1) Try having the wedding venue and/or reception at someones house or at a park.
We had our reception in my moms back yard and that easily saved us $3,000. Local parks can offer scenic settings without big $$$ being spent. We had the wedding at our local botanical garden which ended up only being $350, which is a lot more affordable than the Arboretum where I originally wanted to get married.
2) Pre Owned Wedding Dress
Wedding dresses are usually only worn once, so it doesn’t make too much since to me to spend $1,000++ for one day. Even after spending that much on the dress it still needs to be altered to fit you correctly, which you can expect to spend at least $100 on that. You can search websites like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook marketplace for a pre-owned wedding dress and it can save you a ton of money. Also a lot of thrift stores have wedding dresses as well. Just remember its easier to get a larger size wedding dress and make it smaller than buying a too small of a wedding dress and make it bigger. I ended up finding mine on sale for $300 because it was from a previous season.
3) Make your own wedding reception food!
This can be complicated if you don’t have a lot of help. I really wanted Italian food but to have it catered for our reception was anywhere from $600-$2,500, which we really couldn’t afford. My grandmother decided she would save us the money and make the food ahead of time and reheat it after the wedding. She made freezer pans of lasagna and chicken alfredo. We also served assorted breads and salad.
4) Make your own wedding favors.
I made vanilla scented candles for our gifts to our guests. It really added a great personal touch. I had saved my sons baby food jars and ended up putting them in there and painting the lids with our names and wedding date.
5) Design the invitations and wedding programs yourself.
I found something I wanted on Etsy, but thought I could do something similar myself. I just made it up on Word and printed it with Vistaprint.
6) Make your own Wedding Bouquet
I used Fifty Flowers and ordered the 100 white ranunculus for about $150. My grandmother she she was able to make the bouquets and the boutonnieres. With 100 flowers she was able to make my bouquet, two bridesmaid bouquets, some flowers for the flower girls to throw, and four boutnniers.
7) Skip the DJ
You can easily save $500++ by making your own playlist for the wedding and reception. Just designate someone that is in charge of the music. Just make sure you have a portable speaker that can play the music fairly loudly.
8) No Wedding Coordinator Needed
I had my family set up the tables at the reception with our centerpieces and set out our pumpkins at the wedding venue. A wedding coordinator can be helpful, but it you have family or part of the wedding party help set up, it can save you money as well.
9) Make table centerpieces out of inexpensive items.
We used candles, wine bottles, and pieces of wood for the centerpieces at the reception. If I wanted to do more flowers for the centerpieces that would have cost us another $150.
10) Have someone you know do photography or try and find someone trying to build a portfolio online through Craigslist.
Our photographer was one of our friends. I still payed him because it is still his job, but I saved money because I knew him. I really wanted videography for our wedding and we could have done without it but I found a good deal on two men just starting out with their videography company. They filmed an engagement video and our wedding for us.
11) Find a cheaper cake baker.
I found mine through Facebook, she was in cooking school specializing in baking and was trying to et her name out there. The cake was three tier and was only $150 including delivery. But this almost went completely wrong. Our wedding even though it was in October, was on a really hot day. Even though the cake was inside it started caving in. Luckily we were able to kind of put more icing on it and get by with that. I almost didn’t have a wedding cake. But my aunt and grandma came to the rescue and make shifted the cake to be okay. So there are pros and cons in trying to get someone just starting out in certain areas.
12) Make a Honey Fund!
Instead of trying to save up money for a honeymoon make a honeymoon fund at honeyfund.com Although the gifts we got were nice and have been well used, it would’ve been really nice to get a vacation together. Actually next year we are hoping to finally go somewhere romantic just us two. It’s hard to get away when you have two boys.
I hope this has helped with your wedding planning! For more help on your wedding check out my other blog post Our Wedding.