How to Cut Wedding Costs

There are several decisions you can make early in the planning process to cut wedding costs, such as the number of guests you invite. Other decisions can be made as you go along if you discover that your wedding expenses are going to exceed your total budget, Here are some areas you can elicit the help of people you know rather than hiring professionals and other suggestions for how to cut wedding costs.


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    Begin by cutting down the wedding list. The bigger your guest list, the higher the expenses. Keeping the guest list to 100 people or less will cut down on food, invitation and reception costs.
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    Choose an off-season date. If you can't cut the guest list down, consider having your wedding on a weeknight or a holiday weekend, such as Thanksgiving, when demand is down and venues look to make deals in order to book clients. Speak with prospective reception venues about which dates are usually slow and negotiate on pricing.
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    Prioritize your budget list. Create a spreadsheet or notebook that lists the highest and lowest prices for all aspects of your wedding. This includes food, flowers, entertainment, rental fees and any other costs. When deciding which areas to cut down on, you can refer to the list and choose whether to forfeit certain things or use the cheapest option.
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    Design your own invitations. New computer software allows brides to create their own wedding invitations for cheap. You can use a database of clip art or upload your own photograph to a computer software program and print invitations at home.
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    Negotiate with your vendors. Wedding vendors want as much business as possible. Even if the vendor doesn't appear open to negotiations, always try to bargain down the price or add extra services or products for little to no extra cost.
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    Create your own centerpieces. Votive candles and mirror bases are available in bulk from wedding suppliers and can make budget-friendly centerpieces. Silk flowers can also help reduce the centerpiece cost as they are cheaper than real flowers.
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    Ask friends and family members to provide services. Many people are happy to provide catering, photography, hairstyling or entertainment as part of your wedding gift, and this really helps with having a cheap wedding.
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    Buy your bridesmaid dresses off-season for deep discounts. Bridal stores often provide a clearance rack that consists of bridesmaid and flower girl dresses from the previous season. Rent tuxedos from a store that gives you back your deposit when you return the tuxes by a certain time.
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    Provide a buffet. Family-style buffets are more budget-friendly than sit-down dinners, especially if you can use friends or family to help cater the wedding. If you really want a sit-down dinner, choose pasta, chicken or another less expensive entrée.
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    Keep the wedding alcohol-free. Open bars can run a bride and groom thousands of dollars. By providing free soft drinks, tea, water and coffee, you can save on reception costs. If you really want alcohol, you could consider putting a time limit on an open bar and then switching to a cash bar.
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    Make your own favors and keep it simple. Invite your bridal party over to help you create simple favors, such as bags of candy or little jars of homemade goodies with a monogrammed ribbon.

Things You'll Need

  • Spreadsheet or notebook
  • Invitation computer software
  • Centerpiece materials
  • Party favor materials

Article Info

Categories: Wedding Budgeting