Creative ways to save on your wedding

By February 18, 2020 Blog

Wondering how to save money on your wedding? Read some creative way sto save on your wedding.

Shop around for wedding invites

I did a quick comparison of wedding invites from Costco vs a popular website for wedding invites. 

For just the invitation card the price was $0.70 for the Costco card and $2.79 for the other site. For the Costco card, I picked the more expensive option for printing. Costco has an even less expensive card, but it’s their photo finish one, which I probably wouldn’t use for wedding invites. 

On 75 invites, that’s a savings of a little more than $150

DIY your photo booth

Photo booths are really a lot of fun!  But, last I checked, they were around $1500.  A professional does have a machine that takes the picture for you, so there’s no asking someone to take the photo for you. And, a professional booth prints multiple copies for you and your guests. If you wanted to spend money on something besides a photo booth, consider a DIY option.

Here’s what you need: props (think hats, mustaches, glasses, signs) and an Instamax camera and film.  The camera could be something you could ask for as a gift and hope is arrives before the wedding. It would cost around $135 for the camera, props and  60 pictures. 

This one is the most fun and creative ways to save on your wedding. Plus, you just got a new camera.

Savings of $1365

Plated vs family style or buffet

Many times, plated meals tend to be a little more expensive than a buffet.  Instead of a buffet, ask if your venue does family style. One of my favorite reception locations served family style meals.  There was so much food and the idea of passing around food with people created a nice atmosphere.  For buffets, there’s always lines and people are getting hungry.  

Possible savings of $10 – $20 per person 

Host bar vs no host bar

A host bar is a bar that the couple pays the tab for and a no host bar is one that the guests pays for their own drinks.  If someone else, the two of you, are paying the bar bill, then people are going to enjoy free drinks.  If you are on a budget, the alcohol costs can add up fast.  One way to limit the bar charges is to have the guests pay for their own alcohol.  

If you don’t want to seem cheap, one way to give guests drinks without the large costs is to include a bottle of wine at each table.  Or you couple limit the drink tab and say you’ll be covering cocktail hour and then after that the guests pay.

Possible savings of $500 – $1000

Included dessert vs a wedding cake

Some reception locations include dessert in their food packages.  If the venue includes dessert, then save on the big wedding cake for guests.  

Wedding cakes can cost around $12 per person, plus a lot of venues charge a cut cutting fee.

I’m all about having your cake and eating it too!  So, here’s another way to save on the wedding cake but getting a small grocery store cake and make it fancy!  See our blog here on my favorite budget friendly couples cake. This is the most delicious and creative ways to save on your wedding – and one of the best blogs that I’ve written in a while, and I even got to style the cake.

Saving of $250 – $350 for a wedding cake

Ask for kids meals

If you are having kids at your wedding, ask the reception venue for a kid’s meal option.  I know for my wedding I saved money by getting the kiddos a different meal than the adults. 

Savings could be as much as $40 – $30 per child

Keep decorations simple

Local craft stores, wedding decoration websites like Tableclothfactory.com , garage sales,  Etsy, and Amazon have a variety of wedding decorations that are simple but look great.  One bride is using wood slices, candle sticks, and flowers from her wedding to add to the reception tables. 

Also, if you think of decorations that you can pay for one but use again either for your wedding or at home. 

Not so much about saving, but about paying once and using again 

Consider artificial flowers

I actually love real flowers, but they can cost as much as $350 for a bride’s bouquet and $100 for bridesmaids. 

Consider saving some money by using artificial flowers mixed with real flowers. For one of our brides, she wanted peonies but they were not in season. We added some artificial peonies to her bouquet. Since most of her flowers were real you couldn’t tell me added artificial! 

You could also do artificial bouquets for your wedding party and centerpieces. Mix the artificial with fresh greenery. 

If you are going to use artificial, make sure you use flowers that look like the real thing. That means teal roses are out! If you need to match a color, use ribbon to wrap the bouquets. Even though the flowers are artificial, use colors that are the same as real flowers. 

Here’s 2 real bouquets and one artificial, can you spot the difference?

Possible savings of $50 – $400

For make up, go with a make up brand 

My favorite place for wedding make up is MAC. MAC products photography really well! And their artists are able to do more natural looking styles all the way to very dramatic. 

The saving money part comes from this…pay a flat fee for a make up appointment and they let you apply your make up fee to free product! So, not only do you get your make up done but you get to choose make up to take with you. I’d suggest a lipstick for applying throughout that day, a blush and shadow color. 

If you call the make up stores like Ulta, Sephora, and department stores, they should be able to tell you what brands are similar to Mac. Or next time you are buying your make up, ask them about wedding make up.  

This creative way to save on your wedding is not so much about saving, but about paying once and using again 

Choose your own stylist for hair or ask around 

It’s always a better plan to have a trial run with you hair. But, they can start at around $60-$100. Instead of having a trial, see if your hair stylist would do your wedding hair. The next time you get a color or trim, ask your stylist for a trial or recommendation.

Possible savings $60 – $100.

Morning wedding = brunch prices

Consider a morning or early afternoon wedding because prices for your reception would probably be less for a brunch or lunch.

Possible savings of $10 – $30 per person

Take a taxi instead of a limo

A limo may be a more stylish way to show up to your wedding, but a taxi or Uber would probably be a good way to save some money.  The cost on a limo is around $1000 and they have minimums.  No one really sees you getting out of the car. Even a black car service for Uber would be around $40 – $50 to pick you up and you might be able to request an Escalade. 

Possible savings of $900

Register for more gifts you need and less gifts you want

I admit, this one might be a little boring, but it’s a way for you not to have to spend money on things you need for after the wedding. Some couples will be moving in together and others may just want to get a few new things once they are married. If you make a list of things that you need, and register for those things, that would save you money since you won’t have to buy it.

And, really, do you need that fancy gadget that you probably won’t use. It’s going to stuck in your kitchen cabinet and then you give it away.

Not so much about saving, but about not having to spend money on something you need. 

Hope these creative ways to save on your wedding have inspired you!