If you’re planning a wedding you know how many expenses there are. It seems like nothing comes cheap and it’s more expensive that was originally figured. Some expenses usually incurred with a traditional wedding are:
- wedding decorations
- bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts
- wedding dress
- bridal party outfits
- rehearsal dinner
- and more
While there are some things that shouldn’t really be skimped on I have lots of ideas to save money on items throughout your wedding. Lance Advisors actually has a blog post about setting up checking and savings accounts before marriage too to help get your marriage off on the right financial foot.
While lots of people dream about their perfect wedding sometimes it’s better to scale back on the dream than to go into debt because a horse drawn carriage completed the dream. After all, money problems are one of the leading causes of marital issues.
Trim The Guest List
This one is pretty obvious. If you have 50 people at your wedding rather than 500 there’s only 50 people to pay for meals, you can go with a smaller venue, less alcohol, etc. Not to mention the smaller things that add up like needing less invitations, less stamps to send them out, etc.
Wedding Cake Alternatives
Have you priced out wedding cakes recently? I mean seriously, they’re expensive for something not everyone is going to eat. There are lots of great alternatives to traditional wedding cakes that can be more budget friendly. Here are just a few ideas:
- cupcakes: you can even get cute wrappers to match your wedding. You can make different flavors, and even gluten free or sugar free options if needed. Easier to transport. Get the bridesmaids together along with the parents and soon-to-be-in-laws and have a cupcake baking party. Borrow cupcake tours or find them in thrifts stores or get ones from party supply stores like Oriental Trading.
- Donuts: Who doesn’t love a donut? Order ahead from Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme and have someone pick them up or ask if they would deliver for a larger order. Still cheaper than a wedding cake! You can stack them neatly or see if your venue has towers you can use.
- Rice Krispy Treats: You could easily mold rice Krispy treats into any shape you want. You can do one shaped like a small cake and have separate one that guest can easily grab. They even have gluten-free Rice Krispies available.
- Fruit or cheese towers: This is something I’ve been seeing more and more of. People trying to be healthy so they have “cakes” made from watermelons decorated with grape cluster, pineapple rings, and more. Cheese wheels too thought depending on the cheese, it might not be any cheaper than a wedding cake.
- Martha Stewart Living has an awesome alternative wedding cake idea slide show with pictures to show you just how nice they can look including items like waffles, crepes, ice cream and more!
Hall? We Don’t Need No Stinking Hall!
So yes, depending on what time of year your wedding is you may still need a hall. But for those with late spring, summer, or early fall weddings…depending on your area you can consider a picnic instead.
Lots of local parks and recreational areas have pavilions that can be rented more reasonably than a hall. Even if you have a lot of people they can spread out and it won’t seem as crowded.
If you’re lucky enough to have a close family member with a nice sized yard and parking available you can ask them. My sister rented a couple pop-up tents and had her reception in my parents’ back yard. They just had a speaker for some music.
Intimate Service, Bigger Reception
So you want people to share in the big day but you need to cut costs somewhere. Consider just having a small, intimate service with immediate family and then invite who you want to invite to the reception. In this way, you don’t feel the need to go all out with flowers, bridal party, etc.
Alternatives to Fresh Flowers
Fresh Flowers can also be expensive and end up getting thrown out most of the time.
This is another popular trend. Instead of carrying flowers brides are opting to to carry other items along with their bridal party. In my wedding only I had a bouquet while my bridesmaids carried votive candles in jars. The were extinguished once they got to the alter.
I had a cousin that made her own silk flowers for her bouquet and bridesmaids.
Bridesmaids can carry a small basket with silk flowers, parasols, light-up items. clutches, or whatever may go with the theme of your wedding. BridalGuide.com has a fun slide show of bridesmaid bouquet alternatives.
You’ll Be Amazed Where You Can Find Decorations!
There are lots of sources to find decorations for your reception, shower, and more.
- Thrift Stores
- Buyout and Surplus Stores
- Borrow from family and friends
- Marketplace and yard sale groups on facebook
- Consignment sales
- Dollar Stores
- Yard Sales and Garage Sales
- If you rent a hall ask if they have decorations that can be used
- lots more
Skip The Formalities and Invest/Save
So this is another obvious one but you’ll often here “In the end the details don’t matter all that matter is that you love each other” In reality all you “need” is each other, a marriage certificate, and someone to marry you.
When my current husband and I got married we did talk about an actual wedding because he had never been married before. Some circumstances changed and we ended up getting married by a JP in a small court room in our small town. We had a dinner at a local restaurant, and THE END. We chose to save our money toward buying a house instead. Talking to a financial advisor like Lance Advisors can even help you plan for your financial future together.
I could not believe how much less stress my wedding to my current husband was because we didn’t have to coordinate near as much, the financial cost was minimal, and we just had immediate family so no family drama or guest list stress.
Saving Money On a Wedding Dress
This can be another huge expense. Some dresses can cost $10K or more. But even $500 is a lot of money. You can find wedding dresses in thrifts stores, formal wear consignment sales, use a dress from the family and just have it altered, or just buy a nice dress you really like at the mall. I bought a short white lacy dress from a department store for my JP wedding and I got lots of compliments on it.
This post is sponsored. Any opinions expressed are my own.