We all know I’m a fiend for Pinterest, and we all know that so are you. When I got married, inspiration could only be found in print, but now typing a few keywords into the search bar yields hundreds of beautiful images.
But the problem with online inspiration, like Pinterest and Instagram, is that it sets a potentially unrealistic expectation for your own wedding. The images you double tap and pin to boards don’t come with price tags, and more often than not those tags carry a few more numbers on them than what you have in the budget.
It’s easy to get disappointed once the wedding vendor quotes start rolling in, and your wedding dream bubbles start getting popped. Reality check: not every bride or groom behind those inspiration pictures is a millionaire. Solution: with some frugal genius you too can have a swoon-worthy wedding without blowing the budget.
6 TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING
1) TREAT YOUR BUDGET LIKE YOUR VOWS
While this won’t put money back in your pocket like a coupon or a discount would, it will help you be more fiscally responsible, keeping money in your pocket. Weddings are expensive, there’s no way around it (ahem, except if you elope). But you can keep your spending in check by closely monitoring your bank account.
A lot of us are mindless spenders and we don’t realize how fast the money goes out. Keeping an eye on your bank account balance can help keep you inline and on budget. Using programs like the BUDGET tab in Aisle Planner or online banking services through banks like Chime, can help you visualize your spending (and your saving).
If you are looking for coupons or discounts, head to a wedding fair. Be sure to research vendors beforehand and then go willing to book a tour or a fitting in order to take advantage of fair discounts. The discounts vary but usually you can count on photographer, DJs and suit rental companies offering great deals.
2) BOOK A GREAT VENUE
What’s a great venue, Josey?
A great venue includes a LOT of amenities. I don’t just mean an onsite bridal suite, I mean early access, built in twinkle lights, tables and chairs, and maybe even an arbor. Even if you still have to rent/pay for the additional items, like ceiling draping or table linen, having it provided through the venue (with set up and take down included) can be a real great savings.
You’ll save on travel charges AND you’ll save time. Some venues might even provide their own decorations, meaning you don’t have to buy or rent your own.
3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TECH
This is where social media can be a great tool, take advantage of these tech tips:
Use Facebook Marketplace to find used wedding decor at a discount
Encourage guests to RSVP online, saving you print costs and postage
Find newer wedding vendors. like photographers or calligraphers, that are offering their services at an introductory rate
4) PRINT ONE OR NONE
Menu cards, programs, thank-you cards, place cards—it all adds up! For the things you have to print out for you reception (menus, programs, place cards), consider printing one larger version that’s located in a central area that’s easy for all of your guests to see.
Instead of individual menus, print food labels for your buffet line or a large menu board. Instead of individual programs, design one large program and have it written on a mirror or chalkboard. And instead of place cards, print one large seating chart.
5) REUSE AND RECYCLE
Do you have a collection of agates, pinecones or coffee cups? Do you have a friend who just got married and used lanterns for their aisle decor? This is the perfect time to make use out of those things (the only scenario where hoarding is acceptable). If your wedding is near a holiday, don’t forget about seasonal decor that you or your family has already amassed: Christmas lights, wreaths, and candles make for excellent wedding table decor.
6) DISCOUNT/Dollar stores
Things I suggest purchasing in bulk, at low, low prices:
Picture frames or picture stands
Not seeing the color that goes with your wedding palette? Purchase a $4 can of spray paint (not at the dollar store) and find a well ventilated area.
Cylinder vases and candle holders
I do NOT advise purchasing candles from the dollar store, likely the burn time is going to be less than what you need the candles to burn for, OR the candle size isn’t compatible with the candle holder size.
Thank you cards
Especially for wedding related activities like your shower or bachelor(ette) party, but even for your wedding. 6 for $1 is a hard price to beat!
You see? Saving money and having a beautiful wedding isn’t so hard after all! My best advice is to set a budget 20% LOWER than what you can afford. That way when you go over budget it won’t hurt so bad :)
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,
Photo credit: Mckenzie Berquam, Allison Hopperstad (Oliver and Grace), Dillinger Studios