3 Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Because movies lie to you and you can’t have it all (sorry).



Saving money at weddings.

PHOTO: AMBER SCHONIWITZ OF SCHYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

You get engaged and everything is all Vera Wang and peonies until you get a glimpse at the price lists. Ulp.

 

Balancing your budget is a major part of wedding planning, so the first step? Having a budget. Figure out the finances early on and record everything on a spreadsheet. From there, you can decide what to splurge on and where to save.

 

Start with what your three top must-haves are, and work from there. Is it a huge party with all your family and friends? Know that big guest lists affect everything from venue options to rental costs to food to booze, so finding ways to pare down those costs is key. Cut the favors, maybe, or get creative with finding lower-cost food options, like wood-fired pizza from a traveling oven. Or D.I.Y. your bar by buying cases of wine and kegs, then gussy the presentation up with a cool homemade wooden beer tap.

 

Set on the fairy-tale white dress? Dropping $5K on a gown can take a big chunk out of your budget—just make sure you make up for it elsewhere, by dropping flowers, sending out digital invites or having your friend coordinate. Foodies who want a luxe dinner catered by a trendy restaurant can totally make it happen, but maybe they forego the traditional wedding cake and have a homemade cookie bar instead, wear a simple white shift from an online retailer and go with a cash bar.

 

Here are some of our big picks for saving, but always stay true to your own priorities. Know your values and work from there!

 

Saving money with flowers.

Photo: Amber Schoniwitz of Schyne Photography

 

Flowers

Saving money on the wedding.

PHOTO: AMBER SCHONIWITZ OF SCHYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

Keeping gorgeous blossoms from across the world alive and arranged at just the right moment is expensive (think $1,000 and up, to infinity) and there are a lot of options for brides who could take ’em or leave em. Instead of floral centerpieces, D.I.Y. something with candles, paper flowers, arranged books, wine bottles with garden greens, or pretty trinkets that represent the two of you. Then stop by the grocery store on the day-of and D.I.Y. your bouquets with minimal bunches of baby’s breath.

 

Cake

Wedding cakes can cost $500 or more, so we love some of the modern, creative alternatives that are as easy as they are cute. Consider homemade cookies in jars for a “cookie bar” or ultra on-trend doughnuts. Or go with a variety of single-tier cakes or pies available the day-of from the case of your favorite local bakery or grocery store. Mix it up! We love chantilly and guava chiffon, or chocolate haupia and custard.

 

Invites

Even if you’re not ready to figure out how to start printing your own wedding invites at home, there are a lot of alternatives to the (admittedly gorgeous) $2,000 custom letterpress and embossed suites out there. Sending emails with an RSVP link is ultra-easy, and—bonus—can be shared on social media! Or brush up on your design chops and print your PDF at FedEx on your own paper. Our personal favorite? Printing online. Vistaprint is easy to use, will walk you through the layout setup and has heavyweight, professional-grade stock that will make your design sing.

 

Read More Stories by Natalie Schack