It’s no question that weddings can be expensive. The Knot recently released the results of their 2016 Real Weddings study, and found that the average wedding last year cost $35,329, and that’s not even including the honeymoon! Weddings can come with a high pricetag, but there are ways to make that number shrink without cutting out things you want or skimping on details. Here are five wedding cost cutting tips that will make your wallet say,  “Thank you. “

1. Do-it-yourself (but know when to ask for help)

Doing handmade projects for your wedding, whether they are decorations, favors, signs, food, etc. can often cost you less than hiring a professional to make something for you. YouTube and Pinterest are your best friends for DIY-ing you wedding, and you’ll be shocked at how many ideas and tutorials you will find for projects you may never thought about making yourself. 

If you do plan on making one or more of your wedding elements yourself, try it out well in advance! We’ve seen enough #Pinterestfails to know that some projects require time and practice. Always try something out, but also know when to ask for help. Saving money is awesome, but time is also money. If it’s going to take you ten days to do something a professional could do for you in two days, consider hiring a vendor (but always search first for sales, deals, Groupons and more). 

Connecticut DIY fall wedding (6)
Photo by Yolanda Christine Photography via Equally Wed

2. Tap into your friend and family resources

Have a sibling who likes to bake or a cousin who knows how to sew? Ask them if they will make your wedding cake/desserts or tailor your apparel. Tell them you will pay them. Do NOT assume they will do this for you for free, especially if it will be taking away from work they will be doing for paid clients. Chances are, they will offer you a discount or do whatever it is you are asking for free in lieu of giving you a gift. If you are having a lot of guests at your wedding who do not know about their service, offer to display their business cards or provide free advertising in exchange for a discount. 

3. Thrift shops and tag sales are your friends

Thrift shops aren’t just for clothes. Yes, you can buy a wedding dress or suit at the local Salvation Army or Goodwill, but you can get so much more for your wedding than just clothing. Consider mismatched folding chairs for a rustic look at an outdoor ceremony or reception. Look for tablecloths, cake stands, jewelery, decorations and more.  A lot of times, people donate or sell items that are still in their package because they got them as a gift and never used them. This means even if you do not want to buy anything used, you can still get a bargain for a new item. Bargain hunting also makes for a great date day. Also keep your eyes on all your local Buy & Sell groups on Facebook for virtual garage sale deals. 

4. Skip the open bar

The sound of this might make you cringe, but hear us out. We aren’t saying you have to have a dry wedding (though that would save a lot of money). An open bar can be the most cost-prohibitive part of a wedding, but limiting it down to a few signature cocktails or just beer, wine or champagne. Talk with your partner about your favorite beverages and cocktails and pick one or two for each of you to put on the menu. You can even name the drinks after you or come up with a name for them that goes with your wedding theme or something important in your relationship. And if your guests really want a top shelf drink or something that isn’t on the menu? They can pay for it themselves. 

Photo via Equally Wed

5. You don’t get what you don’t ask for 

This is not to say you should go around asking for everyone to do everything for you for free, but don’t hesitate to ask for discounts or trades. The worst someone says is, “no.” It is important though, that you do not offend a person’s craft. For example, do not ask your photographer for a discount for no reason. Instead, find if you have a service you can trade with them. Maybe they are a big fan of wine and you make your own wine at home. Find ways for you to cut costs that won’t hurt the business of your vendor. For example if you are ordering custom wine, ask if you can save printing costs by ordering the bottles without labels, then print your own. 


Tell us how you’ve saved money on your wedding. Share your budget-cutting costs below!