It is necessary to be a frugal bride, especially if you have a very limited budget. When you start planning a wedding, you realize how quickly all the wedding expenses add up.
We are constantly looking for ways to save money in all aspects of our lives, and it has become a habit for most of us.
That’s why we have decided to create this helpful collection of wedding hacks for the frugal bride…
84 Greatest Wedding Hacks for the Frugal Bride
Create your wedding budget
The most important part of planning a wedding from the first step, is to have a wedding budget in place. Your wedding budget is one of the most important documents you will work with to plan your special day, and having a decent one in place will help you to avoid overspending.
Wedding budget planner
Your wedding budget planner should include an overview of your wedding expenses, as well as a broken down list of budget line items and budget categories. You should also have a payment calendar in place to see when you should pay suppliers.
We thought it will be helpful to create the Wedding Budget Planner that includes all of this, plus some extras you might need to manage your wedding budget and expenses thoroughly. We consider this printable planner the best friend to any bride who plans their own wedding. You can view the Wedding Budget Planner here.
The Wedding Club brings you the latest updates and resources in the wedding and events industry! Whether you are a bride, wedding planner, or industry professional – follow us for trends, events, support, insights, updates, resources and more!
Wedding budget hacks
We start off our massive list of wedding hacks for the frugal bride with some great wedding budget hacks that you might find useful.
#1: Have a budget in place that covers EVERYTHING – check out out Wedding Budget Planner for guidance
#2: Have estimates on your wedding budget sheets to help you get an idea of how much you need to budget for your wedding
#3: Work with percentages so that you can calculate exactly how much of your total wedding budget should be spent in which category
#4: Put someone in charge of handling and managing your wedding budget, especially if you know that you’re not that great with money management
#5: Keep your budget up to date so that you have an accurate overview of how much is spent and how much money is left in your wedding budget
#6: Don’t overspend on your wedding budget, because you might end up owing major suppliers some payments which you will need to take out loans for (suppliers won’t pitch if they’re not getting paid!) Here is a post if you think you’re likely to overspend…
Save money on wedding flowers
Wedding flowers is normally one of the greatest wedding expenses in your budget – and come to think of it, what happens to all those gorgeous blooms after the wedding? 🙁
Start with your bridal bouquet when you want to look at saving money on your wedding flowers. You can easily go for a more minimalist bridal bouquet than over-the-top, special, and out-of-season costly flowers.
Besides, everyone wants to see you (and your gorgeous dress!) first, before they see the bridal bouquet.
The next costly wedding flowers to target are your centerpieces. Your centerpieces make up the most part of your flowers at your wedding, so this is essentially where most of your wedding flower budget goes…
Greenery, minimalist bud vases and wildflowers picked from the field are still very romantic and trendy. For a fraction of the price! Start off with these ideas for your centerpieces, and maybe you can include a more expensive flower here and there if you really want to.
To get those super special, flower arrangements and Pinterest-y wedding looks, you need to know something: Most of them are either a) a mock setup, staged for photograph purposes only, and no real wedding took place (so what you see is normally ONE centerpiece, ONE table setup and a few props and extras). And b) if a real wedding took place, those over-the-top flower arrangements that is oh so perfect and camera worthy, are more often than not, designed by florists and floral designers. Gasp!
You will definitely pay for those flower arrangements you want – and it will cost you a lot!
Wedding flower budget hacks
Let’s get on with the list of wedding hacks for frugal brides! Here are some wedding flower hacks!
#7: Larger flowers take up more space, so that means less stems (flowers are normally charged per stem at flower markets)
#8: Go buy directly from the flower market, because if you buy from your local florist, they have already put their mark-up price on their bunches and bouquets
#9: Raid your loved ones’ gardens for easy to find plants, such as greenery and branches, or common flowers and succulents.
#10: Go on the cheap and opt for less in your bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets and on your wedding tables
#11: Consider using paper flowers or handmade flowers, if you have the time and the supplies to do it. You can find many tutorials for this on Pinterest and on YouTube
#12: To get a more natural look at your wedding, go for more greenery in stead – eucalyptus, ruscus and monstera leaves are all front runners at weddings, so be sure to compare prices before you buy!
#13: When deciding on your wedding flowers, look at what is in season during the time of your wedding date. Out-of-season flowers are usually imported, and thus more costly
#14: Don’t use trendy or mainstream flowers for your wedding, because wedding trends set prices in the industry, too! Do some research on what is currently ‘in’, and avoid that
#15: Be very specific with your numbers when you go buy your wedding flowers – too much greenery and flowers (yes, it’s possible!) can be money wasted, which could’ve been spent somewhere else
Save money on wedding suppliers
If you decide on having a wedding planner, make sure you compare at least three planners’ packages and services. More experiences wedding planners tend to be more expensive.
If you really cannot afford a wedding planner of any sort, plan your own wedding with our basic Wedding Planner Kit. It has everything you need to get started.
Deciding on which photographer you want to use is tough, because there are so many of them out there. Make sure you check out each photographer’s past work and portfolio, and then compare their prices.
Videographers can be expensive, especially for weddings. If you really want a videographer, you can ask your photographer who they would recommend. Or better yet, find a wedding photography business which includes videography services, too and see if they can work out a package to suit your budget.
The wedding entertainment industry is becoming big – and of course, with that, prices also tend to go up. If you feel the need to include a live band or even fireworks at your wedding, consider your wedding budget.
This should be one of the last expenses you need to pay, if there is money left in your budget. The only thing you need to pay for first, in terms of entertainment, is a decent wedding DJ.
How to compare your wedding suppliers
When deciding on different suppliers, you should start off with a list of which kind of suppliers you need to find, such as a caterer, photographer, wedding planner, and so on.
After that, find three in each category. Compare their services, costs, extras, location, availability and so on.
We’ve made it easy for you: Compare more than 40 wedding suppliers, with all of their services, extras and costs with our Wedding Supplier Kit. We have divided each supplier into sections, and you can compare anything of that supplier with 2 other suppliers of the same type. We also included blank worksheets if you want to find your own kind of supplier. View it here.
Wedding supplier budget hacks
#16: If you’re on a tight budget, ask a friend or family member to help out with certain things. Maybe you have an aunt who bakes fantastic cakes, or a cousin who is a photographer?
#17: You should know that you are allowed to ask for a discount from suppliers, especially if you are buying a lot of things from them or are paying a hefty price for something. The worst you can get is a ‘no’.
#18: If you have time on your hands, you might want to use more DIY wedding ideas for your wedding. Pinterest is a gold mine when it comes to things like this…
#19: Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from your venue or other suppliers. Don’t forget to mention that you’re on a tight budget – so that they recommend someone you can actually afford!
#20: You can also get married out of season, as some suppliers and venues will then be cheaper, because of a lower demand. Winter, or even late Autumn, are good seasons to get married in – be sure to compare prices!
#21: When you start planning, look for new suppliers in the industry. They still need to build up their experience and reputation, so their prices are normally lower than those who are in it for longer. Make sure you check them out properly, and ask for examples of their work if they have any…
#22: You also have an option to use suppliers who offer more than one service, and can turn your needs into a package deal. A good example of this is a photographer, who also offers videography. Or a wedding caterer, who can also do your wedding cake.
Save money on your wedding venue
The struggle is real when it comes to finding wedding venues, that will suit your needs as well as your budget. Wedding venues are very competitive, but you will find that, the more beautiful the wedding venue (and how fully booked it is), the more they will ask any fee they want to!
If you have found a perfectly located and priced wedding venue, but the aesthetics aren’t that great, then you can read this post on how to turn an unappealing wedding venue into a breathtaking one.
When it comes to destination weddings, having a small budget, or trying to be frugal, can already be challenging. If you decide to have a destination wedding, make sure you compare all of your supplier and venue options.
If you’re still looking for a wedding venue, find one with a decent wedding coordinator. There are many beautiful wedding venues out there, and it all seems so perfect, until you later find out that the wedding coordinator cannot do his or her job perfectly, too.
When in doubt, find a wedding planner which provides wedding coordination, as part of their package. You will need someone on your wedding day who can help with all the behind-the-scenes aspects, and to make sure that your special day runs smoothly.
Wedding venue budget hacks
#23: To save on ceremony venue costs, get married at your own church. Many churches will offer the venue at a lower fee, or even for free, if you are a member.
#24: To save on travel and accommodation costs, choose a local venue. Also, if you live in an average area (i.e. not a high-in-demand wedding area/destination), venues can actually be cheaper.
#25: We have briefly covered this in #20, but if you marry out of season, your venue can be way cheaper. Consider the type of venue and its main attractions before you choose. For example, Cathedral Peak Hotel may cost the same during Winter, because the snow on the Drakensberg Mountains makes a desirable wedding feature.
#26: Find a venue that doesn’t include accommodation. Many venues that provide accommodation forces you to book it in addition to your venue costs. More often than not, it can be more expensive than other accommodation in the area.
#27: Find a venue with lots of in-house decor to choose from. It will save you money by providing all the things you need to complete your wedding look, so you won’t have to hire it somewhere else.
#28: Go for a basic venue, then transform it into the wedding look you want for your special day. You can read more about transforming a venue into a breathtaking one, here.
#29: There’s nothing wrong with a garden wedding! Some of the most intimate and romantic weddings we have done, took place in someone’s garden. You will save massively on venue costs, especially if you know someone with a spectacular garden.
#30: Another way to save big is to plan a breakfast wedding. The venue costs may be cheaper in terms of food, decor and setup fees.
Save money on your wedding guests
Wedding planning tips
Before we dive right in to the hacks, here are a few wedding planning tips when it comes to your wedding guests:
- Be very certain who exactly you want to invite to your wedding – don’t just fill gaps to reach a perfect number, with people who you haven’t seen in a really long time
- Take note that your wedding guests are witnesses to your wedding ceremony taking place – that’s why they are there in the first place
- If your parents are paying for your wedding, they get first choice of who gets to be invited!
- To add to the previous tip, if they are paying for your wedding, don’t invite all 200 of your Facebook friends…
- Be very strict when it comes to inviting your wedding guests. For example, if it says “no kids allowed”, you can’t allow some friends’ kids, and not others’.
Wedding guests budget hacks
#31: We definitely want to remind you that your wedding is not a reunion! If you want to invite people you haven’t seen in years, then save money by getting them off your list, immediately!
#32: If it is a big deal to you, you can visit the “no children at your wedding” factor – especially if you’re a very young couple. Children will cost an extra under plate, wedding favor, welcome drink, etc. And if you have a kiddies table, it can be even more costly. However, many venues make food cheaper for the kids, and will give them burgers and chips, in stead of allowing them to dish up from the buffet.
#33: Another way to save even more on your guests is by having cheap wedding favors. Opt for chocolates or smaller gifts with a tiny “thank you” tag attached to it.
#34: You may even have no favors at all. You’re already feeding them, setting a table for them, and trying to convince them to have a good time!
#35: When it comes to feeding your wedding guests, have a buffet menu. This is the most cost effective way to make sure they eat enough food and don’t head to a take out restaurant afterwards.
#36: Watch out for extras! Things like lawn games, photo booths, entertainment and lounging furniture – all in the name of keeping your guests happy – will bump up your wedding expenses.
Save money on wedding food and drinks
#37: If you have a large wedding, should you choose a buffet or a plated menu? Definitely buffet! But for smaller weddings, you should definitely compare the price per plate, versus having a buffet for, say, 60 people.
#38: Try to find a venue which provides in-house catering – as this can be cheaper than hiring a catering company. However, it depends on which food you want to serve to your guests. For instance, a pizza buffet or a build-a-burger can work out way cheaper, if that’s your style.
#39: When it comes to deciding on the type of liquor and bar hire for your wedding, choose a cash bar for wedding guests. To make them feel content, you can give them a complimentary welcome drink and champagne.
#40: If you plan on having welcome drinks, don’t go for fancy wedding drinks such as signature cocktails and expensive champagne.
#41: During cocktail hour, when you and your new husband are off taking photos in the sunset, it will be wise to serve refreshments to your guests to avoid them becoming irritable. Consider a harvest table or canapés – whichever is cheapest for the amount of wedding guests you have.
#42: If you have an open bar set up for your wedding guests, make sure you don’t include any hard liquor for an open bar. That’s where it becomes quite expensive, especially if guests are ordering their favorite vintage ports and scotch whiskeys…
#43: You should definitely have wine and bubbly at your wedding – even if many of your friends aren’t big wine drinkers – it just makes your wedding seem more celebratory. However, choose table wines and champagne wisely – don’t go for two whites and two reds per table, plus champagne, plus juice, etc. Make it easier for yourself and let your guests get it from the bar.
Save money on wedding cake
If you haven’t realized that wedding cakes are quite expensive, you will find out soon. Wedding cakes take more effort and labor than any other type of cake, and if you want a delicious cake with many tiers, flavors and trimmings, it is going to cost you a lot of money.
A specially designed cake topper with your initials and made of special material? Ka-ching! Carefully choose a timeless piece which you can keep or frame along with your wedding photos. Or, go for fresh flowers, in stead.
Bride and groom figurines
Yes, bride and groom figurines are still very much in fashion when it comes to wedding cakes, and you can choose from hundreds of designs – even to suit your personalities! If this is something you want on your wedding cake, you should definitely compare prices first!
Wedding cake budget hacks
#44: Since everyone wants a very unique wedding nowadays, you have the full right to opt for wedding cake alternatives! You can get quite creative: doughnuts, rice krispie cakes dipped in chocolate, giant chocolate fountain…
#45: A store bought cake is cheaper than a wedding bakery cake – because the wedding bakery actually specializes in wedding cakes. Artisan skills are just more expensive. But, If you buy a few cakes with plain white icing only, you can do a cake table display (see next tip).
#46: Create a DIY wedding cake display table by buying plain white or naked cakes from the supermarket, and then placing your cakes on different stands and heights on a rustic table. Decorate them with some of your wedding flowers + fresh berries and strawberries on and around the cakes.
#47: If you don’t want a massive wedding cake to feed your guests something sweet, consider having a dessert buffet in stead. Ask your venue if they can organize something like this from their in-house kitchen.
#48: You can also consider doing a candy buffet, instead. But, if you want to save money, do only a candy buffet. No cake, no desserts and no wedding favors. Guests can then help themselves to candy which can double as favors. Match the candies to your wedding colors, place them in beautiful jars and on plates, and include a special “thank you” message on each packet. (Tip: smaller packets mean guests can’t load up on candy too much, so you don’t need a ton of different treats)
#49: A note on decorating wedding cakes: buttercream frosting is way cheaper than fondant. Buttercream contains butter, confectioner’s sugar, and optional coloring and flavoring. Fondant requires more ingredients, and is trickier to make. If you order a wedding cake from a bakery, make sure you choose buttercream in stead. Plus, it just tastes better than fondant. Bonus!
#50: The art of sugar flowers is a very specific talent, with lots of skill and practice going into it. That’s why sugar flowers, or sugar paste flowers, are more expensive than actual flowers for your wedding cake. Also, sugar flowers can easily seem old fashioned, where as actual flowers are more natural, romantic and earthy.
The Wedding Club brings you the latest updates and resources in the wedding and events industry! Whether you are a bride, wedding planner, or industry professional – follow us for trends, events, support, insights, updates, resources and more!
Save money on your wedding dress and wedding attire
Wedding dress designers
There are so many wedding dress designers out there nowadays, that asking your favorite aunt to make your wedding dress is becoming the trend again.
It is impossible to choose specific wedding dress designers based on your needs and their designs. And it is painful to choose, because all of their dresses are breathtakingly beautiful!
If you want to choose a designer wedding dress, sample sales and pop-up shops are your friends. With a sample sale, you can find some of the most beautiful dresses by top designers.
Bridal pop-up shops make dresses available for a few months, then they close and open somewhere else – their dresses need to sell fast, so it is generally cheaper than bridal boutiques.
When you choose your wedding attire for your bridal look, make sure it all comes together. Wedding attire includes your veil, shoes, bridal waist ribbon, accessories and jewelry.
If you’re going for a classic look, your wedding attire should be simple, elegant and stylish. If your style is bold and bohemian, go for chunky layers of jewelry and accessories.
Vintage means your wedding attire should include pearls. Gatsby style wedding attire means you can easily pull off a hair fascinator, in stead of a cathedral length veil.
You can also find what you’re looking for by going to bridal shows. Most of these bridal shows form part of an expo, or fair, where other suppliers in the wedding industry, such as photographers, can also be found.
Another big expense you might not have thought of is your wedding jewelry. Having your engagement ring and wedding bands are fine, but other jewelry can be borrowed from friends and family. Look at it as part of your “old, new, borrowed and blue”…
Wedding dress and attire budget hacks
#51: There is nothing wrong with buying a previously worn wedding dress. Especially if it is simply a beautiful wedding dress! Previously owned, or worn, dresses are cheaper than a brand new wedding dress.
#52: We’ve already mentioned how sample sales and pop-up shops are gold mines. Shop around a bit, before you buy!
#53: The LBD is now the LWD! You can choose a different kind of white dress – it doesn’t have to be a Kate Middleton style princess dress. You can find beautiful white dresses at vintage shops, or even at H&M, especially if you’re an extremely down to earth bride.
#54: Renting versus buying your wedding dress is definitely the best way to save money – and Rent The Runway is the “it” place to be now, and forever more! (Don’t think you’ll just sell your dress afterwards, because it is extremely difficult to get rid of it, for many reasons!) Head over to Rent The Runway here, to rent from top designers + dress up your bridesmaids here + choose from 1800 cocktail dresses for other bridal occasions, too!
#55: You can save money on tailoring costs if you choose a dress that already fits. These tiny costs add up in the end, so you can save a lot by just following this hack. (Also, don’t choose a dress that is too small, and think you’ll just lose weight to fit in it!)
#56: Wedding veils are quite pricey, especially if you want one similar to Megan Markle’s – with the length and the hand embroidered trimming… If you’re not too attached to the veil, you can leave it off. Or, you can replace it with a floral crown, or fascinator.
#57: Save even more by rather borrowing accessories from your female entourage – Bonus: it can be your “something borrowed”!
#58: Try to combine your “old, new, borrowed, blue” by asking family members and friends to help you out. You can also combine old with borrowed, and new with blue. Or combine old with borrowed and blue. Then just get something new… If you really have your heart set on the age old tradition.
Save money on your bridal party
Father of the bride gifts
Traditionally, the bride’s parents (and more often than not, the bride’s father in particular), will pay for most of the wedding. However, the “thank you gift” from the bride and groom doesn’t have to be an extremely expensive one. Opt for something simple and useful to show your appreciation, like customized items or something he loves.
Flower girl baskets
We have already talked about how all the little things add up in the end. And something minor such as the flower girl basket(s) can totally be DIY’ed. Just look around the house or ask a family member or friend for a cute basket or container to use – decorate it to match your wedding colors, and voila!
Bridal party budget hacks
#59: A great wedding expense when it comes to your bridal party, is your bridesmaids’ wear and attire. Especially if you want them to all look the same. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses is such a gorgeous trend: Stick to a single color palette or shades of the same color and let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses.
Pro tip: Use paint swatches as a guideline and give one to each bridesmaid to use when they go shopping.
#60: To save even more on their outfits, let them get their own accessories to style their look with for your wedding day. The groomsmen can pay for their own shoes, for example.
#61: Another great tip is to let their accessories double as a traditional bridesmaid’s gift. You then have control over what they choose to accessorize with, and you can even let all of them match. There’s no need to splurge on an extra gift, then. (The same goes for the groomsmen: give them something they can wear on the wedding, which also doubles as a gift)
#62: We recommend that your bridal party members pay for their own accommodation and transport, especially if you’re already paying for everything else for them. Bridal party costs can add up significantly. If you’re on a tight budget, tackle the larger expenses first, wherever you can…
#63: Since these are only for the ceremony and photo shoot afterwards, you can use basic, simple flowers for bouquets and boutonnieres. Make it look romantic by using wildflowers or go even smaller by using greenery and adding a few pieces of Baby’s Breath.
#64: Do some research on alternatives to bouquets and boutonnieres. Pinterest have so many innovative ideas on how you can tweak your wedding – so start with your bridesmaids’ bouquets and groomsmen’s boutonnieres. Replace expensive blooms with paper versions, use actual buttons and findings/beads/charms in the boutonnieres. You can get very creative with this!
Save money on wedding stationery
Brace yourself for yet another massive wedding expense which may take a chuck out of your wedding budget. Luckily for all of us, wedding stationery costs can be cut significantly, thanks to the age of technology. You can easily create your own wedding website (without any special skills needed), and eliminate the costs of your invitations, programs, map inserts, and not to mention the costs of postage stamps!
Make use of the wonderful technology we have by announcing your engagement via social networks, e-mail or private messaging. Your wedding announcements shouldn’t be yet another expense where someone from your guest list had to be sacrificed!
If you’ve gone to weddings before, you might have noticed this little thing called a wedding program. They are quite convenient on a hot summer day because you can use it as a fan. And that’s about it. Your guests will spend the first 10 minutes of your ceremony reading it, and then it gets no further attention. After the ceremony, a handful of people will keep them, then also probably toss them. Do you still have the ones from weddings you’ve attended?
Pro tip: A large entryway board or chalk board can be used to announce your ceremony. If you want to include details which would’ve been printed in a program, you can include that on the board, too. Plus it looks more trendy and organized.
We have mentioned how you can cut your wedding stationery costs in half by using a wedding website. And you can build gorgeous ones for free. Here are some sites worth checking out for building a wedding website (don’t worry, their very user friendly!):
- The Knot
- Minted (largest collection of free wedding website templates with matching wedding stationery)
Wedding stationery budget hacks
#65: If you want your printed wedding invitations to look elegant without spending a fortune, choose metallic foil press instead of original letterpress. Original letterpress is extremely expensive, because a template is made specifically for your wedding day and cannot be changed. This is how copies were printed back in the day and is now considered a form of art.
#66: To save money on wedding invitations, there are so many places you can order your stationery online. Minted and Etsy are two great places to shop!
#67: You can also save money on wedding stationery by not sending out save-the-dates. Simply send out a special note or image via e-mail or message, to let your future wedding guests know which date for your wedding they should keep open.
Pro tip: Make a special video for your save-the-dates and send it out to loved ones.
#68: Don’t forget to save a lot on your wedding budget by rather building a free wedding website. There are many to choose from, but our favorite is the one provided by The Knot. Completely free of charge! (Runner up: Minted’s free wedding websites with matching stationery)
#69: Save money on handmade wedding stationery by skipping on the professional calligrapher. Create your own faux calligraphy by writing in cursive hand, then going back and thickening all the down-strokes of each letter. Practice makes perfect!
#70: Cut down on table menus. Have a giant blackboard with the menu written on instead, and place it where your wedding guests will see it. Or, you can leave the menus out completely and simply surprise them… (Side note: Set menus and plated meals need a menu for guests to choose from, or to see what they’re going to eat – print one for each table, rather than placing a menu at each seat)
#71: To save on stationery for your wedding reception, don’t print any escort cards. You can rather print a large seating plan and place it by the door of the reception hall, or, skip the table seating plan altogether and let your guests sit wherever they want to.
#72: We have mentioned the unnecessary printing of ceremony programs before, but leaving them out really makes a huge difference.
Pro tip: Once your wedding website is ready and you have a ceremony schedule in place, you can always put it on there and share it with your guests. That way, everyone receives a virtual ceremony program.
Save money on your wedding ceremony and wedding reception
Inexpensive wedding ideas
There are two things in abundance on Pinterest: Food recipes and wedding stuff. You will definitely be able to find inexpensive wedding ideas on there, which will help save your wedding budget a lot…
Having your own diy wedding is of course the ideal way to save money on your budget – and these ideas can also be found on Pinterest. Just make sure you have enough time to “diy” things and that your “diy ingredients” don’t actually work out more expensive than just buying or renting the real deal.
Pro tip: Ask your bridesmaids to help you organize a “diy party” in stead of a bridal shower. There will still be games, gifts and mimosas, but everyone sits around a table and make stuff for the wedding. Make it fun!
Wedding reception ideas
Your wedding reception is probably where most of your wedding budget will go, so make sure you include wedding reception ideas that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Keep it simple and avoid costly things such as out-of-season flowers and hired decor items.
Wedding ceremony and reception budget hacks
#73: To start off, host your ceremony and reception at the same venue. Normally, if your ceremony is held somewhere else, you will have to pay an additional venue fee there, too. Also, a wedding venue’s ceremony area will probably be beautiful already. If you get married at a church, for example, you will still have to bring in additional decor.
#74: A look that is still very much on-point, is the naked chair and table look. Tablecloths and chair covers are out! However, you can still make it look softer by having table runners and chair ribbons. Or make it whimsical by using greenery and simple flowers everywhere, instead.
#75: Hiring in additional decor items will add up, so rather use what the venue provides in terms of decor and linen. A good venue will usually have a few in-house items that can be used, and more often than not, it is included in the venue hire fee.
#76: Replace expensive flowers or draping on arches and pillars, by rather dressing it up with ribbon. Be creative and use your wedding colors, or make it look elegant with white ribbon.
Save money on wedding stuff
Bride and groom shirts
Bride and groom shirts, or any other “his and hers” attire for that matter, is a trend that came and went. If you have any money to spare (which you’re not going to spend on your honeymoon either), we’d say go for it! Otherwise, cut it from your budget immediately.
Cheap wedding decoration ideas
There is a difference between cheap wedding decoration ideas and “diy wedding decor ideas”. If you’re going to use cheaper alternatives in your wedding, make sure it looks gorgeous and doesn’t fall apart. Just as there is a huge library of wedding decor ideas on Pinterest, there is an equally large library of Pinterest-fails, too.
We have mentioned this before, and it’s true: Your wedding reception is the largest expense of your wedding budget. It includes all of the decor, food, drinks, flowers, DJ, music, lighting, venue staff hire, and all that jazz… Make sure you can afford it all by using decent wedding suppliers – and by substituting expensive wedding stuff for more affordable ideas – Pinterest all the way!
We felt that sparklers need their own paragraph (or two) in this blog post, because they are also a trend that came and went. There are many reasons why you should not spend money on them. (Besides the fact that they cost extra money and become useless after five minutes.)
One: Imagine 300 guests lighting sparklers and everyone is standing in a cloud of nasty smoke… Two: How are your guests supposed to clap and cheer when you and your beloved other walk down the send-off aisle? Three: Unless you are using them for your send-off after your reception party, there’s no use in having them as “confetti”, since it will still be too bright outside to see it sparkle!
Unless you are highly religious or really HAVE to have a unity candle, or sand at your wedding ceremony, we’d cut this wedding expense from the budget. Is it not enough that you and your loved one get married by the pastor or marriage officer?
Pro tip: If you would like to include something religious or symbolic at your ceremony, rather go for the Catholic notion of “binding hands”. It has become a tradition in many other religions, too, and is very romantic. Either the pastor uses his or her own ribbon or cloth, or you can provide your own. This will be way cheaper than a unity candle.
Budget hacks for wedding stuff
#77: If you’re going to hire additional items for your wedding, go for eco-friendly wedding trends such as bamboo cutlery and plates, etc. It is much more affordable.
#78: Revisit the idea of confetti at your wedding. Confetti costs extra, and you can easily replace it with something more natural such as eucalyptus leaves or left-over flowers and greenery which you haven’t used in floral arrangements.
#79: To save money on all of the small things, make sure you cut on all the extras. Once you have the basics covered, such as food, review your wedding budget again. Cut through any additional stuff and “nice-to-haves” for your wedding. Any money left from your wedding budget can always be used on your honeymoon, or go towards a new house.
#80: To DIY, or not to DIY?… That is the question. 🙂 You can create many things for your wedding day, but you should know the facts about diy weddings. Sometimes, you will find that the stuff you buy to diy your wedding will work out more expensive than getting the real thing. Also, you might think that you want 1001 paper cranes. Until you find how long it takes to actually make them. And then you run out of time…
#81: There are two types of weddings: One with wedding favors, and one without wedding favors. The “no-wedding-favors” notion is still up for debate, as it is tradition to give something to your guests as a thank you gift. If you feel you have already spent so much on your wedding guests, you can happily leave the favors out. Or, go for cheaper wedding favors, such as homemade goodies, or edible stuff.
#82: If you’re unsure which is cheaper, do your research on urban vs. rural weddings. Urban weddings are most likely more expensive, especially if you want to get married in a well-known city, such as New York. On the flip side, rural weddings can become expensive once you have to transport everything there, and your suppliers start charging travelling and accommodation fees. It all depends on what you want for your wedding…
Pro tip: Cut travelling costs for suppliers by choosing ones that are as close a range to the venue as possible. Save on accommodation fees by having your wedding closer to home, or closer to an area where most of your family or friends will be. Also, make it easier for everyone to travel, by choosing a central point between all the cities.
#83: How far will you go to make your wedding guests happy? We just had to ask this question, because many brides want to go above and beyond to “spoil and treat” their wedding guests. When really, the wedding day is actually about the happy couple! Guests should be content with good food and good music… If you want to spend excessive money on entertainment and guest expenses, make sure you have the budget for it.
#84: One final question: Are you willing to stick to tradition? Tradition costs money. Do you have any idea how much a traditional fruit cake costs? Or having a pristine white wedding dress? What about a wedding car or horse and carriage? Or a limousine? Traditional gifts for the wedding party, a cathedral length veil, or even an extra bouquet to toss, because yours is too heavy? Yes, all of these cost money.
Ask yourself which traditions you want to keep, and which ones cut or replace with something new and inexpensive.
Well, there you have it! Our most comprehensive list of wedding budget hacks for the frugal bride, on TWC so far…
Pro tip: The best way to save money on your wedding is by having a proper wedding budget in place. Our Wedding Budget Planner is the go-to resource for any bride who wants to plan her own wedding!