money on those things.
For my wedding, I didn’t really care about the flowers. I knew I wanted there to be flowers there, but they didn’t need to be anything special.
The first florist I consulted with quoted me $4500 for all of my wedding flowers. This was more than double what I had budgeted to spend on flowers.
Needless to say, I got another quote. The second florist I went to worked with me to figure out what I really wanted and explained ways that I could cut costs. (Of course, I started by explaining that I was on a tight budget because I was so rattled by the first quote.) The quote that I received from the second florist was $1200! You know I went with florist #2!
And my flowers were perfectly nice! I’m sure that no one left my wedding talking about how great the flowers were, but that’s not what I wanted them to talk about anyway!
So, I guess tip 4 ½ is… it pays to shop around! If a price seems way too high, it probably is.
5. Do SOME things yourself.
Carefully choose a few small things that you can create yourself instead of buying. Try to choose areas that will actually save you money. Some people go crazy with the DIY wedding ideas and spend so much on supplies that they don’t really see the savings.
A great money-saving choice is to print your own invitations. I have a few friends who have saved a ton by printing their own invitations instead of purchasing them. You can buy beautiful printable wedding invitation templates on Etsy for next to nothing.
A friend of mine wanted her wedding invitations to be addressed in calligraphy. Instead, of hiring a calligrapher, she learned calligraphy and addressed them herself. Of course, this takes time and effort, but it’s a cool skill to have and a great way to save!
As my wedding was approaching, I kept thinking that I wanted to use some kind of escort card holder. I researched the idea and found some escort card holders on Etsy that I loved, but they were pricey! So, instead of going over budget to pay for them, my husband and I took on the project and made them ourselves. And I just wrote the escort cards in my best handwriting. I loved how they came out!
I hope these 5 tips to save money on your wedding help you come in under budget and reduce the stress of wedding planning!
Photo Credit: Ashley Therese Photography
Do you have any other money saving ideas for a wedding? Share them in the comments below!
Want more? Here are some of my best posts about saving money: