65 Ways to Save Money and Cut Costs Planning Your Wedding (Part 2)
26. Skip the champagne. Its cheap, nobody really enjoys it, and most of it goes to waste. Skip the champagne toast and save yourself a few bucks. Your guests will already be double fisting at your table anyway… they won’t miss it.
27. Cake Swap. Order a small designer cake to have on display at your wedding, maybe one or two tiers, and after the cake cutting, serve your guests a sheet cake. Nobody pays attention to what the actual wedding cake is made out of, they won’t notice or care. Cake, in any form, is always good.
28. Choose buttercream over fondant. It looks just as amazing and tastes so much better. Fondant is for show only. While you can eat it, its not appetizing. Buttercream is amazingly delicious, holds up just as well, looks just as beautiful and it costs a lot less than fondant!
29. Fake layers in your wedding cake. Want the look of a glorious, towering wedding cake but can’t afford the cost? Some bakeries will actually make “fake” wedding layers for a lot less. You’ll never be able to tell the difference and your guests will enjoy the sheet cake in the back.
30. Bring in your own deserts. You can save money by bringing in your own deserts and candy bar for your guests to enjoy during the reception.
31. Simplify your cake. The more elaborate your cake decorating is, the more expensive. You can save money by purchasing a more simple, yet elegant cake design.
32. Decorate your own cake. I actually did this for my brother’s wedding. While I’m not a “baker” I am very crafty and artistic. My sister-in-law wanted a specific decoration on her cake that the bakery wouldn’t accommodate. So I ordered a plain, three tiered, flat iced off-white butter-cream cake and decorated it with decorations I created myself. Instead of spending $500-1000 on a fancy cake, my beautiful, home-designed cake (in the photo below) only cost $200, and $25 in decorations and it tasted amazing! Here's the actual cake and cake stand I decorated for his wedding "rustic" wedding in the photo below. Decorating it was easy, cutting it was the challenge! And even though I had to remove a shelf, it did fit in my fridge!
33. Skip exotic cake ingredients and fillings. Sometimes certain exotic or high end ingredients can cost extra. Shave a few dollars off the price of your cake by sticking to the classics everyone loves.
34. Create your own invitations. If you are crafty or there is a graphic designer in the family, you can create your own wedding invitations. I actually created two handmade sets of invites as wedding gifts to my cousin’s and brother’s weddings that came out beautiful and much better than anything they could have ordered online. Don’t rule out the digital invitation. Here is one of the actual sets of invitations & rsvp cards I designed, printed and assembled myself!
35. Cut your invitation bulk/size. Postage cost money by both size and weight. The more you stuff into your invitations the heavier they are, the more expensive they will not only be to send out, but you’ll have to spend on the return postage for the RSVPs. By simplifying your wedding invitations into single page invites, you lighten the load.
36. Cut down on Invitation design. Custom printed and designed invites can cost a fortune, an extra $1-3 per invite! There are so many services that produce beautiful made-to-order invitations that will do the job just as well, and cost you a lot less.
37. Save the Date Postcards. In addition to downsizing your wedding invites, you can also save money by creating Save-the-Date postcards instead of note cards that require envelopes. Postcards require less postage to send and will save you money.
38. Send Digital Save-the-Dates. In an age where email overpowers “snail mail” your wedding guests are more likely to get a digital save the date, and store it right into their calendar then they will from one that they find in their regular mailbox. By sending out a digital and “printable” save the date, you’ll be able to redirect people to your wedding website, directory, and give them any other information they need for your wedding to make sure they keep the date open, for free!
39. Online Wedding RSVPs. You can save lots of money in return postage and RSVP cards and envelopes by requesting that your guests RSVP online for your wedding.
40. Cut down on wedding favors. Depending on what your wedding favor is, you can choose to cut back on wedding favors by giving one to each couple instead of one to each guest. So many favors get left behind so it’s definitely a great way to cut costs.
41. Make your own favors. The possibilities are endless.
42. Make your own wedding stationary, seating cards, and signage. This is much easier if you have a graphic designer in the family, but making your own wedding stationary/signage and printing it yourself can save a ton of money and will look just as wonderful.
43. Hire an amateur instead of an expensive wedding photographer. This one you will have to be careful about – some will say that if you are going to cut costs on a wedding, it shouldn’t come from your photos… but there are amateur photographers and students in training that take the most amazing photos and will cost you much less! Be sure to take a look at their portfolios to see what they can do, but you may just find the right one.
44. Choose a DJ instead of a band. Bands tend to be pretty expensive, you can choose to hire a DJ instead and save some money.
45. Be your own DJ. These days any friend with a good sound system, a MacBook pro and a decent playlist (which they can download beforehand) as well as a microphone can both MC and DJ your wedding, for cheap, if not free! Just preplan your playlist and hit play!
46. Don’t DO-EVERYTHING-YOURSELF. As much as you’d love to add special, homemade touches to your wedding, or believe that you will save money with a lot of DIY wedding options, be realistic. Truth be told, I’ve spent way more money at craft stores buying supplies for my DIY projects than I ever would have from buying something premade. Price out your options and buy in bulk!
47. Take advantage of “Cash Back” credit cards. Lets face it, you’ll be racking up some credit card bills during your wedding. Take advantage of both websites and credit cards that offer cash back on usage and take advantage. Ebates is a great site for “cash back” deals on websites you would normally shop at anyway, just by visiting their website first. You can even take advantage of it for non-wedding purchases!
48. Consider purchasing items that can be sold after the wedding instead of renting. Items such as table linens or certain decorations may make more sense financially to buy and then resell, instead of rent. Explore your options.
49. Don’t be afraid of wearing previously owned dresses. You can save hundreds and thousands on used wedding dresses… No one will ever know and chances are they’ve only been worn once before! Monica has a strapless Carolina Herrera in size 6 if anyone is interested…like new.
50. Leverage your friends. If someone offers to help, let them! You can save a ton of money on delivery costs alone by sending a trustworthy friend with a big SUV or Truck to pick up your stuff.