Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, especially when you are on a tight budget or just wish to spend less than average. There are many ways to cut costs, from the wedding venue to the flowers. A cheaper alternative can be just as beautiful! Check out our top five ways to spend less on your wedding!
1. Do It Yourself
Make your save the dates and invitations, seating labels, reception decor, bouquets and boutonnieres on your own! It may seem impossible but if you browse the wedding aisles of AC Moore, Michael’s and even Walmart you will find many resources that make it super easy and affordable. They sell invitation kits where you can pick from different styles of a boxed set and print out what you would like written on your invitation right at home from your own printer. They also sell card stock that you can cut and fold to the size you’d like to create seating labels. The colors and styles of card stock vary from simple to elegant and you can spruce it up with a raised stamp. The stamp aisle will have designs for every occasion from Easter and Back To School through Baby Showers and Weddings.
Flowers can be especially expensive! I could not afford the cost of a florist and I was not going to cut from my food or photography budget in order to fit it in. I found that you can make your own bouquets and Boutonnieres! The trick is to buy the better quality silk flowers and use real floral tape to pull the ends together to give a finished look. Just like the real ones! The craft stores have all of these materials. Don’t forget ribbon and baby’s breathe as well as wire cutters to get the flower stems the size you want. No one at my wedding knew the difference! They photographed beautifully and the upside to this is that they will never wilt! They will look elegant and fresh all day!
Reception decor can be just as easy. A go to center piece arrangement for a wedding is a mirrored square with a glass vase or bowl filled with sand or water that has a regular or floating candle inside. Additionally you can find wedding confetti, fake flower pedals or colored jewels to adorn the table around the centerpiece. The mirrored squares can be bought by the box at a hardware store such as Lowe’s Or Home Depot. The other necessary items are even located at the Dollar Store! Look around, be creative and put a few things together to see how they look!
P.S. You can even find a Bridal Veil at the craft store too!! And don’t forget about all those 40% off coupons they have out each week!
2. Have your wedding on a “Non-Saturday”
Planning your wedding on a different day or time than a Saturday Evening can actually save you money! Many places that host receptions naturally charge more for the most popular night of the week. I have been to a few weddings that were on a Friday night and they went just as smooth. In addition, you cut your budget by finding a venue that can double as the ceremony and reception site. This way you will have only one rental bill as opposed to two.
3. Ask your friends!
Are any of your friends great bakers, photographers or DJ’s!? Ask around, check with your Facebook friends and you may find a great deal with a good connection. Another way your friends and family can chip in is by taking pictures. Say you can only afford a professional photographer for an hour. You can buy disposable cameras to leave on each table with a cute note asking for your guests to take some pictures of the nights events. Even better leave a party favor with a note at each place setting that asks guests to post their fun reception pictures throughout the night and tag the bride and groom!
4. Candy and Cupcakes instead of full size cake for guests
One of the last weddings I went to had the best dessert idea! They made a small wedding cake for just the bride and groom to use for the cutting ceremony. Right next to the cake were fancy cupcake stands with wedding styled cupcakes for each guest that the maid of honor had baked herself. They were delicious! And so pretty! Another treat was a candy, party favor table that had cookie jars filled with various candies to scoop sweet treats into a favor bag and it take home with you.
These options will save you from spending hundreds or more on a traditional wedding cake.
5. Shhhhhh…..it’s second hand OR last years style ; )
One of the main big ticket items for your wedding day is your wedding dress. There is no way around it, you will want to find the perfect dress to help you feel like a gorgeous bride! And you should! To cut the cost here I bought second hand. This may seem weird, awkward or “taboo” but you don’t realize how many people buy a dress and never actually wear it! I am convinced that mine was never worn. I put it on and it even fit perfect with no alterations needed! I will admit I was lucky but you can find a friend to help with alterations, especially if it is just a matter of a quick hem. No one knew my dress was not bought brand new and our wedding pictures were gorgeous! That’s my dress pictured above!
If the secondhand idea doesn’t work for you be sure to ask for last year’s wedding dress styles when shopping for your perfect gown. Of course the one in the window and those on display will be the newest designs and trends but they will have some mark downs as well.