How to Save Money On Your Wedding (And Still Have It Feel Special)

Written by Meg Haley
Published February 11, 2019
how to save money on your wedding how to save money on your wedding

No matter what kind of wedding you want, you’ve got to make it happen within a pre-set budget. Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up on all your hopes and dreams for your big day. There are plenty of ways to get what you want without starting married life in massive debt. Doing parts of it yourself and/or taking a non-traditional approach to some aspects of your big day are our most recommended cost-saving measures. Read on for our favorite ways you can avoid paying that notorious "wedding premium".

Put the Girls to Work

With wedding blogs and Pinterest ideas everywhere, finding inspiration for table décor and color schemes has never been easier. Host a girl’s weekend at home with crafting supplies and plenty of wine and snacks. Let your bridesmaids get hands-on with the details and have a great time bonding while checking things off the list! And while you’ve got everyone together, why not go shopping? Wedding shops make tons of money off matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses that too often result in over-spending on frocks no one really likes or plans to wear again. Instead of tumbling down that well-worn trail, be a better bride and let everyone standing up with you choose a dress they love. You can provide color options, material, or length of skirt (or even let them wear a trendy suit!) and let them shop around for the best cut and price for their body and their budget.

Think Differently

In addition to ditching the typical bridesmaid’s dress, consider alternative venues for your ceremony and after party. (We’ve heard rumors that folks have saved money simply by calling it an after party instead of a reception. Worth a shot!) Do you or someone you know have a gorgeous backyard? Rent a tent in case of rain, and you’ve just saved thousands on venue rental. This is the time to call in favors, start talking about options and ideas with all of your friends, and think outside the box.

Creative Catering Options

Alternative catering options like food trucks or pop-up caterers are starting to take over the wedding scene. If you live in an area with plenty of delicious mobile eateries, start calling around and get quotes. You might be able to score your favorite Friday night splurge and share it with all those you love!

Smart Spending

Now, there are a few places where you should plan to spend a bit more of your budget. Let the professionals handle your food, the distribution of your alcohol, and capturing every moment on film. You do not want to be the couple who made everyone sick because you tried to make chicken marsala yourself a week ahead of your wedding. And you certainly don’t want to get slapped with a fine (or worse!) because you asked your cousin’s boyfriend to tend bar, when your state requires a special license. Worst of all: not having gorgeous pictures of you and every little moment from the first look to the last late-night dance. A photographer who really gets your style and what’s important is worth every penny.

No matter what your budget is, or your idea of a dream wedding, take a little time to consider these cost-saving measures. You might be surprised at how much fun you have putting in some sweat equity to your decorations, or shopping discount racks for gorgeous dresses for your bridesmaid (dare we say, even for your bridal gown?!). If nothing else, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask married friends and family for their advice!