Weddings can be extremely expensive – but they don’t have to be.
When my husband and I got engaged, we knew right away that we would have a small, frugal wedding. That’s just the type of people we are. Even if we had lots of money, I still think we would have had a small wedding.
Below you will find many tips on how to save money on your wedding.
For our wedding ceremony, we rented a small park for a few hours. It was only $200. For the reception, we held it underneath a bowling alley, which I know sounds odd, but it was actually a nice space (and no, we couldn’t hear people bowling above our heads!). This also only cost us $200 for the night.
If you want to save money on your wedding location(s), try the following:
Backyard: If you have a really big, beautiful backyard (or know someone else who does), why not host your wedding there? Rent some tents and chairs and you’re good to go.
Rent a Park:
Yes, you really can rent parks! For a few hours at a time, many parks will allow you to rent portions of the area for small or large gatherings such as weddings. The cost is usually extremely low.
The largest expense for a wedding is usually the food. Having a small wedding helps (we had about 40 people), but even if you’re having a larger wedding, there are many ways you can save money on food.
Make it Yourself (or have friends/family do this as a wedding gift): I know this is probably the last thing you want to do, but it might be worth it if you can save a ton of money.
Serve Food Buffet Style: Serving your guests at their table, instead of having everyong line up and get their own food is going to be way more expensive, so consider buffet style for your wedding. I personally think that a buffet style is better anyway, so people can choose things that they actually want to eat.
Offer Lunch Instead of Dinner: Having your ceremony in the morning and then serving lunch to your guests is much cheaper than having an afternoon ceremony and serving a dinner.
Have a Barbecue: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, a barbecue is the perfect way to serve your meal (either lunch of dinner). Some nice juicy burgers, hotdogs, steaks and chicken – add some corn on the cob, potatoes and a nice big salad and you’ve got yourself yummy meal for a great price.
If you are having a large wedding, invitations can be another big expense. Here are some ways to save money on them:
Make Them Yourself: All you need to buy is some card stock, ribbon and any other decorations you like to make a great invitation. There are many free templates online that are available for you to use.
Don’t Include RSVP Envelopes: Instead of including a self addressed stamped envelope with your wedding invitation, have your guests send you an email or give you a call to let you know if they can attend.
I wanted a nice dress, I just wasn’t willing to fork over the money for something extravagant. So I went to a bridal shop that sold used wedding dresses ended up finding the perfect dress. With alterations included, I paid just over $300 for my dress.
You can save money on your wedding dress by doing any the following:
Buy Second Hand: Used wedding dresses can save you so much money. Get them altered and dry cleaned and they can often look just as good as something brand new.
Shop Sample Sales: Many stores have sample sales about once a year. These dresses would have only been used for women to sample in the store. Call some bridal shops in your area and ask if and when they have sample sales.
Rent Your Dress: Just like a man can rent a suit for his wedding, a woman can rent her dress as well. This could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
We didn’t have any flowers at our ceremony location because we had so many beautiful trees and a pond to look at. For our reception site, we only had a few vases of flowers on the tables. The room still looked nice and no one ever mentioned the lack of flowers.
Here are some ways you can save money on flowers at your wedding:
Use Silk Flowers: Silk flowers can look lovely (and real) if displayed properly. They cost much less than real flowers – and you can reuse them.
Shop Wholesale Warehouses: These places sell flowers in bulk and if you’re willing to put in some time making the flower arrangements (or get friends/family to help), you can save a bundle on your flower costs.
Use Something Other Than Flowers For Your Centerpieces: We used a large glass bowl with floating candles a few rose petals. It cost less than $10 per centerpiece. You can also use a cupcake stand with some cupcakes as your centerpiece. Or maybe use a tall table number, some small votive candles and a photo of the couple. These are very cheap, but beautiful ways to set up your centerpiece. You don’t have to use flowers.
This delicious wedding staple can be crazy expensive. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for a wedding cake, try the following instead:
Cupcakes: We had these at our wedding and everyone said they were perfect – just pick it up and eat it, no cutlery required! Many bakeries will happily make cupcakes for your wedding, and they are usually much cheaper than a cake.
Make it Yourself: Cakes will always be much more inexpensive if you make them yourself. Enlist a bunch of family members or friends and have them help you.
Have a Sheet Cake: Sheet cakes can look very nice when done right and they are significantly cheaper than the tiered variety. And guess what – they taste the same!
Remember that this day only comes once in your lifetime, so try not to be too Scrooge-like. Splurge on the things that matter to you and save your money on everything else.
Just because you want to have a beautiful wedding, doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on it. Spend wisely and enjoy your special day.