Wedding Budget Savings: 20 money-saving tips to save your finances

Jan 9, 2017 | The Big Day

There’s no magic spell that will allow you to plan a wedding without any strain on your savings, but when it comes to creating a wedding budget you can afford and then sticking to it throughout the planning stage, you can keep things under control with some great wedding budget savings.

Here are 20 excellent survival tips to help you combat the biggest financial drains at a wedding.

wedding budget savings

Wedding Budget Savings: The venue

1. You may have had a particular time of year or date in mind, but you can get a really great deal on a wedding by choosing an off-season time or an unusual day. Every considered the fun of getting married on Friday the 13th?

2. If a church wedding isn’t something your heart is set on, why not hold your ceremony and reception in the same place. Not only will you save on multiple site fees, you’ll also cut transportation costs and make your guests very happy.

wedding venue directory

3. Again, if church weddings aren’t your thing and your ceremony is in an outdoor space or rented venue, skip seating and keep the ceremony short. Renting chairs can add quite a bit of cost and people won’t mind standing for 20 minutes. Just think about all the standing involved in a church wedding anyway – those seats are just there to tease you! However, if you do opt for this, make sure the ceremony starts on time and bring a couple of foldout chairs for any elderly relatives that may need to sit.

4. Be firm about your guest lists and don’t invite the people Mammy is pushing for or those you feel obliged to invite. The more people you have, the bigger a venue you’ll need and the more you’ll pay for everything. Keep the day itself intimate and invite extra people along for the evening or to a barbeque the next day.

wedding budget savings

Wedding Budget Savings: Invites and other printing

5. Yes, custom-made invites that are printed on fancy paper and put in boxes filled with confetti look fancy, but they also cost a bomb. If you want to save money on invites, but don’t want to go down the e-vite route, get a graphic designer to create a design for your invite and then print it yourself. It will look just as nice, but will cost a lot less.

6. Rather than including a reply card when you send your invite, ask your guests to RSVP to a special email address or on your wedding site. Not only will you save on printing and postage, people often forget to send off postal RSVPs, so you’re more likely to get a response this way.

7. Posting one large program at the entrance of your ceremony venue will cost a lot less than printing one for each person.

wedding budget savings

Wedding Budget Savings: Transport

8. Instead of renting limos and cars for the wedding parties, ask around family and friends to see if anyone will lend you their nice car or even better, hire a (non-tacky) party van for everyone to travel in together. There are nice options available that are much cheaper than formal transport hire and it’s a great way to build energy and excitement before the ceremony.

wedding car directory

Wedding Budget Savings: Flowers

9. Rather than insisting on a flower that’s out of season, ask your florist to recommend suitable replacements that are in season. Out of season flowers cost a bundle more. You should also reuse ceremony flowers at the reception to cut costs and get the most out of what you pay for..

10. Rather than paying for big floral arrangements for centrepieces, keep it simple. A single white rose surrounded by a few cheap white buds or Angel’s Breath in a long-stem vase will look impressive surrounded by candles and will be a lot less expensive (that may not have made sense to you, you manly-man, but trust us here: we asked some ladies.).

wedding budget savings

Wedding Budget Savings: Food and drink

11. Skipping a lengthy wait between the ceremony and meal means you won’t have to pay for as many drinks or platters of finger food.

12. Instead of paying for a few rounds of drinks during the drinks reception, provide large pitchers of fresh lemonade and let people buy alcohol if that’s what they want. You’ll already be providing wine at dinner, so don’t feel obliged.

13. Shun the fancy three-course meal and its expensive wait staff in favour of a family-style dinner or buffet. Guests will love having more food choices and you’ll save quite a bit of money.

14. Yes, it’s tradition, but skipping a big tiered cake can save you several hundred euro. Get one tier you can cut and then organise a cupcake buffet. You should also skip the dessert course if you’re doing this.

15. Inside Tip: Traditional wedding cakes are usually covered in fondant, which is a lot more expensive than an equally tasty buttercream icing. People just don’t know they can ask!

16. Make sure your venue isn’t charging you a cake-cutting fee. So ridiculous…

17. Don’t feel you need to provide bubbly for the toasts. Guests can toast with dinner wine or whatever else they want to buy.

Wedding Budget Savings: The music

18. Have you always dreamed of a violinist or harpist playing as you walk down the aisle? Probably not, but maybe your fiancée did. Anyway, a professional musician can be quite costly, so approach local music teachers who will happily perform at your wedding for a lot less.

19. Want a live band? Hire talented students from a local music school or college to save money. Just be sure you hear them play first – many are really good, others not so much…

wedding band directory

20. If you’re deciding whether to go with a band or a DJ, the reality is you’ll save a lot of money by choosing the DJ. You can save even more by being the DJ yourself, just make sure you have a playlist everyone will enjoy.