Written by Carly Burkhartsmeyer
Between a dress, venue, invitations, flowers, food, and drinks, weddings can easily get expensive, leaving soon-to-be brides and grooms searching for ways to save money. Just as the price of an engagement ring doesn’t equate to the love we have for our partner, neither does the cost of a wedding predict the success of our marriage. Interestingly enough, a study found the exact opposite! With all this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of strategies to keep costs down while planning your big day.
Best Wedding Budget Tips
1. Use Online Alternatives to Expensive Bridal Magazines
Those massive, glossy collections of wedding inspiration can be tempting, but Clark Howard reminds us that the cost of bridal magazines can quickly add up. Instead, seek out wedding themes, favor ideas, and your dream dress using free, online resources. Check out our boards over on Pinterest or do a quick search for wedding blogs to get thinking.
2. Let the Bridesmaids Wear the Dress They Love
Instead of spending the money on a batch of one-time-wear dresses, give your bridesmaids your color guidelines and let them pick a dress they already have and adore. It’s one less place to sink money into for you and a great chance for your bridesmaids to feel happy and confident while celebrating the couple!
3. Consider a Diamond Hybrid® for your Wedding Jewelry
This diamond alternative features a crystal core with a lab-created diamond outer layer, meaning you can get the natural brilliance of an earth-mined diamond at only 3% the cost. Diamond Hybrids are a great way to really save on costs while still getting the gorgeous ring you’ve been dreaming of.
4. Save on Invitations
With all the online font resources out there, it’s easy to find a handwriting-style script or a traditional print that fits your style. With a laser printer and some high quality paper, you’ll be able to create save-the-dates that are cheaper and just how you envisioned.
5. Check your Calendar
Naturally, wedding venues are far more expensive in peak wedding seasons than they are in the off-season months. Winter weddings can be spectacular - and likely less costly than those in Summer!
6. Think Locally & Seasonally for Flowers
By opting for floral arrangements that feature in-season blooms, you’ll save on the costs of shipping flowers from far away.
7. Be Creative with your Cake
If you love the idea of having a gorgeous, professionally-decorated cake to cut in front of everyone, you should go for it! Just keep the ceremonial cake small and buy a simple sheet cake to serve out to your guests instead to save.
8. Switch up the Bar
Rather than opting for a costly open bar, keep it simple and serve beer and wine with a signature cocktail. Have fun with the latter - make it a drink that has some significance for you and your partner or one that fits in with your wedding theme! Martha Stewart says downsizing here saves $10-$15 per person.
9. Skip the Program
Instead of printing individual programs for everyone in attendance, pick out a large chalkboard or a cool framed mirror to make one, unique program near the entrance, suggests Brides.com.
10. Devote Some Time to the Dress
A large portion of your budget can get eaten up by the dress. Sign up for email lists from bridal shops you’re interested in, browse trunk shows, look in unexpected places (J.Crew, for instance), and even consider asking about purchasing the sample to save big.
We hope that these wedding budget tips alleviate some of the planning stress and allow you and your partner to fully enjoy the start of your life together!