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How To Save Money On Your Wedding

Updated on September 3, 2012

How to Save Money on Your Wedding

Weddings are becoming more and more expensive it seems as time goes by rather than less expensive.

It's quoted in Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich that wedding are running right under $30,000 these days...and these are usually the folks who say they will never spend that much on a wedding!

Somehow that seems out of proportion with the solemnity of the occasion. A wedding should be a celebration guaranteed. But should it have to cost the equivalent of someone's yearly wages to put on such an event?

Shouldn't weddings be more about the important issue at hand.....2 people joining together and embarking on a life together? Heaven forbid if after you spent all that money you don't even stay together!

There are many ways that you can save on a wedding, whether you're young or not so young.....whether it's your first marriage or a second or third!

Let's explore some of the best ways to save money on a wedding!

Tips on How to Save Money on Your Wedding

Here are some great ways to save money while really learning some things about budgeting and getting more for your money at the same time!

Who invited you? Make sure that your list is appropriate. Meaning why invite your high school teacher when you haven't seen her in 7 years? Unless you know the people including family and you have regular contact with them, they shouldn't be on the list.....period.

Don't let family members talk you into adding other distant relatives either. The reason for excluding people is that every single person that comes to your wedding will be an additional expense. If you can afford that many people, then that's okay. But if you trim your list from the beginning, you'll have more money to spend on other things.

What a difference a day makes. If you're determined to get married on a Saturday, you'll most likely always pay more because that is the most popular day of the week for a wedding.

Consider switching to a candlelit Friday night wedding after work hours, a Sunday wedding or even a brunch wedding or another night of the week wedding. Surprisingly many people do attend odd day of the week weddings because they like freeing up their own weekends for other things.

Reservations for two. If you want to save money, think about the in whether you plan on serving a sit-down dinner, a buffet, a brunch type affair or just snacks. More often than not, a sit-down dinner will be far more expensive and will be charged by the plate. This is where extra guests come into play. Paying an extra plate cost for 5 children for instance, or your friend Harry's girlfriend is going to add up over time. Buffets are the most easily set up usually and offer the most choices...and are the cheapest.

Whatever menu you decide to go with, plan it out with the caterer or person in charge of your menu. Tell them you're interested in the best menu but for the least amount of money and see what you can come up with. Unless you have a huge budget, less usually equates out to more.

If you have clever friends who cook or cater, they might be an excellent source to tap into. Don't ask them to do it for free or maybe organize a party to help cook, assemble, etc. See what you can negotiate with people you know and use their talents......or even cater your own wedding if you have that talent!

Like a rose. Flowers are traditionally a large expense for weddings. However, with a little cleverness, you can save hundreds of dollars. Consider going to an open market and buying bouquets there. I know for a fact that this works because my daughter did this last year for her wedding. She bought gorgeous bouquets for $10 at Pike's Place and had them readied the day before the wedding. We went and picked them up and then kept them refrigerated until the next day.

They were on the tables and then in several vases for the reception and on the altar. She even had her bridal bouquet and the men's flowers prepared there. They were beautiful and so inexpensive. They gave them away to people after the wedding. What a lovely gift!

You're invited. Saving money on invitations is easy today. You can have invitations printed up quite simply as postcards, you can print them up yourself at home with an amazing selection of papers and envelopes to choose from, or even do an on-line wedding invitation.

Don't do RSVP cards because chances are, no one will respond! You'll save postage and envelopes. Have an online RSVP or a phone-in response. You'll save money on the invitations and the postage!

I love you just the way you are. A wedding doesn't have to be about a several thousand dollar dress....or even tuxedos for that matter. If you want to rent tuxedos, try and get everyone to rent at the same place because that way you'll get discounts. If you want a stunning dress, shop online on eBay or other bridal websites for new or used dresses, or shop sample sales or bridal stores such as David's. Go with last year's style to save even more. If you're really creative, you can make your own dress or have someone else make one for you.

You decorate my life. When I got married, we bought all the decorations ourselves and went the day before and decorated both the church and the reception hall. You can do that or you can keep it simple and do as my daughter did with minimal but beautiful decorations.

Another great savings on decorations is to have your wedding near any holiday if you plan a church wedding. Most likely, the church will already be decorated. Or again, have a candlelight ceremony. Candles are inexpensive and you'll save a bundle on decorations.

I am myself. Do as much set up as you can to save money. Encourage friends and family to help out. Most folks love pitching in for a happy occasion like a wedding!

Consider pizza for a rehearsal dinner. There's nothing wrong with that! Just provide some beer and wine and you've got a winning combination.

I'm gonna put my drink on. Saving money for your wedding really can be done if you factor in (or out) alcohol. Some great ways to save money is to have a no-host bar, which means everyone has to pay for their own drinks. It's amazing how folks drink less at a wedding if they have to pay for it.

Also serving only wine and beer is a good way to cut costs. Having no alcohol whatsoever is by far the cheapest way to go of course! Buying liquor, wine or beer yourself will also save you money. If you need someone to serve it, then look into how much that will run if you supply your own booze. A wedding is a celebration but that doesn't mean paying for folks to come and drink themselves to death.

Two for one. Sometimes you'll get a cheaper rate for a wedding if you have the wedding on the premises along with the reception. Also if guests are staying at the same location, you can get some great deals. Inquire about special packages.

It's a wonderful world. Think outside the box if you're trying to save money. Some great venues for an inexpensive wedding are parks and beaches, forests, someone's beautiful backyard, and many other places. Check with your local chamber of commerce as to prices and restrictions such as serving alcohol or food but there are many, many options.

Also moving the wedding to a smaller town or suburb can cost you much less than holding your ceremony in a larger city.

Music to my ears. Do you know someone who is a musician or who plays in a group? If so, you can save a bundle on live music. Just make sure you check them out before you hire them and make your song selection known. If you don't know someone, you can inquire at local colleges or places where bands play and inquire how much they might charge for an evening or afternoon wedding. Do your friends know someone? It's amazing once you start asking how many networks you can tap into.

Do you want a DJ? Inquire about the same kinds of options from friends and family. Do you know someone or does someone else know someone who charges reasonable rates? Remember to get the hours down pat though for your music. You don't want the band or DJ waiting around for their time to start because you'll be paying them from the time they got there. If you have no budget for music, an iPod with a specialized playlist works just as well. Just make sure you have good amplification for the music.

In short, there are a lot of ways that you can save on wedding costs.

These are just some of the many ways to trim costs and end up enjoying your day rather than feeling guilty over how much you spent.

Visit many websites such as

Look up DIY wedding projects and see what suggestions they have for invitations, favors, wedding flowers, and more.

With a little ingenuity, you can have the most beautiful wedding for a reasonable price.

See what else is out there to discover to make your day the most special of all and affordable.

If you have more ideas on how to save on a wedding, please leave your comments below for all to enjoy.


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    • Shannon Paigah profile image

      Shannon Paigah 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Nice hub! Very informative and practical. Thanks :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Awesome, Dallas---- and congrats! Nothing like a wedding.

      Msannec - Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • msannec profile image

      msannec 7 years ago from Mississippi (The Delta)

      Fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Sent to my son.. Thanks! Flag up.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Hanna~

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      You can have a wonderful day yet much lower cost with Audrey's suggestion. They were wonderful.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thank you, Simone~

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, more fantastic wedding tips! Thank you for sharing them - and I love the photos and video, too!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Paula for dropping by! I agree...I always say I'd love to have had more daughters but it does get pricey!

    • PaulaK profile image

      Paula Kirchner 7 years ago from Austin. Texas

      Great job! What a wonderful resource for a bride. I don't know how families with three or four daughters survive the weddings. Wow!


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