As you may have read, we got married last September! We’ve told you about the benefits of a Las Vegas wedding and about how we saved money on Welcome Bags, but now we wanted to share a few tips on how you can save money on any wedding if you’re just now starting your planning. It can be overwhelming at times (it certainly was for us), but it will hopefully be well worth it!
1) Be Flexible – It’s easy to pick a day and then not move on it, but being flexible can give you so many more affordable option! Being open to getting married the weekend before or after the date you target might save you hundreds of dollars if it is a less popular weekend. It also might save your guests on hotel costs if you’re not getting married the same weekend as other major events in your city. Being flexible on the day of the week is another way to save money.
2) Skip Expensive Items – No matter what you Mom/Aunt/Best Friend/ Planner tell you, there actually isn’t a mandatory list of wedding activities and necessities. If you need to save money, don’t have flowers. It’s actually really easy to do – just don’t book any! If someone asks about flowers before the big day, just say you’re waiting for some things to be surprises! We actually did the same thing with photographs. We talked to our parents and our recently married friends and none of the couples had looked at their photos since they got them in. Our parents didn’t even know where they were, to be honest. Since we didn’t see a lot of value, we opted to just have a photographer at the ceremony and gave a friend a camera for the reception. You want to know who wound up taking the best pictures? My dad. On his cell phone. Plus, we paid 10% of what we would have to hire a photographer the entire day.
3) Skip Bridal Boutiques – As much as TV shows make going to a bridal boutique sound awesome, we just didn’t have that kind of money in our wedding budget. In fact, I only had $250 to spend on my dress. Since I was limited, I decided to go to department stores instead and wound up buying my dress at Macy’s. The combination of their annual sale and tax-free weekend in Virginia, I wound up spending $84.50 on my dress! Well under budget!
4) Don’t Do Anything JUST Because Other People Expect It – If you have your heart set on something, go for it, but try to find a way to pay for it without going into debt. However, if you’re only considering it because someone told you to, just pass! A good example of this is a rehearsal dinner. These can add hundreds of dollars to your budget. Even though people kept asking about it, we didn’t rehearse our wedding and thus, didn’t need a rehearsal dinner. Since we had a destination wedding, we just planned a bar night and invited everyone to that instead. We made it for after dinner hours so no one had to splurge and everyone bought their own drinks or got them for free in the casino. It added $0 to our budget.
5) Consider Having Your Wedding Outside of Your Expensive City – We live in Washington DC and there was just no way we could have a wedding for $5000 here. At least not without compromising our vision. So we just moved the whole thing to Las Vegas. There were many benefits to our Vegas wedding, but you could apply this to any other city!
6) Cut Your Guest List – In order to not go into debt, cut it as much as necessary. We only had 15 people at our wedding. This was extraordinary because both of my parents have 6-8 siblings so my extended family is very large. I just made a rule not to invite anyone outside of my immediate family. This way, no one had their feelings hurt. Plus, cutting our guest list allowed us to afford a nicer reception dinner, and make Welcome Bags, which wound up being one of our favorite things!
Even though it seems hard right now, you can have an affordable wedding! Just make your budget just as much of a priority as some people make their dress!