15 ways to save money on your wedding

Want to SAVE THOUSANDS on your wedding? Don't know where to start? We’ve outlined some great starting points for making a realistic list of priorities, sticking to a budget, and how you can still have your dream wedding with all the frills! 

Photo:  Digital Born  

Photo: Digital Born 

Making a list of everything you're going to incorporate into your wedding can seem overwhelming. There are several ways to make this an easier, organized process. Cost of Wedding, for example, is a great online tool for determining what specifically you want, and how much it will cost.

1. Prioritize:

Prioritizing is critical in maintaining a balanced budget and an organized system.

It’s better to spend more money on fewer things to ensure optimal quality than to spread your budget thin and get poor results. In addition, make sure to distinguish between things you want and need. This may seem like an obvious task, but it's harder than you think. You may be totally set on having a 4 tier cake, but if that means sacrificing first-rate vendors and a day of coordinator (who will make sure your wedding is PERFECT), that may be a trade-off to reconsider!

BUT, as we’ve said, part of our job is helping you to have your cake and eat it too (literally, I suppose). So, let’s get into some ways in which you can realistically and effectively save money on your wedding while making an effort to include all of the "extras." 

 2. Cut the numbers: Cutting the guest list is the fastest way to save money. Although we may feel obligated (and even pressured) to invite all our friends and family regardless of how long it’s been since your last conversation, cutting the guest list can save you up to thousands of dollars.

Think of it this way: In Minnesota, the average cost for a wedding guest is $136. Let’s assume you start with 120 guests.  If you cut that list by 20 people, (2 tables) you’ve just saved $2,720.

3. Off peak days: We all know most weddings take place on Saturdays, (70% in fact). This is partly due to accommodating out-of-town guests who need additional travel time. But choosing to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday can end up saving you thousands of dollars on a venue. A Friday/Sunday or weekday wedding will also result in more affordable airfare costs for out-of-state guests.  

4. Seasons: In addition to days of the week, season plays a big role in determining the price you pay for a venue. Consider having your wedding on an “off-peak” month (November-April). Not only will the venue price drop, but your vendors will most likely offer you an off-season price as well. Besides, who doesn't love the winter aesthetic? 

Let's talk invitations...Let’s assume you purchase 100 invitations with an online retailer. In this calculation we are including the average prices of save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, postage, and shipping costs. All together, these add up to $713. Here are a few tips on how to cut that price in half:

5. Printing: Use flat printing instead of letterpress and thermography. Stay away from engraving, as this is the most expensive printing process.

6. Simplify: This may seem obvious, but try to avoid extensive embellishments and keep the invitation relatively simple. It will still be elegant, and less is more!

7. Assemble your own: A lot of stationers charge a fee for stuffing envelopes. Avoid this extra cost by getting some family members and friends to do it.

8. Material: Consider using postcards for save the dates and RSVPs. You’ll save on paper cost and postage.

9. Combining cards: Another option is combining the invitation and response card. In this case, the response card would be attached on the bottom of the card by perforation. You’ll cut your cost by using less paper, and you’ll save quite a bit on postage since they will be lighter.

10. Using your website: Instead of having several inserts with schedules, transportation, menus, logistics, etc., simply include your website on the invitations. Guests will have the information they need, and you'll save a lot of money by eliminating inserts.  

Flowers can be one of the most expensive items on a couple’s list. The average price for all bouquets, centerpieces, florists, and decorations is $2,140. That’s 7% of the average $30,000 that couples spend on their wedding. How can you cut this cost while still including elegant blooms and a pleasing aesthetic? We’ve got some answers:

11. Stay in Season: Make an effort to stay within the season’s flowers, as these will be the most budget friendly.  Not to mention, you’re getting the freshest blooms.

12. Trust your florist: Your florist should help you find the most affordable prices. Tell them your vision of style and color, and then hand the reigns over to them. They will ensure you get the look you want while staying within your budget.

13. Trade-ins: Obviously some flowers are more expensive than others. But more often than not, these expensive ones have “cousins” that look quite similar. Consider switching peonies for roses, orchids to delphiniums, Gardenias to Camellias, etc. Same great look, better prices.

14. Greenery: As always, greenery is the best way to add texture and color to an arrangement, and it is very inexpensive. 

15. Alternatives: Another way to save money on flowers is simply not to use as many. Consider filling your space with more candles to increase the variety and romantic atmosphere. Mix it up with different sizes, from tall candelabras to tea lights.

Melody Hall