Looking to tie the knot but don’t want to rack up a huge bill? There are ways to make your big day less expensive, but still memorable. Check out these five ways to save some cash.


Get Creative With Your Décor

Often times when asked about a wedding they attended, guests will comment on the bride’s dress, the venue, the delicious food, or the great party. They are less likely to notice table runners, chair covers, and intricate details on your centerpieces. Spend less money on decorations with these tips:

  • Look for a venue that is already ornate or decorated. For instance, a garden in spring will already look beautiful without needing much more decoration. Likewise, most churches are adorned with flowers right after Easter.
  • Instead of using fresh flowers, create centerpieces out of artificial flowers, small candles, glass jars, or wine bottles.
  • Use more greenery than flowers, and use just 1-2 types of flowers. Only use flowers that are in season.
  • Avoid using items like table runners, chair covers, and pew bows. While they may add color, they also add to the tab. These items are often rented or sold at a per item rate.
  • Try to set up the room so there are bigger tables. This will mean you have fewer tables to decorate and fewer centerpieces to create.

Have a Semi-Open Bar

Many wedding attendees look forward to having a few drinks. Alcohol, however, is expensive. You want your guests to have a good time, but you don’t necessarily need your college roommate running up a liquor tab. If you want to provide free alcohol to your guests without breaking your budget, you have options:

  • Have a cocktail hour for 1-2 hours before dinner with an open bar. Then, make it a cash bar for the rest of the night.
  • Select a few drinks to provide for free the whole night. Then, make the rest of the bar a cash bar.
  • Provide beer and wine for free, but have your guests pay for liquor.
  • Use a combination of any of the above ideas.

Go Paperless

Paper goods like save the dates and invitations can add up to a large expense. They can be even more expensive if they have decorations like ribbon attached to them. Consider skipping the paper with these tips:

  • Create a digital save the date and email it to your guests.
  • If many of your guests are on social media, consider using Facebook to create a save the date.
  • Create a wedding website and have your guests RSVP via the website. This saves the amount of paper you’ll use in the invitation.

Let Them Eat (Sheet) Cake

Large wedding cakes can cost a fortune. Serving cake at a wedding is a fun tradition that you don’t have to skip, though. Here’s how to serve up your cake:

  • Have a small 1-2 tiered cake for show. Then, serve the guests sheet cake hidden elsewhere.
  • Keep the cake decorations simple and avoid add-ons.
  • Avoid fruit fillings, especially less common ones like mango.

Skip the Plated Dinners

Plated dinners are the most expensive way to feed your guests. Your guests will all get a full meal that they may or may not even eat. Allow your guests to fill up on food they like and avoid waste with these options:

  • Provide a family style or buffet dinner. Some guests will eat more and some will eat less. But they won’t waste food or your money.
  • Consider foregoing the dinner and just serving several hors d’oeuvres. This is perfect for an afternoon reception.
  • Serve your guests a low-cost dinner like a taco bar.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun. Make your big day special, but remember that just being surrounded by your family and friends is the most important part.


Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash