If you got engaged over the holidays, congratulations! And if you’ve already started the wedding planning process, good luck to you.
I got married about four and a half years ago, and it was almost 5 years ago exactly that I started planning our wedding. I was running around checking out venues, meeting with vendors, and tasting cakes, but also utterly shocked by the prices I was being quoted.
Luckily, I was able to use my boss bride skills to save some BIG dollars on our big day. So I thought I’d share my top strategies here to help you keep your wedding budget in check. Here are 6 Smart Ways to Save Money On Your Wedding.
#1 - Choose a naturally beautiful venue
This will save you an ungodly amount of money on decorations. We got married at a museum that had lovely gardens and was right on the water, so I didn’t really have to do any decorating. Our flower budget ended up being pretty small because there were tons of natural flowers all around us.
Other ideas for naturally beautiful places to get married include an art gallery, garden, boat, farm or barn, park…. The options are endless!
#2 - Choose a venue with flexible vendors
Choose a venue that either allows you to bring in outside vendors, or that has a list of approved vendors at various price points for you to choose from. Some locations contract specifically with just one vendor for food, another for music, one for lighting, and one furniture rental company.
That means you’re essentially at the mercy of those companies’ pricing and will be unable to look elsewhere for a cheaper option. Always have options, even if it means choosing your #2 or #3 venue.
#3 - Get two vendors to work together
Negotiating this part of my wedding was one of my proudest boss bride moments… We wanted a delicious BBQ company to smoke and grill all of the protein on-site, and another, more traditional catering company to handle the rest.
At first, both were totally against working together, so I told each of them this: “You have two choices here. Either, one of you is going to get all of our business, and one of you - maybe you - will get none. Or you can work together and each get a portion of our catering budget.”
Eventually they came around and we all got what we wanted - they each got some business, and we got our ideal wedding dinner at the best bang for our buck.
#4 - signature drinks and WHOLESALE alcohol
Instead of buying all types of liquor, we stuck to two (rum and bourbon) and created signature drinks with names unique to our dating story. We also bought cases of red and white wine from a local wholesaler who was willing to buy back any unopened bottles. That allowed us to get some of our money back after the big day.
#5 - Split your dress with another bride
I had my heart set on a specific wedding dress, but it was pretty far out of budget. That is, until I found a resale site.
Turns out, the style I wanted to wear was somewhat rare and highly sought after. So before I even bought the dress, I posted an ad saying “I’ll be wearing this dress, in this size, on this date, and will resell it for half of what I paid for it.”
And it worked! I connected with another bride who wanted to wear the same dress, and she agreed to buy it from me after my wedding. It was awesome. We split the cost of a designer wedding dress!
Plus, I didn’t want my gown to sit in the closet, slowly turning yellow over the years, so I was totally fine parting with it.
#6 - Resell decorations
This was the last strategy I used to recoup even more money on our wedding. I handmade decorations like table numbers that were very popular on Pinterest that year. After we got married, I posted sets of decorations on resale sites and was able to sell almost everything to two other brides nearby.
One more thing…
While those are very specific, practical money-saving strategies, there’s one more thing I want you to remember while planning your wedding…. Remember that YOU are in the power position. Yes, you! You hold the purse strings. Don’t blindly accept the first price a company quotes you. Almost everything is negotiable to some degree or another.
You’ve worked hard for your money, so be protective of it. You deserve to feel great about each aspect of your wedding spending.
How are you planning to save money on your wedding? Have you found any creative or unique ways to hack your wedding budget?
Post a comment below to let me know!