Every little girl’s dream is being a bride and having a beautiful wedding, but when you grow up and face how expensive is having one, your vision is slightly altered.
For a couple just starting their lives together, the financial burden of a wedding can get their lives together off to a bad start. The good news is that there are hundreds of ways to save money and still have a fabulous wedding that will have everyone talking for years to come!
In this guide...
Save on the Venue/s and Catering
- Only invite close friends and direct family. Because your 4rth grade relative will be there only to irritate you.
- Have the ceremony at your church and the reception in the church hall.
- Get married soon after lunch time, and serve snacks instead of the full buffet.
- Ask someone you know to be the officiant – if you’re a churchgoer – your own pastor is best.
- Choose a venue where you can bring your own wine and champagne.
- Investigate all-inclusive venues and compare prices. One year ahead.
- Check off-peak prices – believe it or not, there is a peak wedding season.
- Get married on a Friday instead of a Saturday.
- Ask friends to help with catering and serving. Just don’t dress them as one.
- Don’t let your wedding run late – you will pay for the extra time.
- Get married from home (it’s also romantic and cheap).
- Or, get married in a park or botanical garden – it’s handy for the photo shoot, too.
- Supply the champagne and have a cash bar.
Save on Stationary
- Design and print your own invitations. If you are not keen on drawing, ask your best friends.
- Deliver invitation letters by hand instead of post.
- If you’re posting, choose a postcard-style for cheaper mailing.
- Design a gorgeous e-invitation and send it by email.
- Skip the name-cards except at the head table – it’s also fun and informal.
- For more formal seating make one lovely seating plan that’s posted at the entrance.
- Don’t bother with menus, make it a surprise – or have one at the venue entrance.
- Make your own artsy table number markers.
Save on Decorations
- Go with elegant, single-flower decorations instead of packed vases.
- Take the flowers from the church to the reception for the cake table and main tables.
- Make flowers from crepe paper.
- Use beautiful candles instead of flowers.
- For a rustic look, make vases from tin cans covered with hessian.
- Buy your flowers direct from the farm.
- Use festive balloons to decorate the venue.
- Add a touch of romance with cost-effective fairy lights.
- Use fruit bowls as table centerpieces. They are also healthy!
Photography and Music
- Ask friends and family to bring cameras along and send you electronic copies of all their best pics.
- Find a photography student to take your wedding pictures.
- If you get a professional photographer, limit the time he will have to spend at the wedding.
- Set up a playlist, use your own music center or borrow one, and ask a friend to act as DJ.
- Get a DJ instead of a full band.
- For church music, use a recording or get a musical friend to help out.
Food, Drinks and Favors
- Skip the favors if you want to, they’re an optional extra.
- Buy lengths of gauze and ribbon and make cute bags of sweets.
- Make gifts for bridesmaids and best man.
- Skip alcohol altogether and serve juice instead.
- Buy the alcohol wholesale.
- Only serve wine, champagne, and water.
- Limit the number of bottles of wine and champagne for each table.
- Ask your liquor store if they will credit you any unopened bottles you return.
- Have a simple BBQ for dinner.
- Skip the starters. Serve crackers and fruit instead.
- Offer a home-cooked buffet with a limited number of dishes.
- Skip desserts and have the cake as dessert. And fruit.
- Bake your own cake, or ask a friend to do it.
- Instead of a fancy wedding cake, serve up cupcakes.
- Have a small cake on a decorated base that looks like the real thing.
- Have a large, less decorated cake in the kitchen for serving.
- Use ordinary icing.
- Use fresh flowers to decorate the cake.
- Avoid specialized wedding cake bakers.
- Serve donuts, apple strudel or mousse instead of cake.
- Have a beautifully decorated wedding fruit salad.
- Serve home-made cookies.
Wedding Attire for Him
- Rent a tux.
- Borrow from a friend.
- Buy a second-hand tux.
- Make your own buttonhole flowers for the men.
- Ask family members for items such as bowtie and cufflinks.
Wedding Attire and Accessories for Her
- Rent a wedding dress.
- Shop online for bargains.
- Buy a second-hand dress.
- Choose an off the peg white dress that isn’t strictly a wedding dress.
- Pick a tailored white or cream dress that can be repurposed.
- Borrow from a friend.
- Ask wedding boutiques about sales.
- Look at formal wear in soft colors other than white.
- Make your own garter or ask a friend to help.
- Make your own veil.
- Buy a second-hand veil.
- Wear flowers in your hair instead of a veil.
- Skip the headgear altogether.
- Borrow your jewelry from your mom or your friends.
- Shop for vintage costume jewelry.
- Use garden flowers. They smell incredible and they are cheap.
- Choose one to three exceptional flowers for your bouquet.
- Shop for shoes at chain stores.
Hair, Nails, and Makeup
- Do your own hair, or get a friend to help you.
- Choose a simple hairstyle.
- Get a friend to do your nails. Or use a coupon to save the money if you decide to go to a beauty salon.
- Do your own makeup.
- If you go to a hairdresser, she may do your makeup for free if you ask.
- Buy your going away outfit off the peg.
Other Extras to Save On
- Let the best man wear his own suit.
- Ask your bridesmaids to wear a particular color, but let them use their own clothes.
- Unify your bridal party with color and corsages instead of clothing.
- Keep your bridal party to the minimum.
- Skip the confetti, rice or bubbles after the ceremony.
- Dry rose petals from your own and friend’s gardens.
- Choose an extrovert friend to be MC.
- Pick a friend with a nice car to provide the ‘limo’ and be the driver.
- Decorate your own car for the wedding instead of having a limo.
- Reserve a limo and driver on Uber.
- Choose a local beauty spot with modest accommodation.
- Visit a national park.
- Visit a nearby city with cool attractions.
- Choose a cheap international destination.
- Borrow a holiday house from a friend.
- Check out package holiday deals.
- Go self-catering.
- Choose camping or RVing instead.
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