Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, but it can also be one of the most expensive. From the venue to the dress, the flowers to the food, the costs can quickly add up. But don't let the price tag of your dream wedding hold you back. With a little bit of planning and creativity, there are plenty of ways to save money without sacrificing style or elegance. In this article, I'll share some tips and tricks for cutting costs and making the most of your wedding budget. So, whether you're planning a lavish affair or a simple celebration, read on to discover how you can save money on your wedding day.

Key Takeaways (a short summary)

  • Prioritizing wedding expenses is crucial to avoid overspending and accumulating debt.
  • Knowing common wedding expenses can help you budget and avoid surprises.
  • Creative ways to save on wedding decorations include DIY projects, shopping at thrift stores, using natural elements, and choosing less expensive flowers.
  • Affordable wedding dress options include setting a budget, visiting sample sales, renting a dress, and buying from affordable retailers.
  • To save money on wedding catering, consider a buffet, seasonal foods, disposable dinnerware, limiting the bar, and choosing budget-friendly options.

The rest of this article will explain specific topics. You may read them in any order, as they are meant to be complete but concise.

The Importance of Saving Money on Your Wedding

When planning your wedding, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day and forget about the financial implications. However, saving money on your wedding is crucial for several reasons.

Let's take a closer look at why.

Cuts the Cost and Stress

Weddings can be expensive, and the costs can quickly add up. By saving up for your wedding, you can cut the cost and the stress that comes with it. You won't have to worry about going into debt or overspending, which can take a toll on your mental health and relationship.

Helps You Set a Budget

Working out the cost of your wedding and setting a budget can help you save money. By knowing how much you can afford to spend, you can prioritize your expenses and make informed decisions. You can also look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing the things that are important to you.

Provides Funds for Other Things

Saving your wedding money can provide funds for other things, such as a down payment on a house or a dream vacation. Instead of spending all your savings on one day, you can use the money for something that will benefit you in the long run.

This can help you achieve your financial goals faster and with less stress.

Allows You to Go on a Dream Vacation Sooner

If you've always dreamed of going on a vacation but haven't been able to afford it, saving your wedding money can make it possible. By putting the money towards your dream vacation, you can go sooner and enjoy the experience without worrying about the cost.

Provides Extra Budget for Other Areas

Money saved in one area can mean extra budget for another, or simply less spending overall. By cutting costs on your wedding, you can allocate the money towards other areas of your life, such as your home or personal hobbies.

Alternatively, you can save the money for a rainy day or invest it for your future.

Helps You Avoid Debt

Saving money on your wedding can help you avoid going into debt. Weddings can be expensive, and it's easy to overspend without realizing it. By setting a budget and sticking to it, you can avoid taking on debt and the stress that comes with it.

Encourages Creativity

Saving money on your wedding can encourage creativity and resourcefulness. Instead of buying expensive wedding favors or centerpieces, you can make them yourself. This can be a fun and rewarding experience that adds a personal touch to your special day.

Provides an Opportunity to Donate to Charity

Making a charitable donation on behalf of all your guests can save you money and provide an opportunity to give back. Instead of spending money on expensive wedding favors, you can make a donation to a charity that is important to you.

This can make your wedding more meaningful and impactful for both you and your guests.

Common Expenses Associated with Weddings

Weddings are a joyous occasion, but they can also be quite expensive. It is fundamental to know what common expenses are associated with weddings so that you can budget accordingly and avoid any surprises.

Here are some common expenses you should keep in mind:

Venue Rental

The venue is where the wedding ceremony and reception will take place. The cost of renting a venue can vary greatly depending on the location, time of year, and amenities. Some venues may include tables, chairs, and linens, while others may require you to rent them separately.

It is fundamental to research different venues and their costs to find one that fits your budget.


Providing food and drinks for your guests can be one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. The cost per person can add up quickly, especially if you choose a more elaborate menu. To save money, consider having a buffet or family-style meal instead of a plated dinner.

You can also opt for a cash bar instead of an open bar to save on alcohol costs.

Wedding Attire

The bride, groom, and wedding party will all need attire for the big day. Wedding dresses, suits, and accessories can be a significant expense. To save money, consider buying a gently used wedding dress or renting a suit.

You can also look for sales or discounts on accessories like shoes and jewelry.

Wedding Stationery

Save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, and day-of stationery like menus and place cards can add up quickly. The average cost for wedding stationery is around $530. To save money, consider making your own invitations or using digital invitations instead of paper ones.

Photography and Videography

Capturing the memories of the wedding day is important, but it can also be expensive. Professional photographers and videographers can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. To save money, consider hiring a student photographer or videographer or asking a talented friend or family member to take photos or videos.

Flowers and Decorations

Flowers and decorations can add a lot of beauty to a wedding, but they can also be expensive. To save money, consider using in-season flowers or opting for more greenery instead of flowers. You can also DIY some of the decorations or rent them instead of buying them outright.

Music and Entertainment

Hiring a DJ or band can be a significant expense, and other entertainment options like photo booths or games can also add to the cost. To save money, consider creating your own playlist and renting speakers instead of hiring a DJ.

You can also DIY some of the entertainment options or opt for free activities like lawn games.

Pre-Wedding Costs

There are many pre-wedding costs that brides and grooms may forget to budget for, such as asking bridesmaids in a special way, beauty treatments, the bachelorette party, and the marriage license. To save money, consider DIYing some of the pre-wedding activities or opting for more affordable options like a spa day at home instead of a professional treatment.


The cost of postage for wedding invitations and thank-you cards can add up quickly, especially if the guest list is large. To save money, consider using digital invitations or opting for postcards instead of traditional cards.

You can also hand-deliver some of the invitations to save on postage costs.

Prioritizing Your Wedding Expenses

Planning a wedding can be an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to budgeting. Prioritizing your wedding expenses is essential to ensure that you don't overspend and end up with a mountain of debt.

Here are some tips for prioritizing your wedding expenses and saving money.

Make a Priority List

The first step in prioritizing your wedding expenses is to make a list of your most important wedding details to your least important, in order. This will help you allocate your budget more effectively.

For example, if you and your partner agree that the venue and the food are the most important aspects of your wedding, then you can allocate more money to those items and cut back on other expenses.

Make a List of Expenses

Once you have your priority list, make a list of everything you want to spend money on and then prioritize them. This will help you determine which expenses are essential and which ones you can cut back on.

Be realistic about your budget and don't forget to include the little things, like wedding favors and transportation.

Cut Your Guest List

Fewer people mean lower expenses. Consider inviting only close family and friends. This will not only save you money, but it will also make your wedding more intimate and personal.

Choose an Off-Peak Wedding Date

Getting married during the off-season or on a weekday can save you money on venue rental, catering, and other services. If you can be flexible with your wedding date, consider having your wedding during the off-season or on a weekday.

Spend More on What's Important

Decide together what's important to you and allocate more money to those things. For example, if you want a lavish reception, you can save money on the wedding dress or flowers. Don't feel pressured to spend money on things that aren't important to you.


Consider doing some things yourself, such as making your own invitations or centerpieces. This can save you money and add a personal touch to your wedding. However, be realistic about your DIY skills and don't take on too much.

Shop Around

Get quotes from multiple vendors and compare prices. Don't be afraid to negotiate or ask for discounts. Remember that vendors want your business, so they may be willing to work with you to stay within your budget.

Use Credit Card Rewards

If you have a credit card that offers rewards, use it to pay for wedding expenses and earn cashback or points that you can use to offset the cost. However, be sure to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Consider a Smaller Wedding

A smaller wedding can be more intimate and cost less. You can also consider having a destination wedding with only close family and friends. This can be a great way to combine your wedding and honeymoon and save money on travel expenses.

Creative Ways to Save Money on Wedding Decorations

When it comes to planning a wedding, it's easy to get carried away with all the different expenses. One area where it's possible to save money without sacrificing style is on wedding decorations. Here are some creative ways to save money on wedding decorations:

Make Your Own Decor Using Paper

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to create your own wedding decor is by using paper. Tissue paper flowers, paper lanterns, and paper garlands are all simple DIY projects that can add a pop of color and texture to your wedding.

You can also use paper to create your own Photo Booth backdrops or table runners.

Consider Thrift Shops, Online Markets, and Garage Sales

Another way to save money on wedding decorations is by shopping at thrift shops, online markets, and garage sales. You never know what treasures you might find! Look for items like vintage vases, candle holders, and picture frames that can be repurposed as wedding decor.

Pick the Perfect Venue

Choosing a venue with inbuilt decor can save you money on decorations. For example, if you choose a venue with beautiful outdoor gardens or a stunning view, you may not need to spend as much on floral arrangements.

If you choose a venue with unique architectural features or interesting artwork, you can let those elements shine and keep other decorations to a minimum.

Use Natural Elements

Another way to save money on wedding decorations is by using natural elements. For example, you can create a beautiful cake topper using fresh flowers or greenery. You can also incorporate natural elements like branches, leaves, and stones into your centerpieces or table settings.

Replace Expensive Flower Varieties

Flowers can be a significant expense when it comes to wedding decorations. One way to save money is by choosing less expensive flower varieties. For example, instead of using peonies or roses, consider using carnations or daisies.

You can also incorporate more greenery into your floral arrangements to keep costs down.

Make Your Own Printed Wedding Items

Another way to save money on wedding decorations is by making your own printed items. You can create your own wedding invitations, programs, and menus using free online templates or design software.

This allows you to customize your wedding stationery without spending a lot of money.

Rethink Your Catering

Catering can be one of the most significant expenses of a wedding. One way to save money is by considering alternatives to traditional catering. For example, you could hire a food truck or have a potluck-style meal.

You could also choose a less expensive menu option, like a brunch or buffet.

Utilize Your Network

Don't be afraid to ask friends and family if they have any decor items you can borrow or use. This could include things like tablecloths, vases, or candle holders. You could also ask if anyone has any DIY skills that could be put to use for your wedding decorations.

Fire the DJ and Skip the Live Band

Music is an essential part of any wedding, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Consider using a playlist or hiring a student DJ instead of a professional DJ or live band. This can save you a significant amount of money without sacrificing the atmosphere of your reception.

No Bridesmaids or Groomsmen

Skipping the bridal party can save you money on bouquets, boutonnieres, and gifts. It can also simplify the planning process and reduce stress. If you do want to include close friends or family members in your wedding, consider asking them to be ushers or greeters instead of bridesmaids or groomsmen.

Saving Money on Wedding Invitations

Planning a wedding can be quite expensive, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your special day. One area where you can cut costs is on wedding invitations. Here are some tips on how to save money on wedding invitations:

Build a Wedding Website

Creating a wedding website can be a cost-effective way to invite your guests. You can include all the details of your wedding, such as the date, time, location, and dress code, on the website. This will eliminate the need for printing and mailing invitations.

Not only will you save money, but you'll also be doing your part for the environment by reducing paper waste.

Have Guests RSVP Online

Another way to save money on wedding invitations is to have guests RSVP online. This eliminates the need for RSVP cards to be mailed back to you, which can save you money on providing pre-stamped envelopes and cards.

You can include a link to your wedding website where guests can RSVP and indicate their meal preferences.

Keep It Simple

Limiting decorative elements and using a simple envelope can save you money on wedding invitations. Consider using a single color for the text and choosing a standard font to keep costs down. You can also opt for a plain envelope instead of a fancy one to save money.

Make Strategic Design Swaps

Swapping out expensive design elements for more affordable options can save you money on wedding invitations. For example, you can choose a digital design instead of a custom one, or opt for a simpler layout.

You can also use a less expensive paper stock to save money.

Shop Around

It's always a good idea to shop around and compare prices from different vendors to find the best price for your wedding invitations. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices or ask for discounts. You can also look for deals and promotions to save money.

Order in Bulk

Ordering a larger quantity of invitations can save you money per invitation. This is because many vendors offer discounts for bulk orders. Just make sure you don't order too many invitations, as you don't want to waste money on unused invitations.

Be a Bargain Hunter

Look for sales and discounts to save money on wedding invitations. Many vendors offer discounts during off-peak wedding seasons or holidays. You can also sign up for newsletters or follow vendors on social media to stay up-to-date on promotions.

Use a Free Wedding Website

Using a free wedding website can save you money on printing and mailing invitations. There are many free wedding website platforms available, such as Zola and The Knot. You can customize your website to include all the details of your wedding and send out digital invitations to your guests.

Proofread and Order Extras

Proofreading your invitations and ordering extras can save you money on reprinting invitations with errors. Make sure to double-check all the details, such as the spelling of names and the date and time of the wedding.

Ordering a few extra invitations can also save you money in case you need to send out additional invitations later.

Forgo the Upgrades

Skipping expensive upgrades like envelope liners and custom stamps can save you money on wedding invitations. While these upgrades can add a nice touch, they are not essential and can be costly. Stick to the basics and save money for other aspects of your wedding.

Affordable Wedding Dress Options

When planning a wedding, the dress is often one of the most important and expensive items on the list. However, there are several affordable wedding dress options that can help save money without sacrificing style.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Stick to Your Budget

Setting a budget for your wedding dress is essential. It is fundamental to remember that the dress is just one part of the overall wedding budget. Once you have set a budget, stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and keep your finances in check.

Visit Sample Sales

Bridal shops often hold sample sales to clear out inventory. This is a great opportunity to find a wedding dress at a discounted price. Sample sales can be hectic, so please arrive early and be prepared to try on dresses quickly.

It's also important to keep in mind that sample dresses may not be in perfect condition, so be sure to inspect them carefully prior to buying.

Rent a Dress

Renting a wedding dress can be a cost-effective option, especially for designer gowns. Many rental companies offer a wide variety of styles and sizes, so you can find the perfect dress without breaking the bank.

Renting a dress also eliminates the need for storage after the wedding, which can be a huge plus if you are short on space.

Keep it Simple

Simple wedding dresses tend to be less expensive than those with intricate designs and embellishments. Consider a classic and timeless silhouette, such as an A-line or ball gown, in a neutral color.

You can always add accessories, such as a veil or jewelry, to dress up the look.

Don't Customize

Customizing a wedding dress can be expensive. Consider buying a dress off the rack and having it tailored to fit you perfectly. This can save you money and still give you the perfect fit. Be sure to factor in the cost of alterations when budgeting for your dress.

Look for Secondhand Dresses

Consignment shops, Craigslist, and specialty secondhand formalwear or bridal shops can be great places to find secondhand wedding dresses at a lower price. Be sure to inspect the dress carefully for any damage or stains prior to buying.

You may also want to have it professionally cleaned before the wedding.

Buy from Affordable Retailers

Retailers such as ASOS, David's Bridal, Reformation, Neiman Marcus, and BHLDN offer affordable wedding dress options. These retailers offer a wide variety of styles and sizes, so you can find the perfect dress at a price that fits your budget.

Saving Money on Wedding Catering

Planning a wedding can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful, especially when it comes to the budget. Among the top significant expenses is often the catering. However, there are several ways to save money on wedding catering without sacrificing quality or taste.

Choose a Venue with Outside Catering

One way to save money on catering is to choose a venue that allows outside catering. This option allows you to bring in your own caterer or even prepare the food yourself. Venues that require you to use their in-house catering can be more expensive because they often have a set menu and prices.

Cut Down Your Guest List

Another way to save money on catering is to cut down your guest list. The more guests you have, the more food you will need to serve, which can significantly increase the cost. Consider inviting only close family and friends or having a smaller, more intimate wedding.

Opt for a Buffet

A buffet is an excellent option for saving money on catering. Buffets require less staff and can be more cost-effective than a plated dinner. They also offer a variety of food options for guests to choose from.

Serve Seasonal Foods

Another way to save money on catering is to serve seasonal foods. Seasonal foods are often less expensive because they are readily available. They also add a unique touch to your wedding and can be a great conversation starter for guests.

Use Disposable Dinnerware

Using disposable dinnerware is another way to save money on catering. While it may not be as elegant as traditional dinnerware, it can be more cost-effective and can save you money on rental fees.

Limit Your Bar

Limiting your bar can also help you save money on catering. Consider serving only beer and wine or having a signature cocktail instead of a full bar. This option can save you money on alcohol costs and reduce the number of bartenders needed.

Go Easy on Appetizers

While appetizers can be a great way to start your wedding reception, they can also add up quickly in cost. Consider serving only a few appetizers or skipping them altogether to save money on catering.

Choose Affordable Entrees

Choosing affordable entrees is another way to save money on catering. Consider serving chicken or pasta dishes instead of more expensive options like steak or seafood.

Go for Budget-Friendly Foods

Going for budget-friendly foods can also help you save money on catering. Consider serving comfort foods like mac and cheese or burgers instead of more expensive options. These foods can be just as delicious and can add a unique touch to your wedding.

Choose the Right Caterer and Make the Right Choices

Choosing the right caterer and making the right choices can also help you save money on catering. Look for caterers that offer affordable options and are willing to work with your budget. Also, consider making choices that will save you money, like choosing a smaller cake or having a dessert buffet instead of a full cake.

Skip the Plated Dinner and Have Your Dinner Buffet Style

Finally, skipping the plated dinner and having your dinner buffet style can also save you money on catering. Buffets are more cost-effective and offer a variety of food options for guests to choose from.

Ways to Save Money on Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is one of the most important aspects of your big day, but it can also be one of the most expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on wedding photography without sacrificing quality.

Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:

Book Early

Booking your photographer early can save you money. Many photographers offer a discount for booking far in advance - such as one to two years before the wedding date. This not only saves you money, but it also ensures that you get the photographer you want on your big day.

Start with Your Budget

The place to start is with your actual wedding budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend on photography and then look for photographers within your budget. Don't waste your time looking at photographers who are out of your price range.

Find Customizable Packages

Look for photographers who offer packages that you can customize to fit your budget. This way, you can get the services you need without paying for things you don't. For example, if you don't need an engagement session, ask if you can remove it from the package.

Go for All-Inclusive Venues

An all-inclusive venue can help you save money on vendors, including photographers. These venues often have preferred vendors they work with and can offer bundled savings. Plus, you'll have the added convenience of having everything in one place.

Ask About Referral Discounts

If a friend books a photographer or videographer based on seeing initial proofs or footage from your wedding, many photographers offer discounts. So, make sure to ask if they offer referral discounts.

Make sure to get a "personal use release" in your contract. This allows you to print and share your photos without having to pay extra fees. Some photographers charge extra for this, so make sure to ask if it's included in your package.

You can save money by creating your own wedding album instead of paying for one from the photographer. There are many online services that allow you to create your own album, or you can even print them out yourself.

You can save money by booking your photographer for only part of the day instead of the entire day. Determine which parts of the day are most important to you and book your photographer accordingly.

You can ask your guests to take photos and share them with you instead of hiring a professional photographer. This not only saves you money, but it also gives you a unique perspective on your big day.

Saving Money on Wedding Transportation

One of the easiest ways to save money on wedding transportation is to book in advance. This allows you to take advantage of early bird discounts and avoid last-minute price hikes. You can also secure your preferred vehicle and ensure that it is available on your wedding day.

Traditional wedding transportation options like limousines can be expensive. Consider alternative modes of transportation that are both fun and cost-effective. For example, you can rent a party bus, trolley, or even a vintage car.

These options can add a unique touch to your wedding while saving you money.

If you do decide to go with a limousine, consider paying by the hour instead of a flat rate. This can save you money if you only need the limo for a few hours. Be sure to confirm the hourly rate with the rental company before booking to avoid any surprises.

Don't settle for the first transportation company you come across. Shop around and compare prices from different providers. Look for companies that offer package deals or discounts for booking multiple vehicles.

Starting early and doing your research can help you save money on transportation.

The location of your wedding and reception can also impact your transportation costs. Choose a venue that is close to each other to avoid long drives and multiple trips. This can save you money on transportation fees and reduce the risk of traffic delays.

If you have a large wedding party or guests who need transportation, consider booking larger vehicles instead of multiple smaller ones. This can be more cost-effective and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Plus, it can be a fun experience for guests to ride together and bond.

Finally, consider skipping the limo altogether. While it may be a traditional choice, it can be expensive and unnecessary. Instead, use the money you save on transportation for something more important, like your honeymoon or wedding favors.

Tips for Negotiating with Wedding Vendors to Save Money

One way to negotiate a discount is to offer to pay in full right away. Many vendors will be willing to offer a discount if they know they will receive payment immediately. This can be especially effective if you are booking a venue or other major vendor.

Another way to save money is to pay in cash. Credit card processing fees can add up quickly, and many vendors will be happy to offer a discount if you pay in cash. Just be sure to get a receipt for your payment.

If you do choose to pay with a credit card, be sure to maximize the value of your rewards. Many credit cards offer cash back or travel rewards, which can help offset the cost of your wedding. Just be sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Holding your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception in the same venue can save you money. Not only will you save on transportation costs, but many venues offer discounts for booking multiple events.

Plus, your guests will appreciate the convenience of not having to travel between different locations.

When negotiating with vendors, please know the market. Do your research and find out what other vendors in your area are charging for similar services. This will give you leverage when negotiating with a vendor you love.

Always be prepared to make compromises. You may not get everything you want, but you should be able to reach a compromise that works for both you and the vendor. Be willing to listen to their suggestions and be open to creative solutions.

If you're looking to save money, ask your vendors if there are any services you can cut out. For example, you may not need a photo montage in your wedding video, or you may be able to have your photographer be the sole shooter.

Be upfront about your budget and ask for their suggestions on how to save money while still getting the services you need.

Note: Please keep in mind that the estimate in this article is based on information available when it was written. It's just for informational purposes and shouldn't be taken as a promise of how much things will cost.

Prices and fees can change because of things like market changes, changes in regional costs, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances.

In conclusion: insights and reflections.

Alright, so we've talked about ways to save money on your wedding. We've talked about cutting down on the guest list, DIY-ing some of the decorations, and opting for a non-traditional venue. But let me ask you this: why are we so obsessed with saving money on our weddings in the first place?

Is it because we're trying to prove something to ourselves or to others? Is it because we're afraid of starting our marriage in debt? Or is it because we've been conditioned to believe that a wedding has to be expensive in order to be “good”?

I'm not saying that saving money on your wedding is a bad thing. In fact, I think it's a great thing. But I also think that we need to shift our focus from “saving money” to “spending intentionally”.

What if instead of trying to cut corners wherever we can, we focused on spending our money in a way that truly reflects our values and priorities? What if we invested in vendors who align with our beliefs and support small businesses? What if we prioritized sustainability and ethical practices in our wedding planning?

I'm not saying that this is an easy or straightforward path. It requires a lot of research, soul-searching, and maybe even some uncomfortable conversations with our families and partners. But I truly believe that it's worth it.

At the end of the day, your wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other. It's not about impressing your guests or keeping up with the latest trends. So let's focus on what truly matters and spend our money in a way that aligns with our values and brings us joy.

In the wise words of Marie Kondo, “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one's hand and ask: 'Does this spark joy?'” Let's apply this same principle to our wedding planning and see where it takes us.

Your Freedom Plan

Tired of the daily grind? Do you have dreams of financial independence and freedom? Do you want to retire early to enjoy the things you love?

Are you ready to make your "Freedom Plan" and escape the rat race?

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Links and references

  1. investopedia.com
  2. nerdwallet.com
  3. weddingwire.com
  4. thebudgetsavvybride.com
  5. brides.com
  6. lovetoknow.com

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