Top 6 Tips for Saving Money on Your Dream Wedding

Top wedding ideas for saving money on your wedding | #MyOnlineWeddingHelp

In some ways, getting married is like buying a house; it’s a major milestone in life and–almost always–there is initial sticker shock. (“It costs how much?!”) For those of you who cannot afford the average $26,000-ish wedding cost, some ideas for keeping both the dream and piggy bank intact are below (these are some of the 300+ tips from the Dream Wedding on a Dime; 7 Secrets for the Budget-Savvy Bride ebook):

Tip 1: Invite close friends and family; send announcements only to more distant acquaintances.

Guest count is the largest single determinant of wedding costs (more guests require more food, more drink, a larger space), so it stands to reason you will spend less if you invite fewer guests. Also, a more intimate wedding is more likely to live up to your dream, since you will be able to share more time with those most meaningful to you.

Tip 2: Find an inexpensive, unique wedding location.

Keeping the guest count intimate opens up many venue opportunities. Your parents’ or others’ back yards, walk-out basements, fields, barns, parks, unused buildings, and rooftops all become potential–and inexpensive–wedding venues. Also, when not constrained to often bland reception halls, you open the door for the venue itself to add character to your wedding. For some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, see 76 Unexpected Wedding Reception Venues.

Tip 3: Have the entrees catered and provide your own side dishes for a buffet.

You can do everything yourself, of course, but that can be much more stressful for you (i.e. good for the budget, not so good for the dream). If you hire a chef to prepare your favorite specialty, and assign side dishes to those willing to help, you get both a culinary treat and family & friends’ signature dishes. If you do opt for having the full menu catered, buffets generally cost less per person than sit down meals.

Tip 4: Hire a planner for a la carte services or day of coordination only.

A wedding planner plays a crucial role of taking the pressure off you so you can enjoy the day. If hiring a full service planner is out of your price range, there are other options as well. Identify the parts of your wedding most important to you and those with which you are least experienced. Then find one or more professionals who will focus on those elements.

Day of coordination is also critical. To do it all yourself is like both directing and starring in your own production. It’s doable, for sure, but it is a lot more work and likely to be less than dreamy. Your wedding day should be fun for you.

Tip 5: Look for products that will serve double or triple purposes.

Items that play two or more roles in your wedding, or those that will play a role in your everyday life afterward, often cost less than buying each separately. Some favors, for example, can also serve as centerpieces, desserts, or both. Buying shoes you will also use later is another example. Finally, if the groom wears a suit he can also wear to work, that’s one less purchase later.

Tip 6: Make liberal use of the Internet.

Product selection is larger and the potential for cost savings is greater online compared to what you can find locally (veils are a good example). Plus, there are numerous forums where you can discuss your plans with other brides-to-be. Finally, using Pinterest to build inspiration boards is much easier and more fruitful than cutting and pasting magazine photos.

There you have it! Six approaches to saving money on your wedding. I know yours will be wonderful! ~Bobette

7 thoughts on “Top 6 Tips for Saving Money on Your Dream Wedding

  1. Ideas I used to save money:
    Wedding dress: shopped end of season sale since I was a year out and found a beautiful perfect dress for $100.
    Flowers: had bridesmaid bouquets serve as long table centerpieces at reception so they didn’t have to carry them around and saved money on center pieces.
    Church: made tulle and artificial flowers sewed onto elastic to easily place over ends of pews. Had a party with friends to make them ourselves. Also, used 2 beautiful potted Boston ferns at altar on wicker stands, used them again at reception, and kept them to decorate our new home after the wedding.
    Had mid-afternoon wedding and reception so just served appetizers (4 hot/4cold) rather than full sit down meal.
    Created a CD ahead of time (would now use iPod) for our favorite songs, and used that with our own sound system for music, rather than hiring DJ.

  2. Ithank you for these great tips! Would like to add another one- instead of throwing lots of money on expensive photographers, let your guests be the photographers, by creating a wedding photos app with AppMyDay. Check them out on We did it and it was great. We even broadcasted all the photos live on a big screen during the wedding. It saved us lots of money and it was a unique experience for our guests.

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