5 wedding tips to save money Preparing for the big day? Here are some ways to save money on your wedding. December 8, 2023 The moment you get engaged, everyone wants to know: When is the wedding? Engagements can be simple when compared to weddings—unless you are eloping or having a courthouse ceremony. If you are wedding planning on a budget and your plans don’t include hiring a wedding planner, here are some money-saving tips for your wedding: 1. Buy a used dress—or rent one 2022 national average: $1,9001 Not wearing your grandmother’s gown? Buying used or renting can be among some of the most cost-effective ways to save money on your wedding. Because wedding dresses tend to be worn once and then preserved, they are usually in “like new” condition when sold secondhand. Many websites offer pre-owned wedding dresses from major designers when you are wedding planning on a budget. “We find it very rare that a bride finds sentimental value in her veil or headpiece unless it is an heirloom,” says Brittany Haas, founder of a bridal rental website. “Accessories are generally an expensive afterthought,” she adds. “For example, the veil is something that you generally only wear for 15 minutes for your wedding day. Brides have so many more romantic things to spend on than an object only worn for 15 minutes.” Local consignment stores also frequently carry wedding dresses, and sometimes a formal evening gown can double for your big day, which can help you save money on your wedding. Purchase flowers at wholesale stores 2022 national average: $2,4001 Flowers are one of the easiest ways to decorate a wedding venue, but can also be among the priciest. Nicole Harris, owner of an event planning business, has advice for brides: “Shop at wholesale stores for a high quantity of decor and flowers. Typically, wholesale stores are more open to negotiation and will give you a better price for the quantity of items or flowers a bride will order.” And once you have your flowers, if you have bridesmaids willing to help out, you can easily put together bouquets to help cut back on wedding costs. Minimize your guest list and go with an all-inclusive venue 2022 national average: $11,2001 Most wedding guides will tell you reception venues charge less if you get married “off-season” in January, February, or March, or during the week instead of on the weekend. The main way to really save on your venue and cut back on wedding costs is to keep your guest list low (100 or less). A smaller guest list can help you save money on your wedding by lowering the cost for food, tables, chairs, and drinks. When comparing the prices of different venues, consider that going with an all-inclusive venue can be a good money-saving tip for your wedding, says Joyce Scardina Becker, veteran wedding planner. “The reception site and the vendors may have prearranged financial agreements, making it easy and more cost-effective,” Becker says. Work closely with your caterer and supply the liquor yourself 2022 national average: $75 per person1 Sit-down or buffet? “Many couples think that buffets are less expensive than a sit-down plated meal, but this is often not the case,” Becker says. “Many times, buffets are more expensive because you have to offer more choices and you cannot control the quantity of food a guest takes. So, you should check with your caterer before deciding on a buffet versus a sit-down dinner.” If you’re wedding planning on a budget, food trucks can be an alternative to cut back on wedding costs, while providing a memorable guest experience. When it comes to alcohol, Becker suggests: Having a short cocktail hour—make it 45 minutes Avoiding salty hors d’oeuvres (they make guests thirstier) Uncorking bottles only as needed (a wedding planner or event organizer can control this) Additionally, if your venue allows you to bring your own alcohol, wholesalers tend to offer lower prices and typically allow you to return any unopened bottles for credit. Bringing your own alcohol could help you save quite a bit of money on your wedding. Work with talented photographers who are looking for experience 2022 national average: $2,6001 One of the easiest ways to cut back on wedding costs is to limit how long your photographer stays. If you’re getting married in the off-season, you’ll likely find better deals than those getting hitched in the summer and fall. An often-overlooked money-saving tip for your wedding: Contact local college students studying photography who are interested in expanding their portfolio. Some experienced photographers may also have assistants who charge less, while still providing good service. Happily (and financially) ever after While looking for ways to save money on your wedding may not sound romantic, it may be the best gift couples can give themselves in the long run. Utilizing these money-saving tips to cut back on wedding costs can mean more savings to put toward other financial goals as a couple—goals like buying a home, starting a family, saving for a child’s education or building an emergency fund. Attending a wedding? That can be expensive, too. Learn how to save money as a wedding guest. Source: 1. https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost Articles may contain information from third-parties. The inclusion of such information does not imply an affiliation with the bank or bank sponsorship, endorsement, or verification regarding the third-party or information. Share article on facebook. Share article on twitter. Share article on linked in. 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