10 Realistic Ways To Save On Your Wedding Budget

There are endless ways to save—and splurge—on your wedding. Here are our top suggestions of how to cut down and get more out of your budget.


6/15/20234 min read

groom beside bride holding bouquet flowers
groom beside bride holding bouquet flowers

We don’t need to tell you that weddings can be expensive. From venues to flowers, the cost of putting together a dreamy wedding continues to get more expensive, and for good reason—you’re often working with professionals who are very good at their job and should be paid for their time! However, as you go into the planning process, it’s good to know where your biggest costs will come from and some hacks so you can pick and choose where to splurge and where to save.

Keep in mind that it takes work to find a solution that meets all of the below suggestions. When it’s easy to take advantage of these solutions, lean into them, but if you can’t follow all of these tips, it’s okay! We put this list together based on our own experiences. Some are tactics we chose that helped us save, and others are suggestions based on decisions we didn’t make that, when looking back, could have helped us immensely.

Here are our top suggestions to make a dent in your costs.

  1. Multi-purpose venues

  2. Hotel chains

  3. Welcome party

  4. Day-after brunch

  5. Guest count

  6. Multi-use vendors

  7. Pretty venues

  8. Transportation

  9. DIY décor

  10. Don’t ignore small ways to save

Find venues that can multitask.

Found a beautiful estate to hold your ceremony? Estates will often offer an event fee discount if you also stay on site for a certain number of nights. They might even let you hold a rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch on site, saving you venue fees or food and beverage minimums for other locations.

Take advantage of hotel chains.

There is a lot of guidance that DIY’ing your wedding is a good way to save. While this can give you more flexibility to save on certain things, don’t sleep on hotels, especially chains! While you might have sticker shock, going through a hotel can actually come out cheaper than doing everything on your own. Everything is on site so there’s no cost of transportation, you save time in the planning process (and time is money!), and you don’t have to worry about rentals. They also often include the bride and groom’s accommodation or free nights towards your honeymoon.

Keep your welcome party casual.

We love a welcome party, especially if you have lots of guests traveling, but providing food or drinks can still add up if you have 100 guests eager to see you as they’re coming into town. Rather than hosting a formal event, see whether there’s a space you can use to bring in your own alcohol or food for a casual “stop in to say hi” event. While wedding budgets often focus on the day of, it’s easy to spend more than you’re expecting on the other events that you might host alongside your wedding, like the welcome party or brunch...

Limit your day-after brunch.

Just like a welcome party, we think a brunch the day after the wedding is a great way to spend more time with visiting guests and thank them for coming to your celebration. However, many guests will end up traveling earlier in the day and won’t be able to attend, or they won’t go for a full plate of breakfast. You can still have a lovely brunch while keeping it simple. Think DIY mimosas and bagels.

Limit the number of guests.

For some, this can be the hardest one, but even reducing your guest list by 10 can translate to thousands saved. Not only are there costs for alcohol and food during the ceremony, but you could need more rentals, a bigger venue, welcome party or brunch accommodations, invitations… need we say more?

Use fewer vendors who can do more.

Some caterers will also have bartending services, saving you energy and often costs of finding another vendor for just the bar. Some venues can do your signs. Some DJs also have photobooth services. This goes across the vendors you’ll work with. Think creatively about how you can work with your vendors in different ways to maximize the value you’re getting and to leverage their expertise.

Find a venue that’s naturally pretty.

This does wonders for reducing the amount you’ll need to spend on rentals, décor, and flowers. Side note from the authors: “This was also one of the best parts of our wedding planning process. While making every decision, because the venue didn’t need much additional decoration, we could easily visualize the beautiful place we’d be saying our I-do’s. It seemed like everything else started to fall into place after making this decision!”

Keep in mind the cost of transportation.

Transporting guests quickly turns into a few thousand to rent party buses or shuttles. If you are able to keep your locations central and hold the ceremony and reception at the same venue or walking distance, you’ll be able to knock this item off of your list.

DIY your décor.

If you are creative or have creative friends, there are some décor items that are easy to do on your own. Check out our Pinterest page for some inspiration, from ceremony backdrops to signage. Just make sure to give yourself ample time to get these done in advance, otherwise you could end up stressed and spending more to have rushed work done.

Don’t ignore small ways to save.

While alone they won’t be too impactful, combined they can make a dent! The easiest small ways to save: have a close friend or family member be your officiant, cut back your stationary or send your invites digitally, limit the guest goodies, and put costs on a rewards credit card (if you can pay it off!).

Planning your wedding can and should be fun, but finances can take away from the joy that goes into the planning process. Make sure to give yourself time and cut yourself some slack during the process. There are many decisions to be made, so taking the time before you dive into the planning process to identify where and how you can save money will give you a solid idea of how to stay in your budget.

While these are good ways to save, there are also elements of your wedding that are worth the splurge. Stay tuned for future articles that break this down.

Have additional suggestions on realistic ways to save? Let us know!