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10 Clever Ways To Save On Your Wedding Expenses

Thanks in part to Pinterest, it is so easy to get caught up in planning your dream wedding that budget virtually becomes a four letter word. And yet somehow when couples start looking for ways to save money, they try to book budget professionals. While I strongly believe you can find the right professional within your budget, there are better ways to cut costs.

  1. Favors. Unless it’s food – and even then there are almost always leftovers – most couples are left with a bunch of favors at the end of the night. Save your money – skip the favor.

  2. Programs. Sure everyone might glance at them and it can be a very effective way to publicly acknowledge and thank your nearest and dearest but almost no one takes them home at the end of the night. Even if you print them yourself you are still probably going to spend $200. As an alternative, paint a canvas with the details of your party and then hang it in your home. Or how about a large chalkboard if you are going with a more rustic/shabby chic theme?

  3. Menus. You don’t need a menu – but if you do, then you probably don’t care about budget anyway. Once again, a sign or two at the front of the buffet is fine if you really feel the need. But since your guests aren’t actually picking what they will eat – or they already did with the RSVP – this is another unnecessary (and out-dated) expense.

  4. Flowers. Flowers can really bring an event together but they are also one of your larger expenses. Think of alternatives. Going for a soft, romantic vibe? Try just baby’s breath. This filler is so much more affordable and when bunched together alone is quite lovely. Going for something whimsical? Why not use pinwheels or oversized paper flowers instead?

  5. Food. If you are short on budget, why not consider an afternoon wedding and serve cake and punch instead? If your event is after 5:00, your guests will expect a meal. But between 1:00 and 5:00? Not so much. Or have a morning ceremony and serve waffles and mimosas. If you just have to have an evening ceremony then keep in mind that light, finger food appetizers are all you need – there doesn’t have to be a huge variety. Save your money and skip the veggie platter – not enough people eat it (unless you are a largely vegetarian/vegan crowd then I withdraw my statement). You should also give your caterer your budget and let them offer you suggestions unless you have something very specific in mind. Depending on your event size you may be surprised to find out how affordable a plated meal can be…buffets are not automatically cheaper.

  6. Cake. Cakes are so beautiful and delicious but so expensive! Consider a smaller version of your dream cake to use for photos but have a sheet cake for serving. Or ask your baker to do faux layers to add height that your budget wouldn’t normally allow. You don’t have to have a groom’s cake either.

  7. Officiant. As much as I love officiating weddings, and as much as I firmly believe in hiring professionals, this is the ONE aspect of a wedding I can endorse a friend or family member working. Officiants can cost up to $500 – sometimes even more – so having someone close to you do it can be a huge savings. But you should definitely give him or her a thank you gift.

  8. Rehearsal. Not all money is spent on the wedding day. Your rehearsal dinner only needs to include your close family and wedding party. Keep it relaxed and informal by having a backyard barbecue or pizza party.

  9. Wedding Party. You don’t have to ask EVERY close friend to be in your wedding – you need someone to be a guest, right? I’ve seen wedding parties with 12 on each side. That’s 24 not including flower girls and ring bearers. And generally speaking, you really need to buy a gift for each one of them to thank them all for being there on your wedding day. See how fast that can add up?

  10. Bar. Instead of a full open bar, and rather than a cash bar, consider a signature drink and beer and wine. And if you are ordering through a third party alcohol supplier like Spec’s, you can return unopened cases. So you don’t have to worry about over buying and being stuck with leftovers.

Places not to skimp are photographers and DJs. Spend the money – it’s worth it.

And of course I’m going to say your Wedding Planner/Day of Coordinator. Remember if you book us early enough in your planning process we can potentially save you money too by directing you to professionals that offer discounts to our clients.

How are you planning to save money for your wedding?

Be Carefree,



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