Planning an Amazing Wedding While Saving Money

Success! You have landed the proposal. Your years of uncomfortable bar flirting and those guys who can’t seem to make eye contact with anything but your chest are over. You can now welcome the days of sweatpants, cuddling, and having someone to come home to. You’re excited! You’re ready!


In your excited fervor, you flee to your Pinterest wedding boards that you’ve had prepped and ready since you were 12 and begin checking availability and prices and…. Wow. That’s expensive. It’s alright, you didn’t need the gold-plated champagne flutes anyway. Still excited you scroll to your Plan B, convinced that it will be less expensive. To no avail. Your heart begins to race as you check your bank account; you could probably afford your designer wedding dress that you’ve wanted since you were 14 if you lived solely off of rice and beans for the next 8 months. After spending the next couple hours calculating how much each piece of your wedding will cost you, you sulk to your bedroom and lie in your bed staring at the ceiling. At least it doesn’t cost anything to lay here and breathe. Wait. It does; you pay rent here.

Before you sink into that existential panic and start selling your belongings, take a breath and read these tips.

Getting engaged right out of college I had to get very crafty with my wedding planning. Given that I was still living with roommates and eating microwave rice for dinner so I could pay my bills I wasn’t really in a place to drop $10,000 on a venue. But luckily for me, and now also you, I can improvise and found some great, and essential, places to cut costs so you don’t start off your married life in debt.


A major money saver that people don’t tend to think about is having your reception and ceremony in the same place. If you book the same venue for both, not only do you not have to worry about paying two separate places, but you don’t have to worry about transportation costs. Additionally, if you book a single venue not only will it probably be less expensive overall but they may give you a discount for staying with them.


Now, this is something that I didn’t know about until I met up with my specific venue. Most people want their weddings to be on either a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; and since these are the most popular days for weddings these are going to be the most expensive days to rent space. If you pick a weekday/night, like Thursday for example, you will most likely either get extra features included in your package, a discount (mine was several thousand dollars), or both. Sure, it’s a weeknight but it saves you money that you can put towards having the other details you wanted.

Garage Sales

I am completely aware that there are some of you who see the words “garage sale” and check out. Especially when being applied to your special day, however you can find some real gems at garage sales. I know that recently mason jars have been in style and doing minimal research I found that you can purchase 10 or so jars for about $8 or more. Mason jars are very versatile and useful in weddings, you can use them as candle holders, flower vases, and so much more. But depending on what you want to use them for and how many you need, that $8 can multiply quickly.

My mother, who has been helping me plan and collect decorations, stumbled upon some vintage glass bottles that were approximately mason jar sized and ended up walking away with 42 of them, having only paid $2 for the whole lot. Needless to say, it was quite the steal! Another example of one of my mother’s garage sale wedding hauls was a pack of about 12 little chalkboards that we are now going to use for the table number signs and if I remember correctly I believe she only paid $1 for them. My dad has a saying, “Other than underwear, food, and medicine, you can find anything you need at a garage sale.”

Buying Local

When I was talking to other friends and family about the general costs of different parts of the wedding a general consensus was that flowers were going to cost me between $1000 and $2000, so I should prepare myself for that. Fully prepared to face prices like that I did my research and found a local lady (Joyful Expressions by Jill) who had been doing wedding flowers for a few years at amazing prices ever since she did the flowers for her daughter’s wedding. I got all my flowers for myself, my family, and the wedding party for just over $300. Lesson being, buying local not only supports smaller businesses (which is always great), but it will be unique and not just like everyone else’s wedding you’ve ever been to and it will also be less expensive.

Smaller Artists

You don’t need to go to retail stores for your decorations or wedding necessities. If you want personalized champagne flutes, you don’t have to go to Things Remembered and pay $50 to $100. You can go to websites that are a platform for smaller artists and craftsmen such as ArtFire. Chances are you will be able to find something that you like and want to use for a fraction of the cost, while at the same time supporting smaller businesses.

Check out ArtFire’s

Wedding Boutique

for more budget wedding ideas

The Officiant

This tip is one that may be an option for some people but not for others. If having a pastor or priest is important to your wedding then go ahead and skip to the next step! But if it isn’t a non-negotiable for you then you may want to consider having someone important to both of you get ordained and have them officiate the wedding. A lot of times, officiants will charge a pretty penny to marry you and your significant other and that fee can be up to $800 depending on the state. If you forgo the professional officiant and instead choose someone close to you and have them get ordained on a free website. This way it’s more personal and you’re also saving almost $1000.


When planning a wedding, sale sections will be your best friend especially when looking for your dress. When searching for my dress my budget was $1200 but it was my personal goal to try and get one for less than $1000. I searched high and low, making appointments at every wedding boutique in the city, scouring the internet, and checking every consignment store I drove past. Searching for sales can be very time consuming, however after about 6 months of searching for the perfect dress I finally found one that was 50% off and walked away with the dress, veil, and undergarments for about $600, which was half of my budget. My motto is, why pay full price for something when you can find something you love on sale?

Yes, that’s it! Emerge from your money problems induced zombie state, you can have your dream wedding on a budget. You just have to be conscious about how much you are spending on each piece and prioritize what is most important! Now go forth and plan. Congratulations!

The Art of Saving Money While Simultaneously Planning an Amazing Princess Wedding

By: Chelsea Hoel

1 Comment

  • Reply September 4, 2017


    Chances are, you’re dreaming of an over-the-top wedding: An event with the prettiest flowers, the tastiest hors d’oeuvres, the coolest photo booth, and on and on. You’re thinking a flower wall that rivals Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s crazy wall of blooms, a wedding cake like Sofia Vergara’s tiered masterpiece, a gown as beautiful as Eva Longoria’s body-hugging wedding dress (designed by fashion bestie Victoria Beckham, nonetheless!). But here’s the thing: All that style is really, really expensive.

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