how to save money on your wedding

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Tyler and I got married almost three months ago! (How has the time gone so fast!?) Today, I wanted to share with you all some of my tips to save money on the wedding of your dreams! I looked at Pinterest all the time before we got married for ways we could save and everything was SO unrealistic. I kept reading things that were like "Have your wedding in your uncle's friend's neighbors backyard" or "Have a morning ceremony and serve brunch instead". Both great ideas, but incredibly unrealistic for the wedding we wanted to have. Below are some ways we saved money on our wedding!

P.S. a girl I work with tried to guess how much our wedding cost after looking through our pictures  (here and here) and guessed over $15,000 more than we actually spent!

1. Ask For Discounts: Seems simple enough, but you wouldn't believe the amount of people I have talked to who don't think it is okay to ask for money off a price! If there is a vendor you want to work with, but is above your budget just be honest. If after looking through a vendor's website you see that they are $200 over your budget, but love them, see if they can work with you. As long as it is not an insulting amount lower, I think you will find most vendors are willing to work with you. They would rather have your business than no business at all! If not, then you just need to decide if they are worth the extra money or not. We negotiated the cost of each of our vendors except for the church, ballroom, and food. I would just make sure you are up front about it. Don't drag them along... you wouldn't like it and neither would they!

2. Buffet vs. Plated Dinner: Any wedding I went to before my own that had a plated dinner, I assumed cost a lot of money! Now, I am sure it depends on your caterer, but every caterer we looked at it was cheaper to have a plated dinner versus a buffet. (Even with the cost of staff!) I asked one of the caterers about it and they said it was because they control portions with a plated dinner, but not with a buffet. I had always written off a plated dinner but one caterer suggested it. I am so glad they did because it opened up a lot of savings! If this is not the case with your caterer, I would just use this as advice to always look into your options... you might be surprised!

3. Eliminate Floral Center Pieces: This will depend on your tastes, but for me, an easy way to save $1,000 was to not have floral centerpieces. If you look back at our pictures, you will notice we had cupcakes for our centerpieces at every table except for the head table. I love flowers, but since I am not a huge flower person it was an easy thing for me to cut. Think about it... how many weddings have you been to that you remember the center pieces? I remember one (Hi, Kelsey!). They are beautiful, but once the lights go down and the dancing starts they won't be seen anymore. Again, this is to taste. So if flowers and centerpieces are really important to you, think about something else you don't really care for and apply the same concept.

4. DIY Paper Goods: Pretty much every post I read suggested to DIY something at your wedding.  (Like centerpieces, dessert, etc.) We made our own paper goods. If you go search for wedding programs on Etsy you will see prices around $50! (This is typically for the design but then you still have to print them!) Tyler has a graphic design background so he made our own programs for a total price of $11 (papers and printing) as well as our own invitations. It cost more money to mail our invitations than it did to design and print them!  They turned out great, and I am glad it was one way we could save money!

5. Consider a Longer Timeline: Tyler and I were engaged for a year and half. While by the end I was more than ready to be married, the long timeline gave us plenty of time to plan. In turn, this gave us enough time to compare prices of vendors. If you are on a shorter timeline, the vendor you want who is in your price range might be booked already... which may make you have to book someone over budget! Or, it may only give you the time to meet with only one florist (as opposed to three) so you go with their price without being able to compare prices. Of course, you can do this if you have a shorter timeline, but after talking to my other friends they all said a shorter timeline put some restrictions on their options of vendors and prices!

As I said throughout this post, this is from my experience. We all don't have the same tastes, it would be weird if we did! So, if you love flowers and want a 5 month engagement... go for it! These are just some of the ways we saved money. My hope is that even if you don't agree with all of these things, it will have opened your eyes into ways you can save money through your planning. If you have other tips leave them in the comments and, of course, feel free to email me with any questions!

(And if you are still reading at this point give yourself a pat on the back because that was a crazy long post haha!)

Linking up with The Mummy Chronicles.
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28 thoughts

  1. great tips! that I'm sure will be helpful to any bride to be.


  2. These are all great tips! I did silk flowers for my centerpieces and did them myself and saved a ton that way. The venue actually wanted to keep them when I was done and offered me a huge discount on the bar so it worked out!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. All super great tips!! I think picking what you want to spend money on and other areas you just don't care that much about are where you could save money!!! I found codes for every paper item we had from the invites to the menus and I can honestly say we saved close to 2K just on that alone! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  4. I love this post, these are actually tips that are useful! Can totally relate to the Pinterest ideas of a morning wedding and brunch, umm no thanks I want the traditional one just not a year's salary!!

    I remember when we were trying to cut ours down, my dad made a good point and said "It's better and more effective to cut out one big thing than a handful of little things" meaning that I kept trying to downsize a bunch of things and it wasn't cutting off that much money and was making everything seem just "okay" but really what we needed to do was just cut out one big expense and leave everything else "perfect", so we majorly downsized flowers. They are so freaking expensive and just like you I don't love them that much!

    xo Mary-Katherine
    gold-hatted lover

  5. Great post Darcy!! I have been married almost 5 years so I'm sure that things have changed a lot in the wedding planning world. :-) We had 92 people at our wedding and we were engaged for about a year. Longer time line totally helps with the planning. Makes it less stressful. Chris's mom also made me two extra bouquets with silk flowers. One for me to keep and one for me to throw for the bouquet toss. :-) Thanks for sharing your tips though, they are great for any brides-to-be out there! :-)

  6. Great tips girl, weddings are outrageously costly these days! I'm a firm believer that no one should go bankrupt paying for a wedding! Great post!

  7. Those were awesome tips that you shared with us Darcy! I will bookmark your post in case my boyfriend will decide to pop the question, haha! :D
    I loved the ideas you shared with us, especially the one about cupcakes being centerpieces, that sounds so cute and quirky!

  8. These are such great tips! Totally bookmarking for the future!

    xo Kylie

  9. Great tips, girl! Pinning this for when the time comes! :) XO


  10. Really awesome tips, I'll be sure to use some of these tips when it's my turn to get married one day.
    I blog about jewelry and how to style jewelry with outfits, tell me what you think.

  11. Such great tips! Happy 3 months :)

    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  12. Thanks for sharing your tips! What a gorgeous photo of you two.

  13. These are such great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @

  14. Great tips!! You're wedding was gorgeous! :)

  15. I definitely want to make sure to save as much as possible when I eventually get married, it just doesn't seem worth it to not even try! Love all of your tips!


  16. These are wonderful tips! Totally agree that you should spend the money on what's important to you and not spend a lot on something just because you're "supposed" to have it!

  17. Great tips, I will need to be smart when selecting splurge and save items on our wedding day.

    xx Falasha
    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin'

  18. By the time my fiance and I get married, we'll have been engaged for 2 years and 8 months! And we're not doing flower centerpieces! Seriously, saves sooo much money! We've been gathering things as decor here and there and saving lots of money doing it!

  19. Great tips! They'll be helpful when I became a bride!

  20. Love these tips!! At my venue, plated dinners are the most expensive so we are going with stations- which I'm actually pretty excited about since that provides a good variety and allows for lots of mingling :) But that's awesome that you could do your own invites. I didn't realize how much those things cost!!!

  21. These are amazing tips! There is so much I know now that I wish I had known 9 years ago when my husband and I tied the knot!

  22. What a great post with wonderful tips and you wedding pic is adorable...enjoy being a newlywed :)

  23. Such great tips! We did alot of DIY projects to save on our wedding!!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. Awesome hints + tips, lady! Your wedding was beautiful. :)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  25. These are great tips, thanks for sharing what worked for you! :)

    Our wedding was on a budget too - we don't have expensive taste at all, but hubby was very opinionated about where the reception should be, which unfortunately was one of the more expensive venues, haha! So we cut corners everywhere else, but you never would have known, it all turned out perfect, I was so happy :)

    Away From The Blue

  26. Good tips. The price of weddings are CRAZYYYYYY anymore.

  27. As a first time reader of your blog, this was a wonderful intro post. You are so rational, honest and gave wonderful suggestions on ways to save on a wedding. I had no idea to even ask about the cost difference between plated and buffet dinners! Thank you so much for this post. I am book marking it and saving it for a moment in time when I it applies to me :)

    Ginger Side of Life

  28. Weddings are too pricy and we should always find the wedding vendors carefully by comparing the prices of various vendors. You can get good deals on NYC venues if you book the venue from


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