How to Save Money on a Wedding

how to save money on a wedding

It’s no secret that the cost of weddings is spiraling out of control. Designer gowns, extravagant wedding venues, booze at the reception — all of these costs hit your wallet hard. It may shock you to learn that the average wedding cost hit an all-time high of $31,213, according to the Knot 2014 Real Wedding Survey, and one-third of couples go into debt to pay for their wedding.

how to save money on a wedding

However, today’s engaged couples are starting to see through the allure of overpriced weddings after watching their friends get sucked into credit card debt to cover wedding expenses. In fact, a whopping 86% of Americans feel like $30K is simply too much to spend. If you’re not already convinced, here are few reasons you should rein in your wedding spending:

  • Money issues are a leading cause of divorce, according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. Why should newlyweds add more fuel to this fire by racking up wedding debt?
  • You might put your parents in debt. It’s not just you who suffers financially with wedding debt, but your parents could be putting themselves in the hole as well. Do you really want your parents spending their golden years paying off your wedding?
  • The excess money you spend on your wedding could be spent on something of greater long-term value, like a down-payment on a home or startup costs for opening a new business.

how to save money on a wedding


To help you trim unnecessary wedding costs, the Invite Shop blog has put together some helpful ideas as to how to save money on a wedding.

Saving Money on Wedding Invitations

Invite Shop is proud to offer high-quality wedding invitations at a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere. Our affordable wedding invitations can be found as low as 69 cents a card, and you get the added bonus of being able to customize the design to fit your wedding colors and theme. With costs this low, you might think you’d be getting a low-quality product, but check out the example below featuring an on-trend, bohemian print and an eye-catching ticket trim. You can score this high-end look at 89 cents a card!

ways to save money on a wedding
Rustic Blues Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

If you’re looking for a more formal wedding invitation style, Invite Shop still doesn’t disappoint. This handsome design below featuring an elegant flourish and classic, scripted fonts is only 69 cents a card. If you’re looking for inexpensive wedding invitations that don’t look cheap, Invite Shop has you covered with designer wedding invitations at budget-friendly prices.

ways to save money on a wedding
Gray White Flourish Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Saving Money on Wedding Dresses

While it’s definitely fun to try on new wedding dresses at high-end bridal boutiques, you don’t necessarily have to pay high-end prices. You can get designer wedding dresses at a steal if you’re open to the idea of used, off-the-rack, and sample dresses. Often the best value can be found in used dresses. Think of all the brides who wear a $7,000 dress for a couple hours only to shuck it off in favor for a dress they can more easily dance in at their reception. Here are a few places you can get wedding dresses in perfect condition for half the price:

saving money on a wedding

  • We found brand new and like-new wedding gowns from top designers like Oscar De La Renta and Vera Wang here for 50-70% off retail prices.
  • On-trend wedding dress designs from BHLDN, Grace Loves Lace, and more were available here for 50% off. One beautiful gown we saw was only worn for 2 hours for an engagement shoot.
  • This is another great resource for used wedding dresses from designers like Jenny Yoo, Vera Wang, and more. We were pleased with the variety of high-quality used dresses available, including traditional white and even off-beat blush pink colors.
  • We found deep discounts here on high-end designer gowns from Badgley Mischka, Claire Pettibone, and more.

how to save money on a wedding

Saving Money on Wedding Venues

A good chunk of anyone’s wedding budget often goes to the venue. If you think outside the box, you may be able to save big on a wedding venue. Here are a few ideas:

how to save money on a wedding

  • Avoid Saturday weddings. This is the most expensive day of the week to get married at most venues. A Friday or Sunday wedding (or even a weekday holiday wedding on a day like Memorial Day) can save you hundreds of dollars at wedding venues.
  • Avoid summer weddings. Since summer is peak wedding season, you can often save big by having a fall or winter wedding, which may yield cheaper off-season pricing.
  • Research free venues. A quick online search may reveal a free wedding venue in your area. For example, Austin, TX, is home to the Chapel Dulcinea, a gorgeous outdoor venue that can be used for weddings for free.
how to save money on a wedding
Chapel Dulcinea, a free wedding venue in Austin, TX / via
  • Seek out non-wedding venues. People outside the wedding industry don’t know they can charge an arm and a leg for the use of their property. See if you can find a little-known private garden, a charming historic home, a library with pretty grounds, or a rustic barn on a local ranch to host your wedding. If the owners are surprised by your request to host a wedding on their property, you may have just hit the jackpot.
  • Consider nonprofits. Another option off the beaten path might include nonprofits such as a small town opera house, a quirky museum, an off-beat art gallery, or even a wildlife refuge. If the venue doesn’t typically host weddings and could use some extra cash to run their programs, you may be able to negotiate a killer deal.
  • Consider a public park. Public parks offer a wealth of outdoor beauty, plenty of space, and more often than not, low pricing. You will just need to do your research to make sure you can reserve an area exclusively for your wedding so that random members of the public aren’t traipsing through your ceremony.
how to save money on a wedding
Scenic parks or private gardens can be affordable wedding venues.
  • Have a backyard wedding. If you or someone you know has a large backyard that would accommodate your guests for free, this is a fantastic option. Check out our blog post on hosting an affordable backyard wedding for some great ideas.

Spend Time on Your Wedding, Not Money

It’s natural to want to impress your friends and family with an extraordinary wedding. But do you really need to spend a fortune just to be impressive? Trust us, your friends will be much more impressed if you use creativity to make your wedding special rather than going overboard on spending.

Take time to scour the web and explore Pinterest for homemade wedding favors, DIY decorations, and alternative flower arrangements that can help you pack a lot of beauty and originality into your wedding that will wow your guests without draining your wedding fund. Remember: your wedding guests will be just as happy for you if you don’t overspend.

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