Bottom line is weddings can be expensive. They may start out small, but before you know it your guest list has grown, and your Pinterest account is overflowing with over-the-top and costly wedding creatives. You never realized how expensive it is to hire a band or a DJ, to rent a limo, to choose the right photographer… not to mention all the bells and whistles that add up to enormous reception costs such as cocktail hour, open bar, wedding cake, decorations, centerpieces, linens… the list goes on and on.
TheKnot.com reports that the average wedding costs about $32,000, which makes it a tremendous investment and financial strain for any couple. Not to mention, it’s a down payment on a nice house! These days it can be hard enough to save money, let alone save money to spend on a wedding.
But don’t stress, because we’re here to help! Before you break the bank planning your dream wedding, we’ve created a very helpful list of the top 65 ways you can cut or eliminate costs, saving tremendous amounts of money leading up to and on your very special day. Choose as many as you’d like from our Wedding Cost Cutting List Ideas and save as much as you can! Weddings don’t always have to send you to the poor house when there are so many amazingly ingenious ways to save on the cost of your wedding.
65 Brilliant and Ingenious Ways to Cut Your Wedding Costs
1. Cutting down your guest list. We know some of you have large families and lots of friends, but the most logical way to cut down the cost of your wedding is going to be cutting your guest list. This will reduce catering costs, reduce the costs of wedding favors, invitations/thank-you cards as well as linen rental and centerpieces.
2. Limit the size of your bridal party. The larger the bridal party, the more accommodations and money you’ll be spending on them… i.e. gifts, rentals, larger limos, more photography time, rehearsal dinner. Keep your bridal party to the minimum.
3. Having a wedding in the Off-Season. Spring and Summer weddings are extremely popular, but can be extremely costly. You can save thousands of dollars by choosing to get hitched during seasons of the year that aren’t as in demand. If there’s a venue that you love, price out the difference between hall rental for different months, weeks and seasons of the year. The cost of weddings decreases drastically from December through March.
4. Leverage your talented friends. Have a friend who’s crafty, good at graphic design, baking, is a musician, a DJ, photographer, or great with hair and makeup? Ask them to donate their services in lieu of a wedding gift to you and take advantage of their special talents.
5. Find a wedding venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors. This is common. Some vendors not only want to make money on hall rental, but force you to use their vendors as well, overcharging for their services at times. You can save money on all of this by finding a venue that lets you shop around for the vendors you want to use and that will save you the most money.
6. Have wedding and reception in the same place. This will not only cut your venue costs, but your transportation costs as well.
7. Choose a wedding venue that doesn’t require much decoration. Venues like a vineyard or an outdoor beach wedding are beautiful all on their own!
8. Have bigger tables. You’ll be able to cut costs by saving money on linen rentals and centerpieces due to the fact you’ll be able to fit more people at each table. This also makes it easier to place families and friends together.
9. Choose a different day. Saturday weddings are most convenient for people to attend, therefore, the most high in demand and the most expensive. If you are having a local wedding consider a Friday or Sunday date for your special day. Thursday weddings can save over 20% on the cost of your venue, and even consider a Sunday Brunch wedding as well.
10. Choose an earlier wedding time. The earlier your wedding, the more affordable. Brunch weddings tend to be cheaper than daytime/afternoon weddings, which are cheaper than night weddings!
11. Price out your flower and color choice before selecting your color scheme. There are some flowers that are definitely more popular than others, and there are also flowers that are 2-3 times more expensive. You can save a fortune on bouquets and centerpieces by selecting flowers that are less expensive, but just as pretty!
12. Simplify your centerpieces. You don’t need extravagant centerpieces. Sometimes less is more. You can save money by choosing an elegant, minimalistic centerpiece which requires less flowers and bells and whistles then a full bodied bouquet that blocks your view across the table.
13. Buy flowers that are in season. Simple enough, they tend to be cheaper.
14. Bulk up your centerpieces and bouquets with greenery. Choosing more greens in your centerpieces over flowers will make them look just as full, but cost you much, much less!
15. Create non-floral centerpieces. Centerpieces don’t always have to be floral. Sometimes you can save a ton of money by being creative and adding non-floral elements to your centerpiece, such as shells, driftwood, candles, votives, photo frames, water filled vases or anything else you can think of, instead of using flowers.
16. Double up on your Centerpieces and Ceremony flowers. You can save money by creating floral arrangements that will work both during your wedding ceremony and then transfer right to your reception and double up as your table centerpieces.
17. Wildflowers save money. An extremely inexpensive but beautiful idea is to use wildflowers and grasses to add accents and amazing color to your bouquets and centerpieces.
18. Silk flowers vs. real ones. Price out both the cost of silk vs. real flowers to see which will save you money. Silk flowers can be saved and reused and will always be beautiful.
19. Skip the main course. In every wedding I’ve ever been to, the cocktail hour has always had the best food. One wedding in particular had so many amazing food items and carving/cooking stations, we were so stuffed we couldn’t even fit our dinner. Skipping the main course and extending your cocktail hour is an option that may be preferred.
20. Consider a Buffet Style Wedding. This can save you from 10-25% off the cost of food, over a plated wedding and will taste just as great, and even give your guests a larger food selection.
21. Cater your own wedding. Sometimes renting a local hall and getting your reception catered by a local caterer or restaurant will save you thousands over a pre-catered reception hall. Don’t be afraid to seek out talent at a local culinary school who are always looking to practice their skills!
22. Negotiate Children’s Pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes the cost of children’s plates at a wedding can be reduced by up to half.
23. Cutting your liquor type. While it may not be the most popular way to save money, hard liquor is expensive. You can drastically reduce your wedding bar bill by only offering wine and beer, or limiting your liquor list.
24. Don’t offer Top Shelf. Top shelf liquor can cost a fortune, and there are many regular shelf liquors that are actually preferred and are just as great. Most are even preferred by guests.
25. Offer cocktails during “cocktail hour, and then switch to beer and wine during the wedding. This can save you a lot on the cost of liquor.