17 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Wedding season is upon us, and I know I have a lot of readers planning weddings, so I thought a post laying out some budget friendly wedding tips would be helpful for you! Read on for my best tips (some of which I wish I used when planning my own wedding!) and let me know what you think...

1. Choose flowers that are in season. Also choose a florist who is really knowledgable in these things and can help you save money! A florist who doesn't have minimums is also a great way to save money. To be sure you're getting the most for your money, be sure to ask if the vases your flowers will be in will be yours to keep, or if you're renting them from your florist. I was so happy we got to keep ours! My mom passed them out to family and friends at the end of the night.

2. Instead of large arrangements for centerpieces, try budvases. You'll end up using a whole lot less flowers with budvases. You can usually find beautiful, unique budvases are Goodwill or Salvation Army for a steal.

3. Use a lot of greenery instead of premium florals. Perhaps a greenery runner down your table will be more cost effective than two medium arrangements needed to fill out your 8' table.

4. Choose a venue with nice wood tables that don't need linens. Also be sure your venue has chairs included in the venue cost!

5. Buy a wedding dress that almost fits "off the rack", so your alterations will be minimal. Even though my gown came in almost fitting me, we had to tweak a lot of areas to make sure it was perfect, which quickly added up. All those little tweaks plus the cost of hemming a lace gown added up to be $450. You can imagine my dad's shock...haha ;)

6. Look for veils and jewelry (and lots of other things!) on Etsy. We found our guest book, bean bags for a lawn game, our cake topper, and our ring bearer bowties and suspenders on Etsy. I also found some great veils and jewelry that were way cheaper than in the bridal stores.

7. Find a venue that doesn't have an additional service fee or corkage fees. I found that our venue, though more expensive for the day rate to hold a wedding, was LESS expensive overall than other venues who's day rate was less, but also had a service fee. Look for hidden fees, friends! I liked another venue that was a couple thousand dollars less than our venue, but because they charged for chairs and alcohol PER PERSON, it ended up being more expensive in the long run.

8. Hold your wedding on a Friday or Sunday. We had a Sunday wedding and I absolutely LOVED it! In my opinion, it's the same travel situation as a Saturday. Either way, out of town guests will still have to take a day off work.

9. Forgo a favor. Unless your favor is edible, guests usually just throw them away or forget them anyways! We did happen to find really inexpensive jams that only cost us $144 total for 120 jars of mini jam. They were delicious!

10. Lower your guest count. By far the number one way to significantly save money is to cut the guest list, because every person adds to your catering bill. Our family loves the movie Father of the Bride, so we watched it before our wedding together (so fun!!) and we cracked up harder than usual because a lot of George Bank's sentiments on wedding planning hit home while planning ours ;) The superfluous buns scene is one of my favorites!

Sometimes the guest count will impact the venue cost. Some venues will give an additional discounted rental rate with wedding guest counts under 100, so be sure to ask about that! Lowering guest count also reduces the number of invitations you'll be sending (along with postage costs), your favors if you're doing them, wedding programs, and so much more.

11. Forgo the champagne toast and do "drink of choice" instead. This means your guests can toast with whatever drink they want and probably already have, rather than spending extra cash on champagne that everyone will probably just take one sip of. We did this for our wedding! We just had the caterers go around and pour wine before our toasts, to be sure everyone had something in their glasses.

12. Limit your bridal party numbers. The more friends in your wedding party, the more gifts you have to buy for them, the more flower bouquets and boutonnieres you have to order, and honestly, I feel like the more stress you'll endure. I've been in a wedding with 12 bridesmaids and with 4 bridesmaids, and the bride with a smaller bridal party was happier, more stress-free, and spent a lot less on everything. When our wedding came around, I knew I wanted to keep it smaller. I had 6 girls. Each of them means so much to me. They are all sweet and encouraging and made our morning getting ready together really lovely.

13. Offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail or two, instead of a full bar.

14. Go with a DJ instead of a band. We absolutely loved our DJ!

15. Opt for a small cake for pictures and cake cutting and have delicious sheet cake served for the guests. We did this and our sheet cake was only $25 for 25 pieces. If we had done a huge cake that served 120 people, it would have been around $600!!

16. Only pay for the liquor you drink. Thankfully we had an awesome wedding planner who helped us find a great liquor guy. He supplied the beer and our signature cocktail ingredients. He brings more than he thinks you'll need, and whatever isn't gone at the end of the night goes back to his store and you don't get charged for it. We only paid for the alcohol we consumed. I've never heard of this before, but I thought it was genius!

17. Hold your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This cuts on travel time for vendors and you only have to pay for ONE venue.
All photos by Danielle Poff Photography

There you have it! 17 ways to save money for your wedding. Did I miss anything?! Fill me in on what you did to be budget conscience.

When I told my husband I was going to write this post for my blog, he said "maybe you should have written this BEFORE our wedding so you could have used a few more of your own tips!" Ha! ;)

Hope this was helpful!

Happy Tuesday:)



  1. These are all great ideas. In planning my daughter's wedding this past year, here some things we found to be helpful-
    1. There's a lot of great finds at Goodwill and on Craigslist. There's also a couple online shops just for wedding things - places where brides can sell their wedding & reception things after their weddings to other brides-to-be
    2. We found A's designer wedding dress at a consignment shop! Great find :)
    3. If there's some things you're on the fence about, if you wait until 4-5 weeks out to call the vendor (ex, photo booth, DJ) they will usually cut a great deal if they're available
    4. Stick to your budget!!!! This is very helpful especially when speaking with vendors. Ex - you can tell the florist, "I have this much in my budget. Can you work with me?" Typically they'll say, "Abdokutely." We had no one not work with us :)
    5. Get the name of the designer you like for the dresses, then shop around. We found a Bridal shop that offered discounts on a different designer each month. When our desired designer went on "sale," that's when we purchased the dresses. This doesn't work if time is not on your side.
    6. Sign up for their emails & Use your coupons at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Jo Ann's, etc.. Everything goes on sale at some point.
    7. We received discounts from vendors based on other's recommendations. Referrals are awesome. :)
    8. DIY - there's tons of free templates on line and inexpensive printables on Etsy for wedding stationary & signs.

  2. These are great tips! I did a lot of the same things for my wedding, actually. Along with using bud vases and vintage silver pitchers from Goodwill, my aunts, bridesmaids, and I actually did all the floral arrangements the day before and kept them in a cool basement overnight. I bought bulk flowers from a local flower farm so everything was in season and locally grown. The arrangements were a fun thing to do together and, while they were simple and nowhere near as gorgeous as your flowers, they were only $600! Choosing a really beautiful venue also cuts down on the need to fill it with flowers.

    Another tip I might add is if your photographer has an option to do a package that doesn't include an album, opt for that and make the album yourself. It's easy enough to do online and there are tons of flush mount album publishers out there to choose from, and it will likely be much cheaper than what you will pay for your photographer to make it for you.

    I like the idea of forgoing the champagne toast. Although I love champagne, plenty of people don't care for it, so what's the use in handing it out to every guest when many won't drink it? My parents insisted on high-dollar champagne for our toast and I often think about how silly it is that they dropped $1,400 on that.


Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

Back to Top