As the economy is still a little bit fragile, many couples waiting to get married are still trying to find ways to save some money on their wedding. They can get caught up in trying to satisfy the whims and beliefs of others rather than making sure they can have a ceremony that they can afford and still enjoy.


The biggest problem is that as much as couples want to save money on their wedding, they still want to have the wedding they want to have. So, the conflicts are within themselves because you can’t have everything you want and save a lot of money also.

Or can you? With a mix of planning and budgeting, a different way of looking at things and some luck along the way, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds if you’re willing to alter a few things here and there along the way. Here are 10 ways for you to see how you can save expenses on your wedding.

1. Come up with an overall figure for how much you believe you can spend on your wedding.

The easiest thing to do is to start with 10% of your net income for both of you. For instance, if you make $30,000 a year, you’re probably bringing home around $21,000 or so. This means you might be able to look at $2,100 for your contribution to your wedding. Your spouse should do the same. This way, you at least have a starting budget that might not hurt you all that much. This is only a preliminary figure; you can make it higher or lower as time goes by.

2. You need to have an idea of what the big ticket items will be towards your wedding.

The three biggest expenses are the reception, the wedding gown, and the wedding rings. If we assume the wedding ring has already been purchased before budgeting begins, then your third biggest expense is where you’re having you’re reception, which is a different expense than the reception overall. The reason the reception is the biggest expense is because it’s the biggest wild card; it depends on a lot of factors, the biggest two being how many people are coming and what kind of food and drinks you’re going to pay for.

A recommendation I’d make is to come up with a way to have a lot of food at a lower cost. Something like barbecued shredded pork on mini rolls is not only something different than the norm but it’s fairly inexpensive, easy to cook and can serve lots of people easily. That’s not necessarily a recommendation (well, okay it is lol) but it shows that thinking outside the box could save you a lot of money and still make the reception special.

3. Don’t get married in a church.

This is the most controversial suggestion, especially if you’re religious and wants a traditional wedding. With that said, it’s cheaper to hire a justice of the peace or anyone else who’s licensed to marry people than it is to hire a priest or reverend and hold the service in a church. Not only that, but pretty much anywhere else you get married is going to have fewer restrictions on what you can do than a church will.

I’m lucky to have been to a lot of services that have been performed by someone other than a religious figure and it offers so many other places one can have a ceremony, from having it in your home to having it in a park.

4. Find as many ways to use paper or plastic products as possible.

Almost anything you can buy real is also produced in paper or plastic. There are paper flowers, paper runners, and obviously paper ribbons. There are also plastic plates, utensils and goblets. For the cost of one bridal bouquet you could decorate an entire room with paper or plastic flowers and have lots of money left over. Not only is this economical but it’s easy to recycle after the fact.


5. Have one of your friends do your makeup.

Obviously this one is for the bride, but the truth is a bride’s friends not only could probably do as good a job as a professional with makeup, but because she knows you better she would have a different sense of what would make you look better.

6. Rent your wedding gown rather than buy one.

Most grooms have to rent their tuxedos, and there are plenty of stores where brides can rent a wedding gown. Not only will it cost less money, but alterations are included and you have a place to take your wedding gown back once you’re married. True, you won’t have that keepsake memory to carry around with you, but most brides store those dresses away and never look at them again.

7. Control how many people you invite to your wedding.

This might be the second toughest thing to think about, but if you’re trying to control expenses having a smaller wedding is probably the best way to go. It also offers many more options for where to have a wedding because now you don’t have to worry about being married in a big church or having to rent a large place for the reception. It also gives you an excuse not to have to invite that aunt and uncle you don’t really like.

With that said, if you did something with the cost of food and reception area like I mentioned above, you can not only afford to invite more people but you might make out better with the wedding gifts, especially if they give you money. I’m just sayin’… 😉

8. How professional do you want your other services to be?

If you’re paying for a professional photographer, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. If you don’t care all that much, ask a friend to take the pictures and save a lot of money.

The same goes for all the other services you might want to use. Years ago I used to sing and play piano at wedding services but I never charged any of my friends, making that my wedding gift. Everyone knows someone who can sing and possibly someone who can play an instrument; just ask them.

9. Your budget will change depending on if your parents are going to help with the wedding.

You need to know this up front, and you need to know how much they’re willing to spend, or if they’re going to take care of certain things so you don’t have to worry about them. If you believe your parents are planning on helping you out you’re going to have to take the adult step to ask them when you’re ready to start putting together your budget. Even if their contribution is for something like food or the wedding cake, anything they donate to you helps out greatly.

10. Don’t get caught up with keeping up with the Joneses.

Don’t think you have to have what everyone else had just because everyone else had it, especially if those weddings were very expensive. What’s more memorable is being unique, not going bankrupt. Once you’re married, you still have a life to live, and it’ll be easier living it if you’re not totally in debt.

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