Ways to Save Money While Planning Your Dream Wedding

Now that the engagement excitement has settled down it’s time to start planning your big day! While this can be an exciting time many couples and their families become overwhelmed by everything they need and all the costs involved. You don’t have to sacrifice your dream of a fairytale wedding just because you have a smaller budget. There are plenty of ways you can save money and still have the wedding of your dreams.

I’ll add to this list as more idea pop into my head!

5 Ways to Save Money Planning Your Wedding


1. Budget and prioritize

Sit down and create a realistic budget. How much do you want to spend on your wedding and where will you spend that money? Prioritize your list of wedding day must-haves into categories where you don’t mind spending extra on and where you don’t mind spending a little less. This will give you a starting point to begin planning.

Some categories you may want to consider when creating this list are:

  • Wedding Planner
  • Venue
  • Catering
  • bar (beer & wine vs. full bar)
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • florist
  • wedding attire
  • guest and bridal party transportation
  • linens/rentals
  • music – DJ or Band
  • Officiant
  • Additional Decor or lighting
  • lodging/travel
  • hair and makeup
  • Bridal party gifts
  • wedding favors
  • stationery
  • desserts/cake
  • gratuities
  • Guest list (smaller guests lists drastically help decrease cost.)


2. Flowers

There are many ways you can save when it comes to the flowers on your wedding day and these can be an expensive part of your wedding day. Consider what flowers will be in season around your wedding date. Choosing seasonal flowers can help you cut cost. Consider opting for a single stem flower instead of a full bouquet for the bridesmaids or something with all greens and no blooms. Going with less can often have a bigger “wow” factor on your big day and in your wedding images. While I definitely believe in leaving it up to the professional, if you are a creative person maybe think about doing the centerpieces and décor yourself and buying the flowers in bulk.  Also, don’t underestimate the power of negotiating. Many florists are willing to work with the bride to be to help her create her fairytale wedding. It never hurts to ask.

5. Dress

The dress may be one area you don’t want to skimp on. Although very important and sentimental, you might want to reconsider spending thousands of dollars on it. While you try on the perfect dress from a wedding boutique, don’t overlook discount dress shops. Many of these shops carry the same dresses for half the price. Also, if you have already tried on and found the dress, look for it online before you buy it. You can often find the same dress for thousands less. One of my favorite options for a dress is Fairytail Brides On A Shoestring. This local non-profit donates all of the net proceeds to charity.

5. Go online

Invitations, save the dates, engagement announcements RSVP cards etc all can add up quickly.  The printing costs and the cost to send out all these wedding papers can get expensive. You can save thousands simply by setting up your own wedding website. You can still use your beautiful professional engagement photos, but you won’t have to spend the extra money on printing. Or at least consider skipping the RSVP cards and have your guests RSVP online. This will save you on printing and the cost of stamps for the return envelopes.

Using other online companies like Minted can help save a ton of money as well vs. going with a custom design. I am one of Minted’s affiliate photographers – Feel free to use this LINK to snag a 15% discount or use the code: PHOTOPROJHARVEY

5. Ceremony/reception Venue.

Booking a venue for your wedding is one place you will tend to spend the most money. If the season is right, planning for an outdoor ceremony or reception can be a great way to make your fairytale come to life. Outdoor weddings at a local park or even a friend or family member’s backyard can be perfect and it will provide beautiful light for photography. But, dont forget to investigate the options for plan b should the weather not be in your favor. Having a plan b that you’re ok with is a very important part in picking a venue.

Also consider a small ceremony, an earlier reception time, or plan for a weekday wedding. These small changes that aren’t so traditional can save you hundreds or even thousands when it comes to booking your ceremony and reception venue.

Tusculum Farm is one of my personal favorites for smaller weddings. You cannot go wrong with the endless portrait location here at this beautiful farm B&B!

Something else to consider when booking your venue – do they allow outside bar and catering? Can you hire a less expensive cater or purchase your own alcohol to serve your guest. Make sure you user stand these two items as well and compare them to your overall budget for venue, catering and bar if your venue requires you two use their services.


Where you shouldn’t cut cost:


Photography & Videography

You might think getting a friend or family member to shoot your wedding photos will help you save. While it may save you in dollars, it could cost you in quality. You want your wedding day images to be beautiful and ones that will bring back the emotions and memories from that day. A professional photographer will be able to capture all these moments that your friend or relative will be not be able to with a point and shoot or even a fancy DSLR camera. You may end up regretting and be disappointed that you don’t have clear stunning images from your wedding in the future if you decided to try and skimp n this area of your wedding budget.

Here is a post i recently wrote full of questions to ask your photographer before booking. Consider THESE when you’re wondering if spending so much money on photography is worth it.