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Wondering how to save money on your wedding? Our team has pulled together some budget friendly tips from their own bridal days and also what was WORTH splurging on!
How To Save Money On Your Wedding
Are you in the process of planning your wedding and looking for budget friendly tips? Since we're a frugal group around here, I asked the PPP Team to dig deep back into our memories and recall what we did to save money on our weddings. Some of these photos are going to date us…. eeeek!!
We asked each member of our team these 3 questions:
- How did you save money at your wedding?
- Did you splurge on something that was worth it?
- What wedding gift was your favorite (just for fun)?
Planning a wedding on a budget takes some creativity and help from friends – but it's not impossible! Figuring out where your priorities ARE and where they're NOT will help you decide what areas to save in and where you may want to invest more. Here are some ways our team remembers saving and splurging on their big day…
💐Wedding Registry Tip: If you set up an Amazon Registry for your guests to shop from – whatever is LEFT on your registry you can purchase for 20% OFF! So go ahead and add all the stuff you need for setting up house – so you can buy it on sale at some later date.
Save – We saved on our photographer but looking back I regret that a bit ~ our photos were taken in the church gym (and the 3-point line is in the pictures right below my dress in all of them!)
Splurge – My splurge was on our music. I've played violin since I was 9 and always dreamed of having a quartet at my wedding, but hiring four people to play would have been way out of our budget. Instead, we hired a harpist who played at the wedding and reception, and it was just perfect and something that meant so much to me. It was probably my favorite thing about our wedding… other than getting married!
Gift – My favorite gift was this Waechtersback Celebration plate – it says “you are special today” and we bring it out for all sorts of occasions when I want to make the kids feel special on their birthday, or for good report cards, etc… I don't know if these “special” red plates are still a thing – and eeek looking at that price I'm sure noone spent that back when I was getting married! – but I do love that thing 🙂
Wedding Decorations on a Budget
I loved our wedding but as y'all know I am not a fancy kinda girl. I loved the simplicity of it!
Save – We saved a lot by using my sister in law's wedding decor, we picked flowers from one of my husband's cousin's property for the center pieces and had family bring sides. I also got my dress for less than $300 at a wedding dress store in the mall. Who knew?!
Splurge – We ordered Zaxby's Chicken Tenders since we met at Zaxby's – we found that fitting. 😉
Gift – Well I would have to say money, but we also really loved a Scrap Book a co-worker of mine made for us! It was like this.
While not married myself, I recently helped with my sister's wedding!
Save – She saved the most on her decor and venue. She decided to have her wedding on a Sunday because the cost of the venue was much less. For the centerpieces at the reception she used a bunch of beautiful candlesticks that we found on clearance after Christmas, and she had a friend DJ. My sister and mom were the “wedding planners” (the special events coordinator at the venue was also super helpful on that front – no charge!). She also ordered her veil and crinoline underskirt online for a fraction of the cost.
Splurge – My sister did splurge on her wedding dress. (She really loved it though, and looked like a princess!).
Save On Wedding Food
At the age of 19 and 21, and with $3 in our pockets, we relied on help from literally everyone in our circle to make a wedding happen!
Save – I bought my dress off the David's Bridal $99 sale rack. (And loved it!) For food, my family set up a giant deli platter and everyone brought side dishes to round it out, pot-luck style. Our flowers were silk arrangements donated by a friend who'd renewed her vows recently. My mom's friend made our cake as my wedding gift. My brother DJ'd and played cd's we had burned playlists onto. A nice couple from church printed out our invitations. We were too happy to care if it wasn't the fanciest!
Splurge – I didn't splurge on anything because I couldn't – but if could go back I WOULD have splurged on a real photographer. A friend of a friend took formal pics and they were't great. Luckily we had asked everyone else to do candid shots and share them with us!
If you have enough money to hire a photographer – do it! Or you might get pictures like this….
Gift – My favorite gift I received was a large nativity set. Our wedding was December 18th, so right before Christmas. It was so thoughtful for our first Christmas together!
Save – One of the ways that we saved for our wedding was that my grandmother and aunts made the food for our reception rather than having it done by a caterer. This also allowed us to have a few family favorites served!
Splurge – We did splurge on the cake – I wanted a large cake with tiers and a fountain. (It's totally not as fancy as it sounds – you can see a pic below.)
Gift – The one gift that I clearly remember receiving was a crystal punch bowl set.
Save On The Wedding Venue
Save – The biggest item we saved on was our venue. We opted to get married on a Friday evening, which was half as much as a Saturday. The wedding and reception were held in the same room, saving on one location verses two. It was wonderful and easy for everyone to come to the wedding right after work. We really saved a bundle by booking on a Friday evening AND by combining the two venues.
Splurge – My biggest splurge was on flowers for myself and the venue. I’ve been madly in love with flowers for over 45 years and chose a bouquet of roses and lilies, two of my favorites. We also had two huge florals to serve as the backdrop for our photos and ceremony. This was the one item I felt comfortable splurging on (but I secretly wish I had splurged on a photographer.)
Gift – My favorite gift and one I still use 14 years later, was a muffin tin. This was my absolute favorite gift from a friend who knew, that my new husband called me muffin. She pasted photos of my husband and I in each tin, which made us smile when we opened it. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift.
Save: I had a pretty tight budget for my wedding, so when it came to choosing my dress, I headed straight to David's Bridal and found something on their $99 rack. I spent more on the alterations than I did on the actual dress! (My mom had offered her dress as well, but the style would have required a lot of altering and I didn't want to do that to her dress).
Another way we saved is had a friend photographer take our photos. They turned out great and we saved a ton. Also, our venue was in a fancy hotel and our wedding coordinator was amazing – she got us so many bonus extras at no extra cost – including an ice sculpture and she even took flowers from a wedding right before ours to decorate the venue. I couldn't believe how resourceful she was!
Also, this may seem weird, but my dad works in the funeral industry and had connections with a limousine company and was able to get us a free limousine for our getaway car! My dad also loved doing flower arrangements (he worked in the funeral industry!) and had access to a lot of flowers, so he was able to get all sorts of free petals and flower pieces for the big day. I know – weird, but hey!
Splurge: We wanted our big day to be intimate and special, so we decided to have a sit-down dinner so everyone could mingle and talk over a lovely meal. It was fabulous – and worth every penny! We also hired a DJ and that really changed the atmosphere and got people up and dancing.
Gift: We received so many thoughtful gifts, but we still have and use this gorgeous set of crystal glasses and pitcher with the letter “F” etched into them. They've lasted over 20 years and still look beautiful!