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How to Cut Costs Without Your Wedding Guests Noticing

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How to Cut Costs Without Your Wedding Guests Noticing
Jessica Bishop Headshot
how to cut costs without your guests noticing

Wedding Budget Hacks: Tricks for Cutting Costs Without Your Guests Noticing

Finding ways to stretch your wedding budget is almost a rite of passage for brides. While most of you are trying desperately to stay within budget (you’ve got bigger priorities, after all) you’re also struggling with the fear of seeming cheap.

The key is to choose the right places to cut corners– basically in the areas that your guests aren’t likely to notice.

To help you out here’s a quick guide on the best wedding budget hacks to cut costs without your guests noticing.

We promise, no one will notice a thing.

Savvy ways to cut costs that your guests won’t even notice!


One area that is easily price-slashed is your wedding invites and stationery. Your guests won’t be able to tell if you’ve ordered from a posh paperie or DIYed your day-of papers. There are so many options to do your wedding paper goods for less, even if you’re not a trained designer! Here are just a few ideas to get you started saving:

Full-on DIY wedding paper extravaganza:
Semi-DIY wedding invites:
Order professional invites with cost-saving tweaks:
  • Pass on fancy printing methods like letterpress or thermography. Flat printing is just as elegant and definitely cheaper.
  • Opt for a black and white printed design to save on the cost of colored inks.
  • Make sure to choose a standard-sized invitation to avoid heftier postage fees.
  • Have your guests RSVP online to save the cost of a mailed response card.


Obviously, your wedding reception meal represents a huge cost, but there are several ways to cut your expenses that will float right over your guests’ heads.

  • Opt out of additional decorative items (no fancy ice sculptures, necessary!)
  • Choose a small display wedding cake to use in pictures. Then, have a regular sheet cake in the back for guests. Your guests will never realize where their piece came from!
  • Choose inexpensive foods for your wedding catering menu. You can serve quite a spread of affordable pasta for far less than plated steak dinners.
  • Have a brunch wedding instead of a dinner affair. You can treat the crowd to a full, luxurious breakfast menu at a more affordable price point than a seated dinner.

READ THIS: How I saved half off on my wedding


You may think that your wedding dress is a difficult thing to cut back on– everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day. However, the dress can be one of the most expensive things in your entire budget if you’re not careful. Check out these cost-cutting wedding dress tips that your guests will never pick up on:

  • Shop wedding dress sample sales. We promise your Great Aunt Mildred will never know you scored a gently-used sample instead of a brand new bridal beauty!
  • Buy a pre-owned wedding dress. Your guests will never know that you’re not the first bride to wear your designer gown.
  • Rent a dress for the big day. This trend is becoming popular because it’s so affordable – and you don’t have to stress about getting the gown cleaned afterward.


Of course, you want your wedding decor to look insta-worthy, but on a budget! You want to find cheap wedding decor that doesn’t look cheap. When it comes to your wedding decorations, there are quite a few ways to cut costs without your guests noticing.

  • Upcycle items to use as wedding decor. Think of using items you’d otherwise throw away–like glass bottles and jars– and turn them into stunning centerpieces! You’d be surprised what a can of spray paint can do to transform trash to treasure.
  • Cut out the monogrammed napkins. You think people will notice them, but they won’t.
  • Buy used wedding decorations from former brides. Check out buy/sell groups on Facebook, or shop eBay!
  • Use fresh flowers sparingly, but make it suit your theme and your guests will be nonethewiser. Example: if you’re bibliophiles, incorporate used books into your centerpieces!
  • Consider renting silk wedding flowers instead of using fresh. Some options are so lifelike, your guests will never notice that they aren’t the real thing!


Finally, a simple plan for cutting costs is to schedule your wedding for a Friday evening or a Sunday. Saturdays are the most popular days and, consequently, the most expensive. Your guests won’t notice a difference in your event no matter what day of the week it takes place on. So why not save yourself an extra 30% on your costs by choosing an off-peak date for your wedding!

Think you can cut costs without your wedding guests noticing?

It’s true that subtly planning a cheap wedding calls for dedication and great attention to detail. Plus, some truly creative cost-cutting ideas! But it’ll all be worth it once you’re lying beachside in Bali, with extra money in the bank. We hope this list of ideas helps spark some creativity and some budget-savvy skills!

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cutting costs without your guests noticing
smart ways to cut costs on your wedding so your guests won't notice

Jessica Bishop Headshot

Jessica Bishop is the founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, and has worked in various areas and roles within the wedding industry since 2007. She is the author of the best-selling book,The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer and also hosts The Bouquet Toss Wedding Planning Podcast. Jessica's expert wedding advice and savvy savings tips have been featured by Good Morning America, COSMOPOLITAN, Glamour, and more. You can learn more about Jessica on her personal blog and professional website.