11 unconventional ways to save money on your wedding
Saving money on your wedding may seem difficult, but it's all about priorities.
If you're not willing to budge on the line items that can be the easiest areas to cut, then you'll have to find other ways to save money on your wedding.
You've probably heard that the quickest trick to slash your wedding costs is by cutting your guest list. It might be quick, but it's not an easy task as there are often many emotions involved. You can, however, achieve quick wins when it comes to your budget if you're smart with your venue choice and wedding season/day of the week.
But what about all the other aspects of the big day? Read on for more budget saving wedding ideas to steal for your own plans. And for even more ways to save money on a wedding, don't miss our wedding budget tips.
Related post: How I Saved Over Half Off My Wedding Budget
11 unconventional ways to save money on a wedding
1. Make your own printed wedding items
There are a plethora of resources on the web for brides who are looking to DIY their wedding paper items. By utilizing free wedding printables or low-cost wedding templates, there's really no reason why any bride shouldn't be able to make their own wedding invitations.
Don't have the design skills to design your own invites? Check out sites like Skillshare (get 2 months free here) or Bluprint to access classes to learn how to design your own wedding paper items.
If you don't want to invest the time in learning a new skillset, opt for done-for-you wedding templates where all you have to do is print! Things like table numbers or escort cards are simple things to tackle yourself instead of buying them.
We've got a ton of free printables here on The Budget Savvy Bride, and you can easily personalize free templates on sites like Canva. You can even pick out the perfect wedding font to customize your wedding day stationery from sites like Creative Market.
2. Rethink your catering
If you're looking for ways to cut costs on your wedding catering, consider offering light bites instead of a sit-down dinner. You can still serve up a good amount of food so that no one goes hungry without costing a fortune.
It's super easy to put together a filling dinner menu made with affordable foods for your guests to enjoy. You may even want to consider choosing a non-traditional wedding caterer for your reception fare. Serving up tasty nibbles from a taco truck or a hot dog cart will not only be delicious, but it will be something your guests will remember for years to come.
You could also get creative and extra savvy by hosting a brunch wedding! Breakfast foods tend to be more affordable and your guests aren't as likely to get rowdy at an open bar, so it's a great cost-cutting solution.
3. Utilize your network
Think about your family and friends and consider their various talents and skills. Are any of them applicable to weddings? Whether you ask your neighbor to make your wedding cake or your cousin to design your wedding invites, you can likely save yourself some pennies by pulling in help from loved ones.
Having help from your talented friends on your wedding day will allow you to further personalize your day and eliminate the need to hire professional help in some areas.
Don't forget about your bridal party, either! Get the gang together to help craft DIY wedding decorations or ask them to keep an eye out for blue mason jars you have your heart set on for your centerpieces. Heck, you can even ask to borrow items from the folks in your friend group that you could use for the big day to save yourself some cash.
4. Fire the DJ, and skip the live band.
No offense to the professional DJs of the world, but this is one of those areas that you can easily DIY if it's not your top priority. If all you care about is having some chill music playing in the background while you eat your dinner and schmooze with your guests, this can easily be accomplished by creating your own wedding playlist.
Related Post: How to DJ Your Own Wedding
5. No unnecessary flowers as decoration.
Fresh flowers are a budget buster. And let's be honest, you only get to enjoy them for a few hours before they wind up in the trash. Why spend so much on something that doesn't last? Why contribute to more waste?
Consider using other items for decor in lieu of flowers, or opting for an alternative to fresh flowers for your wedding. You could consider renting your wedding flowers, using non-floral wedding decor, or even a mixture of things to decorate your space.
If your heart is set on having live blooms in your bouquet, select your stems the savvy way by choosing flowers that are in-season. You could also opt to DIY your wedding flowers with bulk flowers you can order online.
Related post: Essential Tips for Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers
6. Keep your bridal squad intimate
Do yourself and your wallet a favor and keep your bridal party small. Heck, you could even forgo a traditional bridal party altogether if you like!
Fewer attendants = lower costs. Having a smaller bridal party can save you lots of money in the same way a smaller guest list can. Each bridesmaid or groomsman adds an extra gift, extra bouquet or boutonniere, extra suit rental or bridesmaids dress. If you're planning to help cover any of your squad's expenses, you'll be adding costs exponentially with each additional gal pal you invite to stand by your side.
7. Upcycle: turn your trash into wedding treasure!
Creating your own centerpieces, decorations, and other miscellaneous items. There are so many craft stores out there and limitless resources to get inspired. Heck, when you can take items out of your recycling bin and make them look this good, why would you spend beaucoup bucks on formal wedding centerpieces?
Take a gander at our Wedding DIY Project Library to get inspired for things you can make yourself for your wedding!
8. Buy secondhand items whenever possible.
Think about the items you may need for your wedding that don't necessarily have to be brand spanking new. Then, check out all available options for where to find those items secondhand!
Check Goodwill and thrift stores for items you can pick up in person, and don't forget about Facebook Marketplace! You can also check out various re-selling websites for anything from wedding decor items to attire. You could buy used wedding decor on eBay or a pre-owned wedding dress from StillWhite. The world-wide-web is your budget-savvy oyster!
9. Borrow whatever you can to cut back on rental costs.
Are you a member of a church or know someone who is? See if you could borrow tables for things like your buffet, gift table, cake table, etc to cut back on rental costs. This could come in handy especially if you're planning a backyard wedding and are on a truly tight budget.
Do your family and friends have items you could use for your big day? Perhaps your Uncle could drive you to your wedding night hotel in his classic car instead of hiring a limo service, or your Aunt has a collection of beautiful glass jars that would be perfect for your candy buffet. Take advantage of those opportunities to save money by borrowing wedding items rather than renting.
10. Skip the wedding favors.
Favors are a waste of money. Yeah, we said it! Any item with you and your partner's name and wedding date will just get tossed by most of your guests.
If you really feel the need to give your guests a small token of appreciation on the wedding day, consider only simple and edible wedding favors. At least your guests will enjoy a tasty treat, rather than a monogrammed tchotchke.
11. Do your own makeup and hair.
*GASP!* Do your own wedding makeup?! NO WAY!? There are alot of great ways to figure out what looks good on you. And if you want to look like yourself on your big day, what better way than to do your own face and hair.
If you want to look natural and relaxed on your big day, going this route can definitely help you achieve that goal while also saving money. Hit up YouTube for endless amounts of makeup tutorials and inspiration. If you're not planning to do your hair in a fancy updo, you may just want subtly curled waves for a naturally beautiful bridal look.
They key here is practice. Have fun experimenting! Heck, it's a great way to fill your free time rather than going out and spending money while you're trying to save up for the big day!
Planning a wedding without going overboard is a challenge. We hope you've found these budget-saving ideas for your wedding helpful. Implementing even a few of these ideas will help you cut costs without cutting corners, and save a buck or two (or two hundred… or two thousand!)