How to save money on your dream wedding without losing the “dream” part…
Cut the Guest List Down from the Start
This should be self-explanatory: less guests equals less stress and lower overhead.
Simplify or Digitalize the Invites
Choose a one-sheet paper invite and direct your guests to an online RSVP or wedding website, or go totally digital with e-vites. After all, it’s 2016!
Don’t Go Crazy on the Pre-Wedding Festivities
If budget is the name of the game, a Cancun bachelorette party is off the table. Host a casual wedding shower at your favorite restaurant, or get friends and family to host brunch in lieu of a gift.
Fall in Love with an Affordable Dress
Maggie Sottero Designs’ newest line, Rebecca Ingram, offers timeless and elegant gowns at incredible prices. Hope is romantic and vintage-inspired, with a price tag that doesn’t break the bank. Another of our favorites, Olivia, features illusion and keyhole details accented in lace appliqués. A tight budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style or quality!
Choose a Customizable Wedding Gown Instead of Two Looks
Our Maggie Sottero and Sottero and Midgley lines offer an array of separates and accessories for you to switch up your look between ceremony and reception. Detachable overskirts, lace-trimmed trains, and illusion lace jackets add volume, detail, and whimsy—the perfect way to feel like a movie star without paying for two gowns.
Hire a Day-Of Coordinator Instead of a Wedding Planner
If you must delegate your agenda to a professional, cut costs by hiring a day-of coordinator to keep things running smoothly.
Don’t Splurge on the Cake
Choose a small cake for the cutting ceremony, or stack cupcakes in place of tiered wedding cake. If you have a large crowd that expects cake, display a small cake up front, and serve from sheet pans in the back of house.
Save on Flowers
- Arrange them yourself. It’s fun, easier than you think, and a great way to bond with your wedding party.
- Choose local and seasonal. Lilies and orchids are choice for fall, while April calls for ranunculus and snapdragons. Infuse your bouquet with history and symbolism by incorporating regional favorites, sans import fees.
- Order through a grocer instead of a florist. Your local marketplace can get fresh, classic flowers just as easily as your florist, but at a fraction of the price.
- Try an alternative for the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Lanterns, candles, baskets of fruit, vintage clutches, fans, feathers, umbrellas… pretty much anything pretty and hold-able will make an affordable alternative to flowers.
Ditch the Party Favors
Really. Allocate this budget toward food and décor, or save it for the honeymoon.
Go Minimalist on the Shoes, Accessories, and Beauty Products
We love shoes. You love shoes. Shoes are fabulous. But a simple and affordable pair of heels will look anything but cheap. If your style is glitzier, a pair of costume-y heels are a fabulous alternative; we promise guests won’t know the difference.
Do Your Own Hair and Makeup
In the weeks before your wedding, drink plenty of water, moisturize regularly, and brighten your skin with DIY sugar scrubs. Research our favorite beauty products, have a girls’ party to try out some YouTube tutorials, and remember professional airbrushing isn’t the only path to gorgeousness.
DIY the Décor
Get your crafty aunts to make cute centerpieces with tea lights and votives (there are so many ideas on Pinterest you won’t know where to begin). Remember spray paint and a glue gun are your best friends, and focus on lighting effects over big florals and expensive backdrops.
Host Your Reception in a Restaurant or Backyard
Opt for a setting that already has décor and mood lighting. Some restaurants include food, tableware, champagne glasses, and atmosphere for a fraction of the price of a wedding venue. Or host your reception in your grandparents’ backyard—the one with the decades-old lilac bushes and fairytale-worthy gazebos.
A Party is About People, Not Bells and Whistles
Consider compromising on party extras:
- Do you need a professional DJ, or is an iPod playlist perfectly fine?
- Are you willing to limit the bar?
- How about a food truck instead of a caterer?
- Can someone from the family serve buffet food? (Guests tend to take larger portions than they need; save on costs and cut waste by delegating a server.)
- Can you take time to set up a photo booth kit? (They’re cheaper than the “real” thing.)
- Must your grand exit be backlit by fireworks?
Lastly, Have Fun!
A successful wedding relies more on creativity and moxie than a roster of expensive customizations. Don’t let your “red carpet” dreams sap the energy from your love story.
Feeling inspired? We’ve got plenty more to explore:
DIY Wedspo from our Real Brides
10 Ways to Incorporate Vintage Themes into Your Wedding