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20 Areas to Save Money When Planning Your Wedding

You are so excited to get married and carry out your dream wedding, however, you are a bit nervous about the expenses. After all, you’ve heard tales of how pricey weddings can be. Thankfully, as you’re planning a wedding, there are easy ways to create a gorgeous, budget wedding that can be both special and easy on your bank account.


Here’s how to start planning a wedding that’s beautiful and on a budget - a la checklist!

Let’s Look at Some Ways to Save Money on Planning Your Wedding

Set a Budget Maximum

Just like a trip to Target, it’s easy for costs to add up when there’s no limit. Sit down with your fiance and choose a wedding budget limit. If anyone else is pitching in for the wedding, such as parents, include them in the conversation. It's best to start saving as soon as possible so you can get a realistic idea of how much you'll have to spend when the wedding comes around.

Trim Down the Guest List

The fewer the wedding guests, the smaller the wedding venue you’ll need. You’ll also have less food and fewer wedding invitations and favors to pay for. Try limiting the guest list to your best friends and family, people you can't imagine your wedding day without.

Search for Hidden Gem Venues

The massive ballroom at a nearby hotel may be convenient, however, it may be really pricey. The wedding venue is often the heftiest of wedding costs so it’s important to search for other venues - even if not in your immediate area. It’s amazing what you might find in farther off towns.

Consider Catering Options

If you’re getting married somewhere with in-house catering, make sure to also look at outside possibilities. Catering is one of the easiest ways to save on your wedding, and buffet style is probably the best option for cutting costs during meal-time.

Take Wedding Season into Account

Weddings seasons are a real thing! Based on your given location and ideal venue, when you start planning a wedding, explore which months or times of year are less busy and therefore have lower costs.

Don’t Rush It

The more time you have to plan your wedding, the more time you have to snag the best prices. Some couples are even engaged as long as two years in order to maximize their wedding research time and to allow themselves to build up their savings. Sweating about this whole wedding timeline in general? Breath easier with our month-by-month wedding planning timeline.

Decide on the Saturday Factor

Typically, the most popular and expensive day to get married is a Saturday. On other days there can be a massive price reduction. After all, the average venue cost is $15,163. Having a Friday or Sunday wedding can be a great way of saving money on your wedding.

Consider Separate Ceremony & Reception

Splitting up the two may let you get more budget wedding-friendly options. For example, a ceremony on the beach. Reception at a restaurant, brewery or rec center.

To Cake, or Not to Cake?

Wedding cakes can be incredibly expensive. As of 2018, most couples spend between $300 - $689 on a wedding cake. Other types of dessert can be less expensive. Another option? Get a mini cake or sheet cake for you both to cut and have different desserts for your guests, like cake pops, cupcakes, doughnuts or cookies.

Strategize the Flowers

Floral arrangements, from table centerpieces to bride bouquets, can be a heftier sum than many brides expect. One option? Do a workshop where you create the floral arrangements yourself.

Use Your Personal Network

Using personal connections is another great way of saving money on your wedding. Consider reaching out to your friends and family or your wedding party to see if they know someone that would be a great fit for certain elements of your wedding. For example:

Officiating - Is there someone that you and your fiance know who you both would be interested in having officiate?

Bartending - Know anyone who has experience in hospitality? This could be the son or daughter of someone coming to the wedding - who is looking for some extra cash. Pay them at a discounted hourly rate to serve up drinks at your cocktail hour.

Consider a Wedding Planner...Wait, What?

This may sound odd but, with the right partnership, a wedding planner may save money in the long-run. Not the wedding planning on a budget checklist you suspected, eh? They have industry contacts and often special vendor discounts. You could also ask your planner for money-saving tips as they have a lot of prior experience in the wedding world. Read our post “Planning Your Own Wedding vs. Hiring a Planner” to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Use a Wedding Website

Instead of having several wedding card inserts, use a wedding website. It saves on the printing and postage.

Look Beyond Dress Boutiques

The average cost of a wedding dress is $1,509. To reduce that price, consider exploring department stores, sample wedding dresses, and consignment shops.

Consider Renting Your Dress

Renting a dress can save a lot of money - and let you wear a dress that would be far more expensive than you would’ve paid for anyhow. 

Save on Accessories

Accessories add up - from the jewelry and shoes to the veil. See what you can find online. Consider borrowing pieces from friends and family members.

Barter When Possible

Think about ways to trade. For example, have a friend gifted with chalkboard signs? Think about skills you and your fiance have and could trade. Maybe you have a passion for photography and offer to do a family portrait session for them and their families. This is another prime budget wedding tip.

DIY Stationary Set Up

If you have stationary crafted and printed by designers, they often will do the assembly. To save, set aside a few afternoon and DIY that assembly yourself to help save some cash. Tip: making your own wedding invitations can also save you a good chunk of money and you can customize and design them exactly the way you want.

Explore Music Options

Don’t pick the first DJ you meet. Take time meeting a variety to find the best fit. Need ideas for inspiration? Here are our Free Music Checklist + Wedding Music Ideas.

Plan for Beauty Prep Early

Map out your beauty plan ahead of time. There are great at-home teeth whitening systems that you can start to use 1 - 2 months before. See the other beauty to plan for at The Best Pre-Wedding Beauty Treatments for Brides.

Throughout the wedding planning process its easy to get stressed out and forget that all the work is worth it in the end. It is so important to find calm and joy amid the planning because the logistics can get overwhelming. Take time to treat yourself during planning to keep things fun. Our subscription bridal boxes are a stress-free way to get bridal goodies and monthly reminders that help keep you focused and excited for the celebration ahead. After all, your wedding day is one of the most special times of your life!


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