Just because your wedding only happens once doesn’t mean you should go bankrupt. That’s why you need to find out how to save money on a wedding.
The wedding industry is set up for spending money. It’s easy to drop over $100 on the bride’s bouquet, and those prices add up. The average cost of a wedding in 2016 was $32,329! That’s about the same amount of money as a new vehicle.
So is it possible to plan a wedding without breaking the bank?
Of course, it is! Check out our ideas for how to save money on a wedding.
How to Save Money on a Wedding 101: Prioritize
The key to staying on budget is to have one in the first place. When it comes to weddings, you need to talk with your fiance and family about your priorities.
Is the DJ less important than the photographer? How do you feel about your venue? Work out these details now so it doesn’t sneak up on you later.
Don’t Get Married on a Saturday
Saturday is the most popular day to get married. It’s also the most expensive. Getting married on a weeknight or a Sunday can save you as much as 15% on the venue price.
Do Your Research and Book Early
When it comes to reserving wedding services, the key is to do your research. This way you can avoid falling in love with something that has hidden expenses.
Once you’ve decided, book as early as you can to get the cheapest prices.
Get Married in the Off-Season
Getting married in the off-season (often November to March) will save you tons of money.
Rent a Vacation Home For Your Venue
If you have a smaller wedding, rent a vacation home for your wedding. It will take care of things like kitchen needs, where you’ll get ready, and where the wedding party will stay.
Ask Everyone You Know for Help
Know how to save money on a wedding? Network.
See if you have a cousin who’s a great DJ or cake maker (but still offer to pay her).
Get your girlfriends together for a DIY party to save on decorations.
Narrow Down the Guest List
Is it necessary to invite everyone and the Pope to your wedding? Probably not.
Get strict on the plus ones, and cut out kids and coworkers.
Use the Internet
While it’s still important to send physical invitations, use the internet as well. Link to your registries, allow people to RSVP, and add directions to your venue.
Shop Non-Traditional for Your Dress
Instead of going to the bridal shops, find white dresses online or during prom season. You can also ask a friend to use hers if she’s the same size. Keep in mind to budget for alterations.
Get Unconventional Wedding Favors
Everyone likes little gifts. Take a look at this list of wedding favor ideas for summer.
Watch Out for Nickel and Dime Venues
Some venues will let you use their chairs and cutlery… for a price. Find a venue where all these are in the price.
To save even more, select a venue that needs minimal decoration.
Get Out of Town
If you live in a big city, you can save thousands of dollars by moving your venue outside of the city limits. Check out prices in your hometown, or get married in your old college town.
Hire a Wedding Planner
In the age of DIY, it’s easy to think you can plan a wedding yourself. But wedding planners will know about all the hidden costs, and they’ll be able to get you the best deals. The best ones pay for themselves with all the savings you get!
Ditch the Printed Program
More couples are ditching the cost of a printed program in favor of writing the order of events on a display board.
Embrace (One) Color
Focusing on one color, like shades of green or blue, will save you money on printing and decor. It will also look chic and put together.
When it comes to bouquets, save money by buying seasonal flowers. They’ll look fresh and the price will be even better.
Buy Accessories for Everyday
The best way to save money on accessories is to find ones you’ll wear after the wedding. This includes shoes and hair accessories.
Make Your Decor Multitask
If you want to know how to save money on a wedding, then make your decor work hard. If you have flowers on the church pews, move them to the reception site to double as table centerpieces.
Be Your Own DJ
Instead of hiring a DJ, make a playlist of your own favorite selections on your iPod. Make sure to run it by your fiance and your family to avoid any explicit disasters.
Go Family Style
Save money on food and create an intimate atmosphere by serving your food family style. It saves on centerpieces too!
Put a Limit on Alcohol
Instead of providing unlimited booze, put two bottles of wine on each table. This way you’re still offering alcohol for the guests to enjoy at their leisure. If you buy it yourself, talk to your winery about discounts on buying cases.
Cut (Out) the Cake
Instead of getting a cake to serve 150 people, buy a smaller cake for the two of you. The rest of the guests can enjoy a (cheaper) sheet cake.
When you’re ordering the cake, make sure to avoid the word “wedding.” Even bakeries at local grocery stores will tack on an extra charge if they hear the “W” word.
Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart have florists that are cheaper than the chic boutique. Order your bulk decorations from them and get the specialty bouquet at the florist.
If your venue allows open flames, cheap white candles can add a touch of elegance to any reception area.
Want More Money Saving Ideas?
If you want more ideas on how to save money on a wedding, check out our blog. We have so many articles that help you save money and take care of your family, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve got three kids.