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How To Stretch Your Dollar For Your Wedding

  April 15

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Stretch Your DollarMy sister in law recently got married, and it was really fun to watch her go through the wedding planning process. She was so excited, and she did such a great job picking the perfect location, etc.

She really didn’t get stressed at all, and she was extremely pleasant the whole time – totally the opposite of a bridezilla.

As we all know, planning a wedding can be exciting; however, it can also be a time of anxiety as couples try balance their romantic ideals with the limits of their budget. I think my sister in law was so successful because she was really realistic about her budget and her goals.

I’m a firm believer that with a little bit of foresight and awareness, you can absolutely save money and still have your dream wedding. The key, I think, is being realistic about what you can have and spending your money where it counts. Here are some other ideas below:

  • When selecting the day for your wedding, find out if changing the day of the week will significantly lessen the cost of various services. Most weddings are held on Saturdays, May – October, so that is the time that vendors increase their prices. By holding your ceremony on a Sunday evening in late-March, you can have an equally lovely event at a fraction of the cost.
My Sister in Law's Wedding Party in Louisiana
My Sister in Law’s Wedding Party in Louisiana
  • Don’t forget to factor in the “hidden costs” when selecting your wedding venue. A locale that presents a seemingly fantastic deal might forbid you from providing your own alcohol (a smart way to save). They could also fail to include the charge of tipping the venue’s staff and even charge you added fees for the cake cutting. Also, ask about overtime charges, as you wouldn’t want the additional hour your wedding guests linger to end up costing you big. Ultimately, it’s best to prepare a written list of questions to bring with you whenever touring a space.
My Sister in Law & Me
My Sister in Law & Me
  • To save on food, consider having a lunchtime or brunch reception instead of dinner. For later weddings, think about serving food similar to a cocktail party; this latest trend allows guests to nibble throughout the party so they aren’t hungry, but the quantities consumed (and wasted) are less than a formal dinner or buffet. To reduce the cost of wedding cakes, many brides are opting to have “trick layers.” Essentially, the top tier of the cake would be real, but the below ones are made out of decorative Styrofoam or cardboard with the slices guests are eating being cut from a sheet cake hidden in the back. Also, instead of an open bar, you could consider providing wine, beer, and featuring a “signature cocktail” that could be named to honor the place he proposed or your honeymoon destination.
The Hubs & Me at the Wedding
The Hubs & Me at the Wedding
  • When browsing through the dozens of elements like centerpieces, invitations, wedding favors, and more, never buy on impulse, and instead, shop around for the best price. Additionally, when shopping online for accessories, look for ways to combine them into a few, larger orders; companies like American Bridal and Joann Fabrics & Craft Store offer free shipping and special discounts when you make purchases that exceed certain amounts.
  • When buying the wedding dress (and accessories), ask yourself whether the garment can be altered through dying or hemming so you can wear it beyond the one day. Additionally, brides who are indulging in the latest fashion of non-white bridal dresses are finding many extraordinary outfits that are a lot cheaper because they are simply not white. Plus, let’s not forget that vintage dresses are enormously popular. I actually wore my mom’s dress for my own wedding!


So, whether you a former-bride or a bride-to-be, please share what creative ways you found to cut back on spending for your own wedding below. (Comments from grooms and former-grooms are totally welcome too! :))

Image created with ReciteThis, Photography by Kaylynn Marie

26 responses to “How To Stretch Your Dollar For Your Wedding

    1. No way! That is so awesome. We have a few friends that eloped too, and they were super happy with the decision.

  1. a friend of mine is getting married this summer and she ordered her wedding gown online! Instead of spending $1500-2000 on a dress she`d only use once, she paid about $250!

  2. Definitely some good ideas here! One of the more popular posts on YAM was written by my wife about how to save money on a wedding. My wife actually wants to start a wedding planning biz to take some of the stress off of brides. Good to hear your sister-in-law wasn’t a bridezilla 😉

    1. That’s so cool! I definitely admire your wife and her desire to start a wedding planning biz! I’m way too introverted to deal with all those brides, haha!

  3. Thanks for the info. I agree you should try and save as much as possible for your wedding. No one wants to start their married lives in debt!

    1. I totally agree! There are so many people who have to pay for their own weddings these days. If my parents hadn’t thrown the party for us, I would have definitely eloped!

  4. Cat, Vanessa and I tried to be super frugal in our wedding and her parents (who paid for everything) made it so difficult! We eventually partly resigned the battle and just did some of the crazy things they wanted.

    All that said, we had a wonderful and beautiful wedding. We also completely agree with your excellent tips. We had a chance to take advantage of almost every one on the list…

    1. Hey Jake! Thanks for stopping in! I’m glad you two had a beautiful wedding that you can cherish forever!

  5. I’ll be writing a week-long series on weddings soon, but areas we saved were dress (made by MIL), venue (about $500) and ditching stuff like a live band. Now that the big day is approaching my stress levels are definitely rising a little…!

  6. Our wedding was a big hoopla and my wife wishes she could have done it for less. All I can say is that it’s more about the people and the day and less about how beautiful everything is.
    My brother-in-law ended up asking my in-law’s neighbor, who they new for 20+ years to take pictures. She’s a professional and took really good photos. So I’d say to leverage talents for friends and acquaintances whenever possible.

    1. That’s definitely a great idea! For sure ask family and friends who are talented. Thanks for weighing in, Justin!

  7. What a gorgeous wedding your SIL had. Just learned about this pretend cake layers thing. Who knew? So smart! saves money, cake is probably more tasty because it’s not huge and dry. Smart all around.

  8. I don’t know how many people tell me they wish they didn’t spend so much or saved the cash to pay for a wedding in full because they are in deep debt because of it. I
    When we got married we did not have a traditional wedding rather an intimate wedding with close family and friends with a total cost of under $1000. We remember every moment and detail of the day and couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was perfect because it was more about us than the “stuff”. All that extra money we didn’t spend on a big lavish wedding went towards our downpayment on our house and an amazing honeymoon.

    Weddings can be as expensive or as frugal as you like them to be but at the end of the day it’s just a memory that will be in our minds, in photos and maybe even in a video. How we chose to remember the day and how much we spend to make it the fairy tale wedding is ultimately up to the couple because they have to live with the debt after the fact, if any.

  9. We just looked at our first venue this past weekend, it was beautiful but man do things add up quickly. My fiance also likes the finer things when it comes to weddings so yeaaaa. haha

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    1. Hi! I’m on wordpress! Do you have a really complicated password? That’s always a good place to begin!

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