How to Save Thousands on your Wedding  

The average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $35,000, and the cost is only increasing. This a large amount of money to spend on one day, even if it is the most important day of your life. Most brides-to-be do not have the money to spend that much on a wedding, but they still want a beautiful fairytale wedding. Here is a guide on how to save money but still have the wedding of your dreams. You will be surprised by how effective and easy these money saving tips are.

Change the date

Most weddings occur on a Saturday, and venues and vendors know this. Venues and vendors raise their prices on saturdays because they know that it is a popular day to get married.

By switching your wedding to a Friday or Sunday, your venue price could decrease by a couple thousand dollars. Choosing a weekday wedding will lower the price even more. Plus, Thursday weddings are actually becoming a big hit in 2018.

By switching the day of your wedding, you won’t only save money on your venue, you will also save on your vendors and hotel costs for out of town guests. Vendors, like catering and DJ services, charge less for off-day weddings. Plus, the cost for hotel rooms during the week are much cheaper than during the weekend.

By choosing another day for your wedding, you get the same wedding but at a much cheaper price.

Take your time

Longer engagements give you a longer time to save for your wedding. Plus, longer engagements give you more time to look for deals. You will not be as rushed, so you can take your time and say “no” to the expensive vendors until you find a vender you can afford.

If you plan on having a long engagement, I do recommend not waiting to book your venue or caterer. These are the two most expensive aspects of a wedding. It would be a good idea to book early and lock in those rates before they go up.

Another perk of having a longer engagement is you have more time to DIY some of your wedding decorations. Choosing to DIY some of your decorations could save you hundreds of dollars. Plus, it adds a personal touch to your wedding decor.

Get married right at the end of the off season

Most people don’t know but there is a wedding season. Wedding season begins in late spring and goes all the way to the end of fall. The most popular, and most expensive, months to get married are June and September.

Picking the months right before or right after peak season can save you thousands. Try having a wedding in the last week of March, right before the kick off of wedding season. Or have a wedding in the first week of November. These months are much cheaper but still offer the nice weather of the peak months.

Choose a venue where you can choose your own vendors

If you remember anything from this guide, I want you to remember to pick a venue where you can choose your own vendors. Venues will try to sucker you in with promises of cheaper vender costs. That may be true if you pick the high-end vendors that they choose. But the truth is that you do not need these high-end vendors that charge outrageous prices.

Less well-known vendors will offer the same work for half of the price. Plus, these vendors are still trying to get their name out so they will try to impress you and give you their best efforts. Most times I find some of the best DJs to be the ones that are trying to make a name for themselves.

One of the best caterers I have ever had was from a small restaurant that had just opened the year before. These new vendors give every job a 110 percent because they need to prove themselves. You will get outstanding services for half of the cost.

Higher friends as your vendors

Another way to save hundreds on vendors is to have friends, or people you know, stand in as vendors. Instead of paying 700 dollars to a DJ, upload music to your IPod and then have your friend put it on random and check up on it every once-in-awhile. An added bonus of having an IPod DJ is you truly get to personalize your wedding soundtrack. Each song will be hand picked by you.

If you know of a friend who makes really great cakes, ask her to make your wedding cake. Or, if you know of a friend with great handwriting, ask her to write you invitations to save from spending money on a calligrapher. Of course you should always pay your friends for their services, but they will not ask for the same high prices as other professional vendors.

Another added bonus, having your friends be your vendors adds a personal touch to every aspect of your wedding. Your friends know what you like and they will be able to create a perfectly personalized day. Also, every aspect of your wedding will be made with love by people who cherish you and your groom.

Get married at the courthouse

A lot of engaged couples always joke about doing this when they begin wedding planning and realize how stressful and costly it can be. But instead of just joking, what if you actually got married at the courthouse?

Courthouse weddings can save you as much as $35,000. On average, it costs around $25 to get married at the courthouse.

While courthouse weddings aren’t the fairytale wedding spot, they can still be personalized and beautiful. Bring your own bouquets with your dream wedding colors to brighten up the room. Have a backyard BBQ afterward in place of a traditional reception. The city where your courthouse is located can be the perfect backdrop for beautiful and modern wedding pictures.

Turn your courthouse wedding into the wedding of your dreams and save a ton of money. Hint: use the money you saved on your wedding and give you and your husband the honeymoon of a lifetime.

Don’t serve a sit down dinner

Sit down dinners at weddings can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Nixing a sit down dinner can save you a lot of of money. WIthout a sit-down dinner there is no longer a need for a super expensive caterer, or three different sets of dinner plates, or five different menu options.

In place of a sit down dinner, serve horderves. Or just have a dessert wedding and only serve dessert at the reception. It is becoming more and more popular for weddings to substitute sit down dinners with lighter meals or snacks.

This option saves you a ton of money and also adds a flare to your wedding that guests will love. With this idea, consider having your wedding at off times so that your guests aren’t hungry for a meal. Maybe have a 2 o’clock wedding. Or a 7 o’clock, after dinner, wedding. An added perk, these are off-times and some venues and vendors may offer deals during these times.

Think beyond chicken and fish

Most weddings serve the traditional chicken or fish meals. Since these meals are standard, caterers make them more expensive. To save on catering costs, consider serving cheaper dishes. A pasta bar is a cheaper alternative that most guests will love. Or opt for a BBQ wedding. These are fun ideas that will save you a lot of money.

Fake your cake

Now at first this may seem like a bad idea, but hear me out. Wedding cakes can cost up to $1,000. This is an outrageous cost for something that your guests will only enjoy for about five minutes.

Instead have the traditional three-tier cake, but only have the top tier be real cake. This way you can still have the cake-cutting ceremony. The other two tiers are cardboard cutouts that are decorated as cake. Then, in the back have sheet cake that your caterer cuts and serves.

Sheet cakes can be purchased at your local grocer for under $100. Everyone will get a piece of cake, you will save a grand, and no one will be the wiser.

Don't feel like you have to have a wedding cake

If faking your wedding cake makes you feel like an imposter, but you still want to save money, then choose to not have a cake. There is no rule that says that you must have a cake at your wedding. Instead opt for cheaper dessert ideas.

A cookie and milk bar could be a fun alternative that will leave your guests feeling like kids again. Plus, you can even bake the cookies yourself and save money. Cupcakes are another popular choice for wedding desserts. These mini cakes are cheaper than purchasing a cake and still give your guests their sugar fix.

Another popular choice is having a morning wedding and having doughnuts stand in as your cake. Everyone loves doughnuts, and they are inexpensive when compared to wedding cakes.

Choose a venue that doesn’t need much decor

Decorations for your venue can be one of the costlier aspects of your wedding. The average cost for wedding decorations is about $2,000. An alternative to spending two grand on decorations is choosing a venue that doesn’t require a lot of decorations.

Choose a church that has detailing already built in. Or have an outside wedding and highlight the natural beauty of the venue. If you want a rustic wedding, choose a barn that has a lot of character built in. Or have a beach wedding, where the backdrop of the ocean is enough to leave you breathless.

Choosing a naturally beautiful venue will limit the amount of decorations and flowers you will need to buy. This will help you save money and stress. By choosing a venue that doesn't need a lot of beautifying, you will save yourself the time and stress of picking out which decorations you want and where to put them. Plus, you will not need to do any set up or tear down.

Fake flowers

Flowers alone can cost up to $1,500. Instead of hiring a florist and paying for real flowers, choose to do fake flowers and make them yourself. Michaels sells a plethora of fake flowers that look real.

These flowers cost a third of what real flowers cost and no one will notice the difference. You can even opt to do your own bouquets to save money. Look on pinterest for ideas and then head over to the nearest craft store and begin crafting.

Get items second hand

Let's face the facts, most brides spend up to $2,000 on decorations and then after the wedding have no use for them. They usually just end up in a box collecting dust. Instead, ask friends or family members, who have recently gotten married if you could borrow their decorations. Most of the time, they will not mind and this could save you two grand.

If you are worried that people will notice the second hand decorations from another wedding they attended, don’t be. Wedding guests will never think to compare your decorations to other weddings they have been to. Plus, the decorations will look totally different at your venue with your personal touches to them.

When people offer to help let them

As part of our culture, we have been taught to not accept favors. It is a sign of weakness if we take help, right? Wrong! When people offer to help you, let them help you. These people care about you and they want to be here for you, let them.

Plus, by letting them help you it will save you money, time, and stress. So if someone wants to help you make the centerpieces, say “thank you, I would like that very much.” Or if someone wants to host your bridal shower for you, say “yes.” Don’t let your pride ruin your wallet.

Shop for white dresses that aren’t specifically wedding gowns

The average cost for a wedding dress is $1,000. The average cost for a white dress is $100. There a ton of long, white dresses out there that could double as wedding dress but cost ten times less. Go to your local department store and try on white dresses.

If you have your heart set on having a real wedding dress, buy a second hand wedding dress. A lot of brides turn around and sell their wedding dresses after their weddings. In these cases, brides discount the price significantly, sometimes as much as 90% off. These are great deals on real wedding dresses.  

Hit big deals

When shopping for wedding decor, flowers, gifts for bridesmaids or groomsmen, look for big deals. Shop on black friday, or shop at stores that are going out of business. Hitting a big deal could save you up to $100.

These tip works great for those engaged couples that are waiting a while before getting married. They have more time to look for big deals and shop during sale season. Any discount, even just 20% off can make a big difference in your overall wedding budget.

Sell as much as you can after the wedding

Earn some money back by selling anything you possibly can after your wedding. Decorations, your dress, shoes, accessories, all of it can be sold to other brides-to-be. Also it will feel special to help another bride make her dreams come true.  

Know what you don’t need

A lot of wedding stores will try to sell you on things that you do not need for your wedding. They will tell you that you have to have personalized napkins with your face on them, or you have to have personalized toilet paper in the bathrooms with your names and wedding date on it. The truth is, you do not need these things.

These are added expenses and moments when stores try to suck you in to spending more. If you come across something that you think you might need but don’t know if it is a waste of money, ask someone who has been married before. They will tell you if they think that it will actually be a good thing to have at your wedding or if it is just an added expense.  

Also it is important to remember that a lot of the little details in your wedding, your guests will not remember. So do not spend all of this money on little things that will go unnoticed and unappreciated on your big day.

If you are wedding planning and still haven't bought your engagement ring, wedding bands, for wedding accessories, come by Malak Jewelers and browse our large selection of wedding jewelry. Let Malak Jewelers make special moments unforgettable with the perfect piece of jewelry.

Malak Jewelers is Charlotte, North Carolina’s premier direct diamond importer, supplier of loose diamonds, and custom design jewelry. When you buy from Malak you receive 100 Day Price Protection and a Lifetime Upgrade Promise. Be sure to check out our wide variety of diamond engagement rings both in our online catalogue and at our store in Charlotte, North Carolina's Arboretum Shopping Center.