100 Insanely smart tips to help a busy bride stay on budget and save money while planning a beautiful wedding

  1. Keep your guest list small
  2. Choose flowers that are in season
  3. Consider a Friday or Sunday wedding
  4. Create & print your own invites- here’s a discount code for Minted
  5. Get married on off-peak season (November-April)
  6. Skip the plated meal and do a buffet
  7. Have more comfort food and snacks vs formal food options
  8. Rent certain items vs buying them
  9. Choose a non-traditional wedding venue: municipal park or beach
  10. Google local sample sales and trunk shows for your wedding gown
  11. Shop local outlet stores for bridesmaids’ dresses
  12. Purchase handmade items directly from the seller e.g. Etsy
  13. Ditch favors or limit them to 1 per couple
  14. Keep the ceremony and reception at the same place to cut down rentals, transportation and décor
  15. Rent your wedding dress
  16. YouTube makeup tutorials or go to Sephora for a makeup lesson then do your own makeup
  17. Swap in a sweet table instead of a dessert course
  18. Buy your own booze for the wedding
  19. Only serve appetizers during the cocktail hour
  20. Find a music student(s) to entertain during cocktail hour or for the ceremony (have them audition first!)
  21. Find a newer cake artist to make your cake
  22. Swap your cake for smaller cupcakes or tarts
  23. Limit the bar hours or have an alcohol-free wedding
  24. Instead of multiple shooters, only have 1 photographer
  25. Use wildflowers as fillers in your centerpieces
  26. Opt for sparkling wine over champagne
  27. Use a credit card to pay for vendors etc that has points or rewards so you get something back
  28. Google local wedding shows to get deals on potential vendors
  29. Use coupons or Facebook Marketplace to score deals on accessories or décor items
  30. Hire a wedding planner; what you pay them to do will end up being made up in savings because they can negotiate contracts and save you time
  31. Schedule to do cake cutting and first dance earlier in the evening to cut down on photography hours
  32. More than 3 courses for dinner might be excessive, guests should be fed but don’t overdo it
  33. Have a smaller cake created for display and cutting and have a larger slab cake in the back that gets served to guests
  34. Have a smaller bridal party to cut down costs and possibly hassle
  35. Ditch the bridal party altogether and just have a flower girl and ring bearer to save on gifts
  36. Use a playlist for the cocktail hour and dinner and a DJ for the reception party
  37. Cocktails and mixed drinks are usually more expensive at the bar so limit the options to beer and wine
  38. See if the venue has larger tables so you cut back on the amount of centerpieces
  39. Use something other than flowers for your centerpieces such as candles, picture frames, lanterns
  40. Elope or do a pop-up wedding
  41. Consider emailing your “Save the Dates”
  42. Only invite people you are close to you (you’ve seen and hung out with them in the last 5 years)
  43. Stick to the house wines offered instead of specialty ones
  44. DIY certain wedding items
  45. If one of your friends recently got married and kept some of their décor, ask to borrow it
  46. Buy things like candles and favors in bulk, the price is usually less (buy more than 50 pieces)
  47. Have your shower or rehearsal at home instead of a restaurant
  48. Naked cakes look lovely or instead choose buttercream icing over fondant
  49. Kids meals are cheaper so be sure to ask for a kids menu if you plan to have kids at the wedding or have no kids at all
  50. Only have 1 or 2 options for vegetarian or vegan meals, the more choices the more money
  51. Borrow accessories from friends or a family member instead of buying them
  52. Have the wine at dinner served rather than sitting on the table so consumption is staggered during the evening
  53. Don’t forget tips, shipping fees and taxes and gratuity to be factored into your budget
  54. Decide if you are allowing +1’s or not, additional guests can impact your budget greatly
  55. Negotiate pricing on some contracts
  56. Read over contract carefully and ask questions, it’s very easy to misunderstand something and then get overcharged
  57. Enable people to RSVP on a website instead of traditional paper RSVP’s, plus it’s easier to track
  58. See if your venue has a list of preferred vendors, sometimes they want you to use them but it might cost you. Ask if you are permitted to use outside vendors. They may require approval
  59. Find a venue that needs minimal décor
  60. Get married in a backyard garden to save on venue and décor costs
  61. Price shop for vendors to before booking anything to see if there are comparable prices available
  62. Avoid getting married on a Saturday or a long weekend, it’s the most expensive day to get married
  63. Keep appetizers between 2-3 pieces per person and keep in mind the caterer will likely try to up sell you
  64. If you are wearing a longer dress, no one will see you shoes so why splurge?
  65. Go through each item on your budget to see if there are ways to trim it down
  66. Everyone loves a good wedding trend but they are usually pricey because they are in high demand
  67. Hand write your place cards/escort cards or design them on Minted
  68. Research various wedding budgets and revise yours based on what your research finds
  69. Thank you’s to the bridal party are lovely but don’t have to break the bank
  70. Consider one big single bloom for the bouquets
  71. Don’t let vendors rope you into more than you want too (a planner can help with this) you can politely decline any add-ons
  72. Florists typically charge more for labor so buy your own flowers in bulk to save
  73. Stick to a signature cocktail during the cocktail hour and have it passed around. It will not only save on alcohol but will add a nice personal touch as well.
  74. Can we say: “Free wedding stationary printables” We said it.
  75. Instead of renting a nice car, can you borrow one from someone you know?
  76. Keep all of your receipts so you can monitor what you’ve spent
  77. Ask guests to email their RSVPs to you directly and keep an email file folder of them
  78. Choose a venue outside of a major city. Costs of downtown venues and parking can make sticking to your budget difficult
  79. Wait for a good deal to take your honeymoon instead of right afterwards. Check out Skyscanner or Next Vacay
  80. Get a dress that actually fits instead of off the rack and needing expensive alterations
  81. When in doubt, don’t buy a dress a size or two too small, it’s easier to make a larger dress smaller than the opposite
  82. For any out of town guests, ask hotels close by the wedding venue for reduced rates based on rooms booked
  83. Instead of expensive centerpieces, have empty vases on the tables and use the bridesmaid’s bouquets as centerpieces
  84. Troll Instagram and wedding websites for contests and giveaways
  85. Go to Wedding Wire and see if any vendors you need are offering discounts on their services
  86. Buy as much as you can in bulk (food, flowers, candy) rather than specialty stores that will have higher prices
  87. Shorten your planning time, you will be much more decisive with a strict timeline
  88. Only have the photographer and videographer cover just the ceremony
  89. See if videography can be added to your photography package instead of hiring 2 separate vendors
  90. Any leftover wedding items you have, sell them online
  91. Use the word “wedding” only when necessary (like with venues and photographers) sometimes there’s an up charge
  92. Only splurge on ONE thing like good food or music
  93. Find out if there is a minimum spend at the venue if they have in house catering. Usually if you make the minimum spend, they waive the venue rental fee
  94. Keep your invites to a singe sheet, pretty but simple. It will save on postage
  95. Ask friends to help where they can, as ushers, officiant, MC, DJ
  96. Sew your own table runners with fabric you purchase yourself
  97. Silk and paper flowers go a long way
  98. Skip the traditional wedding dress shops and go to major retailers like Le Chateau or Etsy for your dress
  99. Consider a different time of day: Morning or afternoon so you save on dinner food
  100. Make sure you and your partner are both on the same page on where to splurge and where to cutback!

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