9 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

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wedding budget
Photo by Garrett Hubbard Studios

Wedding costs can add up faster than you ever thought possible. In fact, the average cost of a wedding gets higher and higher every year. But there are easy ways you can save money on your wedding without feeling like you’ve sacrificed anything major. Read on to find out our favorite ways to save, ranked according to how much you can trim off your total budget!

9. Wedding Shoes

I love wedding shoes as much as the next person, but those $200 shoes I bought are now hanging in my closet and haven’t been worn since I said “I Do.” And yes, I know you can say the same thing about the wedding dress, but the fact of the matter is that unless you’re wearing a short wedding dress, nobody is gonna see those suckers. Put that extra money towards a yummy meal on your honeymoon. Savings: $100-$300+

8. Cocktail Hour Music

Having a three-piece band play music during your cocktail hour is great, but if you’re looking to save money try streaming a playlist of the same genre of music instead. Even if you’re hiring a DJ for the reception, providing your own music during cocktails could save you an hour’s worth of paid time (which can range from $100-$300 and up depending on the package offered). Check with your wedding venue beforehand to see if it’s possible to play your own music during a portion of the evening. Still want that cocktail hour band? Consider sending your DJ home an hour or two early and playing your favorite homemade dance mix once the guestlist starts to thin out. Savings: $100-$300+

7. Wedding Favors

Wedding favors  can be one of those stressful last minute details that can push you over the edge. After all, worrying about little pouches for cookies (even though your guests most likely just finished eating some off the dessert table) can seem like a total pain in the butt when you’ve already spent almost a year planning everything else. So why not do yourself a favor and just skip the wedding favors altogether, especially considering that a) most people will not end up taking one and b) they can cost anywhere from $1-$5/each and up! If you definitely want to have wedding favors, have them double as something else, like escort cardsSavings: $150-$750+

6. Personalized Napkins

Custom cocktail napkins are creative, fun, and add a personal touch. But why spend a lot of money on something that is going to get wet/destroyed as soon as somebody uses it? I say skip the napkins and instead choose a custom logo to add to a wedding menu, place cards, and even your Thank You notes. If you were planning on buying personalized napkins you would have to buy 3-5 napkins per guest at a cost of around $0.30-0.70/per napkin. Savings: $225-$300+

5. Bouquets

Yes, bouquets are beautiful, but once you figure out how much wedding flowers cost, you might want to think twice about paying for flowers that you and/or your friends will hold for 30 minutes. I would suggest getting one bouquet for yourself, and having your friends walk down with a single stem. If you do want to have bouquets for your bridesmaids, make sure to repurpose them during the reception (IE: At our wedding we used all our bouquets on the dessert tables and at the head table). On average bridal bouquets cost $100-150/each and bridesmaids bouquets $50-90/each. Savings: $300 and up depending on how many bridesmaids you have.

4. Champagne Toasts

Wedding planners agree that skipping the champagne toast is one major way to save money, considering you have to pay not only for the champagne or champagne alternative, but additional glasses as well. In total, a champagne toast can cost you anywhere from $3-$8 per person. Savings: $450-$1,200

3. Wedding Photography

If you need to cut an hour or two off of your wedding photography package to save money, consider skipping the “getting ready” photos. While these are definitely fun to have, they’re not necessarily the photos you’re going to hang up and frame around your house. Instead, have your wedding photographer snap fun photos of you and your bridesmaids before the ceremony. Savings: $500 and up per hour

2. Desserts

A lot of brides get excited about desserts, and I don’t blame them. I mean, they’re delicious. But the problem is that 80% of the time guests don’t even want dessert by the time it’s served…they’re too busy dancing and having fun. Wedding cakes cost enough without adding a ton of different desserts to the menu. I suggest you pick one or two desserts (one of them being the cake) and THAT’S IT. Desserts can cost you as much as $8/pp PER specialty dessert in addition to your cake. Savings: $1,200 and up depending on how many desserts you pick

1. Cocktail Hour Food Stations

While it might sound fun to have a lavish sushi station or a carving station during your cocktail hour, it can often be a bit of overkill considering guests are just about to eat a big meal. Also, I don’t know about you but I’m not jumping to eat raw oysters at a wedding, either. Keep it simple. A selection of 3-6 passed hot/cold hors d’oeuvres (planning for at least 3 pieces per guest) are typically more than enough to tide guests over until dinner is served. While you can expect to pay around $6-$9/pp for passed appetizers, speciality stations can cost you as much as $15-$40 and up per person. Savings: $2,250-$6,000

What’s the biggest way you are saving money at your wedding?


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