This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Planning a wedding and looking for ideas to have the wedding on a budget? We know wedding costs can add up quickly and become very expensive.
Here is a list of tricks, tips and ideas to save money while throwing the perfect wedding.
1. Set a Budget
The first step to throwing a wedding on a budget is setting a budget for the wedding. Determine how much you can afford to spend on the wedding, and stick to this budget.
2. Have a Small Guest List
Another way to save money is to have a small intimate wedding. Opt for a small wedding with your family members and closest friends.
Eliminate acquaintances you are not really friends with, the co-worker you hardly see outside of work and distant family members to have a small guest list. You can also try eliminating the invited guests plus ones and their children if it’s totally necessary.
3. Order Wedding Invitations, Programs and Save the Dates Online
You can cut down wedding costs and save money by ordering invites and programs online. Fiverr, Zazzle, Sam’s club are great places for you to order invites online.
You can also DIY the wedding invites by buying printable invitation kits and then printing them at home or even sending the invites through emails without printing.
4. Rent Your Dress
If you would rather not spend that much money on a wedding dress and aren’t too sentimental about your dress. You can rent a wedding dress or buy a pre-owned wedding dress from a former bride or a reseller this would help cut the cost of the dress by 50% or more.
If you must totally buy a wedding dress, Amazon has some inexpensive yet lovely wedding dresses.
5. DIY Decor and Projects
If you are crafty or have family or friends that are crafty you can DIY some of your wedding decor. Skip expensive live flowers and make paper flowers and garlands instead. Look online for easy projects you can make. Embellish mason jars and use them as flower vases.
If you also love baking, you can bake your wedding cake this would save you plenty of money.
6. Use a Free Space
Do you have an open land or a big backyard? Instead of renting space consider having the wedding at home. If you don’t have access to any of these you can consider using public parks or beaches as these would be much cheaper than renting a hall. Just make sure you put the weather into consideration.
7. Opt for Artificial Flowers
Ditch fresh flowers and opt for artificial flowers instead. If you buy realistic looking artificial flowers no one would be able to tell the difference from real flowers. You can also choose to use flowers sparingly for the decoration and go with other non-floral items and decor so as to save cost.
8. Buy In Season Flowers
If you must use fresh flowers, buy in season flowers. This would be cheaper than flowers that are not in season. You should consider buying the flowers wholesales or buying from a farmers market as they have a wide selection of flowers.
You can also check large stores as some of them have great arrangements that are affordable.
9. Choose an Off-Peak Date
Most weddings are held between May and November. To get a lower price on the wedding venue, you can choose to have the wedding between December to April.
You can also skip the Saturday wedding for a weekday ceremony. By having a weekday wedding you can cut down on the number of guests that would come for the ceremony.
10. Ask Friends and Family for Help
Ask your friends and family to help with the wedding planning. Ask that crafty friend to help with making some DIY decor. Have family or friends be you day of coordinator or man the bar. If you are using an outdoor wedding venue you can ask them for help in cleaning up after the party instead of hiring a cleanup crew.
11. Opt for Grocery Store Wedding Cake
Get your wedding cakes from the grocery store. This would help cut the cake cost by half. You can get tiered cakes you can easily decorate from there.
12. Same Location for Ceremony & Reception
Having the ceremony and reception at the same venue can help save money. If you have the ceremony and reception at the same venue this means you will need fewer decor, no limo/party bus will be needed and you have to pay only one rental fee.
Guests would also appreciate this as this means they only have to drive and park at a single location.
13. Shop at Thrift Stores
Thrift stores are great for finding affordable decor. They are great for finding decor like linens, centerpieces etc. If you want to have a wedding on a budget, spend time shopping for decor at thrift stores.
14. Ditch Traditional Wedding Cake for a Dessert Buffet
Ditch the traditional wedding cake for a dessert buffet! Offer cupcakes, sweets and pastries in place of a cake. This idea is very affordable and you can easily get sweets, cupcakes and pastries at a store or you can decide to bake the cupcakes yourself.
15. Cater Your Own Wedding
You can cater your own food with help from family and friends. Instead of having traditional wedding menu you can opt to have taco bar, pig roast etc. Just look for easy and creative food friend and family can help prepare.
If you would rather not prepare the food yourself you can employ the services of a local restaurant.
16. Book Photographer for a Fewer Hours
Besides the wedding venue and food, photography is another major wedding expense. To cut down the cost of wedding photography instead of booking for a photography package ask to book their services for a fewer hours.
17. Stock the Bar Yourself
Stock the bar yourself instead of depending on the venue to supply you with alcohol. Make sure to buy alcohol in bulk preferably from a wholesaler as this would help cut the wedding costs. You can hire a bartender to man the bar or if you have a family member or friend that can do it you can ask for their help.
18. Skip Full Open Bar
Serve beer and wine at the wedding and skip a full open bar. If you don’t want to serve beer and wine alone you can add a signature drink to the beer and wine. You can totally skip the champagne bottles too!
To further cut costs make sure the bar isn’t opened until food is served, you can serve drinks with the food.
19. Skip Favors
Favors won’t be missed if you don’t give them at the wedding. If you must give favors, you can give edible treats as this would be less expensive than other favors.
20. Skip the DJ
Instead of hiring a DJ, you can create a playlist and have a family member or friend play the songs and help coordinate at the reception.
21. Have the Rehearsal Dinner at Your Home
Have the rehearsal dinner at your home instead of a fancy venue. If your home is too small for the venue you can ask to have it at your parents’ home.
22. Skip the Bridal Party Invitation Gifts
Instead of giving the bridal party gifts when asking them to be part of your bridal party you can send them cards or write them a note instead. Since they are your good friends they would understand if they don’t get an invitation gift.
23. Have a Destination Wedding
An intimate destination wedding is a great way to have a wedding on a budget. Most guests won’t be able to attend a destination wedding so you can basically save money if you have one.
I find it convenient that there are wedding venues that could help you save money. I learned that my friend plans to propose once this pandemic is over. I hope this can convince him to plan ahead for his future wedding.