Ways to Save on Wedding?

by DIY wedding planner on June 2, 2013

I’m recently engaged, and attempting to begin planning for the big day. Does anyone have tips as to how to save money or suggestions for planning? I’m also wondering what an average price is for a wedding. Any info helps! Thanks!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

wardrobebycj June 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Forgo the favors..who keeps them anyway. Choose seasonal flowers. Let friends and relatives with special skills give them to you as your gift. Be real about what you can afford and make it happen. The choice of spouse is so much more important than the one day event.


JJLC123 June 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm

The average cost for a wedding now days is $15, 000-$26, 000. When I first saw that I almost had a heart attack. (I’m planning on getting married next July and am in the same boat as you.)

My plans are to:
1. Have the ceremony and reception at the same place-to save on the cost of a church.
2. Make my own flower arrangements, centerpeices and invitations.
3. Serve h’orderves instead of a sit down dinner.
4. Shop the $99 dress sales at the bridal shops around the area I live in.

You could also save a lot by having your wedding on a Friday rather than a Saturday and inviting less people.

Best of luck to you and congratulations!


It's Me the BTB 10-1-10!! June 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Average price for a wedding is whatever your budget allows. Sit down and figure out what you and your fiance can afford to save every month and how much you want your budget to be. After that figure out how long it will take you to save your budget amount and wa-la, you have your wedding date! Don’t put things on credit cards and go into debt over your wedding. Reception halls will charge 18%-20% tip and then throw a credit card APR on top of it and you are paying way more than you need to! It’s up to you and your fiance to figure out how you are going to save:

what can you cut back on?
do you need to get a second job?
are you hourly and is there any way to take up extra hours?
have a garage sale to get rid of unnecessary items and put that money aside?

Good Luck!


RebeccaMUA June 3, 2013 at 12:01 am

These days, weddings can (and do) range from 10,000 on to 1,000,000 +. It’s up to you to decide your budget. As far as how to save, there are tons of ways!

*Hold the wedding/reception in the backyard of your house, your parent’s house, his parent’s house, someone’s house, etc. That way you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to rent a venue.

*Serve appetizers instead of a meal. By having an evening reception (Especially at a house) allows you to get away with having a ‘cocktail hour’ instead of an actual sit down dinner. You will spend much less on food this way.

*Buy a small “couples cake” to cut for the cake part of your reception that’s pretty and “showy” and then buy a bulk sheet cake at a place like Costco to serve to the guests. This will save you TONS.

*Choose a color for your bridesmaids to adhere to and let them buy a dress THEY like. Since they are choosing a dress they would wear again and again, they won’t mind spending the money on buying their own dress.

Good luck!


Messykatt June 3, 2013 at 12:57 am

I don’t think there’s such a thing as an “average price” and, even if there was, there’s no way to compute it. In other words, someone in a semi rural area could put together a lovely wedding for 20 people spending maybe $1500, and you could spend $40,000 in NYC at a nice venue for 100 guests. So don’t panic over insane numbers being tossed at you – these are probably surveys conducted by bridal magazines or wedding consultants, who are probably attracting higher end customers. Plenty of us at the other end never got asked what we spent!

Just remember the biggest costs are venue and catering, so get a rough idea of size of guest list and then do some cost comparisons just to see if you’re in the ballpark. If you’re not, you might want to trim the guest list, because this is where the costs start to skyrocket.


Mandi June 3, 2013 at 1:35 am

Well, I am getting married in July and am having a wedding that costs under $10,000. I kept it lower mostly by luck. Ask around to see if any friends/family have talents that could come in handy (for example, my cousin is my photographer – 1/2 off as a gift, my aunt’s sister is a seamstress – alterations as a gift, my fiance’s aunt is a hobby cake decorator – our small cake to cut as a gift, a lot of members of my family can cook – dinner as a gift from many). We are having a very relaxed wedding on July 3, so his uncle is doing barbecue chicken and pulled pork, my cousin is making potato salad, etc. We are serving cupcakes to the guests so they don’t have to wait for the cake to be cut and it is cheaper than a traditional wedding cake. We are getting married on my cousin’s land so all we had to pay for was tent/table/chair rental.

My dream wedding was a fun, relaxed event so this all worked for me. It all depends on what you want.


Babby20011 June 3, 2013 at 2:12 am

Here is what we’re doing to save on our wedding : 1)we, along with help, are making cupcakes and arranging them around one giant cupcake on a cupcake tree instead of spending $200+ on a cake. 2)we’re having an “ipod” reception. Just make sure you know someone you can trust to do a great DJing job! 3)check out the pavilions at your local parks. Our reeption site cost $465 & this is for 2 full days (we’re using it the day before as the rehearsal dinner site and to set up for the reception). 4) tulle is an inexpensive and beautiful fabric. Put white christmas lights in them :) 5)ask around! My family members were more than excited to help!


artgirl June 3, 2013 at 3:06 am

I think I read that $20,000 is average this year, but it depends on where you are in the country, if you’re in a big city and how many guests you have.

The easiest way to keep your budget down is to keep the guest list small. When you consider how many things are based on head count — food, favors, invitations, postage for the invitations, etc — the fewer people you have the better.

Other tips:

1. Pick your location wisely. Places like a park or a college/university are likely to be your cheapest options, or consider doing the wedding at home.

2. Also don’t pick an insanely expensive restaurant to do the catering. Shop around. Universities often also handle catering and they are cheaper.

3. Consider doing your wedding in an off month (Sept-March) or an off day (any day but Sat.)

4. Keep your flowers low, small bouquets for everyone and choose something other than flowers for the centerpieces.

5. Check out fancier bridesmaid’s dresses for your dress — you can get a lot of them in white.

6. Do your own invites. You can get kits at craft stores for about $30/ 50 invites. It does take some time commitment to do it yourself but it will save a lot.

7. Consider doing your RSVPs online rather than mailed cards.

8. Skip the fancy transportation and just drive your cars.

9. A DJ is cheaper than live music. If you want live music for the ceremony, try local churches or university students.

10. Commit to do it yourself projects. You can make a lot of wedding items on your own, such as your favors or programs.

11. Get a small cake for display and for the wedding party, order sheet cake for the guests and have them cut in the back.

12. Have a morning ceremony with an early afternoon lunch — this will be much cheaper than a dinner menu. Or if its a more informal event, you can also do a cocktail reception afterwards or a desert reception — but if you have people coming from far away I would recommend some sort of meal.

13. Don’t have an open bar — just pass around enough alcohol for a toast and be done with it. Or if you want some alcohol, have unlimited wine and beer — just don’t allow everything, it will add up so fast.


Cranberry June 3, 2013 at 3:37 am

My budget for my wedding is $4,500 (including airfares). But that’s a destination (in a country where everything’s a lot cheaper) wedding, with a hotel plated dinner reception for at least 100-120 people. This amount is already considered as a budget wedding, even though some budget weddings cost 5,000, 7,000… up to $10,000. Most weddings cost around 25-40 thousand dollars, on the average, for 100 guests.

To cut costs, I made my own wedding gown, invitations, favors, accessories (such as bridal purse, garter, bouquet, etc), decorations, etc. I also buy my stuff in clearance stores, and on sale. Instead of bouquets for bridesmaids, I plan on wrist corsages… less materials, cheaper, and not too typical. I bought the cheapest white fabric in the store, for my petticoat… nobody would care that it’s that cheap. I’m not renting a limousine. I originally planned to not hire professional photo/video services, but lately, I got convinced that I should get one. So I’m getting this company who’s got the lowest price but equally reputable as the others. My tip here is, don’t settle with the first vendor you meet. Wait and look around for other choices because a cheaper one would turn up. This is so true.

My other suggestions would be:

GENERAL: Shop at clearance stores or sales. Use coupons from magazines or newspapers to buy stuff from selected stores. Shop after the holidays. Borrow everything you can possibly borrow. For some of your stuff, instead of buying new, use your own or your folks’ old things… and use the “something old” excuse. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help when you need it. Cut down on your guest list. Remember your friends or relatives who recently got married, as you might be able to borrow some of their stuff, instead of buying your own.

DRESS: Look for it at sample sales, clearance sales, pre-owned ones, eBay, China gown makers, or you can even rent one. Check also if you can have someone sew it for you for free (like your mum, granny, good friend, etc.)

FOOD: Self/family-catered, restaurant-catered, or function halls/hotels if they have really inexpensive wedding packages. If self/family-catered, get free ingredients from your backyard garden or that of your relatives/friends. You can also ask some family members or your closest friends to prepare a dish of their specialty as a wedding gift, so it can be like a semi-potluck thing. You can also have mid-morning or mid-afternoon reception, so you’ll have to serve only snacks and not necessarily a heavy meal.

DECORS: Outdoor weddings are fantastic because the nature is already a beautiful background, requiring less decors if any at all. You can also DIY your decors months ahead, as this would be cheaper than renting or hiring some of the stuff. Don’t forget to check out your attic, as some holiday decors can also be used.

TRANSPORTATION: Borrow a family or friend’s nice car, instead of renting a limo. Have the ceremony and reception at one place or adjacent places.

MUSIC/ENTERTAINMENT: Prepare your choice of music in an iPod and have someone play it at the wedding, instead of hiring a live choir or band. Check among your friends who has the talent and confidence to host, present musical numbers, etc.

FAVORS: Skip it… or get cheap ones, such as seeds, bookmarks, sugared almonds, homemade cookies.

FLOWERS: Carry a single bloom from your flower garden or that of someone you know. Or have a unique non-floral bouquet instead of expensive fresh ones from professional florists.

INVITATIONS: Do it yourself. Or buy DIY kits at craft stores. Keep it simple. Print only an invitation card, and perhaps a small extra card with the RSVP info and wedsite info. Put all other information on your wed-site… such as maps, accommodations, schedule of events, etc., to save on printing and paper.


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