Learning the ways to cut costs for a wedding is not always an approachable subject. Cutting costs doesn’t mean you'll end up with something that looks like a DIY wedding, nor does your ceremony have to feel like that. Sometimes couples can get so lost in the plans that they forget about the true meaning of a wedding. Guests want to come and share in your love story, everything else is just a bonus. Design and create your wedding to be a story of you, not of what people traditionally do. Live outside the box, have fun and take some inspiration from these 18 simple ways to cut costs on your wedding budget.
1. Design Your Own Stationary
Stationary is something I bet you never thought would put such a huge dent in your budget. I’ve seen it run some brides an easy $1,500, or all the way up to $3,000. However, know that you can easily design your own. With a little online browsing for inspiration and script, you are well on your way to designer invitations at a fraction of the cost. Just be sure to spend the money on having them printed professionally. Paper can really be the ‘make it or break it’ factor in looking designer; however, when done right, this is one of the great ways to cut costs for a wedding.
2. Make Your Own Favors
With how weddings are going these days, producing a party outside the box seems to be more and more appreciated. When it comes to your wedding favors, why give someone something they don’t need, or heaven forbid throw out? Think outside the box, make it yourself and have it be one of kind. You’ll leave that much more of an impression on your guests when it’s made from scratch.
3. Sweets Wedding
Following suit of something out of the box, have you ever considered just having an evening wedding? A romantic ceremony at dusk, serving a few signature cocktails and dessert? This is one of the best ways to cut costs for a wedding, considering it’s only a few hours long. Short, sweet and to the point. I have created many successful night time weddings with fabulous feedback from the guests. Something different, and who says no to a few hours of love mixed with pure chocolaty indulgence? Not me!
4. Signature Drinks
Consider creating a few signature beverages that your guests will enjoy. Creating one with the males in mind, and the other with the females' tastes. Have this as the only available liquored beverage for the night. Call them something cute and quirky, even topping them with something fun. Keeping them both heavy on the mixers and low on the liquor, this will no doubt save you a ton on your bar bill.
5. Visit the Flower Auction
Flowers can set one back on their budget more than you could believe. I personally spent over $5000 on mine, and it hurt handing over each and every last penny. Although I was picky on my flowers and chose a flower which was out of season, you don’t have to do the same. If you have a floral friend of the family or even if you're close with a local florist, ask if you can go with them to the flower auction, buy wholesale and create simple and beautiful arrangements on your own. A daunting task to take on, considering you will have to put them all together the night before or the morning of, but delegated properly, you can do it just fine.
6. No Flowers
Best received with a Fall or Winter wedding, but going flowerless isn’t as bad as you may think. Why do your bridesmaids have to hold flowers? Why not a beautiful glass lantern with a candle, or maybe a gorgeous bunch of helium balloons? Get creative, think about the theme you’re going with for the entire day and dig deep. Go flower-less and save yourself, and your budget, the money.
7. Buy a Dress off the Rack
Having worked as a Bridal Consultant at a wedding gown shop for 3 years, I learnt a thing or two about the costs involved in buying a dress. Buying ‘off-the-rack’ means you purchase the exact dress you try on in store. You will have to spend money on alterations and cleaning of course, but when you can sometimes snag a gown at over 75% off, it's worth it. Make sure you have a seamstress look at the gown and quote you on a price before you buy it; you wouldn’t want to end up paying more than buying it new. Doing your homework can save you a few thousand when done right.
8. Buy Bridal Jewelry at Unusual Places
Stay away from falling in love with the necklace and bracelets they gracefully place on you at the bridal salon; they're over-priced and something you will never get use out of again, so don’t fall into the trap. Take inspiration from what you loved, its shape, its sparkle, its tones and brilliance, and buy it locally or make it yourself. I personally have made many of my own “Designer on a Dime” pieces that get just as many compliments as my name brand charms. Next to this, I say shop Etsy and eBay, where you can find tons of fun options at amazing prices. Get creative on where you buy your final touches, it will save your bottom line.
9. Go ‘Simple’ when It Comes to Décor
Décor can be something that you get lost in. You can decorate a venue 10 times over and continue to add more and more without even blinking an eye. That is, until the bill comes, and the blinking will never stop, with the added tears of course. Know that simple is beautiful when done properly. Speak to a decorator and make sure the minimal products they are using are a good quality and go with a beautiful, simple, and elegant look for your day. We all know that it’s the small details that the guests remember, pay attention to these things more so.
10. Shop Online and Second Hand
When looking for anything wedding related, and I honestly mean anything, always look second hand and local. Craigslist is known for brides who are selling what they have over-paid for themselves, with the attempt to recoup something, anything. Another one of the fabulous ways to cut costs for a wedding: don’t be the bride frantically selling your memories after the wedding to get out of the debt you're now in. Not a fun way to start off your lives as one.
11. Guest List Cut
As hard and cruel as it sounds, only invite family and friends you can get naked with. Seriously, if you have friends that can see you naked, then you're close enough to call them family. A couple's guest list can be the killer, but when it boils down to it, less people means less food, less liquor, and less tables, which further means less décor. An easy way to cut costs for a wedding is cutting your guest list in half.
12. Cake Sh-make
Extremely traditional, the wedding cake has been around since… well… since the beginning of love and marriage. You don’t have to follow suit if you don’t want, of course, unless your mother-in-law insists -- then by all means, make the woman happy and give her cake. A wedding cake can set you back $1,000 or more, depending on its design and size. Go with cupcakes or cookies or just a buffet of small dessert. See if the nanas on both sides will make some family favorites, which is a lovely way to add a personal touch all while saving money on your wedding.
13. One Venue
Most weddings start at one venue and end up at another, separating the ceremony from the wedding reception. Don’t follow suit, have your ceremony and reception in the same location and save your bottom line from the additional rental space. Your guests will be happy they don’t have to drive all day and it will save them the cost of paying for parking twice. This is win/win for all, really.
14. Buffet Vs. Plated
Food in most cases is 50% of your wedding budget. How the price points roll is buffet being most affordable, family-style being in the middle for cost and plated as the most expensive way to serve a meal. Take all these options into consideration and do what is best for you and your family. If a buffet isn’t an issue with elders getting up to serve themselves, then I say have your dinner a little on the casual side and serve your guests a beautiful buffet. Everyone loves to go up for seconds, and this option allows them to.
15. Do Your Own Make-up
Hiring a professional make-up artist is no doubt a luxury. However, all fancy service comes with a high price tag. Consider doing your make-up yourself. Learning different methods on Youtube or from your favorite beauty blogger is something I know you can all do and it will no doubt be a huge savings on your wedding budget.
16. Do Your Own Hair
An intricate up-do can cost you not only a headache but a massive chunk of change. Try doing something more natural and like you, with a little added touch of chic. Why not a romantic loose curl that you can wear down for the ceremony and easily put up for the reception? Go with something you can do easily and a look that’s more true to yourself.
17. No Liquor
Liquor or no liquor: that is the question. I know this is a touchy subject, but I am here to teach you ways to cut costs for your wedding. And that I will do. Having no liquor is a sure fire way to cut your final wedding budget at large. Depending on your crowd, it could be up to half. If you go this risky route, may I suggest offering neat signature drinks that are playful and a fun alternative to no liquor. Just to take the edge off.
18. Lunchtime Affair
Not literally of course, that would get you in a heap of trouble. Try hosting your wedding in the afternoon vs in the evening. This will substantially cut costs on your wedding budget in many areas: less food, less liquor, and more affordable venue rental rates, just to name a few. Besides, then it leaves the rest of the evening to you and your newly married lover to…. to…. watch some movies?!
These ways to cut costs for your wedding are just a few areas that you can creatively save. I was a wedding planner for 8 years, and the best events, as per the guests, are always ones that portray the couple and that are nontraditional. So I urge you to let loose and live outside the box. Saving money on your wedding just means more for you to start your lives off together with. How did you or do you plan to save on your big day?
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