How To Save Money While Planning A Wedding

by Mindy Cain
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Wedding season is upon us. One of my closest friends just got engaged and my cousin is engaged. So there’s lots of wedding planning surrounding me. This inspired me to compile a list of frugal ways to save money when planning your wedding because let’s face it – not all of us are made of money. 

I know my best friend is finishing up nursing school, trying to build a house, and is now engaged. Although she does plan to wait until after graduation to get married – I know money is still tight. Hopefully she reads this and finds some really great ideas!

1. Avoid a large guest list

I can imagine that you want EVERYONE to be there to share in your special day but that means more mouths to feed. Keep the guest list small. It makes the wallet happy and it makes your wedding more intimate. 

2. Ask for help instead of gifts

I really love this idea. Especially if you really don’t need anything. This is perfect to ask your friend to do the photography for the wedding as a gift. If you have friends with useful talents don’t be afraid to ask them to help you out with the wedding versus receiving a gift. i.e. musical talent, photography talent, etc. 

3. Make your own invitations

This is a great idea to help save some many. Many stores like Staples and Target carry Wedding Invitations or you can even order them online. The invitations are gonna end up getting thrown away eventually anyways so why not spend that money on something more important. 

4. Stock the bar yourself

It is amazing how much alcohol can cost. When my mom and step dad got married they spent the entire year leading up to the wedding watching the specials at Wine & Spirits to stock up. It’s a really great idea if you think about it. It saves you money in the long run if you have the room to store it. 

5. Price shop for decorations

This is a wonderful idea. Check with Michael’s and Hobby Lobby through out the year. They are constantly having different sales. I know in our area there is even a sell and swap sight on Facebook for used wedding decorations. I’ve known of a lot of friends to use the site to save money on decorations. 

6. Include your closest friends and family

Having more people involved with the wedding preparations can help give you more ideas. People have different perspectives and have different connections. It could definitely be beneficial to ask for help with ideas from your friends and family and I’m sure they would be more than willing to help you out with your special day. 

7. Switch the officiant

Get rid of the typical officiant and ask a friend or family member to officiate. It’ll not only save you money but it will also save you from having to attend couples counseling and testing with a pastor if you aren’t a very religious person.

8. Switch out paper programs for a one big one

This is a super cute and chic way to save money. Instead of spending the money on hundreds of paper programs have one big one at the entrance of the venue for everyone to read. i.e. a chalkboard with calligraphy.

9. Double-duty flowers

This is terrific idea and I never really thought of this. Because flowers are super expensive as is buy flowers that will work both for the ceremony and the reception and trust a close family member to move them for you after the ceremony. My friend did this and I just thought it was normal. While she went off for pictures after the ceremony, myself and another friend made sure they were taken down and moved from the ceremony to the reception in one piece. 

10. Think small for cakes

It has become more and more common that weddings no longer get big tier cakes. Usually its just a small cake for the bride and groom and another dessert arrangement for the guests.  This saves you a lot of money and you can still do the traditional cake cutting.

11. Rent instead of buy

Be sure to rent tuxes and other items instead of having to buy brand new items. It’ll save your wallet a bunch.

12. Get Married during the off-season

Normal wedding season is from May until September. Plan your wedding outside of wedding season and you’ll save lots of money and have a better chance of getting the venue you want. 




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