Wedding Photos taken by our photographers Redfield Photography
Weddings are a blast to plan. Paying for them? Not so much.
I’ve always heard how expensive weddings were, but just assumed that everyone was exaggerating. Spoiler alert: they’re not. It seems that everything you want to buy for your day will have a special wedding tax involved. Basically the price goes up because it can.
The good news in all of this is that there are a few things you can do to save money on your wedding. And they won’t change the beautiful day you’ll have. In fact you might even be able to breathe easier knowing the financial stress is a little bit lighter.
Here are a few easy ways to save money on your wedding:
Make Your Own Wedding Decor
I think this goes without saying, but DIY-ing some of your decor will save you money in the long run. You could absolutely hire someone to make your decor for you, or have your florist also come in and work some magic, but making the pieces yourself will always be cheaper.
If you don’t consider yourself a maker (I know you can do it by the way), call in favors from your friends and family. Not only will it be fun to work on things together, but you’ll be able to make things you couldn’t make yourself. In addition to your wedding day, you’ll get to remember the times you worked on projects together. Above all, crafting for your wedding adds an extra sentimental layer to an already special day.
See everything I made for our wedding here.
Have Multiple Wedding Cakes Instead of a Custom Cake
One good thing about us postponing our wedding was that we got to redo some of our original wedding plans. When picking a cake, we went in the direction to have a simple 3 layer cake. Nothing fancy with decor, really just a white cake that we could decorate and then a sheet cake we could cut a serve for a majority of the guests.
Well wouldn’t you know that the bakery wanted to change us $75 just to make the batter funfetti. If you’re not familiar with how to make funfetti cake, it’s just sprinkles added to the batter before it’s baked. Overall that bill was close to $600 for the full thing.
So for our actual wedding, we mixed it up a bit! Little Cupcake Bakeshop here in NYC is one of my favorite bakeries. Instead of commissioning a special cake, we just placed an order for pickup on the day of our wedding. We got a few different styles of cake, one being my funfetti cake. Guests were able to have more than one piece and try different flavors. And it cost us less than $300.
Get a few cute cake stands, add some flowers, and your guests will never know the difference between a custom cake and one you picked up from the bakery.
Your guest list will most likely be your biggest expense for your wedding. And the trick to saving money here is simple: stop inviting people you don’t like.
Think of this: if you’re getting your pictures back from your photographer, and that person is in nearly every photo from that day, will you be happy? If the answer is no, go remove them from your list right now. See ya, gone, byeeee!
We’ve survived a pandemic. It’s okay to tell people no. It’ll also save you money on your wedding in the process.
For an overall cheaper rate, pick a day of the week that’s not Friday – Sunday. Midweek weddings aren’t entirely common, so venues might be able to offer a cheaper cost per person rate. This is also a good way to help you cut down on your guest list!
I know there might be some worry about whether or not people will still let loose and have a bit of fun, but I think you’ll find that your key people will still turn up for you. You can always double check with them before to put your mind at ease.
As I’m sure we all know, wedding dresses are expensive. And for a dress that you’re most likely only going to wear once!
I decided instead of splurging for my dream dress (that would’ve cost me $5,000+), that I would go in a different direction. I opted to wear a really fun veil instead! It still had a big impact on my total look for a fraction of the price. In total, my dress, veil, jewelry, and shoes cost me less than a $1,000.
Here’s more about my confetti veil.
This tip is a quick one for how to save money on your wedding, but have people RSVP on your wedding website instead of sending an RSVP card. You’ll save money by not making the card and you’ll only need one stamp instead of two. It’s a small change, but it might save you a hundred bucks or so!
Flowers are a splurge, but in my opinion, absolutely worth it. If you don’t love flowers, consider greenery instead!
But if you do love flowers and absolutely want them as part of your day, try to be strategic with what you actually need. Consider the key points of your day (your altar, the bar, etc) as well as your wedding photo-shot list. If you can only spring for a few flowers, maybe just have them in the areas you know will be photo heavy. That way you get the memory of your flowers without having to cover the entire venue in them to make sure they get in the shot.
It also helps to speak to a florist for this. Don’t be afraid to tell them your real budget and see what they can do. You might even be able to do a pick up and install at the venue yourself.
Thrifting wedding decor was such a highlight for us! It was awesome finding what we needed at prices that didn’t stress us out. Plus there’s always something so exciting about finding exactly what you’re looking for. Here are a few of my tips:
– Start well before your wedding since it might take a while to find pieces
– Make a list so you can stay on task
– Go to a few different places, maybe even make a trip to a neighboring town on the weekends
– Text your list to your family and friends as well in case they can find anything at their local spots
– Some great items to look for while thrifting would be: toasting glassware, cake knives, candle holders, flower vases, frames and more.
If you can’t find what you need at the thrift store, check in with your florist to see if you’d be able to rent from them. We wanted glass hurricanes for our taper candles and tried so hard to thrift them. I think overall we maybe only found one or two in all of our searching. They’re so wildly expensive on their own, and we really didn’t want to buy them new. Thankfully we had a florist that was able to bring them for us!
We rented them for the day and then she took them with her at the end of the night. What’s great is that we weren’t left with a ton of pieces that we’d never use after the wedding.
I know wedding favors are cute and that we all feel like we should give our guests something. But sadly, I’m not sure half of wedding guests end up taking them.
If you do decide to give out favors, keep it simple and practical. You don’t need to get anything custom or monogramed made, especially if you’re trying to save some money. We went with Aspirin and chocolate because.. well duh. It was something affordable and we could use the leftovers instead of tossing them.
And those are my 10 ways to save money on your wedding! If you have any other helpful tips, be sure to leave them in the comments below!