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Cost-Saving Tips For Weddings

Share Your Tips For Wedding Savings!

While the average cost of a wedding is enough to make you ponder elopement, that's still not the game plan for most couples. Thankfully, cost-cutting — or rather careful budgeting and cost-allocation based on a couple's priorities — is both expected and celebrated by empathetic guests.

So, if you are planning a wedding, or have planned one in the past, I want to know your secrets! How did you make your dream wedding happen on a budget? What did you DIY and what did you learn? Help future brides out by posting your tips and ideas in our How Do You Save? group. Your own precious tips could be featured on the site and help tons of other savvy brides plan their own dream weddings!

Join The Conversation
cotedazur cotedazur 7 years
We got married on a Friday, which was about $1000 cheaper than Saturday at our reception venue - since our wedding was in Europe, I figured all the guests would have to take vacation time anyways, so the Fri-Sat difference wasn't a major one. We had a young photographer who had just finished art school and cost half as much as the other photographers we were considering. Instead of having appetizers served at the tables, we had an appetizer buffet, a cheaper choice from our caterer. And as far as my clothing went, I bought as much as I could (jewelry, shoes, bag) at non-wedding stores. I don't know why, but as soon as something is tagged as being for a wedding, stores feel justified in selling them for 10x more!
snapperdoodle snapperdoodle 7 years
DIY all the way, though it can be overwhelming! We printed our own invites using a Martha Stewart kit from Michaels. We bought flowers at the grocery store (those ready-made bouquets) and my sister rearranged them into 3 bouquets and several arrangements for the tables at the reception (less than $100 total). I got a simple dress at the White House - Black Market store, my bridesmaids bought summer dresses from JCrew on sale. We did a courthouse wedding, which in our state/county is free on weekdays, had a casual reception at a nature lodge with no meals, just sandwiches and fruit/veggie platters, and lots of beer and pop. The lodge was a real DYI, but did not need any decorations other than the paper placemats and flowers we put out ourselves. Music was anr iPod hooked up to an amp. Entertainment was outside: the lodge had sand volleyball and we brought balls and other outdoor stuff. It "pays" to think outside the box. Traditional weddings are overpriced and overrated. I got a lot of inspiration from the blog.
jaymee024 jaymee024 7 years
1. Try and DIY as much as possible. My husband designed our wedding invitations and had it printed at a local print shop. We invited some of our bridal party members over for a "invitation assembly party" and put together over 100 invites pretty quickly. 2. Look to share things with other brides. Sites such as or have forums where you can find brides who need the same 10" cylinder vase or Sheppard hooks. I was able to share votives, uplighting, favor bags and candy buffet jars with a few girls so that definitely help cut down on costs. 3. After your wedding, sell stuff! I sold an extra sash, extra garter, extra hair pins, etc ...
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
Oh also, custom fortune cookies are pretty inexpensive! We got organza bags from Party City (about $.38 a bag) and 150 fortune cookies with red paper and custom messages ($47.90) to put in the bags. We could've gotten the bags cheaper (but we're running out of time - 8 days!) but the end number is $104.15 for the wedding favors... meaning we spent about $.70 per item, which isn't too shabby! We used for the cookies. Jordan Almonds would've been even less expensive, I'm sure, but my sister did that and the ones she got were hard as rocks! No thanks - plus, this adds a touch of our personality. :) We also got those little bubbles from Dollar Tree to include on the tables as well ($.12 a bottle).
bingbingboom bingbingboom 7 years
We were able to score some cute items such tabletop picture frames from ebay. When you plan a wedding, every penny counts.
heatherhas heatherhas 7 years
Look for historical sites to have your reception at. Mine will be at a place on the National Historical Trust and we can claim the facility cost on our taxes.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
1. Don't be afraid of dollar stores! Some can be seedy, but many aren't that bad. A lot of them carry basic wedding gifts (bubbles, trinkets, tulle baggies) and cheap party supplies (disposable napkins, party cups). You can even buy "real" dishware at $1 a piece - renting can be cheaper, but you can't get your money back. Buying inexpensive pieces that can be sold on Craigslist later means getting some of your money back. Some even have online stores from which you can order in bulk ( 2. Speaking of Craigslist... it can be a great way to buy unused or gently used wedding supplies - like arches! 3. On those notes, sell YOUR stuff! Once the wedding is over, round up anything that is still in good condition and sell it. Try ebay, Craigslist or your local paper. You'd be surprised how many people are looking. You can sell your arch, carpet runners, anything purchased for centerpieces (such as vases), and unused candles. Sell your wedding dress - Honestly, when are you going to wear it again? Do you really think your future daughter will want to wear it? It's a novel thought, but come on - styles change! Are you wearing your mother's wedding gown? 4. Avoid telling vendors you're buying for a wedding whenever possible. Sometimes even places with "set" prices will try to screw you with extra charges for decoration or misc. fees. As for LicketySplit - last I checked, there are over 1,000 federal benefits/privileges of being married. Some of these include things like visitation rights in jails and hospitals, the ability to make medical decisions for your SO when they can't, medical coverage (what if one of you becomes unemployed?), postmortem rights and more, including tax breaks and lower rates for various types of insurance. The marriage license itself may be "just a piece of paper," but the laundry list of benefits attached do more than just "benefit the man," unless the man is a deadbeat lol. Why do you think our gay residents are fighting so hard for equal rights but many are willing to give up the term "Marriage" just so that they can be legally bound for the rest of their lives together?
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
We saved on alcohol by choosing a venue that allowed us to bring our own in, and had a friend that owns a bar buy at cost. This saved A LOT of money. I also chose to go cheaper on my dress, because I wanted something simple anyways, and I wanted to spend money on things that were for our guests, not just for me. We also chose a gorgeous cathedral for the ceremony, which cost about $200 more than other churches, but we didn't decorate at all there. It was so beautiful that no one noticed at all, and just kept commenting on how amazing the church was.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 7 years
i got married overseas so i was able to have an all out traditional indian wedding and still not pay as much as i wouldve here since halls, flowers and food are much cheaper there (and arent those the most expensive parts of the budget anyway?)
pink-elephant pink-elephant 7 years
We're taking on mostly DIY projects for our wedding, and recruiting faithful friends and family members to help out. Also wholesale is waaaay better than buying retail, you buy in bulk for much less and better quality too. Also, borrowing decorations, china, and silver and etc. from family members has been helping us a great deal (just make sure you remember who lent what.) ;)
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Don't do it! Don't get married :). If it's real it won't matter tha you didn't say "I do" and if it isn't, he can't claim half the $ and the kids later. Marriage benefits only the man. Why do you need that piece of paper?
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