Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding

wedding budget planner
Download a helpful wedding budget planner.

Wedding money saving ideas can be utilized by just about any couple. There are many ways to cut costs and still have the beautiful wedding you've always dreamed of. Keep track of your expenses and savings by using a budget planning worksheet. If you need help downloading the printable worksheet, check out these helpful tips.

Save Money on the Dress

Shop around for dress deals.

For many brides, the wedding dress is a substantial expense, but there are a number of ways to cuts costs. Consider shopping at secondhand and vintage shops for a beautiful but moderately priced gown -- even with the cost of cleaning and alterations, it will usually be lower than many gowns. You can also consider renting or borrowing a dress if you are not set on preserving your gown. Sample sales and discount wedding dresses are another great option.Another option is not to wear a traditional dress at all, but instead wear a casual dress or other attire that befits your wedding. A beach wedding, for example, is perfect for a casual sundress rather than a formal wedding ball gown.

Wedding Money Saving Ideas for the Reception

The reception is a way to celebrate with family and friends -- it doesn't have to be the year's most expensive affair. It helps to get creative with your reception ideas so you can have a fun, memorable wedding without extra expenditures.

  • Have a potluck at someone's home or decorated yard instead of a standard meal.
  • Plan a casual barbeque, luau, or clam bake.
  • Have an appetizer, dessert, or wine tasting reception rather than a full meal.
  • If you want a reception at a catered hall, consider planning your wedding on a day other than Friday or Saturday -- costs will be lower. October through April wedding dates are also typically cheaper.
  • If you are paying per plate, consult with the hall or caterer about offering children's plate prices for younger guests.
  • If you want an expensive, elegant reception, choose only your closest family members to attend. Have a larger, more casual celebration at a later date to include your other friends.
  • Consult the culinary division of your local vocational School -- students may be willing to prepare, cater and/or serve at a fraction of the cost of standard catering.
  • Skip the alcohol - this can be a substantial expense for a reception. Toasts can be done with sparkling grape juice, or you can have champagne only and have soft drinks for the remainder of the reception.

Flowers and Decorations

A simple bouquet is lovely and costs less.

Frugal Flowers

If you can spare a bit of time, most women can make lovely and inexpensive silk flower arrangements and bouquets for their wedding. Use pictures from magazines or flower arranging guides from your local library to help. Also consider using a single flower, a simple bouquet, or even carrying a non-traditional bouquet, such as greenery and wildflowers. Fresh seasonal and local flowers will be less-expensive than out-of-season or exotic blooms.

Budget-Friendly Wedding Decorations

Simple decorations, such as potted ferns and simple table cloths with candles, can be beautiful and elegant. Visit local discount or dollar stores for inexpensive décor items, borrow from recently wedded friends or family, or use decorative items you already own to add a unique and personal touch. Other frugal wedding money saving ideas for decorating include:

  • Use minimal décor, but enhance the reception area with strings of white lights (many people use these at Christmas; you should be able to borrow all you need).
  • Make favors do double duty as both a place setting and table enhancement.
  • Use natural items when available, such as pinecones, bowls of acorns, arrangements of colorful fall leave, seashells -anything that's native to your area and seasonally appropriate that will be unique and, best of all, free.
  • Make creative, functional centerpieces - For example, candles can set mood lighting and enhance the table, a picturesque arrangement of wedding cameras that will guests can disassemble after the meal to take photos, or artfully arranged flatware and extra napkins.
  • Balloons can decorate a large area, often with minimal expense.

Inexpensive Invitations

Consider making your own invitations, either with card-making supplies (available at craft stores), or custom-made with cardstock and your computer. There are many free and inexpensive card making programs and templates to allow you to have lovely invitations at a lower cost. You can also consider postcard invitations to save on both the invite and the postage.

Cheap Transportation

A limousine isn't a necessity -- consider decorating a standard car with some cute wedding décor and simple sign. Alternately, if you know anyone that has an unusual car -- a hummer, a town car, etc., consider asking that person to be your "chauffer;" they can consider their time and the use of the vehicle as a wedding gift to you and your new spouse.

Frugal Favors

Homemade candy can be a tasteful, frugal favor.

As with many other items in your reception, consider doing favors yourself. Not only can you save a substantial amount of money, but the favors will be even more meaningful with your personal touch. The following favors are some frugal options:

  • Bookmarks
  • Tealight candles
  • Simple themed sugar cookies
  • Matchbooks
  • Personalized (DIY) photo or music CD
  • A donation to charity, and a small card to each person stating a bit about the charity and the donation
  • Inexpensive candy
  • A single, elegant truffle
  • Chocolate dipped spoons
  • Themed magnets
  • Homemade bath salts
  • Seed packet favors
  • Tea bags with personalized messages

You don't need to compromise a wonderful wedding because of a budget. Wedding money saving ideas mean utilizing savvy shopping skills, a personalized touch, and a bit of creativity, all of which you can put into place to achieve your dream wedding.

Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding