10 Ways to Save on a Wedding

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Looking for the best ways to save money on a wedding? Learn how to save big money for a wedding with these 10 simple methods listed here.

Looking for ways to save money on a wedding? Learn how to save big money for a wedding with these 10 simple methods listed here.

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Weddings are often outrageously expensive. According to a recent survey, the average couple spends about $35k to tie the knot.

That’s just for the wedding. It doesn’t include the honeymoon. The trip to Cancun is extra.

But here’s the really interesting thing about the cost of weddings. According to research, the more you spend on your wedding, the less likely your marriage will last. No joke.

Watching your expenses then as you plan your upcoming wedding isn’t just about saving money. It’s also about making sure your marriage endures.

I’ve already decided that if I ever tie the knot, I’m budgeting $50 for the whole thing – because I want to stay married forever. I’m a hopeless romantic.

Here are 10 simple ways you can save on your wedding.

1. Have the Ceremony at the Courthouse

Seriously. It’s not as bad as you may think.

If you tie the knot at your local courthouse, the bride still gets to wear a wedding dress. The lucky guy still gets to dress up in a spiffy penguin suit. And you can still bring your friends and family. The only thing you miss out on is the expensive wedding venue.

Renting a fancy venue is often one of the most costly wedding expenses, and by getting married at the courthouse, you can potentially save a lot of money. This is money you can use for a nice reception, for your honeymoon, or for something else.

2. Skip the Wedding Cake

Elaborate wedding cakes are often very expensive – especially if you are expected to serve cake to a large number of guests.

Why not just skip the big cake and serve a more affordable dessert to your guests? Most people probably wouldn’t even care, as long as they get their sugar fix. Options to consider include pies, cookies, frozen desserts, and many others. Bonus points for anything homemade!

But what if you really want to do that thing where the bride and groom smash cake in each other’s faces? Isn’t there some sort of law that says you have to do that? If you feel like your wedding just wouldn’t be complete without performing this bizarre ritual, then why not make a small cake just for the two of you?

Another option if a cake is a “must have” is to go with a large sheet cake instead of a tiered cake. They are much more affordable and can be decorated to be just as beautiful.

3. Go Easy on the Alcohol

Alcohol is expensive, especially if you get the top shelf stuff. So why not limit the amount of alcohol you purchase for your big day?

One option is to buy a certain amount and let everyone know that’s all there is. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Do you really want everyone getting sauced at your wedding? You do want your guests to remember your wedding, right?

Another way to save big on alcohol is to skip the liquor and just buy beer and wine. You could, for example, just purchase a couple of kegs of beer and let that be it. Beer by the keg isn’t very expensive, even if you go with a top brand.

4. Have Your Wedding at a Nontraditional Venue

Who says you have to have your wedding at a fancy place that costs a fortune? Why not be different? Why not do your own thing? If you have your wedding at a unique place, people may be more inclined to remember it.

You could, for example, have a country or cowboy themed wedding in a large barn or even outdoors. Just line up bales of hay for your guests to sit on. The groom and the other men in the wedding could even save money by wearing jeans, boots, and cowboy hats instead of renting expensive tuxes.

Ditching the standard wedding venues for something unique is great for those who are creative. With just a little imagination, you can very easily create something nice and affordable that people will long remember.

5. Wear a Secondhand Dress

Wedding dresses cost anywhere from $200 for simple designs on up to $5,000 for stuff from the fancy designers. That’s a lot of money for a dress that you’re only going to wear once in your life. You can very easily save a bundle by purchasing a slightly used dress for your big day.

Finding used wedding dresses is very easy. Your local consignment store is a great place to start your search. You might just be surprised by what you find. Other places to look include Craigslist, local trade publications, and even word of mouth.

Another great place to search for used wedding dresses on selling apps or online. There are now websites that specialize in used wedding dresses. A simple search for “used wedding dresses” turns up a number of options.

6. Wear a Non-Traditional Dress

The traditional white wedding dress is no longer the only socially acceptable option. These days more people are wearing non-traditional dresses at their weddings. Why not spice things up a bit with a little color?

By choosing to go with a non-traditional dress for your wedding, you could purchase a dress that you could wear again sometime, like to a formal dinner or another event. This lets you really get your money’s worth out of your dress instead of wearing it once and then getting rid of it or storing it away in your closet never to be worn again.

7. Cut the Guest List

The number of guests you have directly affects how much your wedding costs. The more guests you have, the more expensive your reception will be.

How many people do you really need at your wedding anyway? Is it really necessary for your mom’s second cousin twice removed to attend? Do you really need to invite your third-grade teacher whom you haven’t seen in 20 years?

A simple way to cut people from your list is to first make a list of everyone you want to invite. Then carefully consider how well you really know each person and if you could get away with not inviting anyone on the list without causing any hurt feelings.

8. Skip the Roses

News flash: not all flowers cost the same. Some flowers – like roses – may be several times more expensive than others. You can save big on floral arrangements by asking your florist to give you prices on different flowers, and then choosing the ones that are most affordable.

Another way to save on flowers is to have arrangements made with extra greenery and fewer flowers. A skilled florist can make some truly beautiful arrangements with fewer flowers than normal – and it’s unlikely that anyone will notice the difference.

9. Don’t Serve a Big Meal

Instead of serving a big meal with a fancy main course, consider serving hors d'oeuvres instead.

The time of your wedding often dictates whether you should offer a full meal or appetizers. Instead of planning a late evening wedding, why not have it at 2pm, right after lunch? Most won’t expect a meal at this time. Simple appetizers will do just fine.

10. Do It Yourself

Take some time to think about everything that needs to be done for your wedding. You are likely to discover things on your list you can do yourself instead of hiring a pro for big money-saving ideas.

Instead of buying expensive custom invitations, why not make your own? Perhaps you could just send ecards via email. We are living in the 21st century, after all.

Why not make your own decorations? This is ideal for those who are creative and enjoy crafts. There are countless ideas you can borrow for your big day. A simple search online for “homemade wedding decorations” turns up many great concepts.

Professional services cost money, and the more things you can do yourself in preparation for your big day, the more money you can save.

Incorporate These Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding!

Ready to plan your upcoming wedding? You can very easily have a beautiful wedding that everyone will remember without spending a lot of money. All it takes is a little creativity to make it happen.

Saving money on your wedding isn’t about being cheap – it’s about being smart and learning how to save money on a wedding. Next, you might be interested in the advantages of becoming a DINK (Dual Income, No Kids) after you get married.

Kick-start your savings by finding clever ways to save money fast! It’s the first step toward reaching your goal of saving an extra $1,000 this month.

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  • Get control over your subscriptions
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About the author

Cyrus Vanover
Cyrus Vanover is a freelance business writer who helps marketing managers position their companies for success. Based in Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, exploring new restaurants, and live theater when not writing.