5 Wedding Savings Tips for the Budgeting Bride

June 5, 2016

Most of you might not know that personal finance is actually one of my passions.  I am an Accredited Financial Counselor and it is a large part of “my day job.”  When I was planning my wedding a year ago, I tried to be very budget conscious throughout.  Turns out…that is REALLY hard to do these days!  During the planning stages of our wedding, it became clear to me why that is. Sure, you expect a larger cost for your venue, photographer, and wedding dress, but I was shocked at how many costs arose that were entirely unexpected.

My approach? If I couldn’t (or didn’t want) to cut something completely, I was going to ensure I was shaving those costs down where I could. And while saving a hundred bucks here and there might not feel like a lot in terms of a wedding, the culmination of these savings were significant, and went straight to our savings for the future.

So here are 5 wedding savings tips for planning your big day!

  1. Rent The Look


I’ve been in enough weddings to know that, while an honor, standing beside your friend or family member on their wedding day can cost ya. You could have everyone provide their own wear (which is a great cost saving option for many), but if you want that classic consistent look, perhaps look into rentals. Bridesmaid and Groomsmen rentals do not have to be old fashioned and out of touch any longer. Enter in Union Station and The Black Tux. My bridesmaids rented dresses from Union Station, and my husband and his groomsmen got their wedding wear from The Black Tux. With bridesmaid dresses that can be rented for a mere 50 bucks, and groomsmen wear sitting around $100, these websites were the answer for us. Both websites offered fantastic customer service, and plenty of assistance when it came to sizing. Union Station sends you two sizes to ensure that you will have what you need. The Black Tux has a detailed sizing guide that can be taken into a local tailor and have your measurements customized to you to a tee. Best part? You just send these right back when you’re done. No hassle. And I think they turned out to look pretty darn good.

2. Cut That Cake Cost


My husband and I are not cake people. (gasp)

We did, however, want to have a wedding cake. The tradition of the cake cutting was one that we wanted to keep. So we started the search and were about to begrudgingly shell out hundreds for a cake when I saw this post and was completely inspired.

Our wedding cake was from the grocery store. Yes, you heard me. And it worked out perfectly.

If we just wanted a cake for the tradition, why did we need one to feed everyone? Don’t worry, we didn’t leave our guests dessert-less. They got some great local ice cream instead! And we got our pictures and the ability to check that tradition off the list. All for $14.99.  We ordered a completely “plain” cake, and dressed it up with a cute cake topper and a few flowers. Super easy! And even better? Super cheap.  Now that’s sweet.

3. Trim The Flowers


There is a lot of great advice out there on this topic! However, for these posts, I am going to stick to the cost saving strategies we actually used. Two things we did: shop around and prioritize.

Shop around: This piece of advice can be applied to all of your vendors, but when it comes to booking a floral vendor, don’t just go with the first one you find. Or the first one your friend recommends. Shop around! Set meetings. Get an idea of what their aesthetic is, but also ensure you get an estimated cost proposal for what you want. Got a few proposals? Compare the pros and cons and THEN book your florist.

Prioritize:  When we started to look closely at our original flower proposal, we saw that having a floral centerpiece on each table at the reception was actually the bulk of our flower budget. I got in touch with our florist (Flowers on Orchard Lane) and she had a great idea. Instead of having a large floral centerpiece on each table at the reception, why don’t we have a few skinny singular flower vases with a small arrangement at varying heights. This new table arrangement saved us enough money in our budget to be able to afford a beautiful floral piece for the backdrop of our ceremony. Best. decision. ever.

4. Get Creative With The Dress


The dress. Yes, you know the one.  A highlight of wedding planning for many brides, and it certainly was for me! But I cannot fathom why one dress, even if it is THE dress, blows wedding budgets left and right. When it came to my dress, I knew I wanted something special. But I also knew it wasn’t going to make me feel good if thousands of our wedding budget went to it.  Here’s what I did:

I went to a really affordable shop.  Did I find exactly the dress I wore there? Nope. But I found the dress that I knew would be the foundation for what I wanted. It was strapless, drop waist, and had tons of TULLE (which I knew I wanted).  I knew this dress had potential. We went for it, and the tailor believed in me and my vision and created the dress I was dreaming up in my head. We turned the drop waist into an A-line, and we sewed on a topper from BHLDN to create a unique one shoulder look {exact no longer online, but similar here}.

The total of the dress, with alterations, was still in the price range I wanted. And I felt beautiful.  So get creative! You can stick to your wedding dress budget and still feel like your dress was THE dress. Just remember, prioritize the elements of your wedding and budget accordingly.  And make sure you feel beautiful, but make sure you still feel like you.

5. The Power of Friday


Weddings are traditionally on Saturdays. And there are benefits to that. But let me tell you, if you are looking to cut costs for your wedding, having it on a Friday (or Sunday) should absolutely be a consideration. Let me break it down:

Venue: The cost of hosting our wedding on a Friday over a Saturday was nearly half the cost. Half. No exaggeration.

But that’s not all. Having your wedding on a Friday has a ripple effect.

Our DJ cost less because it was a Friday. Hotel blocks were more available with a Saturday check out and less expensive with a Thursday night rate bundled in. Our rehearsal dinner cost us considerably less because it was on a Thursday night. Make Up and Hair came at a lower rate. The list goes on and on.

You may be asking, “but what if I have a lot of out of town guests?” We certainly did. I would say 70% of our guests were out of town, including all of our family. But you know what? They all came. And it worked out just fine. And most importantly?  Everyone danced the night away. The Friday night away.

Note:  All pictures are from the amazingly talented Cassie Rosch.

What are some of your go to wedding savings tips?



  • Reply Jeanette Zahm June 6, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Hi Mandy, I forwarded these tips to my Granddaughter, Liz, as you know her wedding is on August 6th.
    Hope your blog is going well.

    • Reply Cohen Places June 6, 2016 at 7:01 am

      So glad you did! Feel free to send her my way if she has any questions!

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