How to Cut Wedding Costs and Still Have an Amazing Day

 In Advice

Congrats, you’re engaged! While getting married is the most exciting time in your life, weddings are expensive. There are so many details that go into the planning process. You don’t want to go into your marriage with debt from going overboard on your wedding. Before you say “I do”, there are plenty of ways to cut wedding costs on the most expensive aspects of your big day.

How to Cut Wedding Costs on the most expensive aspects of your day.

Be Smart About Your Flowers

While your wedding flowers might be 8-10% of your entire wedding budget, there are steps you can take to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. Concentrate your budget on the flowers that will be photographed the most during the wedding day. This includes the bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres, the altar or arch for the ceremony, and the head reception table.

Think critically about how you can make the most use of your wedding day flowers. Work with your florist to decide on arrangements that can be used at both the ceremony and the reception. Your bridal bouquets can double as centerpieces by being placed in a pretty vase. Instead of decorating an arch with an intricate floral installation, have your florist create a garland that can be removed. The beautiful garland from the ceremony arch can also be used on the head table for the reception.

If your dream wedding flowers are pricey peonies and garden roses, have them in your bouquet and head table arrangements. Let your florist choose a suitable substitute for the rest of the arrangements. Using flowers that are in-season, and also being flexible about flower choices, are two things you can do to set yourself up for success in reducing costs.

Cut Wedding Costs. Simplify Your Centerpieces.

Opt for a Buffet Style Dinner

A crucial component of a good wedding is the food. While your guests may forget your first dance song or the maid of honor speech, the food is something they’ll remember. And keeping your guests in mind when planning your wedding is important.

A sit-down dinner where your guests are served a meal they pick ahead of time always seems classier. However, a buffet allows for your guests to eat whatever they want! They don’t have to pick chicken, steak, or fish. They can have all three, as well as the sides. Your guests can even go back for seconds if they’re still hungry. A buffet makes it easier to accommodate everyone and will help cut wedding costs.

Inquire About Extra Fees Before Signing Any Contracts

Before signing your name on anything for your wedding, you always want to be sure of exactly what you’re paying for. When you book your wedding, inquire what is included in your venue. If they charge for the reception space, does it include chairs and tables? If you use the in-house catering, do they provide linens, place settings, napkins, etc? These are the questions you need to ask if you want to cut wedding costs and stay within your budget. Those little extras add up fast.

Do research and look around to decide which venue can give you the best price based on what they provide. Some venues even include a bridal suite for you to get ready in. Other wedding sites may charge you extra if you want to have your ceremony there as well. Always ask about any extra fees so there are no surprises when the bill is due. This applies not just to your venue, but all vendors you hire.

Cut wedding costs. Know the venue fees.

Don’t Lose Focus

Documenting your wedding with photos and video is very important. This is the happiest day of your life so you want to have a quality photographer and videographer. Photos and video will help you remember the special moments when you look back decades from now.

One way to save is to look for someone who is just starting out. A word of caution though, their prices might be lower, but you still need to see their portfolio. Make sure it is the style you are looking for and is something you’ll be happy looking at forever. Since they are just starting out, they might not have online reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask for references to ensure they provide quality work.

Another option is working with a company that bundles services. Some companies offer both videography and photography. A discount is often offered when you book them for both. You can do this with other services too. I know a local photographer who offers a big discount if you book their photo booth too!

Don’t Be Afraid to Rent or Buy Used

With technology at its peak, you can pretty much rent anything online these days. No one is going to know if your tablecloths or your decorations are used or brand new. You can even buy gently used wedding items at places like Wedding Recycle. Try doing a search on Facebook for local resale groups of wedding items. There are plenty of brides looking to sell items to recoup money and it will cut wedding costs for you.

As for your dress, you can save up to 80% off of retail prices by renting your wedding dress. You’re only going to be wearing it for a few hours, so why spend a fortune on it? You can also look at purchasing a used wedding dress. I sold mine to another bride for a fraction of the cost. She loved the dress as much as I did! It was so fun to see her pictures. My cousin got her wedding dress on Craiglist for a deep discount. It had never been worn! The bride just changed her mind and got something else.

Cut Wedding Costs. Rent a wedding dress.

Consider a Personal Loan

The costs of a wedding can be overwhelming. It can be easy to throw your purchases onto a credit card so you don’t have to pay for the expenses upfront. A low-interest personal loan can help cover some of the costs you don’t have on hand right now. The interest rates are a lot less than that of a credit card. Believe it or not, weddings are one of the most popular uses for a personal loan. It helps so you won’t have to feel like you’re drowning in debt. You can have the perfect start to your marriage, celebrating with friends and family without spending your whole life savings. Weddings are exciting, so don’t forget to have fun planning your special day!

What do you think of these tips to cut wedding costs? Share with us in the comments.

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Showing 43 comments
  • Kate Andrews

    I wish I had seen this article when I was planning my wedding – I will pass it along to my bride friends!

  • Jennifer

    The first time I got married, I incorporated a lot of these tips. We knew the florist, so the flowers were discounted. I didn’t like embellished gowns, so my unadorned but “perfect for me” gown was a huge cost saving. And, my father was a chef, he created the buffet menu, prepped the food and then hired kitchen staff to take care of the rest. The second time I got married, we eloped, so much stress and expense were just removed from the top.

    • Reply

      Those are all really great ways to save. It helps when you know wedding professionals or have family members that can assist you in a major way. Eloping is the ultimate way to save!!

  • Ashley

    Yessss!!! So many amazing tips here! When I got married 14 years ago, I did a lot of it myself and you wouldn’t have known. It felt so good to save money and spend it on new home things and still enjoy the day!

    • Reply

      We bought a home first and then got married a year and a half later. It was nice knowing we had a home ahead of time so we didn’t have to worry about saving for both!

  • Mariah

    Oh how I wish I had read this before my wedding. . .

  • Colleen, O'Neil Events

    Awesome article! It can all be done with whatever budget you have!

    • Reply

      It’s so true Colleen! You really can adjust to any budget. You just have to figure out what your priority items are for your wedding.

  • suzanne

    My husband would have loved it if I would’ve read this post before our wedding 🙂 Such great tips!

  • Claire

    oh, buy used, guys! and yes, find someone just starting out, but check reviews as much as you can.

    • Reply

      I sold so many of my wedding items to other brides. My table numbers, my bouquets (fake flowers), my dress, my veil… it was a great way to get some money back, not have clutter, and help another bride out.

  • Savannah

    I got my wedding dress for sooooo cheap by buying it secondhand. Another way we saved money (and last-minute stress) was by using fake flowers! I was able to buy some nice-looking flowers for a great price and put the bouquets together ahead of time. Plus, now I still have my bouquet as a keepsake because it can’t die!!

  • Karen

    These are great tips! Im currently planning my wedding!

  • Steph

    We were married in August, my dad grew all our dahlias! Our florist was happy to use them and it saved us a ton of money, plus it felt really special.

  • Natalie

    These are really helpful tips for anyone looking to save money on their wedding. I spent a good chunk of change on my flowers, but I honestly don’t regret it at all- to this day I have people commenting how gorgeous they were!

    • Reply

      That’s awesome Natalie! I think it all depends on what is important to you. Cut the costs for thing that you really don’t think you’ll miss.

  • Michelle

    Love all of these tips – especially the one on flowers! I like flowers but I don’t LOVE them, so we simply went with greenery for our wedding. Saved so much money and the florist could just pick the most cost effective greenery the day before the wedding. I think it is so important for Brides to really think about what is important to them and not what is EXPECTED at a wedding.

  • Stephanie

    These are great tips! I am definitely going to put these to good use if/when my daughter gets married. Thanks!

  • Claire

    Wedding preparation was a big headache for me, I am glad that I have my wedding planner to help me out. But those are some great tips you have there! 🙂

  • Patricia

    I love these tips!! We used a lot of these when we got married and it was great!!

  • emma-louise

    Great tips, I opted for a cheaper photographer but didn’t check his portfolio major fail!

    • Reply

      That’s a bummer Emma-Louise! I always tell brides to splurge on a photographer! Possibly even a videographer. That is all you have to look back on your day. You spend so much time and money it is worth it to have beautiful photos.

  • JLyn

    Thanks for sharing. We spent $1500 on our whole wedding by keeping it simple and recruiting the help of friends. It was still an amazing day. Great article!

  • Emily

    Wow! These are great tips. I recently did a bridal photo shoot and I definitely have wedding fever now

  • Tiffany

    used & thrift stores are the way to go to cut costs…and great thing is that look in in now too 🙂 Great post!

  • Misty

    Love these tips. Always stay focused because that will be your downfall with a budget. I paid for my wedding and honeymoon in cash and was so glad I did.

    • Reply

      You’re right Misty. It is so important to keep your eye on the budget. If you overspend in one area you have to compensate somewhere else. We used the money we were gifted for our honeymoon. Thankfully it was enough! Plus our honeymoon was 2 months after our wedding so we had some time to save up extra.

  • Chelsya Waworuntu

    This is incredibly perfect! I’m so tempted to start planning my wedding, but I still have 1.5 years until the date!

  • Carmen

    Love this one! So many good tips!

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