Money-Saving Tips For Your Dream Wedding

A wedding table with candles and napkins
A romantic ambiance for your wedding reception with candles.


Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips and Tricks

Planning a wedding is an exciting journey for many couples. You might've already been scanning brochures and looking up websites to find the perfect venue, decorations, food, and invitations, even if your target date is over a year away. However, the planning phase is also usually where the reality of wedding expenses sets in.


Let's face it—weddings are notoriously expensive. However, it doesn't have to be. Smart and careful planning helps you achieve your dream celebration without breaking the bank. With that in mind, let's explore some essential money-saving tips to help you plan a wedding while staying within your budget.

Top Considerations When Organizing a Wedding

The following factors dictate how much you'll spend on your wedding. Ideally, you should keep costs low without sacrificing your vision.

Venue

Popular wedding locations—like beaches, vineyards, and historical sites—are often expensive. You may also incur additional costs for venue-related services like catering, decorations, and staffing fees. Meanwhile, home weddings are generally free, allowing you to maximize your budget for other aspects of your wedding.

Logistics

How do you plan on getting to the venue? Hiring shuttle services, especially if you're having a destination wedding, will significantly impact your budget. You must also consider your vendors' timelines and transportation, which involve additional fees. It's a stressful aspect of your wedding, as it makes most of the difference between a smooth or disastrous event.

Food

Food is a crucial component of your wedding if you plan to have a reception, so it naturally accounts for a considerable chunk of your budget. Catering costs vary depending on the menu and the number of guests. However, it also relies on your setup, like if you opt for a formal plated dinner or buffet-style meal. Beverage service and staff gratuities are other costs you might need to consider.

Guests

The number of guests directly influences your overall expenses. If you invite a hundred people, you'll have to pay for a bigger venue, extensive transportation, and more food. Meanwhile, you can have the wedding in your backyard or a local park and minimize expenses if you only invite a few people. Either way, you should balance inclusivity and budget considerations to avoid overspending.

Decorations

Whether you're planning a beach wedding or a backyard celebration, odds are you'll want to decorate it to your vision. However, know that it may come with a hefty price tag. Elaborate design elements like quality linens, complex lighting, and LED boards are pricy and may become more expensive if you hire a professional decorator. That said, you can always save more by doing the d├ęcor yourself.

7 Strategies to Save Up for Your Dream Wedding


Beach wedding
Narrow down the location for your wedding.


The following strategies can help you minimize expenses and allocate your savings for your post-wedding goals, like having a grand honeymoon, buying a house, or starting a family.

  • Celebrate during off-seasons.

When do you want to have your wedding? Consider off-peak seasons when venues and vendors typically offer lower prices and more flexibility, given the low demand. Some weddings (43%) often occur during fall—from September to November. Meanwhile, only 11% happen between December and February, with the latter comprising only 3% of celebrations.

These figures are surprising as February is the "month of love," so one would assume that couples hold their weddings then. However, it's an ideal time to have your wedding due to the month's meaning and the opportunity to enlist big-shot vendors for cheap.

  • Pick a local venue.

A local venue, like a nearby park or hotel, will help you save on accommodation expenses for you and your guests. Unlike in-demand, out-of-town spots, they typically offer more affordable rental rates, letting you allocate more of your budget toward other aspects of your wedding. You can even facilitate the wedding in your backyard if you have the space for it to cut this cost completely!

A local venue simplifies logistics and travel arrangements and makes attending more accessible for your guests. In effect, you may enjoy lower vendor costs, especially if you're buying from local suppliers.

  • Hire friends and family members.

Do you have a cousin who bakes cakes or a sibling who sings for weddings? You can hire them instead of enlisting wedding specialists. Hiring friends and family can help you save on numerous wedding expenses while adding a personal touch to your celebration.

It may help you save money and bring your loved ones closer, including those who aren’t familiar with each other. In short, it makes your wedding day even more special and memorable for everyone.

  • Go for a buffet-style reception.

A plated dinner service allows for personalization but is usually an expensive meal option. After all, you're paying for each plate and the waitstaff responsible for taking orders, distributing meals, and cleaning tables.

Meanwhile, buffet-style catering services typically require fewer serving staff and accommodate various dietary preferences since guests can pick and choose their dishes. It also lets guests portion their meals, minimizing food wastage and making it a cost-effective and sustainable option. Furthermore, you can allocate leftovers as additional gratuity for vendors and staff present at the reception.

  • DIY your hair and makeup

Enlisting a professional hair and makeup artist is a significant expense, especially if you're also accommodating your bridal party. If you're confident in your skills, why not do your hair and makeup yourself? Many online tutorials and resources can help you learn how to create your desired look.

Of course, practicing as many times as possible before the event is crucial. Investing in high-quality beauty products and equipment also helps make the entire process more rewarding. However, if you can't nail your desired look, you can always get an experienced friend or a family member to do it. Ultimately, these practices keep you from hiring an expensive professional while still getting what you want.

  • Cut your guest list.

Wanting to celebrate your marriage with your loved ones is natural. However, every additional guest adds to the price of the catering, venue, and other wedding-related costs. You may need to trim down your guest list to reduce your expenses.

Carefully evaluate your guest list. Are you having an intimate or micro wedding to maximize your savings? Consider inviting only those most important to you, such as your direct family and closest friends. On top of cost savings, opting for a smaller gathering can also create a more personalized and memorable experience for everyone since you can focus on the quality of your celebration over quantity.

  • Try digital wedding invitations.

Weddings with 100 to 150 guests typically spend over $256 on traditional invitations. It might seem like a minimal amount, but that's over $200 you can otherwise spend on food, favors, and venues. Moreover, paper invitations are wasteful and unsustainable since they aren't always recyclable.

Digital wedding invitations are a modern, eco-friendly alternative that saves you time and money. With numerous online services, you may easily design and customize invites and RSVPs to reflect your wedding theme with minimal help. Most platforms also offer RSVP tracking and real-time updates, reducing the risk of delays. Best of all, some services are free or come with minimal fees.

Make Your Wedding More Rewarding


A bridal bouquet and shoes
Elevate your bridal style with these stunning shoes and a beautiful bouquet.


Planning your dream wedding is exciting but know that it's usually an expensive event. However, implementing the money-saving tips above can help you create a beautiful, memorable occasion that won't break the bank.

Remember, your wedding day should be about love, not money. Spending a frivolous amount on such a momentous occasion might be tempting, but the heartfelt moments you share with your would-be spouse and guests are what make it special. So, prioritize what truly matters and save your money for what lies ahead in your journey as a married couple.

Author: Alexandra Maltseva is the founder of Invites and Co. With courses in art and design up her sleeve, she initiated the creation of the company to create the perfect digital wedding invites with RSVP. She partners with a team of designers and developers to help others have a personalized wedding experience.

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