You’ve both said yes to a lifetime together. But before the official “I do,” there’s a lot to do. Planning. Dreaming. Budgeting.
Don’t forget that last one! Creating a wedding budget for everything you’ll spend on the big day is my biggest tip for how to save on a wedding overall.
Speaking of overall, did you know the average wedding (including honeymoon and rings) costs around $38,900? That’s right!
That might sound perfectly reasonable to you.. Or you might have just gasped out loud! Either way, here are a few tips and tricks to help you save a little money in your wedding budget!
Tips + Tricks To Help You Save
Host the ceremony + reception in the same place
You’ll have less in transportation costs and only one rental fee as opposed to two. Plus, it’s easier on the guests and wedding party!
Choose an off-peak date
Many locations and vendors offer cheaper rates for weddings that take place during off-season or on Weekdays/Fridays/Sundays.
Select a non-traditional venue for your wedding
You don’t have to do the typical church and ballroom wedding. There are plenty of nontraditional places to get married—and lots of them don’t come with the traditional wedding venue price tag!
Think of outdoor locations. Call in a favor with your aunt who has a fantastic barn. Find a lodge that lets you rent the rooms for guests, use the outdoor area for the ceremony, and enjoy the common space to party.
You get the idea. Open yourself up to the possibilities of all kinds of venues and you can save serious money.
Skip the live band
Big name bands can charge thousands of dollars, while a great DJ will cost only a couple thousand (or less).
Use fewer vendors
Find a DJ who offers both music and up-lighting, a photographer who offers both wedding photography and a photo booth (like me!) or a caterer who offers both the meal + desserts. You may find that you’ll get a better rate going with the same vendor and will save on setup/delivery feeds.
Have a smaller guest list
Inviting less people will save you costs in many areas such as food and beverages (which tend to be one of the biggest costs). Cutting in this area will allow for you to spend less or increase your budget in other areas.
Utilize the ceremony flowers in the reception space
There are so many ways to repurpose flowers on a wedding day! Use decorative florals from the ceremony to be the main center piece on the head table or have it adorn the escort-card table. Most guests won’t know the florals were pulling double duty!
Skip The Main Meal
Want to know how to save on a wedding big-ticket item that just lasts the day of? I’m talking about food! Rather than have a large meal, opt to have an assortment of heavy appetizers or a dessert bar.
Another fun option is to bring in a food truck! Reserve a savory food truck (cheese-stuffed burgers, mmm . . .) and a sweet food truck (gourmet ice cream or donuts) for your guests. Keep lines down by pre-selecting two or three ready-to-go options so your guests aren’t staring down a menu with tons of choices.
Book your most important vendors first!
You remember how you wrote out your budget by priority? That is how you should be booking your vendors! I would recommend the following order (but again it’s based on your preference!):
- Wedding Planner/Coordinator
- Hair/Make-up Artists
- Guest Accommodations
How to Save on a Wedding Overall
In the end, the best advice I can give, beyond making and keeping your wedding budget, is to remember the wedding is about you—and not about impressing or entertaining others.
Communicate clearly and constantly together about what’s important and what’s not, and you’re on your way to the wedding of your dreams.
I started by saying this, and I’ll end by repeating it. If you want to save on wedding costs, you need to budget for your wedding.
In fact, if you want to be good with money in all areas of your life, you need to budget. Period. Go ahead and start talking now about how you’ll budget together when two lives and two incomes become one.