Cutting Costs: Save Money on Your Big Day


Americans spend an average of $30,000 on their wedding! If that sounds like too steep a price to pay for one day, check out our tips for cutting costs. 

Every couple is different, and you want your Big Day to reflect your personality. It’s important to discuss your priorities for the wedding with your partner, so you can figure out where to spend and where to save. Americans spend an average of $30,000 on their wedding! If that sounds like too steep a price to pay for one day, check out our tips for cutting costs.

  • Invitations: Go green. Opt for a paperless invitation (or at least a Save the Date).
  • The Guest List: Keep it small. The number one way to reduce costs is to keep your wedding intimate. You’ll save on everything — food, drinks, and you’ll be able to book a smaller venue. At $40-$100 a head, every guest you invite adds significant expense.
  • The Venue: Go non-traditional. Consider booking off-season (October-April), not on a Saturday (the priciest day for booking a wedding venue), or at a location not traditionally marketed for weddings, like a local park.
  • Decorations: DIY. Instead of hiring a florist, consider putting together your own bouquets with in-season flowers. You can also reduce the amount of fresh flowers by using silk flowers in some spots or alternative centerpieces.
  • The Dress/The Suit: Rent it or buy a used dress; use a suit you already own. You can also buy a white/ivory/cream dress that isn’t specifically marketed as a wedding dress. For example, bridesmaid dresses often come in white/ivory/cream and are much cheaper than bridal gowns.
  • The DJ: Your MP3 Player. Increasingly popular is skipping the expensive band or DJ altogether and customizing a playlist for each part of your wedding.
  • Food: Skip dinner. Opt for a dessert reception, a garden party, a tea party, or anything other than a full, catered dinner. If you do go for dinner, consider going buffet-style. You can also save a lot if you can find a venue that will let you select your own caterer instead of using theirs. You could even go super nontraditional and have a potluck reception.
  • Drinks: Skip the full bar. We’re all about the open bar, but go for beer and wine and a signature cocktail or two.
  • The Cake: Explore alternative options. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, have a small traditional cake and sheet cakes. Or skip the traditional cake altogether — go for cupcakes, cheesecake, ice cream cake, whatever floats your boat.
  • Videography: Skip it. If you are tight on money, you might consider skipping videography, which can cost over $1,000. Opt for high-quality still photography instead, or ask a relative to make you a video as a wedding gift.

Of course some couples are very traditional, and feel it’s worth it to spend big on the big day. But remember the point of your wedding day is to celebrate your love with your loved ones. Still, most weddings are a significant expense for a couple, so it’s important to budget for your wedding and save for it like any other big expenditure. Overwhelmed? Your Community Ladders adviser can help!

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