Quick tip: If you want to jazz up a bouquet of seasonal flowers, we suggest incorporating a pretty pendant or strand of pearls into the arrangement, or even adding colorful ribbon.
Seasonal and local are in when it comes to food so why not flowers? These flowers are much less expensive than the imported varieties. You can spend a bit more on an exotic bridal bouquet, but use seasonal flowers for the bridesmaids and other floral arrangements.
Opt out of flowers
on every table
Instead, choose inexpensive glassware, such as large square vases, and fill them with water and floating candles. Flowers can be the most expensive aspect of a wedding, so by strategically cutting out some blooms, you'll save a bundle!
Book a DJ instead
of a live band
If you really like the idea of having live music, just book it for the cocktail reception before dinner. Or you also could get a singer on a piano or keyboard as a way to get the live feel before switching to a DJ for dinner and dancing.
Use a videographer sparingly
When it comes to video, if you are on a budget, just tape the ceremony and not the reception. That way you still have a special keepsake of your day, but you save money by not paying a videographer for multiple hours.
close to home
Some of the loveliest weddings take place in family homes and gardens. Save even more money by having a pot-luck or do it yourself wedding reception. Think about having friends and family help you cater for a truly memorable celebration. This option isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the type of person who likes to get involved and know your friends are itching to help in any way they can, do it yourself wedding receptions are a great way to save and create a festive atmosphere without the fuss.
Forgo a cake, which can cost as much as $1,000 (or sometimes much more) depending on size, and opt for a more cost-effective dessert. Choose cupcakes, a dessert buffet or even a candy bar. A candy bar involves any kind of candy you love, plus clear bags and ties for guests. You’d be surprised at how popular this has become over the past few years. If you really like the tradition of cutting the cake, opt for a small cake for just the bride and groom.
This is also an area with money-saving potential for your wedding. Some brides choose to give each guest a tree seedling, which is both affordable and eco-friendly. Other brides choose to make a charitable donation in lieu of buying wedding favors. If you do this, provide a small card on each table explaining what you’ve done. You can also choose simple favors, such as chocolates, which never go out of style.
Providing alcohol is another wedding budget-buster. Think about asking your venue if you can bring your own wine as a way to save. They’ll usually charge a corking fee but that will still be cheaper than using their wine. And instead of offering an open bar (which can be extremely pricey), start the reception with a signature cocktail (perhaps something you and your new hubby create together) and then move to a cash bar after dinner.
Instead of a full, sit-down dinner, have a menu of one-bite snacks that are filling but small (mini sandwiches, mini pizzas, spring rolls, etc.). Have your menu be heavier appetizers, then serve dessert and coffee. You can also opt for a brunch or luncheon versus a lavish dinner reception to further save without compromising on style.
It’s all about choice. Decide what you want to spend your money on and save in other areas. For instance, if you don’t want to compromise on a photographer, save money on the venue by having a backyard or garden wedding reception. Or if your dress is going to be on the pricier side, go for cupcakes instead of a four-tier creation.
More wedding planning tips
DIY wedding favors
12 Wedding bouquet trends we love
8 Wedding cake myths