Here are 50 ideas that can lower the amount of money you spend on your big day. Not all of them will apply to you, however I bet you will find at least a couple that you could benefit by.
1. Hire a wedding planner – they save you money and get you discounts with their partner vendors who they already have deals with.
2. Shorten the wedding timeline – the more time you have, the more you’ll spend!
3. Schedule the wedding in off-peak times and choose a day that will save you money. Friday evenings and Sundays are the most cost-effective days unlike Saturdays which are the most expensive.
4. Consider choosing a non-traditional wedding venue such as public places rather than venues that are specifically wedding venues
5. Shop in the sales for outfits
6. Consider renting an outfit
7. Serve a signature drink such as a cocktail
8. Have a limited bar and limit alcoholic beverages
9. Have champagne for toasts only
10. Have a small cake rather than the extravagant 5+ tiered cake.
11. Make cake the dessert course
12. Two wedding cakes can be cheaper than one – you could have one extravagant cake purely for show and then one for the guests which is made of plain icing
13. Add the finishing touches to the cake yourself
14. Make your own centrepieces (more information on this can be found in our DIY Bride feature on pages 58-59!)
15. Use your own vases for flower centrepieces
16. Make your own engagement/wedding invitations
17. Share your wedding online rather than sending out wedding invites to your friends and family who are internet savvy
18. Choose seasonal and local flowers for your reception – this means that your florist will be using seasonal flowers rather than importing exotic or out of season blooms
19. Use one kind of flower in your bouquet and flower arrangements – roses and carnations are the most cost-efficient flower all year round.
20. Create your own economical wedding bouquet embellishments – see pages 58-59 for ways to dress up your bouquet without a professional
21. Avoid cascades – like cakes, the hidden cost of flowers is the labour. Order or make small, hand-tied bouquets for your bridesmaids
22. Pin a flower on your bridesmaids instead of getting them bouquets
23. Repurpose your wedding flowers – if you have enough ceremony flowers, they can serve as centrepieces or decorate for the guest-book table. Try to recycle and reuse where you can.
24. Try a less expensive package for photography and videography
25. Consider hiring a photography school student
26. Make your own wedding favours – buy a large bag of sweets and place them in fancy favour bags
27. Turn favours into table centrepieces – place your goody bags in the centre of the table as decorations
28. Use favours as table name place settings
29. Put your wedding savings in a high interest rate account
30. Consider making menus, seating cards, and place cards on the computer
31. Downsize your bridal party
32. Set guest list boundaries – minimise your guest list to reduce costs per head
33. Negotiate contracts with venues, photographers and videographers
34. Borrow accessories instead of buying – it can be your something borrowed!
35. Ask for help from family or friends
36. Party in public spaces – parks, museums, public gardens can be less expensive than halls and indoor venues
37. Prioritise – compromise in some areas to splash out in others
38. Use a personal car instead of hiring one – using a family car cuts costs and is more personal than hiring one especially if you have a family member driving you to the venue
39. Have only the most important moments on the wedding video
40. Try a different city – some places are cheaper than others
41. Say yes to all-inclusive venues as some venues charge a significant cost for outside caterers
42. Focus on you – at your reception or engagement have two main centrepieces such as flowers and let the rest of the focus be on you
43. Sign up for spam – designer dress sales will go straight to your inbox and you’ll be in the know about all the best places to shop designer for the best cost
44. Get free samples when buying makeup so that you can use them again before and after the wedding
45. Ask your makeup artist to leave you a touch up kit so they don’t stay with you all day. Makeup artists generally charge per hour so this will save you a lot!
46. Ask guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund instead of giving presents
47. Entertain the possibilities – instead of a DJ, rent speakers and make your own playlist
48. Hire a photo booth to mix with your wedding video so you have fun memories and your family are entertained on the day rather than having the usual album photographs
49. Entertainment – look at people starting off such as singers and bands
50. Remember that bigger isn’t always better. Simplicity is the key to elegance.