10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

No matter how much you’re hoping to save, try out a few of these ideas to cut the cost of your wedding without sacrificing any of the fun:


1. Make your own floral arrangements and bouquets using farmer’s market flowers.


Make a trip to your local farmers market and talk to some of the people selling flowers to find out if they do wholesale pricing. If you buy the flowers wholesale, you can request certain flower types and they’ll come in buckets, ready for you to trim and arrange for your wedding. We suggest having a fun morning of creating unique floral arrangements with your bridesmaids. You’ll save a fortune and it’ll be one more fun part of your wedding weekend.


Whimsical Cali Ranch Wedding: Cassie and Bryan


2. Get your friends involved.


Chances are you’ve got a group of friends as creative and fun as you and your fiancé are, so ask them to help out at your wedding. And some may even donate their services for free as a wedding gift to you. If you’ve got a friend who’s a budding calligrapher, ask them to do your invitations. They’ll get to use them to build their portfolio and you’ll be left with stunning invitations. If some of your friends are DIY mavens, ask them to help you create decorations. Ask a friend who’s handy with a camera to manage the photobooth at your wedding. Your friends will enjoy being able to contribute to your special day. All you have to do is ask!


Taylor Sterling’s Wedding Details


3. Use local restaurants and food trucks for your catering needs.


Don’t feel pressured to serve filet mignon at your wedding just because it’s the “norm.” Opt for food you love from the town you’re getting married in to cut costs. A hidden gem in catering is local food trucks, which often provide catering services at lower rates. You can have the actual truck at your wedding or simply have them setup and deliver the food.


Food Truck Wedding


4. Make your wedding favors do double duty…or forget them altogether.


Buying a gift for 100+ people (give or take, depending on your wedding size) is pricey. Get wedding favors that serve more than just being a gift or don’t give out favors at all. Invite your guests to take the centerpieces home as wedding favors or use something unique for your placeholders that they’ll want to take home. Your wedding will be fun and we doubt guests will even notice they didn’t leave with a gift.


Wedding Favors


5. Choose a lesser-known venue.


Venues are pricey, especially during prime wedding season. Seek out lesser known venues in your area or venues slightly outside of the city, if you live in one. They’ll cost less and often have beautiful, scenic views. Also, nonprofit organizations, including some art museums that would provide an incredible backdrop for you to say your vows, often rent out their spaces at a fraction of what an established wedding venue would charge.


Lesser-known venue


6. Get married in the off season.


You learned this principal in high school: prices rise when there’s a lot of demand. Get married in the off season–November through February–and you’ll save on everything from your venue to the food. If the threat of snow makes an off season wedding impossible, opt to get married on a different day of the week. Saturdays are the most expensive days to get married but you’ll find prices are lower on various things on Friday or Sunday.


Winter Wedding


7. Buy a dress that won’t need too many alterations.


A bride recently mentioned the cost of her dress more than doubled due to alterations. When she bought the dress, she wanted “a few changes” to make it perfect and those few upgrades ended up doubling what she thought she’d spend on her wedding gown. Without a doubt, a bride should feel beautiful on her wedding day and sometimes alterations are unavoidable. But be sure to choose a gown that’s already perfect instead of spending your entire budget on one that needs some costly work. Tulle is especially difficult to alter and therefore more expensive. Another option to save on your dress is to shop warehouse sales. Some stores, including J.Crew, will hold warehouse sales and offer deep discounts (think $50 for a $1,000 gown). If you buy a cheaper dress, you can afford to splurge more on the alterations.




8. Have an entire table of desserts instead of a cake.


Wedding cakes are expensive…like, really expensive. But you can have your cake and it, too, by creating a dessert bar with pies, brownies, cheesecakes, etc. This is also a great opportunity to get friends and family involved. If your ceremony and reception are in the town where most of your friends and family live, ask if they’d be interested in bringing a dessert to the reception. How delicious would it be to enjoy your favorite pie using your grandmother’s recipe on your wedding day? You can make that happen.


Desserts Table


9. Limit the selection of alcohol at the party.


Not to be total fun-suckers but to cut costs in a major way, offer a few types of beer and wine instead of giving an entire open bar. If your venue allows it–and we recommend finding a venue that does–is to bring in your own beer and wine purchased from a discount store, like Sam’s Club or Costco. They offer a wide selection of beverages and you’ll pay a fraction of what it would cost to buy directly from the bar at the venue. For an added effect, create a signature cocktail for the wedding and offer that to guests along with whatever beer and wine you choose.


Bar Menu


10. Have a friend with enviable locks and makeup skills help the bride get ready.


Did you know a wedding hair trial run can cost as much as getting it done on your wedding day? And bridal updos are not cheap. The same goes for testing out makeup for your wedding day. Makeup artists will charge for a consultation and trial run of your wedding day makeup and you’ll owe that fee again on your wedding day. Find someone you know with enviable locks and ask if they’d be willing to style your hair and/or do your makeup on the big day. You’ll save time for running out to the salon and will have more time to sit and enjoy the company of your bridesmaids on your wedding day.


Grove Park Inn Wedding