100 Insanely smart tips to help a busy bride stay on budget and save money while planning a beautifu

Updated: May 5, 2020

  1. Keep your guest list small

  2. Choose flowers that are in season

  3. Consider a Friday or Sunday wedding

  4. Create & print your own invites- here’s a discount code for Minted

  5. Get married on off-peak season (November-April)

  6. Skip the plated meal and do a buffet

  7. Have more comfort food and snacks vs formal food options

  8. Rent certain items vs buying them

  9. Choose a non-traditional wedding venue: municipal park or beach

  10. Google local sample sales and trunk shows for your wedding gown

  11. Shop local outlet stores for bridesmaids’ dresses

  12. Purchase handmade items directly from the seller e.g. Etsy

  13. Ditch favors or limit them to 1 per couple

  14. Keep the ceremony and reception at the same place to cut down rentals, transportation and décor

  15. Rent your wedding dress

  16. YouTube makeup tutorials or go to Sephora for a makeup lesson then do your own makeup

  17. Swap in a sweet table instead of a dessert course

  18. Buy your own booze for the wedding

  19. Only serve appetizers during the cocktail hour

  20. Find a music student(s) to entertain during cocktail hour or for the ceremony (have them audition first!)

  21. Find a newer cake artist to make your cake

  22. Swap your cake for smaller cupcakes or tarts

  23. Limit the bar hours or have an alcohol-free wedding

  24. Instead of multiple shooters, only have 1 photographer

  25. Use wildflowers as fillers in your centerpieces

  26. Opt for sparkling wine over champagne

  27. Use a credit card to pay for vendors etc that has points or rewards so you get something back

  28. Google local wedding shows to get deals on potential vendors

  29. Use coupons or Facebook Marketplace to score deals on accessories or décor items

  30. Hire a wedding planner; what you pay them to do will end up being made up in savings because they can negotiate contracts and save you time

  31. Schedule to do cake cutting and first dance earlier in the evening to cut down on photography hours

  32. More than 3 courses for dinner might be excessive, guests should be fed but don’t overdo it

  33. Have a smaller cake created for display and cutting and have a larger slab cake in the back that gets served to guests

  34. Have a smaller bridal party to cut down costs and possibly hassle

  35. Ditch the bridal party altogether and just have a flower girl and ring bearer to save on gifts

  36. Use a playlist for the cocktail hour and dinner and a DJ for the reception party

  37. Cocktails and mixed drinks are usually more expensive at the bar so limit the options to beer and wine

  38. See if the venue has larger tables so you cut back on the amount of centerpieces

  39. Use something other than flowers for your centerpieces such as candles, picture frames, lanterns

  40. Elope or do a pop-up wedding

  41. Consider emailing your “Save the Dates”

  42. Only invite people you are close to you (you’ve seen and hung out with them in the last 5 years)

  43. Stick to the house wines offered instead of specialty ones

  44. DIY certain wedding items

  45. If one of your friends recently got married and kept some of their décor, ask to borrow it

  46. Buy things like candles and favors in bulk, the price is usually less (buy more than 50 pieces)

  47. Have your shower or rehearsal at home instead of a restaurant

  48. Naked cakes look lovely or instead choose buttercream icing over fondant

  49. Kids meals are cheaper so be sure to ask for a kids menu if you plan to have kids at the wedding or have no kids at all

  50. Only have 1 or 2 options for vegetarian or vegan meals, the more choices the more money

  51. Borrow accessories from friends or a family member instead of buying them

  52. Have the wine at dinner served rather than sitting on the table so consumption is staggered during the evening

  53. Don’t forget tips, shipping fees and taxes and gratuity to be factored into your budget

  54. Decide if you are allowing +1’s or not, additional guests can impact your budget greatly

  55. Negotiate pricing on some contracts

  56. Read over contract carefully and ask questions, it’s very easy to misunderstand something and then get overcharged

  57. Enable people to RSVP on a website instead of traditional paper RSVP’s, plus it’s easier to track

  58. See if your venue has a list of preferred vendors, sometimes they want you to use them but it might cost you. Ask if you are permitted to use outside vendors. They may require approval

  59. Find a venue that needs minimal décor

  60. Get married in a backyard garden to save on venue and décor costs

  61. Price shop for vendors to before booking anything to see if there are comparable prices available

  62. Avoid getting married on a Saturday or a long weekend, it’s the most expensive day to get married

  63. Keep appetizers between 2-3 pieces per person and keep in mind the caterer will likely try to up sell you

  64. If you are wearing a longer dress, no one will see you shoes so why splurge?

  65. Go through each item on your budget to see if there are ways to trim it down

  66. Everyone loves a good wedding trend but they are usually pricey because they are in high demand

  67. Hand write your place cards/escort cards or design them on Minted