March 18th, 2018

10 Ways to Save Money When Planning a Wedding

Blogging for Brides

This is definitely a series that I wish I would had stuck with and blogged about more.  But I’m going to make it a priority that every month, on the 18th (the day Joshua and I got married) I’ll post a blog telling you what I learned as a Bride.  This month’s post is all about the ways to save money when planning a wedding!

 

These are the blogs I wrote last summer:

Timeline for your wedding day

Why we did a first look

Keeping your photographer in the know

Attire for bridal party

 

Today’s blog post will hopefully be the most beneficial, and looking back on this series, it’s the one I should have started with first.  However, I can’t go back and change that, so I’m going to start off the series (again) on the right foot.

 

Planning a wedding isn’t cheap, and planning a BEAUTIFUL wedding is DEFINITELY NOT cheap!  If you’re like Josh and I, we paid for 99% of our wedding.  We were given about $700 total from my parents and his dad and step-mom.  We’re so grateful for the help we were given, but it’s also a super gratifying feeling throwing a Wedding like we did on with our income.

 

So here are my top 10 ways to save money and still have a gorgeous wedding to celebrate your marriage

 

  1. Have a wedding on any day BUT Saturday

the grand barn at the mohicans

Josh and I had a Friday wedding.  This saved us $1300 compared to a Saturday wedding.  If we would have had a Sunday wedding, It would had saved $1900.  But I wanted to leave for my Honeymoon on Sunday, so we opted for the Friday.

 

Your Vendors also LOVE having Friday/Sunday weddings.  In my case, as a wedding photographer, I can shoot two weddings a weekend, and take a wedding off that month to spend with my family.

 

  1.   Be a DIY Bride

 

 

 

 

ways to save money when planning a wedding

ways to save money when planning a weddingways to save money when planning a weddingways to save money when planning a wedding

 

Thanks to the help of my now Sister-in-law and my Maid of Honor, all of my decorations were DIY.  When we had our New Years Eve Party, Super Bowl Party, and NCAA Football Championship party at our house, instead of throwing away all of the beer bottles, I rinsed them out and wrapped them in twine.  I also asked for empty wine bottles and wrapped those, as well.  The only money I had in my bottles was the mile of twine I bought online and the hot glue sticks.

My quart size mason jars were a gift at christmas time that I put lace and burlap around.

I use both my bottles and my jars as decorations in my home so they’re multi-purposeful.

 

  1.  Design your own Invitations and print them at places like OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot

Ways to save money when planning a wedding

To go along with being a DIY Bride, design your own wedding invitations.  It’s not as hard as it seems and with a little ribbon they can be absolutely beautiful.  I had so many compliments on our wedding invitations it truly made my day everytime someone said something.

Some advice on designing your invitations:

Get some inspiration from Pinterest, but put your own spin on them

I used Pinterest to word my invites and get the idea for my tag

Use the same fonts on everything inside the envelop

Pick 2-3 fonts that are easy to read and stick with them.  I would even suggest if you’re making other signs for your wedding, use the same fonts for those.

Spend a little extra on GOOD paper.

You want your wedding invitations printed on pretty paper.  I bought the canvas cardstock from paperandmore.com (https://www.paperandmore.com/product/2119/8-1-2-x-11-ivory-canvas-cardstock-80lb-cover).  For our Unplugged Wedding Announcement, RSVP cards, and accomadtions I used OfficeMax cardstock, and then ordered kraft paper from paperandmore.com for our “Handmade with Love” tag.  I stuck with very natural colors for the paper, and my only pop of color, in our yellow, was our unplugged announcement.  That wasn’t a coincidence.

 

  1.  Postcard RSVPs

When designing your own invitations, think about making your RSVPs postcard size.  This have less cost in two areas:

  1. You don’t have to buy envelops for RSVPS
  2. You’re spending .34 cents per stamp instead of .49 cents!  If you have 200 invites to send out, that’s a savings of $30!  That $30 could go towards your paper for your invites!

 

  1. Use Hand-me Downs

 

If you’re lucky like Josh and I were, we were able to use a lot of the things his Brother and his Wife had at their wedding.  We used the same tablecloths, pint size mason jars, tealights, and burlap decorations!  This saved us AT LEAST $500 if not more!

 

  1. Buy chinet plates

 

I promise you, your guests won’t be talking about how they have to eat of chinet “paper” plates.  Instead of renting or (buying fancy china) for our rustic wedding, I used that money in other places.  Now, I didn’t set the plates out on the tables to take away from my beautiful centerpieces, but I wasn’t worried about our guests not having real plates to eat off of.  At the end of the day, people are going to be talking about your beautiful ceremony, the flowers, how helpful your photographer was ( imagine me winking at you right now! ), and the awesome dancing.

 

  1.  If your momma is a GREAT cook, ask her to make the food

Ways to save money when planning a wedding

Now I’ll be the first to admit that when my Mom offered to make the food for our wedding right after we got engaged, I was completely against the idea.  I didn’t want that stress on her, or me, to worry about making the food.  But the closer we got to the wedding, and the less I wanted to pay $16+ for each guest, the more I was o.k. with the idea.  Plus she kept offering.  After a talk with Joshua, we decided that doing the food ourself instead of having someone cater it was well worth the $1500 it was going to save us.  What made this experience even better, was all the compliments my Mom got for how awesome the food was.  Till this day, she still talks about that!

 

  1.  Buy Pop (Soda for those reading this not in Ohio) and Beer in Bulk, have a specialty drink

 

To go along with the food, go to places like SAMs Club or BJs and buy your pop and/or beer in bulk.  Josh and I only spent $150 on beer because we both agreed people didn’t need to be wastypants at our wedding so once it was gone, it was gone.  Instead of pop, we opted for Lemonade.  And I bought about 6 cases of water from SAMs.  In total, we only had about $200 in drinks.

To cut costs even further, have a speciality drink that is easy to mix up so you can eliminate the cost of a bartender.  To be 100% honest here, I’m not even sure what the going rate of a bartender for 5 hour would be, because I knew from the very beginning that wasn’t the direction that Josh and I were going in so I didn’t even bother looking it up.  I’m sure however that it would be very easy to spend over $1000 for your bartender and the alcohol they are serving.

 

  1.  Opt out of traditional wedding day programs and favors

Ways to save money when planning a wedding

I actually got into a nice little argument with my Mom over this.  I was very much a Bride who refused to pay for something that would get thrown away and forgotten about.  Which meant that I was against programs and favors.  My Mother on the other hand, felt it very necessary to do both.  So we found a nice compromise, at least I thought it was.

For the programs, I used a big chalkboard sign (that I actually bought for 75% off at JoAnns before Joshua even proposed) and had a friend write out what would have been our program on it.  It worked beautifully and now I have something hanging in my studio that I can look at every day.

For the favors, my Mom and Grandmother spent the month leading up to my wedding baking cookies.  It was something sweet that guests could enjoy throughout the evening, and of course, these didn’t get thrown away.

 

  1.  Use a Small Business

 

 

This is definitely a series that I wish I would had stuck with.  But I’m going to make it a priority that every month, on the 18th (the day Joshua and I got married) I’ll post a blog telling you what I learned as a Bride.    These are the blogs I wrote last summer: Timeline for your wedding day Why we did a first look Keeping your photographer in the know Attire for bridal party  Today’s blog post will hopefully be the most beneficial, and looking back on this series, it’s the one I should have started with first.  However, I can’t go back and change that, so I’m going to start off the series (again) on the right foot.    Planning a wedding isn’t cheap, and planning a BEAUTIFUL wedding is DEFINITELY NOT cheap!  If you’re like Josh and I, we paid for 99% of our wedding.  We were given about $700 total from my parents and his dad and step-mom.  We’re so grateful for the help we were given, but it’s also a super gratifying feeling throwing a Wedding like we did on with our income.    So here are my top 10 ways to save money and still have a gorgeous wedding to celebrate your marriage  Have a wedding on any day BUT Saturday  Josh and I had a Friday wedding.  This saved us $1300 compared to a Saturday wedding.  If we would have had a Sunday wedding, It would had saved $1900.  But I wanted to leave for my Honeymoon on Sunday, so we opted for the Friday.    Your Vendors also LOVE having Friday/Sunday weddings.  In my case, as a wedding photographer, I can shoot two weddings a weekend, and take a wedding off that month to spend with my family.    2.   Be a DIY Bride  Thanks to the help of my now Sister-in-law and my Maid of Honor, all of my decorations were DIY.  When we had our New Years Eve Party, Super Bowl Party, and NCAA Football Championship party at our house, instead of throwing away all of the beer bottles, I rinsed them out and wrapped them in twine.  I also asked for empty wine bottles and wrapped those, as well.  The only money I had in my bottles was the mile of twine I bought online and the hot glue sticks.   My quart size mason jars were a gift at christmas time that I put lace and burlap around.   I use both my bottles and my jars as decorations in my home so they’re multi-purposeful.    3.  Design your own Invitations and print them at places like OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot  To go along with being a DIY Bride, design your own wedding invitations.  It’s not as hard as it seems and with a little ribbon they can be absolutely beautiful.  I had so many compliments on our wedding invitations it truly made my day everytime someone said something.   Some advice on designing your invitations:  	Get some inspiration from Pinterest, but put your own spin on them 		I used Pinterest to word my invites and get the idea for my tag 	Use the same fonts on everything inside the envelop Pick 2-3 fonts that are easy to read and stick with them.  I would even suggest if you’re making other signs for your wedding, use the same fonts for those.   		Spend a little extra on GOOD paper.   You want your wedding invitations printed on pretty paper.  I bought the canvas cardstock from paperandmore.com (https://www.paperandmore.com/product/2119/8-1-2-x-11-ivory-canvas-cardstock-80lb-cover).  For our Unplugged Wedding Announcement, RSVP cards, and accomadtions I used OfficeMax cardstock, and then ordered kraft paper from paperandmore.com for our “Handmade with Love” tag.  I stuck with very natural colors for the paper, and my only pop of color, in our yellow, was our unplugged announcement.  That wasn’t a coincidence.    	4.  Postcard RSVPs  	When designing your own invitations, think about making your RSVPs postcard size.  This have less cost in two areas:  You don’t have to buy envelops for RSVPS You’re spending .34 cents per stamp instead of .49 cents!  If you have 200 invites to send out, that’s a savings of $30!  That $30 could go towards your paper for your invites!    	5. Use Hand-me Downs  	If you’re lucky like Josh and I were, we were able to use a lot of the things his Brother and his Wife had at their wedding.  We used the same tablecloths, pint size mason jars, tealights, and burlap decorations!  This saved us AT LEAST $500 if not more!    	6. Buy chinet plates  	I promise you, your guests won’t be talking about how they have to eat of chinet “paper” plates.  Instead of renting or (buying fancy china) for our rustic wedding, I used that money in other places.  Now, I didn’t set the plates out on the tables to take away from my beautiful centerpieces, but I wasn’t worried about our guests not having real plates to eat off of.  At the end of the day, people are going to be talking about your beautiful ceremony, the flowers, how helpful your photographer was ( imagine me winking at you right now! ), and the awesome dancing.    	7.  If your momma is a GREAT cook, ask her to make the food  	Now I’ll be the first to admit that when my Mom offered to make the food for our wedding right after we got engaged, I was completely against the idea.  I didn’t want that stress on her, or me, to worry about making the food.  But the closer we got to the wedding, and the less I wanted to pay $16+ for each guest, the more I was o.k. with the idea.  Plus she kept offering.  After a talk with Joshua, we decided that doing the food ourself instead of having someone cater it was well worth the $1500 it was going to save us.  What made this experience even better, was all the compliments my Mom got for how awesome the food was.  Till this day, she still talks about that!   	8.  Buy Pop (Soda for those reading this not in Ohio) and Beer in Bulk, have a specialty drink  	To go along with the food, go to places like SAMs Club or BJs and buy your pop and/or beer in bulk.  Josh and I only spent $150 on beer because we both agreed people didn’t need to be wastypants at our wedding so once it was gone, it was gone.  Instead of pop, we opted for Lemonade.  And I bought about 6 cases of water from SAMs.  In total, we only had about $200 in drinks.   	To cut costs even further, have a speciality drink that is easy to mix up so you can eliminate the cost of a bartender.  To be 100% honest here, I’m not even sure what the going rate of a bartender for 5 hour would be, because I knew from the very beginning that wasn’t the direction that Josh and I were going in so I didn’t even bother looking it up.  I’m sure however that it would be very easy to spend over $1000 for your bartender and the alcohol they are serving.    	9.  Opt out of traditional wedding day programs and favors  	I actually got into a nice little argument with my Mom over this.  I was very much a Bride who refused to pay for something that would get thrown away and forgotten about.  Which meant that I was against programs and favors.  My Mother on the other hand, felt it very necessary to do both.  So we found a nice compromise, at least I thought it was. 	For the programs, I used a big chalkboard sign (that I actually bought for 75% off at JoAnns before Joshua even proposed) and had a friend write out what would have been our program on it.  It worked beautifully and now I have something hanging in my studio that I can look at every day.  	For the favors, my Mom and Grandmother spent the month leading up to my wedding baking cookies.  It was something sweet that guests could enjoy throughout the evening, and of course, these didn’t get thrown away.    	10.  Use a Small Business  	Here’s the last piece of advice, but probably one of the most helpful.  Use a small business as much as you can.  We went to Howard’s Tiger Rags in downtown Massillon for the tuxes - the guys only spent $53 on those.  I bought my lace/burlap runners from Ace of Lace Creation.  She was about $50 cheaper than anywhere I could find online.  ETSY was my favorite place to spend my saturday mornings while drinking my tea.  Aside from all the reasons why buying from a small business is beneficial to our economy, you often times get better customer service, and a better product for a lesser price!   I hope you have found this blog post to be just as helpful as I want it to be.  Wedding planning can either be stressful or a joyous experience.  It’s my goal that my Brides, and other Brides out there, have a joyous one because that’s how my experience was.  I had so much fun planning my wedding.  I remember after we received our photos back, I looked at Josh and asked if we could do it all over again!    Be a look out for next month’s post.  We’ll be talking about the importance of video on your wedding day.

ways to save money when planning a weddingways to save money when planning a weddingways to save money when planning a weddingways to save money when planning a wedding

 

Here’s the last piece of advice, but probably one of the most helpful.  Use a small business as much as you can.  We went to Howard’s Tiger Rags in downtown Massillon for the guys – the guys only spent $53 on those.  I bought my lace/burlap runners from Ace of Lace Creation.  She was about $50 cheaper than anywhere I could find online.  ETSY was my favorite place to spend my saturday mornings while drinking my tea.  Aside from all the reasons why buying from a small business is beneficial to our economy, you often times get better customer service, and a better product for a lesser price!

 

 

I hope you have found this blog post “10 Ways to Save Money When Planning a Wedding” to be just as helpful as I want it to be.  Wedding planning can either be stressful or a joyous experience.  It’s my goal that my Brides, and other Brides out there, have a joyous one because that’s how my experience was.  I had so much fun planning my wedding.  I remember after we received our photos back, I looked at Josh and asked if we could do it all over again!

 

Be a look out for next month’s post.  We’ll be talking about the importance of video on your wedding day.

 

Huge thanks to all my vendors for making our Wedding day BEAUTIFUL!!!

Venue: The Grand Barn at the Mohicans

Photos: Kaitlin Noel Photography

Flowers: Bouquet Studio

Pallet Sign: Meredith’s Creations 

Cake Topper:  Greetings From Mars

Tux: Howard’s Tiger Rags

  1. Heather

    April 19th, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Great tips!!!!

  2. My Turn to be a Bride | Why Every Bride Should Hire a Wedding Videographer |Guest Blogger – Nick from Workshed Weddings » Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

    May 18th, 2015 at 11:00 am

    […] hope last months post on Ways to Save Money and Still Have a GORGEOUS Wedding was helpful!  The response was wonderful from all current SIPhoto Brides, and will hopefully prove […]

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