Let's face it, weddings are expensive. From venues to attire to food and flowers, it all adds up quickly. Budget brides (and grooms) don't despair. There are ways to cut back on wedding day costs, and we're bringing you our favorites below. Planning a budget wedding doesn't mean sticking to every item listed. Sit down and decide which wedding items are most important to you. Dedicate funds to these items, and then go savvy with the remaining ones. The more you save elsewhere, the more you have splurge on your wedding day must haves.
Tradition says to give each wedding guest a small gift or trinket as a way of showing your gratitude. Nowadays, modern and budget friendly couples often skip the wedding favor, especially when a formal meal and open bar is provided. After all, you'll be expressing your gratitude in a thank you card after the wedding, and most guests won't notice if you skip the wedding favor.
As an alternative to the wedding favor, if you're already planning a dessert or candy buffet leave goodie bags for your guests on the table. A small DIY sign (You're Sweet, Take Home a Treat) will let your guests know they're welcome to take a treat to go.
Free Wedding Decor
If you're planning a church ceremony, getting married around Christmas and Easter will save you florist and decor costs. Many churches are already decorated with flowers during these times of year, and it's unlikely that the decor will be removed for a wedding ceremony.
To save on wedding decor for your reception, consider a December wedding and look for venue rentals that also serve as public spaces. During the Christmas season, these locations may already be decorated for the holidays with twinkling Christmas lights, evergreens and poinsettias. By mixing the theme into your wedding, you can have the ultimate winter wedding at a fraction of the cost.
Skip The Tux
Skipping the traditional wedding tuxedo and having the groom and groomsmen wear their favorite black suit is another budget friendly wedding option. If your groom doesn't own a black suit, it's a great time to purchase one and think long term. Your future will likely include job interviews, formal events and, unfortunately, funerals. These are all occasions that it's customary to wear a black suit, and you'll likely be buying one anyway.
A tuxedo rental will often include wedding day accessories, like a necktie or bow tie, pocket square, tie bar, and perhaps socks. Here are Tiemart, purchasing all of these items directly from us is often cheaper than the rental cost. You'll find matching ties for all ages, from infant to adult, so everyone in your wedding party can coordinate their look. Many of our ties are a match to popular bridesmaid dress colors but we offer hundreds of solid color, pattern and striped ties to suit every taste. Most accessories are under $10, although the majority of our ties are $5.95 to $6.95 each. We even offer free color swatches, so it's easy to match our ties to your wedding colors.
Rent The Dress
Renting a wedding dress isn't for everyone. In fact, it's the one item most brides tend to splurge on. For those who aren't sentimental about their dress, consider renting. There are a number of online clothing rental companies that offer white and ivory gowns worthy of a wedding dress. With prices ranging from just under one hundred dollars to a few hundred, this is a way to save quite a bit of money on a wedding.
You may be shocked to learn the price of hiring a professional wedding photographer. But, like the wedding gown, this is one item many couples tend to splurge on. There are still ways to save on your wedding photographer. Depending on the photographer, you may find packages that are based on the number of hours or location. Do you want your entire wedding day captured, from pre-ceremony prep to the end of the reception, or would you be happy with simply your ceremony captured and some formal portraits? Think about what types of photos you plan to display in your home, in a wedding album and even on next year's holiday cards.
One trendier way to save on photographer costs is to skip the professional photos at the wedding reception and asks your guests capture the moments instead. Come up with an original and witty hashtag and ask your guests to post their photos to Instagram. You can easily find companies online that specialize in affordable photo books from Instagram posts. This will definitely make for an interesting (and likely humorous) coffee table book!
Photo Booth Alternative
As if a wedding photographer isn't expensive enough, in top locations the photo booth trend can add over $1200 to the cost of your wedding. Create your own photo-booth style memories by purchasing photo booth props for your reception. A simple online search for "wedding photo booth props" brings up an assortment of stick props and other novelty props for $10 to $30. These props are sure to make their way around your reception, leaving you with hysterical, quality photos taken by your photographer. Plus, selfies will definitely be posted on social media.
Hiring a DJ is an affordable option compared to a wedding band. But the cost of a DJ can still add up. If dancing isn't a big priority at your wedding or if you want complete control of your playlist, consider being your own wedding DJ. Create your wedding playlist from your favorite digital music service or however you purchase and download music. Then, look for a company that rents audio equipment, specifically equipment that will connect to a laptop, ipod or phone. If you've never used the equipment before, make sure the company will walk you through setting up and using the equipment. A few pointers:
- If possible, take the audio equipment to the venue ahead of time and make sure there are no issues with sound quality throughout the location.
- Have a backup of your playlist on another device at the reception. Technology can fail at the worst of times.
- Don't rely on an internet connection. Rather than streaming your entire playlist, purchase or download each song to your device so there are no interruptions from a spotty internet connection.
- Pay attention to the time length of your playlist and make it longer than your reception. Turning off your music at the end of the night is much better than the music ending half way through!
- You still may need to designate someone the emcee for the night. A DJ typically announces the wedding party and bride and groom when they enter the reception. Ask a friend or relative to take the lead instead.
Use Your Resources
Do you have a friend who's great at hair or makeup? An aunt who always has the best holiday centerpieces? A relative that owns a catering company? There's nothing wrong with asking people you know to help on your wedding day. You'll likely completely eliminate any budget needed for these items or get a heavily discounted friends and family deal.
Just try not to do everything yourself. It's easy to say you're going to do your own wedding hair, make the bouquets or bake your cake. DIY wedding items are great when you can finish them well in advance of your big day. When it includes a perishable item like food or flowers, leave it to a friend, family member or the pros. No bride or groom should be up all night the day before their wedding finishing last-minute wedding tasks.