A wedding is one of the most significant and exciting milestones in a person’s life, but planning a wedding on a budget can make this joyous occasion into a stress-inducing headache. The dress, the food, the location, the photography… it can all add up to tens of thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. But we know that you don’t have to be a big spender to have a wonderful time.
We created this wedding resource guide to help you save as much money as possible while still enjoying the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
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General Wedding Savings
- 50 Money-Saving Tips: From none other than Martha Stewart, these tips will help you prioritize and organize your cost-efficient wedding.
- 75 Ways to Save Money: Learn these tips by category, including sections for stationery, music and honeymoon savings.
- Distinctive Gold Jewelery: Affordable full service jewelry store.
- Rental vs. Pre-Owned Purchase: This article helps you decide between the costs and benefits of rending or buying a pre-owned wedding dress.
- Rent a Wedding Dress: This website lists wedding dresses for rent by location, size, designer and more. They also have a section for bridesmaids’ dresses.
- 10 Wedding Dresses on a Budget: Read this article for 10 designer name dresses categorized by price as low as $550.
- 5 Places to Buy Pre-Owned Dress: The website “The Excited Bride” put together this list of 5 online locations to browse and purchase a pre-owned wedding dress.
- 16 Cheap Venue Ideas: From picking the right dates and times to negotiating a better deal, this article has some great ideas on how to save money on the ceremony and reception.
- 10 Ways to Trim Wedding Budget: Learn from this bride how she saved $21,000 by getting referrals from her wedding venue.
- Location, Location, Location: Here are 10 creative and romantic ideas to save money on a venue. Consider marrying where you first met or in the beautiful backyard of one of your friends or family.
- How to Save on You Wedding Venue: These 6 ideas help you think outside of the box so you can pick a venue that saves money on a separate reception area, décor, hotels and more.
- 23 Cheap Wedding Food Ideas: Don’t let the article title fool you. These “cheap” ideas will keep the class while cutting the bulk of the expense, like paying for appetizer-carrying waiters.
- 5 Food Tips from a Wedding Guest: This guest’s honest feedback reminds you that one or two outstanding dishes is more important than a 12-course meal.
- 10 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Food Budget: Mint.com, the person finance website, compiled this list of tips, like creating cheaper kids’ meals and eliminating dessert courses in favor of the cake.
- Dos and Don’ts from a Caterer: Take this Brooklyn caterer’s insider advice to save money on your reception food costs.
- Stop Stressing Over Food: Glamour magazine put together this list of 7 tips and rated the options you have by price.
- 10 Ways to Save on Photography: Read some tips on how to negotiate and reduce the workload so you can pay less for your wedding photography.
- 20 Ways to Get Cheap Photography: Use these tips to find a less expensive photographer, like a professional photography student or new photography business owner.
- 5 Tips to Save Money on Wedding Photography: By booking sooner and reducing the hours your photographer must be at the venue, you can save a lot of money.
Décor and Flowers
- Budget Wedding Decorating: This is a compilation of articles with directions on various do-it-yourself wedding ideas to save money over store-bought decorations.
- 30 Gorgeous DIY Wedding Decorations: Complete with inspiring photos, this article gives you inspiration to do your own wedding decorations.
- Dazzling Décor for Less: Organized by area, from tabletop to lighting, this article can give you lots of tips on money-saving ideas.
- Buying Flowers In Season: Just like buying in-season produce at the grocery store, you can save a lot of money by planning your flowers around the season.
- 7 Ways to Save on Wedding Cake: From faking layers to skipping expensive fondant, this article will give you unique ideas to save money while still having a beautiful cake.
- 11 Easy Ways to Save on Wedding Cake: With this article, you’ll learn bonus information on why wedding cakes are so expensive in the first place, and then you’ll receive some useful tips like checking with a culinary school.
- 7 Myths about Wedding Cakes: This article from a cake decorator seeks to save you from some of the less useful hints out there.
- 10 Ways to Save on Your Honeymoon: After all that budgeting, treat yourselves on your post-wedding getaway.
- 20 Tips to Save on the Honeymoon: Consider postponing your honeymoon if the week after your wedding is peak travel season, and make sure to buy airfare early.
- Top 10 Ways to Budget a Honeymoon: You might want to think about having a weekend get-away nearby. Or, if you live near a port town, consider going on a cruise.
Final Tips and Advice
Remember to break down your budget realistically. A bride’s dress isn’t just the cost of the dress off the rack. You have to include the costs if you need a veil, shoes, special undergarments, tailoring and more.
Prioritize. This is essential. You need to know what features and elements are most important to you so you can allocate funds for these before the budget gets cramped.
Read the fine print! Whenever you sign a contract with a venue, caterer, photographer or other servicer, be sure to read the documents carefully. You want to avoid any surprise hidden fees or interest for split payments.
Also make sure to know what your rights are when it comes to the photographer’s images. Ask if you can have private reproduction rights. These would allow you to print your own photos through a less expensive photo developer.
Consider using a registry for costs associated with the wedding rather than household gifts. For instance, you can have family and friends chip into together to pay for the photographer and/or caterer.
DIY when you can. When you make your own invitations, flower arrangements, décor and even appetizers, you’ll be adding a memorable personal touch and saving money.
Know where the costs show up. Your guests will probably notice a difference between a $40/person steak meal and a $1/person boxed macaroni and cheese dish. But chances are they won’t know have a clue that the bride is wearing a $200 pre-owned dress instead of a $2500 or more new one. When you’re on a budget, make sure the money you are spending has a noticeable effect.
Consider saving more expensive ideas for a vow renewal. If you can’t afford your dream destination wedding right now, you don’t have to abandon your dream forever. Save for a few more years and follow through on you dream with a vow renewal ceremony.
Have fun! Your guests are coming to see you and your spouse united in marital bliss. Don’t let the little things ruin the mood and atmosphere. A happy wedding is more fun and memorable no matter how much it cost!
- Budget Resource Guides
- Fax: Everything you need to know by saving with online fax. On a budget? you can save money when you fax from computer instead of a using fax machine. Recommended Companies: RingCentral & Nextiva. Other useful guides: How-to Email Fax, How-to Fax Online, and How-to Get a Fax Number.
- Payroll: Everything you need to know about payroll. On a budget? These are 6 different ways you can get free payroll software for your business and here is a guide on Buying Payroll Software. Recommended Articles: Everything about payroll tax and certified payroll software.