You have your ring, your man, and big dreams to plan the most beautiful day of your life.
If you're anything like me, you started planning your wedding the moment you realized that you were dating "Mr. Right”. You may even have gone as far as creating multiple boards on Pinterest to cover each facet of your wedding, "Wedding Flower Ideas", “Wedding Dress Ideas", "Wedding Decor Ideas"... you get the picture. And if you're REALLY like me you pinned every single pin that revolved around how to save big $$$ on your wedding day.
But let's be real. Budgeting is hard. Especially when you want every aspect of your big day to be nothing but perfect.
Normally brides feel that they must forgo their "perfect" day for a slightly sub-par version of it in order to stay in their budget. Well, have no fear! Here are 10 easy ways to save thousands of dollars (just going with #1 could save you upwards of $3,000) on your wedding day and still create your perfect Pinterest wedding.
1) Look for 3 day weekends and plan an off-day wedding
Saturday's are the most expensive days to get married. Venues will push up their prices by $1,000 to $3,000 (or more) on Saturday nights than any other day of the week. In order to avoid these charges opt for a 3 day weekend and plan for either a Friday or Sunday wedding day. Most places retain their discounted pricing, while you get the benefit of saving a couple thousand dollars. Win-win situation.
2) Buy wholesale (or fake) flowers and DIY
No matter your floral style, there are multiple videos, blogs and pins that show you how to create beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres, and table settings. In fact, in the south, many brides have opted to create “bouquet bachelorette parties” where they will invite their bridesmaids the day before the wedding to help create their own bouquets and flower arrangements and then celebrate. You can also buy your flowers in bulk from Sams Club, HEB for my Texas folks, or florists in your own town for discounted prices.
If you want to go even cheaper, you may want to consider using fake flowers for your floral needs. From a professional opinion, you can’t tell the difference and many craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels etc.) offer daily 40% coupons and more on supplies.
3) Buy bridesmaids dresses at nonconventional stores
Instead of going the traditional route and using a wedding dress boutique to get your dresses, look around at your favorite stores and see what dress selections there are! Many times you can find very cute dresses under $100 (the average bridesmaids dress costs $150 not including alterations) Personal favorites include Anthropologie, Altar’d State, Zara, Forever 21 and Amazon.
4) Buy and resell your decor
With so many social media outlets nowadays, it’s hard not to find something for dirt cheap online. Join your local Facebook group for prom/wedding/home décor resale items and go on a spending spree! Many of these members want to get rid of their gently used items ASAP so you can always negotiate for a lower price. Additionally, home décor clearance items are a STEAL! If you are getting married and in the Texas area, I highly recommend the Magnolia warehouse sale to stock up on cake stands, cute hanging items, chalkboards and small labels.
If you still don't want to deal with your own decor, ask your vendors if they provide decorations at an additional discount. At Weddings By Weaver, we offer very competitive decor bundles and would love to help you design your big day! You can check out our decor here.
5) Borrow decor (for free!)
Do you know of a recent bride who’s wedding was absolutely A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E?! Reach out and ask where she got her decorations, and if she’d be willing to lend you items for your big day. Many people are surprised at the generosity of friends and their network who are willing to help you save a buck. If you borrow linens, offer to wash/dry clean them afterwards for the owner.
6) Forgo rentals
As mentioned above, people are always reselling their items from weddings. If you are renting linens, décor, dresses, groomsmen outfits stop while you’re ahead! You can buy gently used linens for $15/linen and resell at the same price! Whereas brides who rent linens find themselves cashing out almost $20/tablecloth – why spend $200 on 10 tables when you could buy 10 tablecloths for $15 each and resell for at price (or more) and receive a profit? If you're willing to put in the extra cleaning and storage efforts, buying rentals can save you big $$$.
7) Go local
According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost per dinner plate is $85 (this includes the dinner, service, and cake cutting). Instead of cashing out a lot of dough for a “meh” meal, look around at local restaurants that you and your boo love and see if they can cater for less! Many food locations feel that they don’t have enough demand to enter the catering business, so they may have a less formalized (and cheaper) process to get your guests fed. And here’s the real kicker – if you put the food in a metal serving dish, no one will realize if you got your food from a caterer or the local Chick-fil-A.
8) Take a premarital course
In the state of Texas, if couple’s take a certified premarital counseling course and present the certificate when they are registering for their marriage license you automatically knock $80 off your license price (originally $100)! Honestly it’s a win-win, not only will you be mentored by men and women who will help you thrive in your marriage, but you’ll save $80!
9) Do your own hair and makeup
I know, I know. You want to look like a stunning, radiant piece of sunshine as you walk down the aisle to meet your man. I promise – you WILL. But why spend money on someone who isn’t familiar with your face or your skin? I recommend watching some tutorials on YouTube to practice your hair and makeup routine for the big day! And if you’re feeling splurgy – go to a store and have a beauty expert teach you how to use a new foundation or brush – not only will you get a one on one tutorial, but you will be able to continue using the product after the wedding.
10) Utilize a wedding planner!
While you may think you can cut costs by not booking a wedding planner, this could actually cost you in the long run. Having a professional help you plan and budget can allow you to not run into the normal wedding hiccups most people forget about. By utilizing a planner you can save money with their references for other vendors, their ability to negotiate on your behalf, bundling services together and making sure you don't fall trap to the many wedding mistakes brides fall into. Trust me on this one ladies - a planner will let you know when it's worth it to splurge and show you the best ways to save!
Following these 10 tips, you could also save thousands of dollars that you can go and use elsewhere (like a fancy honeymoon or new house!). With many more blogs to follow, I know you will be able to create and remember a fantastic day for you and your man!