It’s no secret that weddings aren’t free. (Wouldn’t that be nice!) In fact, in couples surveyed, more than 2/3 of couples planning a 2022 wedding had already gone over budget! While that statistic may be daunting, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to go over budget. You absolutely can have a beautiful wedding on whatever budget you may have.
If you find yourself having a hard time fitting everything into your budget, here are a few tips on you you can save money on your wedding:
1. Limit Bar Options
I know, I know, this one might make some people cringe. “But a wedding is a party!” Yes, but that doesn’t mean you need endless booze. Consider serving only beer, wine, and soda. Or, if you insist on having liquor, opt for a cash bar or bar maximum. With a cash bar, your guests will pay for any drinks they decide to get (and you can still pay for soda, wine, or beer if you so choose). With a bar maximum, your guests will be allowed to get drinks on you until you’ve hit the maximum drink credit you agreed to pay (for example $2000), then after that point it turns into a cash bar.
2. Go Fake on the Flowers
Fake flowers are becoming much more real looking and can actually save you thousands of dollars if you opt to arrange them yourself. I got my wedding flowers at IKEA, actually, and my dad made all the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnières. What would have cost me about $2000 for real flowers cost $350 between all the florals and supplies to assemble them. They honestly looked so beautiful, and in pictures, you can’t even tell if they’re real or fake.
3. Enlist Friends and Family to Help
Do you have a great aunt that can bake beautiful and delicious cakes? Does grandma have a beautiful outdoor space you could use as a reception venue? What about that high school friend who is just starting her photography business? Or mom’s old wedding dress you could get altered to fit your size and style preferences? Get creative here and think about all of the ways you can use friends and family to save money on your wedding.
4. Get Married During the Week or Off-Season
You wouldn’t believe how much money you can save by having a weekday or off-season wedding. Getting married on a Friday in February can cost thousands less than getting married on a Saturday in June. If you’re willing to be flexible with your date, this tip can be one of the biggest money savers.
5. DIY as Much as Possible
Time is money, and I don’t mean to sugar coat this when I say DIYing takes a lot of time. However, it can also save you a lot of money. Print your invitations and signage at home using templates from Etsy, create your own decorations using craft pieces from Hobby Lobby. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try your hand at some projects. They often are a lot of fun and save you a lot of money, too.
6. Opt for a Non-Traditional Venue
This one can be one of the hardest for people to get on board with, but it truly can save you thousands. We ended up doing a beautiful intimate backyard reception for my wedding, and it was honestly the coolest wedding I’ve ever been to. Guests continue to tell us how it was their favorite wedding they’ve ever been to because it was so personal, intimate, and unique. So instead of a hotel, ballroom, or barn venue, try having your reception at home in your yard, in a church hall, at a VFW, or rent out a city building or park. There are many cheap options for a space that you can then completely customize for a very personal and unique wedding day.
7. Be Open to Creativity
Pinterest has unfortunately given us mental images of what the perfect wedding should look like. I hate to burst your bubble, but the vast majority of Pinterest weddings would cost upwards of $100k plus in real life. You CAN have a beautiful wedding on whatever budget you have, but you just need to be open to being creative and not stuck in having a wedding one particular way.