How To Save Money On A Wedding: 35 Top Tips

As your wedding planning moves forward, you’ll probably be getting more and more excited! But are you also wondering how to save money on your wedding? Don’t worry! We have some useful advice to help you out.
Weddings can be pretty costly, so every little detail helps when it comes to saving tips and tricks. You’ll need to make sure that you have a realistic budget, and to try your best not to go over it. Make sure to keep track of costs at every step and research very well!

Keep reading to discover how to save money on a wedding! Ease the wedding planning process with our 35 top tips below.

Your Wedding Venue

1. Consider a Weekday Wedding

Most brides would love to say ‘I do’ on a Saturday in June. But did you know that the day of the week you choose can dramatically affect the cost of your nuptials? By choosing any other day of the week you could be saving thousands! If you don’t have your heart set on any particular day, then it could be much cheaper to ask your venue if there are any days they need to fill. Also, consider what time of year you want to hold your wedding. Spring and summer are the ‘it’ seasons, but if you choose an off-peak month, between November and March, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save. Consider cosy indoor nuptials with dreamy winter decor, ambient lighting and a gorgeous fireplace.

2. Use the Same Venue for Your Ceremony and Reception

Another way to save is by having your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This will save you having to book different spaces, and from a logistical perspective it’ll be easier to orchestrate. You’ll also be able to save on decor, and repurpose elements as your vendors will be working in the same space together. You’ll also save on the commute. You won’t have to worry about how to get from one venue to another and your guests will be especially grateful that they don’t have to think about transport details. This also means that the switch between ceremony and reception is seamless. The best part? Your guests can be breaking the ice during cocktail hour, while you take your photos.

3. Opt for a Non-Traditional Venue

Another way to save money on a wedding is to consider a non-traditional venue. Hosting your wedding at an out-of-the-box venue can be much cheaper. For example, the restaurant where you first met, a rooftop, a rental property, an art studio, or a ski lodge. You’ll also find that there is more availability for unconventional spaces. Look for a unique venue that shows off your personality and that also has meaning to you as a couple. It will make your special day even more unforgettable!

4. Downsize Venue Decoration & Resources

Opt for a low key venue with an intimate vibe, that you don’t have to fill with decoration. This keeps your nuptials much cheaper. Or you could go for a stunning venue that might cost more, but which you don’t need to add anything to. This could also save you a considerable amount of money on decoration. Finally, ask about your venue’s resources. Some locations offer an all-inclusive package, which will save you from paying separately for other costs.

5. Leverage Bigger tables

An easy way to reduce costs with furniture and decoration is by using fewer tables. Find big tables for your guests to enjoy their meal at. This also means you won’t need as many centerpieces or table decorations. It might not be one of the biggest ways to save money, but every detail counts!

how to save money on a wedding
Photography: Naomi Kenton | Venue: Caswell House

Your Wedding Dress

6. Order Early

Ordering your dress early could save you money in the long run. We recommend 8 or 9 months in advance. This way, you’ll avoid any last minute rush for alterations and can even save up to 500 dollars for last-minute fixes! You’ll also have a great selection of dresses to try on to make sure you find the perfect one!

7. Consider a Trunk Show or Sample Sale

Trunk shows are an opportunity to see a designer’s entire collection and can save you a lot of money. Another option is to try to find a designer bargain at a sample sale. You can even save up to 90% off your dress! Keep an eye out on your local bridal salons for any upcoming sales. They usually happen in late Spring and early Fall.

8. Choose a Rental Dress

You could wear your dream dress at a fraction of the price by renting it for a night or two. Some rental companies also offer accessories for a reduced price too. An extra advantage is that you don’t have to spend money on preserving your dress or dry cleaning it. And you’ll save the costs of packing your dress if you’ve chosen a destination wedding.

9. Prioritize High Street Accessories

Cut costs on accessories by going for high street options. Nowadays, there are so many gorgeous wedding accessories in cheaper stores. You’ll also find lots of sites where you can rent jewellery for the day, reducing prices from 5 figures to 3 figures. Also, make the most of the ‘something borrowed’ tradition, and ask your family about any unique pieces or heirlooms that you could wear. It’s a beautiful detail to remember a special relative.

10. Opt for Less Expensive Bridesmaids’ dresses

You’ll find an amazing range of low-cost bridesmaid dresses that look expensive on the high street. Recently, more and more brands have launched collections helping brides save some pennies. Some popular stores include ASOS, Reformation, Lulus, Show Me Your Mumu and Nordstrom. Your bridesmaids can still look chic and stylish, while keeping the cost down.

wedding dress costs
Photography: Molly Carr | Planning & Design: Waterlily Weddings | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo

Your Wedding Invitations

11. Go Digital

Avoid mailing costs and go digital! Set up a wedding website and keep your guests updated there. Send them an e-vite so that they know where to find important information as well as any updates about events leading up to the wedding. You can send an initial save the date by paper to let your guests know about your wedding website. But keeping things digital is a great way to save money on a wedding. It’s also a sustainable option!

12. Consider DIY Invites

For brides that like the idea of sending out a physical invitation, try out DIY! You can make customize them however you like to suit your personality and style. Printing your own invitations will be much cheaper than paying for an invitation suite. But make sure to ask for help, especially if it’s a large wedding!

wedding invitations
Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Wedding Stationery: Lotus & Ash | Design & Planning: Moana Belle Events

Your Decoration and Flowers

13. Opt for Greenery

Greenery is a much more budget-friendly alternative to flowers. It’s an easy way to add style and incorporate nature while keeping the costs low. You can use greenery in your table runners, wedding sign decoration, wedding aisle decor, table centerpieces, and even your bouquet. You’ll be surprised by how much greenery can beautifully enhance your wedding decoration.

14. Decorate with Balloons

Another option instead of flowers is to use balloons. Over the past few years, more and more brides have been opting for balloons to transform their space. For example, think dramatic installations, reception venue ceiling, and ceremony arches. Balloons can be fun and creative or glamorous depending on your style.

15. Replace Bridesmaids’ Bouquets

A simple way to save money is by cutting out bridesmaids’ bouquets and opting for unique alternatives. Some of the most creative options include smaller corsages, lanterns, flower crowns, and greenery bouquets.

16. Leverage a Statement Piece

Rather than lots of small arrangements sprinkled around your venue, you can choose one statement piece. Even small decorations add up, so make sure to think about the total amount and how this compares to one eye-catching statement. For example a dramatic installation, or a stunning flower wall.

17. Use Polaroids

Polaroids are becoming the new photo booth. It’s not only a cheaper alternative but a fun way to keep guests entertained. There are so many ways that you can set up the Polaroid photo booth trend at your wedding, including getting your guests to hang the photos they take to create an installation, adding a mirror so that guests can perfect their selfie pose, and leaving small tags for people to write messages. Make sure to leave props too!

18. Go for Seasonal Flowers

Most brides will have a favorite flower, but it might not be in season for your wedding which will make sourcing the flower more costly. Your florist will be able to advise you which flowers are the most beautiful and in-season. This option also saves road miles and reduces your wedding’s carbon footprint. So it saves the pennies and the planet!

19. Repurpose Flowers

Another way to save money on flowers is by repurposing the ones you use from your ceremony for your reception. This includes your bouquet and your bridesmaids’ bouquets, arch arrangements and ceremony aisle decor. For instance, you can use them to add decor to your wedding cake or dessert table, the head table, a buffet table, a photo booth backdrop, and even the backs of chairs.

20. Replace Escort cards

Instead of preparing escort cards for every guest, consider one single, large seating chart. You can do the same for the order of events, to save you handing out individual programs. Another option is to use wedding favors as escort cards. Add a tag with the guests’ names and table numbers, as a charming way to display gifts.

how to save money on a wedding
Photography: Agnes Black | Venue: Middleton Lodge | Florist: Wedding & Events Floral Design

Your Catering and Cake

21. Consider a Buffet

A great way to save is going for a buffet instead of a sit-down meal. You’ll be able to reduce staffing costs, as you’ll need fewer servers or none at all! This option is more relaxed and lets guests pick at food throughout the night. It’s a happy medium for picky eaters too. Guests that have a bigger appetite won’t be hungry, and those with a smaller appetite will waste less. The best part is that it’s more sociable because guests can mingle as they choose their food.

22. Avoid “Difficult to Prepare” Dishes

Cut catering costs by avoiding hard to prepare meals. This will usually mean more staff to make the food, more staff to serve and higher-priced ingredients. Keep things simple, with maybe a couple of special elements.

23. Downsize Your Cake

Wedding cakes can be pricey, so think about downsizing yours to save money. Simple doesn’t mean boring. Stunning naked cakes are all the rage at the moment! These trendy sweet treats are easy to decorate, they show off the tasty fillings and add a rustic charm to your special day.

24. Opt for a Dessert Bar

If you’re not too bothered about tradition, scrap the cake altogether and go with cake alternatives. There are so many creative ideas to replace cakes such as a doughnut tower, a dessert bar, fruit trays, waffle stacks, cake pops, and cupcakes.

25. Enjoy Late Night Snacks

If you like the idea of having some midnight food delivered, then our tip is to plan for fewer people. Not everyone will want a late night snack, and some might want something small. So this means that you avoid wasting food and get to cut costs.

26. Prioritize Drinks

Everyone enjoys letting loose at a wedding with a delicious cocktail (or mocktail) but drinks can add up to be quite pricey. But there are a couple of ways to keep this cost down. First, you can ask your venue about their regulation on bringing your own alcohol. This means that you would organize the alcohol for the bartenders to use, rather than the bar using their own supply. Sometimes you might even find that any store you bought the drinks from will let you return any unopened bottles. Another option is to simplify drinks, and just offer beer and wine. You can even create one signature drink for the cocktail hour, but only a limited supply.

wedding dessert table
Photography: Say Cute | Cakes & Catering: Platitos de Azúcar | Event Planning & Design: Your Wished Wedding

Your Vendors

26. Limit Your Photographer’s Time

Every bride wants photos of their special day to remember forever. If you’re considering hiring a professional to capture these intimate moments, there are ways to keep this cost down. One of these is to book a photographer for a set amount of hours rather than all day. A full day will cost more, and it’s likely that in 3 or 4 hours they’ll be able to see the important parts of your ceremony and reception. You can also go with an up and coming photographer rather than a seasoned one who will charge a higher rate. Another tip is to ask for a digital copy rather than a printed copy, as you might not want all of your photos printed.

27. Hire a Wedding Planner

Although using a wedding planner might seem like a costly element, it could actually save you money in the long term. When you hire a planner, you’re not only paying for their logistical management skills but also their connections and years of experience. They can recommend vendors that are less expensive but that match your vision, and they can advise on the best parts to take out to reduce costs.

28. Consider Your Own Music

If you don’t mind not having a DJ or live band, then you could save quite a big chunk of money. You’ll still need music at your wedding, but you can make your own playlist. Make it fun by asking your guests to note down their favorite songs on their RSVP or on your wedding website.

29. Leverage Local vendors

Another tip when it comes to vendors is to stay local. Not only can it save money on a wedding but local vendors have more experience organizing local weddings. They’ll know the best routes to get to your venue on time, what street parking is available, where to get any last-minute fixes done and more! As well as insider knowledge, they’ll have connections to finding you the best deals. You might even find that your vendors have worked together in the past, which will definitely help your day run smoothly.

how to save money on a wedding
Photography: Camera Shi | Venue: Knotting Hill Place | Dress: Lovely Bride

Your Guests and Extras

30. Reduce Your Guest list

One of the most impactful, yet perhaps most difficult ways, to save money is to reduce your guest list. A small wedding can keep your costs down significantly and creates a more relaxed and intimate environment. This does mean that you have to spend time carefully thinking about who you should invite. But you’ll be able to spend more quality time with those you do invite. Also, consider fewer bridesmaids and groomsmen, especially if you’re paying for their outfits on the day, as well as other extras such as accommodation and transport.

31. Opt for Edible Favors

Lower the cost of your wedding by making some edible favors. Your guests will love a sweet treat to save for the morning after or their journey back home. Or give DIY a go! You might find supplies at home, and it’s a cute way to add a personal touch. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to have favors. It’s a popular tradition but you’re already hosting an amazing celebration for your guests to enjoy. So a favor is a small added extra that your guests won’t expect!

32. Consider Upcycling

Upcycling is a great way to reduce costs. Most couples know people that have recently gotten married so consider asking your friends and family for items that you can use or repurpose. Then once your day is over, you can pass the favor on to another couple! If friends and family don’t have things you can borrow, you can find cheap second-hand items on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Vinted and Depop.

33. Look Out for Sales

Make sure to keep an eye out for sales. You might be able to find some great discounts on dresses, accessories, and decorations. The most common sales are after Christmas and just before Summer, but some brands do flash sales where you can find some great bargains!

34. Ask for Help

Don’t feel shy and ask for help! Your family and friends will be super excited about your special day so they’ll be more than happy to give you a hand. That way you won’t have to pay for extra help. For example, you might have a DIY project that you can’t manage by yourself. Our tip is to list tasks on your wedding website so that everyone knows what you need and they can easily select tasks they’re available for.

35. Rent a Home for Accommodation

Accommodation will be one of the more expensive parts of your wedding budget. Especially if you’re paying for your bridal party’s stay. So a great way to keep these costs down, and have fun with your friends and family, is to rent a house that everyone can stay in. Rather than booking individual hotel rooms, you’ll find it’s cheaper to look for a home in the area that’s big enough for you and your bridal party. It’ll be a night to remember!

wedding guest book
Photography: Rachel Wakefield | Venue: Hazy Meadow Ranch | Event Planning: Bekker’s Catering

Wedding budgets aren’t an easy topic, and with the excitement of creating your dream day, it’s normal to go over budget. But with our tips, you can save possibly thousands on your nuptials! For more wedding planning advice or if you’re planning a destination wedding in Italy, head to WedBoard. In the meanwhile, you’ll find more money-related help when it comes to your wedding planning in our 6 Steps To Creating Your Wedding Budget, What Your Bridal Party Should Pay For and Unexpected Costs To Look For.

Featured image: Melli & Shayne

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