Ways to Save on Your Wedding Day

Countless details go into planning the perfect wedding. We spend months, if not years, scouring wedding magazines, blogs, and Pinterest to find the details for what will one day be an unforgettable day. More often than not when talking to brides they have at least one, if not more, thing they wish they had known or had done differently. Hiring a wedding planner isn’t within most bride’s budgets, so we’ve turned to industry experts to share some of their best money saving tips. From the dress to the flowers, selecting the perfect day, invitations and more, these pros have a proven track record of making dream weddings come to life.

Decor

• Go to tag sales, flea markets, and estate sales to find one of a kind and inexpensive decor. Many items can be reused in your home, or you could even have a post-wedding tag sale of your own! – Candice Coppola, Jubilee Events

Use candles to help fill your table. A cluster of pillar candles in all different sizes will not only cut down your flower needs, but will also create a cozy and romantic atmosphere for your guests. – Mindy Weiss, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

• Consider utilizing Etsy for small touches to customize your wedding. You’ll find everything from custom linens and wedding day stationery to personalized signage–for very reasonable prices. – Sara Bauleke, Bella Notte

Create focal points. Can’t cover your entire wedding in chandeliers? Hang one over your dessert table or escort card table or during your ceremony. It will create a fabulous focal point that will stand out to your guests and personalize your day without breaking the bank. – Abby Larson, Style Me Pretty

• Plan to repurpose your ceremony decor at the reception. Line the aisle with little bouquets, and then place them into vases to fill your centerpieces. – Beth Helmstetter, Beth Helmstetter Event

Find inexpensive glass containers and bottles and paint them vibrant or subdued hues. Just a little swirling of your color of choice on the inside of the bottle will provide you with a unique look. – Candice Coppola, Jubilee Events

• Infuse the event with your own personality and style. Source items from a local farm or garden or gather vintage textiles from a family heirloom. The most beautiful style choices can come from the things you know, and they can also be the least expensive.   – Lisa Vorce, Lisa Vorce Event Design & Production

• When it comes to centerpieces, candles, cake stands, and fresh fruit can make a huge impact and costs less mixed with blooms. – Anne Book, Signature Style

Florals

Skip the bouquet! A single wristlet is beautiful, costs much less than a bridal bouquet, and can be worn throughout the wedding. – Anne Book, Signature Style

• Be open to what florals look best and are in season. For example, peonies are available late spring into early summer. For a fall wedding, garden roses are a wonderful substitute that still give that beautiful full fluffy look for a fraction of the cost. – Lisa Gorgestani, Details Event Planning

• Consider taking a floral design class with your bridal party to create your own centerpieces. This is also a fun activity for a bridal shower. – Emily Dreblow, Soulflower Design Studio

Use vases you already own filled with inexpensive babies breath. – Sarah Tucker, Sarah Tucker Events

Food and Drink

• Get a beautiful small cake for display but then get a sheet cake to actually serve guests from. –Beth Helmstetter, Beth Helmstetter Events

• Save money on the coffee and dessert station by providing coffee for 1/3 of the guests and 3-4 pieces of mini desserts per guest. If you have an assortment of 6 to 8 mini desserts for your dessert station, you can order each variety for half guest count to cut down on costs. – Elaina Vazquez, Boutique Bites

It’s a common misconception that choosing a buffet dinner for your wedding is less expensive than choosing a plated dinner. However, the caterer needs to provide more food for a buffet to make sure it always looks replenished even for the last guest, not to mention all of the serving pieces needed for buffet stations. To save money on the menu, choose a 2-course plated dinner followed by passed sweet bites.  – Elaina Vazquez, Boutique Bites

Cut your guest count to make most of your set budget. Here’s the deal. Food costs money; and really good food costs more money. Same goes for flowers, rentals, staff, a venue, etc. The guest list for my wedding is only 100 people and we’ll probably end up with 85 or so guests. We wanted to spend more money on a fewer amount of guests than stretch out less money on more guests. – Elaina Vazquez, Boutique Bites

Reduce the size of the cake to serve 2/3 of your guests. Even then there will be cake left over. – Lisa Gorgestani, Details Event Planning

“Re-merchandise” house wines with pretty decanters and handmade tags on the bar. – Anne Book, Signature Style

Paper

• Instead of bombarding your guests with multiple little cards (map to the reception, response cards, etc.) simply include a business-card size card with the URL to your wedding website. – Sacha Krasney, BE U Weddings

• If you’re adamant about working with a professional stationery designer, ask about less expensive printing options. My stationery brand collaborates with brides based on their budget. We often work with them to design and print everything and then have them assemble everything themselves. It saves money and becomes a fun project with bridesmaids! – Sacha Krasney, BE U Weddings

• Save over $500 by using Paperless Post for your save the dates. This is an excellent way to get the message out to your guests. – Lisa Gorgestani, Details Event Planning

Flat printing on your stationery on a more luxurious paper still offers a lovely quality for your invitations but is significantly less expensive than letterpress or engraving. – Beth Helmstetter, Beth Helmstetter Events

• Hand write or have a friend with beautiful penmanship address the invitations….they could always  “calligraphy” the escort cards and place cards too if you are having those! Typical pricing for names to be hand calligraphies start at $1.50 each…if you have 200 guests, that would be $300…now that is a NICE wedding present. – Tara Guerard, Tara Guerard Soiree

Order colored envelopes instead of lined ones. Not only is this the first thing you grab from the mailbox, but it is less expensive than a liner and highlights the calligraphy. – Kara Gordon, Magnificent Milestones

Paper straws are a big hit at weddings. Why not jazz them up with some fun washi tape flags? All you need are paper straws in your choice of color and style and a few rolls of washi tape. It’s super easy to do and a really fun look! – Candice Coppola, Jubilee Events

Even More Ways to Save

Get married on an “off” day, or during the “off” season. Saturday nights between May-October are highest in demand and will be the most expensive. If you’re getting married indoors or in an area with a mild climate, consider setting your date sometime between November-April. If you have your heart set on a summer wedding, consider a Saturday morning, Sunday, or even weekday. – Mindy Weiss, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

Think outside the box on ceremony time and location. A sunset backyard ceremony followed by dancing under the stars, a picnic ceremony in a park, or a champagne breakfast overlooking the river can be just as amazing as a fourcourse meal. This will save you thousands while having the bonus of creating something unique and special to you. – Danicia Dutry, Danicia Dutry Ceremonies

Shop a sample sale for your wedding dress. You can get designer dresses (like Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier and Kirstie Kelly) for up to 50% off. – Mindy Weiss, Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

Book your photographer once you have confirmed your date and venue.  The majority of photographers will allow you to book the packages and prices they’re working with today, even for your wedding that’s 18 months away. Lock in that lower price! – Emily Weis, Emily Weis Photography

• Tell all of your friends about your photographer.  Encourage them to book the same photographer for their wedding. Referring can often get you pretty amazing goodies.  Sometimes photographers have a clear “Referral Program” while others choose to surprise you with something lovely after the referral.  Either way, referring works in your favor! – Emily Weis, Emily Weis Photography

• Take a cab instead of a car service. If you have a city transportation system, own it and make it part of your story. – Anne Book, Signature Style

• If you’re struggling with design direction, consider hiring a professional designer to put together a color story and inspiration board for you. We often do that for clients who need creative help, but would prefer to manage their planning on their own. With a vision, ideas, and some direction, you can set out with your design plan to pull together the details! – Candice Coppola, Jubilee Events

• Never be afraid to be upfront with vendors about what your budget is and what you are looking for. The more information you provide to a vendor, the better they are able to address your needs. A florist may suggest using different flowers to keep costs down and a planner might customize their services so that they can assist you with your wedding within your budget. While vendors rarely offer a flat discount on their services, many are willing to be flexible with their offerings to fit with different price points. – Sara Bauleke, Bella Notte

Photography by Kimberly Genevieve // Cyn Kain // Amanda Hein // Naomi Chokr // Leijea Photography