Easy Things To Cut From Your Wedding To Save Money
July 30, 2018in
According to The Knot, in 2016 the average wedding cost over $35,000. For one day. Just think about that for a second. I'm imagining seeing $35,000 in my bank account one day, having a party, and then watching that $35,000 go to $0 and I'm now hyperventilating. I know that some of you are saying, "but how can you put a price tag on the memory?" Do you know how many really amazing dates you could do for that much money? Do you know how many trips you could take with that money? Those are both memory-building experiences too, and you'd have more of them. Yikes.
Here's the good news. You can actually have an amazing wedding without the mountain-sized budget to go with it. Here are some of the ways to cut costs:
Honestly, when was the last wedding you were at when you were like "wow, this wedding cake is such a highlight." In so many weddings that I've been to, the cake cutting is this thing that interrupts the fun on the dance floor, or is a quick photo op session followed by people eating slivers of what was once a beautiful cake.
Wedding cakes are so expensive for such a small amount of payoff. There are so many great alternatives to the wedding cake that are DELICIOUS, fun, and that guests will love just as much, and if not, more.
Donut walls are popular nowadays, and who doesn't love a donut? You can get them looking really cute with colored frosting and all kinds of toppings.
Candy bars are amazing. If you get little baggies or boxes for guests to take some home, the candy bar can even double as a favor! Two birds, my friends. Two birds.
S'mores bars are also a great alternative. Have different kinds of cookies, lots of marshmallows, and different kinds of chocolate for your friends to make the perfect s'more.
What about wedding pie? Or tarts?
Think about what wedding traditions actually mean something to you and cut out the rest. Brides spend so much money on bouquets. Do you really need to hold something to walk down the aisle? You totally don't. And if you still want something, you can substitute flowers for something cheaper. Have your bridesmaids carry their fav book. Or a sprig of herbs. Or a small lantern. Your girls could walk down the aisle with stunning paper fans. Or, what about cupcakes? The point is that there is absolutely no reason why you need to spend hundreds on flower bouquets if that tradition is not important to you.
And while we're on the subject of flowers. The whole bouquet toss and garter thing is another expense that you don't have to occur. Those traditions are so old, many people are opting out of them now.
The something borrowed, something blue thing is so something boring, something ew. (Come on, I tried.) You don't need to spend money on vintage hair pieces and garters with blue ribbon to try and make up this tradition. Skip it and move on.
Okay so this might sound mean, but honestly, how many people look back on their wedding photos and can say that they still talk to all of those people? So why invite people who won't be part of your life five years from now? Your wedding is about celebrating your commitment to each other and your lives together. Forget about obligation invites and invite the people who, on your wedding day, you'll want to see, and hug, and say hi to. If you limit your wedding to only these people, your guest list is less likely to get out of hand. The more people you invite, the more your costs go up.
If you can limit your guest list, it gives you a lot more options when it comes to venues, which means that you can make sure to find a place you love within your budget. Speaking of venues...
There are plenty of beautiful places to get married that are cheap, or even free! You can get married in public spaces like a park or the beach (as long as you don't mind onlookers, but 98% of people will respect a wedding and keep their distance). Try connecting with libraries or museums in your town. If you know someone with a beautiful and large backyard, ask them about hosting your wedding there.
We actually went on Air BnB and looked for venues that are also suitable for events. I found a STUNNING big house and contacted the host and she was very happy to have us host our small wedding there as long as we cleaned up. It's nice because it's a beautiful backdrop for a wedding, and there are enough bedrooms for the family to stay over night and I am going to be making brunch for everyone the next day in the big, gorgeous kitchen!
You don't need to pay for a DJ if you can hook your phone up to speakers. Make a playlist and then turn on the recommendations. Spotify will play your playlist and then keep playing music similar to what you picked out. It actually has an amazing recommendation algorithm and I almost always find it spot on.
You can even be cute and ask guests to include a song or two that they would want to hear on the wedding RSVPs and add that to your list! Simple!
There are so many great e-vites out there now. Paperless Post includes RSVP tracking and the ability to send reminders to those who have not responded yet, and is going to cost you a FRACTION of the cost of paper invites. Plus, your guests are less likely to lose the invite in their email since you can always just search your inbox.
I'm going to put a disclaimer here: if you want your wedding to be perfect, this might not be the area to skimp. For those of us who are more "come what may", you can totally put together a wedding yourself.
Take your time and start far in advance. There are a lot of wedding resources out there online to help you with checklists and everything to keep you organized. It's basically throwing a party and a ceremony. If you've thrown a party successfully before, then you'll be fine.
Just make sure to channel your inner zen goddess if you go this route and do not let stress take over your life. Ask for help and ask your partner to let you know if they start seeing the wedding taking over your life. They can be prepared to step in and help.
Don't waste your money on things that look super cute on Pinterest but that you will never use or look at again.
Guestbooks might be adorable and meaningful in theory, but how many people get out their guestbooks and look through them from time to time. No one.
The same goes for keepsake favors. They add up quickly and are most likely going to end up in the trash. An edible favor can be cheaper and will end up in belly's instead of gathering dust in someone's basement.
I actually got my dress at Savvy Bridal which is a consignment boutique for wedding dresses. It was the perfect experience. I went in, she does appointments one on one with brides so that you get her full attention. I tried on lots of dresses that were amazing and found the one for less than $500. The best part is that I didn't even need to get it altered!
A lot of people sell their dresses on Kijiji or Craigslist as well, which means that it can be a treasure trove. One tip if you go this route is to ask the brand of the dress and try to do a little research into what that dress would cost brand new. Look for ones with pictures on a real person. Some people buy cheap, poor-quality dresses online and then try to sell them for more than what they paid, so watch out for that.
Ask around, too! A lot of people keep their wedding dresses with no real reason. They're not keeping it for anything, they're just not sure what they want to do with it. Just because a wedding dress was someone else's first, doesn't mean that your day won't feel just as special and wonderful wearing a previously owned dress. You're still going to look like a princess, and you're still sharing vows with the love of your life.
If you're okay straying from the typical wedding dress scenario, you can really cut costs on wedding dresses. Take a look at the dresses in the picture that I found in only 20 minutes of searching. These dresses are all cheaper than going into a bridal store and are stunning. No one would look at you and say, "why are you not wearing a wedding dress?" if they saw you in one of these. From left to right, you can find these dresses here, here, here, here, and here.
When you're looking for things online, don't use the word wedding in your searches. People jack up the price for weddings. Even when I was looking at make up costs, a lot of places would have one cost for wedding make up and one cost for just a make up application. So I just booked an application for a party. They don't need to know that the party is my party and it's to celebrate the fact that I'm choosing to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate.
Flowers can eat up a huge chunk of your budget. Try going rustic and get flowers like daises, baby's breath, or wildflowers. They're usually cheaper and have a beautiful vibe to them. Think of a bucket filled with daises. Go with flowers that are in season. You're going to pay an arm and a leg for tropical flowers or flowers that are out of season. Try buying bulk! Costco has great prices on flowers. Or, if you're really brave, be like me and go to grocery stores the day before the wedding. You can find really pretty flowers pretty cheap at grocery stores. I would not recommend this tactic for anyone who wants very specific flowers. I didn't care what they were, I just knew I wanted flowers of some kind, so the grocery store way worked well. I grabbed three bouquets that were around $7 each and it was more than enough flowers for what I needed.
When all is said and done, you can save a pretty penny by cutting down on all of these things. I'm sure there are many other ways to cut down on costs. The main idea is this: ask yourself what's really important to you on this day? What are the things that you could NOT forgo in order to say, "I do" to spending the rest of your life with your one true love. Anything that is not on that list is something that you could potentially do cheaper. After all, your wedding is about celebrating your love and your vows to be together forever, right? The rest of it is just details.