How to Save Money on Your Wedding

How to Save Money on a Wedding
Written by Irina Vasilescu

You said yes to the marriage proposal. You set the date for the wedding. Now comes the most arduous yet important part: planning the wedding. In the following sections, we will let you in on the secrets of how you can financially prepare for your big day, and the many ways that you can save money when planning your wedding.

Financially Preparing for the Big Day

First, how can you financially prepare for a wedding? When you’re part of a couple who is committed to spending your life with each other, the most important thing is to be emotionally prepared for marriage. Once you know that you are both ready to take on the challenge of living a lifetime together and raising a family, you should definitely also think about the practical aspect of walking down the aisle.

As you may already know, weddings are a huge expense. Starting from the man buying an engagement ring for his soon-to-be-bride, to planning the wedding, talking to suppliers, making reservations for the venue – all these things would cost you. When you add up the total expenses of planning and actually holding the wedding, you might even think twice about uttering your marriage vows, especially in an elaborate church ceremony.

The good news is that there are ways for you to financially prepare for your big day. The minute that you get engaged, set a date of when you would like the wedding to be. Doing so would give you ample time, as a couple, to financially prepare for the expenses that lie ahead. Naturally, there is absolutely no need for you to go in debt just so that you can have the wedding of your dreams.

When you have a budget to stick to during the wedding planning phase, then you would not have to incur any debts at all. There are also plenty of money-saving tips that you can follow in order to plan and have the wedding of your dreams – without spending an arm and a leg for the event.

A Multitude of Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Now that you already have an idea about how you can financially prepare for the wedding, what are the specific ways that you can save money while saying your “I dos”? Take a look at the following list:

How to save money when setting the date of your wedding

One of the biggest mistakes made by couples when planning their wedding is taking too long a time to do it.

Traditionally, elaborate weddings need to be planned about a year or even longer in advance. But when you have a shorter timeline, you are actually forced to work within a limited budget and schedule. This will keep things on a more even keel, not to mention the fact that you can say your “I dos” and proceed with the honeymoon a lot more quickly.

An opposite route to take is for you to give yourself plenty of time to plan the wedding. If you want to have an elaborate wedding with intricate details, you can save money by taking advantage of seasonal sales.

If you have a holiday wedding planned, take advantage of Easter sales to buy an outfit for your niece who will be flower girl, or your husband to-be’s nephew who will play ring bearer. It is also less expensive to schedule the wedding during the off-peak dates, as well as any day other than Saturday – which is the most popular day of the week to get hitched.

What about making reservations for the reception venue?

Next, how are you supposed to save money when making reservations for the wedding reception venue? Based on the number of guests that you are planning to invite, you can come up with non-traditional wedding reception venue ideas.

For example, if the couple is the outdoorsy type, they can hold the reception at a city-run space like a park, a civic garden or a popular local restaurant. What about your parents’ huge front lawn or backyard? If you are planning to entertain guests after the wedding at a home, make sure to allot expenses in your planning for the caterers who will come in to bring tables, chairs, cutleries, etc.

When shopping for your wedding dress…

There’s a saying that a woman immediately knows when she has ‘fallen in love’ with her wedding dress. Once she tries on the wedding dress, she would more or less know that it is the one which she is supposed to say her “I dos” in. If this is the case, how are you supposed to save money when shopping for your wedding dress?

There are designers who regularly hold seasonal or annual sales. Here, you can snag a simple white dress or a stunning ready-to-wear wedding gown that fits your body like a glove. Vera Wang, The Knot and similar stores specializing in weddings are just a few of the options that you can choose from.

Aside from grabbing great discounts on wedding dresses, you can also take advantage of price slash-offs for bridal headpieces, veils, shoes, jewelry, garters and other items. Vintage consignment stores, local bridal shops in your area and online stores selling wedding gowns are the other options that you have.

Planning the food to serve to your guests

How do you save money when planning which food to serve to your guests? Why not have a daytime reception? As compared to an elaborate dinner, you will save more money on food when serving lunch or brunch. From a caterer’s point of view, the client will be charged less when there is just one entrée instead of two options – because this saves them money on preparation and ingredients.

If you must plan a traditional sit-down dinner or a buffet meal, have the chef prepare inexpensive dishes with simple ingredients but stellar sauces. Cocktails with punch, cake, hors d’oeuvres and light snacks served in a cocktail-style reception will also save you lots of money on food.

Instead of having an open bar, choose a signature cocktail with only one liquor type as the main ingredient. Or, you can simply choose either beer or wine for the reception, and simply have enough champagne for the wedding toasts.

Saving on the wedding cake, the flowers and the décor for the reception venue

Even if you have a huge number of guests, your wedding cake does not need to be that elaborate. Despite the small size, it’s the flavor and the details of your cake that counts. If you have a small cake to cut during the ceremony, you can have slice of cake to serve for the guests waiting inside the kitchen.

When it comes to the décor of the venue, the best way to save money is to make your own centrepieces. Instead of looking for out-of-season flowers for your bridal bouquet, simply utilize ones which are already blooming. Using one kind of bloom for the center pieces will save you a lot of money in the process, so would providing décor for the wedding venue through DIY solutions.

Ways to save on wedding stationery

Would-be brides should never say no to bachelorette party invitations. This is usually when members of the bridal entourage offer any help that you can provide for the planning of the wedding. If you have a friend who has talent in graphic design, then you can definitely use the skill to design invitations, programs, party favors, place cards and other stationery needed during the wedding.

Hiring a photographer and videographer

After the guests have left, the food consumed and the party done with, all you will have left as a souvenir of the wedding is your set of pictures and videos. Good wedding photographers and videographers should be able to capture the sensitive, touching, funny and important moments that tell viewers the story of the day.

As such, it is never a good idea to scrimp on hiring a wedding photographer and videographer. Sure, there are ones who you can hire at a very cheap price, but how can you make sure that their quality of work will be up to your standards?

When hiring a wedding photographer, you can take your pick from the traditional style of taking posed photos; or the photojournalistic style which captures the mood of the day better through candid instead of posed shots. There are also photographers who combine the traditional and the photojournalistic style of covering events. It is entirely up to you to choose which ones you will end up hiring.

As you can see, there is a multitude of ways that you can use to save money when planning a wedding. By following the aforementioned tips, you can say your “I dos” in style, without having to sacrifice what the wedding would look like for you as a newly-married couple, your family and the guests who you invited to share the special moment with you.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • Or you could always do what I did- justice of the peace! I spent less than $20 for my entire wedding and it did not bother me a bit. I understand a lot of people would rather share the moment with their families and friends, but you can always just have a nice party afterwards! Better yet, make it a pot luck 😉

    • I’m with you Lemonbell! I actually went to Vegas and did it TV style quick and cheap. The thought of arranging and paying for everything made myself, and my wife horrified.
      We have friend currently planning their weddings, they are envious of us but feel like they should do a ‘traditional’ wedding to appease their families.Good tips here, I will try save them a few £ wherever possible.

  • There’s also the DIY way which is the best of both worlds: you can have a beautiful wedding just the way you want it but it won’t cost an arm and a leg. I think for a while now people have been too materialistic, into brands and spending money and I did this and I bought that…. It’s really sad. But there is something so beautiful about couples that actually work on their weddings themselves.

  • I think one of the best things in the new Pinterest world is how everybody now realizes how many awesome things they can do by themselves. Not only does DIY crafts help your budget on your wedding, but it makes it so much more personal. If you don’t like the dime-a-dozen decorations, you can customize everything exactly how you want it to be. It is YOUR day, afterall.

  • Great article. I wish I had known about some of these things when I was planning my wedding a few years back. One thing I did that I have noticed that not many brides are aware of is the fact that it is possible to RENT a wedding dress.

    Many brides go after those big name designers because they want that special look on their wedding day — and that’s completely understandable. What they don’t consider is that they are only getting married in that dress once and then it will sit in your closet for a lifetime. There are companies out now that will allow you to borrow and rent one of those beautiful designer dresses for your wedding and in doing so you will only pay a fraction of the cost of purchasing it. If you can break with the sentiment of wanting to keep it- this idea can save you literally thousands of dollars in your wedding budget.

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