Wedding budget: 25 ways to cut your wedding budget in half


1. Create a wedding website

(cuts 600.00 from your budget)

Many engaged couples create a wedding website to showcase their personal images and memories. But wedding website can also help to slash your stationary portion of your budget . The website can serve as you main mode of communication. You can communicate all details about the wedding on the website. Guests can email you or message you to rsvp and let you know their meal preferences. This allows you to save on printing and postage. You can cut out the cost for rsvp cards, directions cards, response cards, meal cards, and etc.


 2. Cut out wedding programs

(cuts 200.00 from your stationary budget)

Wedding programs are beautiful but a complete waste of time. Most people know the traditional course a ceremony takes. All guests really need to know is the place and time of the event which is presented on the invitation.  Guests will be so absorbed with the ceremony to pay attention to the program.


3. Buy flowers in season 

Although exotic flowers are beautiful, the most cost effective flowers are the ones in season.  


For example:


 Spring flowers

calla lily, hyacinth, tulip

Winter flowers

 ranunculus, tulip, and hyacinth

Fall flowers

dahlia, hydrangea,


peony, gardenia, lily

All year long

rose, stephanotis, gerbera daisy

4. Hire your friends & family

Some of the best resources are right under your nose. Elect some responsible friends and family to assist with your wedding. Check your circle of friends or family. Someone may know a vendor or be a vendor themselves. Think broader. If someone owns a printing company, they can help you with stationary. If someone plans events at their job for a living, they may be a great wedding planner. If you have an aunt with a green thumb who is creative, use her for décor and flower arrangements. 



 5.  Don’t buy a “wedding” dress

(cuts your dress budget by 60%)

Stay clear of bridal shops. Go to your local department store, consignment store, or boutique dress store.  Consider purchasing a prom dress. The cost of a dress classified as a “wedding “dress marks up the cost tremendously. Go to places like Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdales or Macys. Although these places can be quite pricey for everyday dresses, you can find beautiful formal dresses suitable for a wedding day worth half of the costs. For example, you may purchase a dress from bridal shop which costs 1200.00 and find an exquisite formal dress from a department store or boutique which costs 300.00.


6.  Photographer

Cut photography services (cuts your photography budget by 40%)

Just purchase the photography services. Forgo all the additional accessories. You can purchase your own album and cd at a later date.



 7.   Forego Dj or Band. Use your IPod & IPod dock  

( cuts 1200.00 from your wedding budget)

Illustrate your event musically. Create your wedding playlist on your iPod. This gives you unlimited music selections. You can create mini playlist to play at some certain times. For example, ceremony music, dinner music, or dance music.  You can delegate someone to stop and start playlist at certain times.  Having a continuously flow of great music will keep your guest very happy.



 8. Hire a photographer from a photography school

(cuts photography budget by 75%)

Contact local photography schools   and put an ad/request out for a photography student.  Require that they be a senior student and have a portfolio. Look for a photographer with a photojournalistic style.  You can research online and find the most important wedding photography shots and create a list for your photographer. Discuss with them what you would like them to capture. Hiring an amateur photographer cuts your budget tremendously. It gives you the power to set your price.



 9. Put your signature on the bar

(cuts bar budget by 50%)

Create your own bar. Forego premium liquors and offer guest a signature drink or beer. You and your fiancé can create a signature drink to represent the both of you and serve it to guest.



 10.   Skip champagne toast

(cuts reception budget by 15%)

Why can’t guest toast with their regular drinks? They can! Skip the champagne toast and allow guests to toast with their drinks. Never have you seen guests without a drink during a wedding! No need to use champagne which often goes wasted or untouched.


11.  Give out homemade favors

(cuts favor budget 50%)

Wow your guests by creating homemade favors. Items such as candy, body sugar scrubs, brownies or cookies make great inexpensive parting gifts.


 12. Lose the limo

(cuts your transportation budget by 90%)

Every bride needs a carriage to her wedding. That doesn’t mean it has to be a limo. Wedding limos are essentially pointless. Using a wedding limo before the wedding is useless. Brides usually arrive before or after guests, either way no one will see you in your limo. Not to mention bridal attendants usually bring dates, so they should arrive and leave with their dates. There is no point in having a limo sit idle while you carry on with your wedding day. You can cut into your transportation budget by scheduling   a car service to take you and pick you up from your event. This cuts your budget tremendously. You will no longer have to pay for a limo just to sit outside.



13.   Do Brunch instead of dinner

(cuts budget by 40%)

Hosting a brunch reception surprisingly cuts down your wedding budget tremendously. Serving pancakes and omelets are way cheaper than chicken and fish.  Not only does it cut the food cost, but also the drinking budget is immediately slashed in half. You can limit drinks to mimosas plus guests are less likely to consume a lot of alcohol so early during the day.



14.  Strict Guest list

Creating an appropriate guest list is the key to all your budget woes. The guest list affects every part of the budget. If you can cut cost here than do it! Limit guest list to the most important people. Exclude exes, bosses, co-workers, church friends, long lost relatives and friends, friends of parents, and etc. Keep the list short and simple. Make sure your guest list is a reflection of you and your fiancé.



 15. Use a friend as a officiant

Instead of paying for an officiant, elect one of your close friends who is fearless when it comes to public speaking to officiate your wedding.  All they have to do is pay a small fee and take a course online. Universal Life church is an organization that ordains people so that they can officiate a wedding.



 16. Off Peak season

Don’t get married in season. June, July, August, September, and October are popular wedding months. The costs of wedding services are higher. Get married during the off season months where wedding costs are lower. December, January, February, and March are the off seasons months where vendors may be less expensive and more willing to negotiate.



17. Skip Town

Get married in another to city or state to cut your wedding costs. Wedding rates for venues and vendors aren’t the national rate. Many brides cut cost by marrying in a different city. For example, the cost of a wedding in New York City is more expensive then the costs for a wedding in Michigan or Richmond.  Do your research and find the going rates for other cities.


 18. Historic Buildings, Public Parks, Museums, Arboretums

Skip the banquet hall and check out historic buildings or parks in your town.  These are great inexpensive locations. There will be no per person fee. There is usually an attractively low one time rate to rent the space.


 19. Cake

Cake is a décor element where you spend so much money and guests eat very little of it.  At the end of every wedding you will find untouched cake servings.  Save your money and think smaller! Work with your baker to create a small two tiered cake to showcase at your wedding reception. Have your baker make a sheet cake that can be cut and given to guests.  


 20. Flowers : Buy them from a nursery or farm

( cuts up to 60% of your flower budget)

Flowers can take up a huge chunk of your budget. Most of the costs are due to the manual labor it takes to make arrangements.  You can slash your flower budget in half by purchasing your flowers in bulk from a nursery or farm.  There is unlimited information available on how to style or do your own wedding floral. Check out sites like Pinterest or DIY wedding blogs to get inspired. Research and find a local farmer or nursery and purchase  floral in bulk and wholesale. They will tell you how to care for them and how to assemble them.



 21.   Skip The Rehearsal dinner

 There is really no need to have a rehearsal dinner. This is just an extra expense that can be cut. Inform your bridal party of any last minute details and skip the dinner.



 22. Have wedding on Friday or Sunday

Choose to get married on a Friday or Sunday. Fridays & Sundays are the least popular days to marry. Most brides say “I do” on Saturdays. Be different and cut your reception costs.


23. Have wedding and reception at one venue

Eliminate transportation costs by holding ceremony and reception at the same venue.


24. Avoid anything with word “wedding” on it

Don’t get caught up in the wedding hype. Stay clear of items that are categorized as wedding. Anything listed as wedding just means it wills more than likely costs you more.


  For ex.

Instead of “Honeymoon” Just tell them “vacation”

Instead of “wedding invitations” just purchase “invitations”

Instead of “wedding dress” just purchase a “dress”

Instead of “bridesmaids dress “just purchase a “dress”


Pay attention to wedding related words.



25. Cut bridal party

Having 3 bridesmaids is just as good as having 10 bridesmaids. Cut your costs by cutting your bridal party. More bridal attendants means more people to pay for at a rehearsal dinner, reception, limo, invitation, bouquets,  bridesmaids gift and etc. Your bridal attendants affect more than one of your budgets.


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