20 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

When planning the perfect wedding it’s easy to get carried away with wanting all the things that can make it as beautiful as it can be. Unless you have access to a bottomless bank account like the Kardashians or Harry and Meghan, you might be looking for ways to save on your wedding. Here are 20 ways to keep costs down:

1. Set a budget before setting a date

Before you even open a bridal magazine, work out what you can afford to spend on a wedding. Find out how much other family members might be able to contribute. Then set your budget - and stick to it.

2. Choose the date wisely

For most the venue hire is the biggest cost of a wedding. You’ll instantly slash the bill by avoiding a summer wedding on a Saturday. Choose a month when it’s cheaper and save even more cash by having a wedding on a Friday. Guests will be happy to attend a wedding out of season rather than have their whole summer booked up.

3. Avoid expensive wedding stationery

You don’t have to splash out on shop bought invitations and save the date cards.

Design and print your own invites using online services. And if you want people to save the date, just send them an email or a text. You could go completely digital and send the wedding invites via email too.

4. Take advantage of family talent

Ask friends and family to step in, where they have a talent that could help with part of the wedding, as their gift to you. Perhaps they could DJ or be your photographer that typical cost over $1,000. Or maybe your guest list includes a hairdresser a florist or a talented baker who can make the cake.

5. Ditch the three-course meal

Depending on the style of your wedding, a buffet, hog roast or even a BBQ stand can work just as well as a formal sit-down meal. Use the wedding cake as a dessert course.

6. Decorations on a budget

Instead of using flowers for table centrepieces – which end up being pricey - design something that you can put together yourself.

Look on Gumtree or Facebook groups where brides sell on their haul of mirrored table decorations, candlesticks and bowls of glass beads which can all look elegant. You can sell these on afterwards so might even get your money back.

7. Save on drinks

Venues might charge a small fortune for cocktails, champagne and wine - and your favourites might not be available. You could bring your own alcohol and pay the corkage costs -it could still work out cheaper.

8. Buy champagne at Christmas

The sales around Christmas and New Year are the perfect time to bag a bargain on bubbly, wines and beers. Track prices online and pounce when the price is right. 

9. Consider a cash bar for spirits

After the meal, keep the bill under control by paying for beer, wine and soft drinks – but not spirits.

10. Ditch a pricey wedding cake

If there are no talented bakers in the family and you need to cut cake costs, why not create a treats table instead. You could use an inexpensive cake as a centerpiece and then fill your dessert table with all your other favourite baked goods such as doughnuts, cupcakes, macarons or chocolate eclairs. You can simply pick them up at the supermarket and arrange them beautifully.

11. Your dress doesn’t need to break the bank

You don’t need to pay top dollar for a stunning wedding dress. There are now plenty of websites that sell once worn or even never worn bridal gowns from top designers at bargain prices. There are also many high street brands that sell stylish bridal designs for a fraction of the price. If there’s a must-have designer for you, find out about sample sales on social media, which can save up to 90%.

12. Save on bridal party outfits

For bridesmaids you don’t need six friends decked out in matching satin gowns. Let them choose (and pay for) their own dresses.

13. Consider lab grown diamonds 

For an engagement ring, wedding rings or a special necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings for the big day, diamonds are likely to be your first choice. The drawback is the cost. Look into lab grown diamonds which can help save you a considerable amount. Lab grown diamonds are really diamonds after all, and you could even decide to forgo the savings and get larger or better-quality diamonds for the same cost as earth diamonds.  

14. Do your own wedding makeup

Once you’ve paid for the trial and a session on the day you can spend well over $100. And that’s just for you, there’s also the bridesmaids and the mother of the bride. Use YouTube tutorials if make-up isn’t your thing. Or ask a friend who is talented at make-up application to help.

15. Save on favours

Wedding guests don’t expect favours these days. You could call on a family member if you can’t bear to cut these out. Or you could make a charitable donation on behalf of your friends and family instead.

16. Create your own music

A band or a DJ can mean a chunky bill. Instead, get creative and make your own playlist. You'll need hours’ worth of tracks but you can get your guests involved and get them to suggest their favourite three songs along with their RSVPs.

17. Create a wedding website

Your very own website can replace the need for multiple invitation cards for your other events - like the rehearsal dinner, welcome party or day-after brunch. It can also help with logistic for your guest such as information on options for transportation and accommodation.

18. Save on photos

Instead of booking your photographer for a full day, book enough hours for the ceremony and reception and other important moments like the speeches. Then friends to cover the fun and dancing!

19. Haggle

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with any of your wedding day suppliers. There’s no shame in asking for a discount. The worst they can say is no.

20. Sell your dress

Remember, you can sell your dress once you’re done with it. Let’s face it, it’s only going to hang in a cupboard for decades and one day be thrown out. Why not get some of your hard-earned dollars back?

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