Happy New Year and welcome to The Budget Savvy Bride! Whether this is your first time stopping by or if you’ve been planning your wedding for a while, I hope you find helpful tips and information for your big day.
One of the biggest challenges involved in planning your wedding (and something engaged couples fight most about) will be sticking to a budget, so finding ways to save here and there will be key in reducing your overall spend. That’s why I’ve dedicated this site to money-saving strategies that allow you to pull off the look of a luxe wedding for less. Over the last 8+ years of running TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, we’ve featured hundreds of real weddings by couples who’ve planned their weddings on a budget of $20,000 or less. It’s truly amazing to see what couples are able to pull off when they get creative and crafty!
I thought, what better way to share some budget savvy wisdom with you than to get the tips straight from some real brides who’ve gone before you. I’ve pulled ten of the best tips from our past real wedding features to share with you today, and I think you’ll find them super helpful and insightful. Without further ado, here are 10 Money Saving Tips from Real Brides!
10 Money Saving Tips from Real Brides
Photo credit: Alyssa Morgan Photography
Do It Yourself When You Can
Hannah and Eric created many of the details of their big day themselves by using their skills as artists and doing some crafts for their décor. Hannah’s advice: “Don’t buy things you can make yourself. It’s easy to rack up a lot of money, especially if you’re on a time crunch, but if you figure out a way to do what you want for cheaper, do it! Also, let people help. It can be overwhelming having so many people offer to help with things, but it’s a huge relief to have those people by your side when it’s crunch time.” See Hannah and Eric’s wedding.
Photo Credit: Alexis Sweet Photography
Do What Makes Sense For You
Amanda and Anthony decided to skip the big fancy wedding celebration and planned an intimate elopement with their closest family members. Amanda says, “The day is about you and your significant other. Do what makes you happy and forget about the rest. We struggled with the idea of keeping the guest list to a minimum, and in all honesty, we had some disappointed family and friends. In the end, they all still love us and so does our bank account. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.” See Amanda and Anthony’s wedding.
Photo credit: Sean Lara Photography
Find a Venue That Will Let You Bring In Your Preferred Vendors
Erica and Ross planned a DIY wedding at a hostel that was super flexible with their vendor choices and allowed them to hire pros they liked and could afford. Erica says, “We saved a lot of money by selecting a venue that would allow us to work with our own vendors and we did as much DIY as we could!” See Erica and Ross’ wedding.
Photo credit: Chelsey Williams Photography
Keep It Simple.
Tori and Thomas planned a day that reflected them as a couple and used restraint to keep from going overboard. Tori’s advice: “Keep things simple! We chose not to waste time or money on insignificant details that our guests would pay no attention to! This saved of us a lot of stress and money and the evening was still absolutely perfect and beautiful to us in every way.” See Tori and Thomas’ wedding.
Photo credit: Madeline Barr Photo
Sarah and Dave focused on what was most important to them and made those items a priority in their budget plans. Sarah says, “Identify early on what is important to you and let go of the rest. We didn’t care what type of food we had as long as it tasted great. I think some of our guests were surprised we had a food truck but loved the food. We also really wanted to have yard games so we needed a venue that would be flexible. We spent our money on what we thought people would remember and made sure that at the end of the day we were happy with the choices we made.” See Sarah and Dave’s wedding.
Photo credit: Summer Shea Photography
Utilize Your Talented Friends and Family
Ashlynn and Jimmy’s wedding was pulled together with the help of the couple’s talented circle of family and friends. Ashlynn shares, “We saved the most was by hiring people we already know. My hair and makeup were done by friends. Our amazing photographer is my husband’s cousin. Instead of getting a hotel to get ready in, my friends brought their RV and we got ready in there. My aunt is friends with the photo booth guy we hired. We helped with our budget by planning the wedding with my grandma’s help and doing all my own centerpieces.” See Ashlynn and Jimmy’s wedding.
Photo credit: Rachel Red Photography
Cut Down Your Guest list
Lindsay and Mike planned a multi-day celebration with an intimate guest list to help mitigate costs. Lindsay says, “Limiting our guest list to our close friends and family helped with the budget as well as the stress. Both the ceremony and reception guest list were so manageable. We were able to talk to everyone and thank them for being a part of wedding and lives. It felt like a celebration with close friends instead of a big show.” See Lindsay and Mike’s wedding.
Photo credit: Holly Ann Photography
Jessica and Alex thought outside the box for a few aspects of their wedding that helped them save money. You don’t have to follow every tradition – make your own rules! Jessica says, “Wedding cakes are a big budget buster so we chose to do wedding pies. We had friends and family make their own special pie recipes. This allowed us to have a large variety of pies and save a ton. We ended up with 20 pies all made by family and friends. My husband’s grandmother made us a special pie to cut so we would not miss out on the cutting ceremony.” See Jessica and Alex’s wedding.
Photo credit: Six Hearts Photography
Choose an off-day
Autumn and Daniel chose a non-popular day and time to get married and it saved them a bundle. Autumn says, “The biggest thing we did to save money on our wedding was making it an off-season Sunday morning brunch! Morning weddings are normally a lot less expensive due to the cost of food being less and you don’t have to woo your guests with a bar!” See Autumn and Daniel’s wedding.
Photo credit: Martine Beher Photography
Do your research.
Mallory and Andrew did a ton of research, got price quotes and weighed all their options to ensure they got the best deal on everything for their big day. Mallory says, “I really did my homework on all my vendors and venues. If money isn’t on your side then really being aware of where each dollar is going is important. I asked around a lot and ended up finding my venue through a friend and got a great deal!” See Mallory and Andrew’s Wedding.
I hope you’ve gotten some inspiration to tackle your wedding budget! View more Real Weddings in our galleries — you can even browse by budget!
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here.