9 Time and Money Saving Wedding Tips That You Should Know
So you’re getting married. Congratulations!
Are you planning your wedding and looking for some time and money savings tips? You’ve come to the right place. Consider this truth-telling time so that you can avoid some of the more common pitfalls.
Planning your special day can and should be such a fun experience that you’d repeat if you could.
Since you don’t want to say, “If I had it to do over again I’d…,” consider the following:
(Note, this list may not apply to everyone but definitely applies to the majority of people getting married. If money or a budget is not an issue with regards to your wedding, then don't even scroll down. But if it is , then by all means keep reading :) )
1. People Will Remember Two Things about Your Wedding: The Food and the Feeling
Years from now (or sooner), no one but you and your spouse are going to remember what your invitations, flowers, wedding favors, or cake looked like. So why blow a lot of money on them? In all of the weddings that I have talked with people about, not once has someone said, “Girl, I will never forget their invitation.” People WILL remember and talk about the food and how they felt attending your event. They may not remember exactly whatthey ate, but they’ll remember whether or not they enjoyed it. They may not remember specific details about the day, but they will remember if they had a great time and if everyone seemed happy. If you keep these two things in the forefront and make them a priority when planning your day, the decisions you make can enable you to save time and money.
And speaking of feeling. Having a really good DJ that can please all your guests will certainly help with that.
2. Beautiful Invitations Eventually End Up in the Garbage Too
Don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over them or paying a lot of money. If you saw the movie “Bridesmaids,” you probably remember the scene when the main character Annie Walker received an invitation to her best friend’s Paris themed bridal shower. It was a fancy pink striped box that held a candle, statue representing the bride and groom, the printed invitation, and best of all a small box that when opened had a butterfly that flew out and “kissed” her. That invitation package clearly cost some bucks. Of course most invitations aren’t that elaborate, but the point is people are spending a lot of money on something that will eventually end up in the garbage. At least in Annie’s case there was a pretty box to save, and a candle to burn.
Today’s invitations not only set the tone for the wedding, but allow couples to show off their unique style. It should be a fun process, but not one that breaks the bank because no matter how lovely, most of your guests will eventually dispose of it. That’s good money in the trash.
Luckily, there are so many options available that can literally save you hundreds of dollars. From kits that can be purchased at arts and crafts stores, to online retailers like Ann’s Bridal Bargains, there’s something lovely for every budget. Designed your own? Keep costs down by using a discount printing service like Vista Print. Want to design your own, but don’t know where to go? Use a site like Fiverr to get your dream design for less.
Quick tip: On the back of your invite have a line saying "SONG SUGGESTION:_______________"
Not only will this let you know what your guests want to hear, but it will help the DJ create a complete playlist that will keep everyone happy and having fun throughout the event.
3. A Good Wedding Website Can Help You Save Time and Money
They can be super easy to set up and personalized to reflect your individual style. More importantly they can keep you organized by storing everything in one place – which will be a real time saver. Even better? There are a lot of FREE options! A good site will allow you to accept and track wedding RSVPs, display a map to your ceremony site, reception venue, and/or lodging, store vendor information, create a seating chart, maintain a ledger of costs and payments, track gifts and thank you notes, and provide a central location for contact. Sites like Wedding Mapper provide this for free. For couples who want additional amenities, paid upgrades are available. Having it all in one place can save money on aspirin too because there will be fewer headaches. You’ll both know where everything is and you can review it at a glance. To make sure it remains a timesaver, don’t go overboard with the personalization. You know, the telling of your story with pictures, videos, stories and anecdotes. It’s cute, but what people really want from your wedding website is practical information such as directions, and where your registry is located.
4. There are So Many Ways to Get the Dress for Less
Did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is $1300? That’s a lot of money for something you’ll be wearing once. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s true! Whether you plan to go the traditional route or not, there’s no reason to pay that much, as you can have your perfect dress for so much less. For instance, you can rent a dress for as little as $75 from sites like Rent the Runway. One challenge with rentals is that you can’t alter them, so consider other awesome options like buying a pre-owned dress. Brick and mortar consignment stores that specialize in wedding gowns, as well as online shops like Preownedweddingdresses.com offer a great selection and an even greater savings. Retail stores like Black House White Market and J. Crew have gotten into the wedding dress game, offering great styles at fantastic prices. Many brides have their dream dress made overseas for as low as $200!
Yep, let that sink in.
5. Avoid Bridal Magazines, Television Shows and Trade Shows
Magazines, television shows and trade shows really serve once purpose: To make you spend as much money as possible for your wedding. But don't fall for it.
Don’t go down that rabbit hole. Magazines and shows about dream weddings will clue you into things that you would otherwise never, EVER, have thought about “needing” or wanting – promoting a false idea of what a wedding is supposed to be or should have.
Keep your wedding simple and choose what YOU want and need.
For example, imagine seeing an ad for a pearl encrusted bridal bouquet holder. Beautiful? Oh, yes. Ridiculous and completely unnecessary? Absolutely!
6. Beautiful, Money Saving Wedding Flowers are Possible and Make a Lot of “Cents”
Wedding flowers cost an average of $1200. Say what?! Someone please explain why so much money is spent on wedding flowers. To keep costs down while still having beautiful flowers, consider the following. Buy flowers that are currently in bloom, otherwise you’ll pay a premium for your dream flower that’s out of season. If you’re using a florist, don’t tell them that you’re purchasing for a wedding, at least until your final price is locked in. It’s like roses on Valentine’s Day. The price will go up.
If you’re willing to design the arrangement yourself, consider using an online flower wholesaler like Fifty Flowers. Wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco are also great choices for pretty flowers for less. Or you can do what we did and showcase the flowers as accents as opposed to the primary décor or centerpiece.
7. Wedding Décor Can be Totally Sharp, Classy, AND Inexpensive
Many couples use flower arrangements as their table centerpieces which can add a lot to your budget’s bottom line. You can slash your budget significantly by being creative and using an almost infinite number of options for your centerpieces and décor. How? Three words: Coupons, Ebay, and borrowing. Craigslist counts too. For the DYIer, arts and crafts stores like Michael’s provides inspiration, as well as 50% off coupons. White string lights which are practically a holiday time staple and are probably sitting in your basement, or can be borrowed from family and friends, can create a magical dreamscape. Tea light candles, even flameless ones, in decorative holders add romantic drama and can be had by the dozens for twenty to fifty dollars on eBay. Still want flowers? Use them as accents as shown in the photo above. Not only will you save money, but your guests will be able to see each other over this lovely centerpiece.
8. You are Not Limited to a Specific Caterer
Since the food (and drink) is one of the things that will stand out in your guests’ memory, you want to get this one right. It’s not about your budget, per se , because done well, hamburgers and hot dogs can be great wedding food. All things being equal however, if your goal is to provide a fancy-ish catered meal and it comes down to choosing between “lesser quality” food options so you can, let’s say buy the fancier decorations, spend the money on the food. It will feel worth it when people ask when they can expect to be invited back for your next event. As far as I know, no one has ever asked for a repeat invite because of pretty decorations. With that said, these money saving wedding tips can help you have the menu that you want and eat it too.
Yes, you can definitely save money on food by holding your reception during less popular times (think Friday night or Sunday brunch). It is also true that buffets are generally less expensive than sit-down meals. However, the biggest food money saver occurs when you hold your reception at a venue that allows you to cater with whomever you wish. Doing this one thing will allow you to control everything from your price point to all of your food choices. Finding a venue that will allow you to do this may take a little work, but the savings can be immense.
When working with a caterer, do not tell them that you are planning a wedding menu until your menu and price has been locked in.
As with the flowers example above, wedding packages may very well be priced higher than other options.
Other tips include renting table cloths, china, tables and chairs from party companies because it may be less expensive than through the caterer. Also, sometimes buying the table cloths is even cheaper than renting and you can sell them and recoup some of the cost!
9. Your Wedding Cake Doesn’t Have to be Large Enough to Serve Everyone
Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a cake! The wedding industry certainly knows how to get us to buy into whatever they are selling. The cake is no exception. To hear them tell it we need a specially engraved cake knife and server, as well as a floral bouquet for the knife. That’s right. Flowers. For the knife. That cuts your cake. Seriously? Novelty options such as cupcakes, small pies, ice cream sundaes, Viennese tables and more can be marvelous options which on the face of it sound like they would be less expensive than a fancy cake. Just make sure that they are. If you need to have a wedding cake, consider a small one, appropriate for the two of you to enjoy and have your yummy, yet less expensive sheet cake in the back ready to be sliced and served. Believe me, no one is going to wonder or care how all of those square slices came from a small round cake.
Tip: Order a cake for half the number of guests attending and serve half slices. If you’ve ever been to a wedding you’re sure to have seen all of leftovers from partially eaten slices that were then just thrown away. By now people are up and mingling.
Some Final Thoughts:
These are just some of the many money saving wedding tips to be had. With a little time and research you’ll find substantial savings on other aspects of your wedding such as your photographer (no, don’t use uncle Bob), transportation (are limos necessary?), ceremony programs, printed menus, embossed place settings (remember, these get thrown away like invitations), keeping the guest list small, and more. How do you plan to save?