top of page
  • Writer's pictureNina Bashaw

10 Ways to save money on your wedding day

How to save money on your wedding day | Nina Bashaw Photography

Weddings reflect the individual personalities and priorities of the couple getting married. The focus of this special day should not be about how much was spent or outdoing their friends on who’s wedding cost more. Did you know that the average cost of weddings running more than $30,000? So it's not surprising that couples feel pressured when they start planning their wedding for everything to be perfect. Here are some great tips and practical ways to save money on your upcoming wedding day.

1. Priorities

When you begin to plan your wedding, sit down with your fiancé and make a list of your top priorities and non negotiables. This will help to determine what you want to splurge on and where you can cut corners. If it is important to you that the wedding is at your dream venue, or you know you must have a specific designer gown, or a certain photographer that you really like, then you can fit that into your budget and then decide cut back in other areas.

2. Small guess list

Keeping your guest list as small as possible will drastically reduce reception costs. Most caterers, restaurants and wedding venues charge per-person. The average spent on per guest is anywhere from $50 - 80, so the cutting your guest list down from 200 and 100 guests will save you a large amount of money.

3. Food costs

Food can be a large expense at a wedding. One thing to consider is a buffet instead of a sit-down meal, multicourse meal. Another great option is "drop-off catering." This is when the caterer or restaurant delivers already prepared food and then sets everything up. This is a great option for a smaller and less formal weddings.

4. Venue Space

There are many options for low-cost or even no-cost locations, such as state and national parks, family property, your even own back yard. Consider a destination wedding, often the wedding, reception and even the honeymoon are all included in the price. A great way drastically reduce your venue cost is to consider getting married is to during an off-season. Also getting married on a Friday or Sunday can really help lower the cost of the venue space.

5. Wedding dress

Here is where you can save thousands of dollars on your wedding attire. You don't have to buy at a boutique bridal salon. Shop sample sales, go to a pre owned bridal salon, search online for recent brides selling their wedding dress, borrow a dress from a friend, or consider wearing a non traditional wedding dress. Keep an open mind and try on everything, even some bridesmaids dresses can make for a beautiful understated wedding dress, and can be a fraction of the cost of a designer wedding gown.

6. Florals and decorations

Choosing a venue location that is naturally beautiful and already decorated, will save you lots on florals and decorations. Another way is to plan the wedding at a garden, park, or art museum, that way you can keep your decoration cost to a minimum. Or consider doing the flowers and decorations yourself, choosing flowers that are in season the month and location you are getting married in.

7. Invitations

Invitations are a great way for do it yourselfers to show off their skills save money. But if you don’t have the time or the creativity to DIY your invitations, consider ordering your invitations online. Some great online are Vista Print, Minted, and Basic Invite, and they are beautiful and easy to customize for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional calligraphist.

8. DJ and music

For some couples, a live band is a huge priority, then for others they prefer a DJ. The plus of having a DJ is you get a master of ceremonies to keep your guests informed and make important announcements, such as introducing you as your enter the reception, your first dance, cake cutting, speeches and lots more. A good and professional DJ will move the the reception along, keep the party going while having your guests dance the night away, and they usually are much less expensive than a band. If you have a very low budget for music, set up a playlist and rent an amplifier and speakers.

9. Photography

Being a wedding photographer, this is one thing I strongly suggest not skimping on. Weddings go by so fast, and each moment is so precious that having a professional wedding photographer to document your wedding is the only way to truly capture that moment in time. Your wedding photos are the one tangible thing you take away from your wedding day. However, if your photography budget is not huge yet it is important to you, there are things you can do to save money without sacrificing quality. Opt out of an engagement session, prints and albums, ask your photographer if you can trade out any of those times for more coverage time on your wedding day. Take full advantage of the time you have with your wedding photographer. Choosing to do a “first look” will really help with your wedding day photography timeline, allowing more time for portraits and family photos. Have a shot list written down for all your family shots with names and groupings, so that you, your family and your photographer are all in the same page and organized.

10. Alcohol

Eliminating or limiting a full open bar to one or two hours will drastically cut costs, perhaps only serving beer and wine. Consider having a cash bar, that way you aren’t responsible for the bill yet your guests have the option to purchase a cocktail if they would like. Another good reason to have a cash bar is the guests tend to behave themselves a little better because they are picking up the tab. Depending on the local laws and the rules at the venue, you might be able to buy the liquor yourself and then hire a professional bartender serve it

Columbia, SC wedding photographer | Charleston photographer | Greenville wedding photographer | Augusta photographer


bottom of page