7 Clever Ideas to Save Money for a Wedding on a Budget

Tiana Soto
November 12th, 2019 | 5 mins

In 2018, the average cost of a wedding was more than $44,000. For many people, regardless of who pays for the wedding or how you budget, your wedding could be the single most expensive day of your entire life. But, there are ways to have your dream wedding (and engagement ring) without breaking the bank.

Here are 7 budget-friendly wedding ideas that cover everything from saving the date to choosing the perfect dress.

1. Go the DIY route

Instead of shelling out the big bucks for professionally-crafted decorations, wedding favors or invitations, why not try a little DIY? You can use inexpensive, natural materials (like flowers and leaves) or even recycle household items (like old silverware or mason jars)! And you don’t have to do it alone. Break out the wine and snacks, invite your friends and family over and make a fun event out of it.

If you want to save even more money for your wedding, you can add to your DIY decor by reusing items from your bridal shower or other events. For example, table cloths, candles, and other decorations can easily be repurposed (and no one will be the wiser).

2. Tap into your connections

Know a friend who’s a brilliant baker or a passionate photographer? Got a family member with a huge house and a sprawling backyard? Before you fork over the cash needed to outsource everything, ask around and find out what resources might be available within your personal circle.

A really, really good friend may be willing to provide a discount or even work for free when contributing to the wedding of someone they care about. Alternately, you could pay them in the form of an extra-special guest gift or even an exchange of your own skills down the line when their time of need arrives.

3. Consider a weekday wedding

Did you know that over 95% of weddings take place on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday? Since these days are in such high demand, opting for a weekday could save you a bundle.

While a weekday wedding might not work for everyone, if your schedule is flexible, you might find that Monday through Thursday offers significant discounts. You may be able to find less expensive prices on venues, caterers, photographers and more. And, since there aren’t as many weddings during the week, your venue and vendors may be easier to book for the time of the year you’re looking at.

4. Put your DJ skills to the test

Every wedding needs great music to get your guests on the dance floor and to keep their feet moving all night long, but that music doesn’t have to come from a live band or even a professional DJ. Especially when average costs for a DJ can cost $1,000 or more and $4,500+ for a band.

For your wedding on a budget, instead of hiring a DJ, make killer playlist of you and your soon-to-be spouse’s favorite tunes, hook it up to some sound equipment, and you’re good to go. Low-cost music service like Spotify or Pandora Radio can give you ideas for tunes to your list of wedding songs.

5. Pick a “different” dress

Everyone is well aware of the traditional wedding dress - white, elegant, and princess-like. But they do come with quite the price tag, averaging about $1,000. Today, many brides choose to cut back on costs by renting wedding dresses or even buying one second hand. Another budget-friendly method is to go the non-traditional route and choose a dress that isn’t specifically made for a bride.

Retailers know that most brides are ready to drop however much they need to for their dream dress, so if you’re open to choosing a “different” dress that’s not in the bridal department, you can definitely save.

Whether you’ve got your eyes on a white dress in the prom section of a department store or a lacey, cream-colored cocktail dress at your favorite boutique, they most likely won’t run you the average cost of the standard wedding dress.

6. Make a honeymoon registry

A wedding registry is traditionally a lengthy list filled with the gifts the future newlyweds would like. But why not forgo asking for that new potato peeler or set of holiday-only china and create a honeymoon registry instead?

This sort of registry will ask wedding guests to make a financial contribution to your post-wedding trip instead of providing a physical gift. You can create it online in a few, easy steps with the help of free services like Honeymoon Wishes. If guests want to personalize their offering, they can also choose to pay for specific “experiences” like a fancy dinner or a couples massage!

7. Go with digital wedding invitations

We live in a digital world, why not embrace it? Save money (and also trees) by saying no to paper invitations. Between printing fees and the ever-rising cost of stamps, this seemingly small element of wedding preparation can set you back anywhere from $450-$600.

Sending out digital invites can be as simple as composing a group email to all your friends and family or using a websites like Paperless Post that offers easy (and beautiful) wedding invite templates. As an added bonus, tracking RSVPs couldn’t get any easier.

Save together with Zeta Joint Cards

In your new married life, combining your finances together may be something to consider to make managing shared expenses easier and contribute to a healthy financial relationship. With Zeta’s joint bank accounts, you can both reap the benefits of digital banking with a simple app that splits and pays bills for you, helping you budget and save as a team.


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