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Top Five Tips for Saving Money on Weddings

Updated on July 8, 2009

Money Saving Tips

The price of weddings has been drastically increasing over the past decade. With average wedding costs approaching $30,000, it's important to consider tips on how to save money on your wedding.

In this article I'll outline the top five tips for saving money on your wedding. There are definitely a ton of other ways to save money on wedding expenses, and if you're interested in learning them check out my other articles. However, for the purposes of this article, I have only written the top five ways to help you save money. If you use these tips, you could easily save over $10,000 and if you're thrifty you could even trim $15-20,000 on your wedding expenses. How would you like to do that?

Less guests = less chairs = less decorations = less overall wedding expenses
Less guests = less chairs = less decorations = less overall wedding expenses

The first and best way to trim wedding expenses is to invite less guests. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Think of it this way: each wedding guest could potentially cost you $25-100.

Put differently, here's a list of the primary expenses you have to pay for each wedding guest you invite:

  1. Wedding invitation ($1-3)
  2. Reception meal ($10-50+)
  3. Wedding favor ($1-3)
  4. Drinks ($5-25+)

Keep in mind that each guest also increases your total number of guests that need to be served by the wait staff, valets, etc. The less guests you have, the lower those costs as well.

Trimming wedding guests is the easiest way to save money on your wedding.

You could save money by doing more things yourself, such as your make up and hair
You could save money by doing more things yourself, such as your make up and hair

The second tip for saving money on weddings is to put sweat equity into the event. Rather than spending extra money to have things, spend your time on it. You could even enlist friends to put time into the wedding and save even more money.

Here's a list of things you could do yourself in order to save money on your wedding:

  1. Make your own wedding invitations
  2. Decorate the ceremony and reception locations yourself (try to enlist your friend's help here)
  3. Create your own wedding favors
  4. Do your own make up and hair

Putting sweat equity into your wedding is a great money saver.

Change that wedding date to a non-Saturday for some great savings
Change that wedding date to a non-Saturday for some great savings

The third wedding cost saving tip is to have your wedding on a day other than Saturday. Since Saturday is the most popular day, everyone will charge you more to book it then. The club house, the wedding vendors...everyone knows the popularity of the day and charges more for you to book them.

If you still need to have your wedding on a weekend, try a Sunday or a Friday evening. Or, if you really want to save some money, try having your wedding on a weekday such as Monday or Thursday. If you book your wedding then, you shouldn't have any issues with booked DJs or churches.

Scheduling your wedding on a day other than Saturday is a great way to save some money.

Get your friends to help with wedding details and you could save some serious dough
Get your friends to help with wedding details and you could save some serious dough

The fourth tip to save you money on your wedding is to have your friends contribute.

Do you have any aspiring musician friends? You'd probably be doing them a favor to ask them to play at your wedding. Do you have any friends who want to get into the event planning business? Have them coordinate and plan your wedding! Do you know of someone who wants to get into wedding photography? Ask them to shoot the photos of your big day.

The participation of friends in different parts of the weddings has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in wedding expenses. It all depends on how many things you could have your friends do and how much you want to entrust to them.

Here are some suggestions for things your friends can do to save money on your wedding:

  1. Photographer
  2. Videographer
  3. DJ
  4. Chef (for reception food)
  5. Wedding planner
  6. Getaway driver

Just don't shortchange your friends by letting them do this without pay. Some friends may insist you not pay them, which is fine, but overall you should count on financially compensating friends for the work they do for your wedding. Your friendship is worth that much, isn't it?

Having friends help you with wedding duties can save you a bundle over hiring professionals.

Don't save alcohol at your wedding and do save money at your wedding
Don't save alcohol at your wedding and do save money at your wedding

The fifth tip for saving money on weddings is to not serve alcohol. Depending on how much drinking your friends and family do, you could save hundreds of dollars in alcohol bills. Plus you won't have to hire a bartender to serve the drinks up, saving you even more money.

To save even more money, substitute sparkling cider for expensive champaigne. Each toast offered at the reception will be more affordable this way!

Choosing to not serve alcohol could save you a substantial amount of money at your wedding.

Having an affordable wedding without feeling like your cutting serious corners is possible and easier than you might think. By using thest top five tips for saving money on weddings, you could easily stay within your wedding budget and have a beautiful wedding that makes a statement.


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    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Awesome! It seems as if many of our friends getting married these days also save money by having friends/family do different things for the wedding.

      It's sort of a win-win for both parties since the couple would love to have the help and savings and the friends often enjoy helping the family with whatever they're good at (baking the cake, making the food, photography, etc). Plus, the friends can add their work to their portfolios if they're wanting to get into that industry.

    • jkvkdailey4 profile image


      9 years ago from Minnesota

      We saved quite a bit on our wedding by making all the reception food ourselves (it was a very simple menu), and having friends and family work in the kitchen. The food was served buffet-style and it worked very well with our laid-back country style wedding. My grandma also made my wedding cake - not only was it sentimental but delicious and very inexpensive! My aunt took pictures during the reception (we hired a professional photographer for some shots of the bridal party) and my cousin videotaped for the day. I agree wholeheartedly with your hub, being in debt for thousands of dollars (if you are paying for the wedding yourselves) isn't the greatest start to married life :-)

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Hey Julia, thanks for commenting. I agree with you that bridesmaid's dresses should be something that could be worn on other occasions and not just sit in the closet.

      And I like your idea of picking dresses that the bridesmaid's already have to save money. That doesn't save the couple any money, but it would save the bridesmaids money since they are supposed to pay for their own dresses.

      Good thoughts!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      To me a great way to help save on wedding costs would be to have the brides maids all wear their own dresses.  Pick a color all of your friends already have, like black which is classic, and that could be the colors for the brides maids.  I am probably not going to get married at this point, but if I ever do I want to buy a dress that is pretty, but no so fancy I could not wear it on a daily basis.  I think a cute long halter sundress with lace detailings would be great, and for the wedding it can be dressed up with the veil and jewelry.


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