5 Practical Ways to Save Money at Your Wedding
Weddings are expensive—even when pinching all your pennies, the budget still seems to cap out faster than you know it. The following 5 tips can help save hundreds (and potentially even thousands) of dollars.
1. Do the florals yourself.
Say whatttt?! Yep, you heard me. Don't get me wrong, I love florists and respect their creativity at the utmost, but not everyone has thousands of dollars to invest in king proteas or seeded eucalyptus. But what if you could order the flowers yourself using online wholesalers or other local resources? Spoiler alert: you can. When purchasing your flowers wholesale, you have the ability to cut the cost for florals in half—or even more!
Pro tip: using fake flowers is NOT shameful.
In the above image, the burgundy flowers in addition to a few textural pieces are completely fake. And I bet you wouldn't have known it if I hadn't told you just now. Depending on the season, a floral wholesaler may not have the color of flowers that you want—using fake flowers from Hobby Lobby of JoAnn Craft Stores, for example, is a great option! (And I guarantee that none of your guests will notice).
2. Consider Bridesmaid Dresses from "normal" Retailers
This one's for your girls—we all know they want to save money too. When it comes to your bridesmaid's uniform for the big day, there's a lot of pressure to stick to bridal retailers like BHLDN, David's Bridal, or local wedding boutiques. Every good bridesmaid says, "Oh, get whatever you want; the cost doesn't matter." What they mean is, "For the love of weddings, please choose something that won't make me have to eat Ramen Noodles for all three meals from now until the wedding—especially if I'll only wear it once."
In the above photo, each of the girls are wearing a $25 dress from Gap—absolutely wearable again and fits into everyones budget. Consider your style, the vision you have for your wedding day, and how you want your girls to look by your side. Then choose a retailer that matches your aesthetic: your options have no limits.
Pro tip: Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are totally trending—which is great because it saves them $$$ and allows them to express themselves freely!
If allowing bridesmaids to wear unique dresses (ie: each girl is wearing something different), just be sure to be very specific with you instruction concerning color palette and length. Always take approve the outfits before your wedding day—that way you won't have any unwanted surprises.
3. Online RSVP only
Wedding stationery is an investment of its own—but an aspect of stationery that is often an afterthought... the mailing cost. Most wedding stationery mails between $0.65–$1.08 due to the weight of the paper and any extra thick elements like knots, bows, or paperclips. Multiply those numbers by 100+ and you'll begin to see how quickly of a difference this makes to your budget.
In addition to the mailing cost of the invitation, it is common (and encouraged!) to include postage on the included RSVP card. Add $0.48 and multiply it by your guest count again.
To save you money on your stationery and mailing cost, nix the RSVP card! Include instructions for your guests to reply online at your wedding website or to a specific email address created just for your wedding. Not only will you save money on mailing—but you will cut back the cost of your stationery because you will be ordering one less piece.
Pro tip: when encouraging guests to rsvp via email, create a unique email address that is specific to your wedding; do not use your personal or work email.
4. Serve a Smaller Cake
Save money on sweets by opting in to a smaller wedding cake paired with sheet cakes or cupcakes. A tiered cake with the serving size to feed 150+ will come at no small expense. But a smaller cake—even one fit to feed 20-30 will cut back on your budget.
Combine a smaller cake with sheet cakes that can be pre-cut and served to your guests, or consider serving cupcakes. (Ye be warned: some cupcakes can be just as expensive as a tiered cake).
Pro tip: Family and friends always offer to help. Utilize their culinary skills to create a one-of-a-kind dessert bar.
One of my favorite options utilizes your closest family and friends to create a completely custom dessert bar. Grandma makes her famous ginger snaps; Uncle Scott brings his famous banana pudding; your mom's best friend who makes the best fruit hand pies. They'll feel involved in a special way, you'll have delicious desserts made from hands you know and love, and you will have saved money on
5. Get Married in Winter
This is no joke—most wedding vendors offer discounts on their services between mid-November to March of the following year. Some may even offer half off saving you thousands of dollars.
Pro tip: Winter weddings don't have to be winter themed.
Weather is a factor for most when deciding upon a wedding date. The cooler months can be a turn-off for many—but don't let it hold you back because not only will costs drop, but your wedding photos will be fire, especially if you chance upon some snow. (Think about how magical though would be!)
Best of luck as you plan and book your vendors! If you have any questions or additional advice, leave it in the comments below!