Wedding on a Budget: Cost-Cutting Tips

Planning a wedding is stressful. All of the details that need to be attended to can seem overwhelming; add to those details the financial burden that this life-changing event can bring, and you’ve got the makings of a really big headache.

If you take some steps during your planning, though, you can cut your costs in half. Your big day can pack a really powerful punch without the spending of thousands of dollars. What’s the trick? There isn’t one – you just have to be willing to do some of the rough stuff yourself.

Wedding Savings Tips:

Making your special day one to remember forever becomes easier when you start removing some of the stress of money. Use even a few of the tips below and you’ll see savings immediately.


1. Jot down a list of all the “services” you need to have performed. For example, your list might include a decorator, photographer, tailor, caterer, and musicians. Once you’ve got your list together, stop and think about the people you know. Maybe you have a cousin who is taking photography classes and produces some of the nicest work you’ve seen? Or perhaps one of your friends is a whiz in the baking department and would love to help you create a professional wedding cake?

The point is to really take a second and look at what your friends and family excel at. There might even be a few things you can do yourself – my aunt is an amazing seamstress, and created her own (stunning) wedding dress for under $150 because she just had to pay for materials.

For the cost of a simple phone call, you can probably cut the need for “professional” service providers in half, offer your friends and family a little bit of extra spending money, and involve them even more in your special day. It’s a situation that makes everyone happy.


2. The simple fact is that the less people you invite to your wedding, the less expensive the day will be. Before you send out that massive list of invitations, take a step back and ask yourself if this is really something that’s going to add to your day. Years down the road, most couples are happier with the small, intimate receptions they chose than the couples who crammed several hundred guests into their ceremony.

The point is that you want to share this day with people you love; that’s where the best memories will be. By cutting back on the number of guests, you can save – literally – thousands of dollars on your wedding costs.


3. Where you choose to have your reception really ties closely in with the previous tip. Your wedding should have meaning to you, it should be something that you will look back on fondly many years from now. With that in mind, would you have warmer memories of the reception held in a fluorescent lighted hall, or in the comfort of your family’s home?

We all know someone – our parents, one of our friends – who has an amazing house that would be just perfect for hosting the reception. Ask nicely, present a plan that shows the hosts they would not have to do any extra work (arrange people to decorate and do post-reception cleanup for them), and I can guarantee they’ll be happy to help you.

Use Ebay

4. When you have decided who should be on your guest list and you’re ready to order the invitations, resist the temptation to turn to the wedding catalogs. Seriously. Take a deep breath and follow me over to Ebay where there are some really fantastic people that actually earn their living selling custom-made wedding invitations.

I’ve seen some truly beautiful bundles that include the invitations, response cards, reception cards, and all the envelopes for everything – and I’ve never seen the cost go more than $100 for the whole thing. While you’re there, take a look at some of the wedding accessories available too! Things like guest registers, wedding photo albums, ring bearer pillows … just off the top of my head, but these can all be found brand-new, oftentimes gorgeously hand-crafted, and at a small fraction of your normal cost.

Get Crafty

5. Instead of paying the florist to come up with all of the bouquets you want budding around your ceremony and reception, take a look online at the thousands of tutorials that show you how to make your own bouquets. You’ll really enjoy the experience of hand-crafting your own beauties for your wedding, and save a mint.


There will be need for professional services, no matter how much quality help you can enlist. The upside is that you’ve already saved enough money by cutting back on other costs that you can afford to spend a little bit extra on that really gorgeous wedding gown, or set aside some splurging cash for your honeymoon.