Wedding Costs: Subtle Saving Tactics

Let’s state the obvious, weddings aren’t cheap. They’re completely wonderful, and most couples feel they’re worth the spend in the end, but unless you’re hosting a ceremony-only event, you’re going to be paying for a gorgeous party. 

So, if you’re one of many brides looking for a perfect experience, but would like to wisely trim a few costs, here are a few recommendations to help make that happen:

  • Opt for a postcard Save the Date! Materials and postage cost, which add up, are significantly lower when you choose a postcard. Not to mention most wedding stationary gets tossed out anyway.

  • You should send Save the Dates, but you only need to send them to A-List (must have) guests! This lowers the spend on stationary and gives them more time to make arrangements for your big day.

  • Use large foam poster-boards for your menus and programs to set around your wedding space rather than hundreds of individual printouts! This not only lowers spend, it lowers waste! (Just make sure you remember easels, which most venues have at no charge.)

  • Proactively communicate expectations for sharing costs with the wedding party when it comes to lodging, wardrobe, travel expenses, etc.!The last thing you want to worry about is how to pacify someone unpleasantly surprised by costs. 

  • Save on stationary by having more by having a relaxed reception flow! With the right crowd and reception ambiance, you can plan on open seating. Well thought out open seating can save on table numbers, escort cards, and table charts. Note: Just make sure everyone can sit at once, that you consider a variety of table shapes, sizes and even pods to make relaxed seating feel natural, that your signage or program communicates that it’s open seating so guests know what to expect. 

  • Keep wedding party size small to avoid excess spend on flowers, accessories, gifts, weekend meals, and more! Case in point: With bridal bouquets often starting around $75 each, you can save bundles by being selective when it comes to who stands with you on your big day. 

  • Do your own nails! While we’re quick to recommend the everlasting gel polish, there are more and more options for getting the same look and similar effect at home without spending bundles. Not to mention, you can use the polish again later. 

  • Find your wedding veil online! Buying from a boutique, you’re likely to spend $300 or more on a wedding veil. Instead, try on a few veils with your dress while in the boutique so you know what you like. Take pictures, and then save hundreds of dollars by finding a similar option online… you can’t even tell a difference, because there usually isn’t one! (Just make sure customer photos and reviews say great things before purchasing.)

  • Delegate “peripheral” tasks to friends and family! Though we always advocate for professional vendors to take care of the most important elements of your wedding, there are always tasks that loved ones can handle while also feeling useful. Coordinating wedding day brunch and snacks for the wedding party, ushering guests at the ceremony, managing the guest book, handing out programs, helping to gather your personal items at the end of the night, helping to set up select decor, staging your getaway car, etc. can be great ways to let those loving family members and friends feel helpful. Just be careful not to designate people who won’t appreciate the task.

  • Repurpose rehearsal decor! If the in-laws plan on decor for the rehearsal dinner, consider making use of those items at your wedding reception or ceremony the next day. Florals from the rehearsal can be perfect to jazz up your gift table, escort table, bars, cake table, restrooms and more. Just make sure the decor coordinates with your wedding day style and that you have someone to properly transport and preserve it. 

  • Use the same caterer twice! If you really love a caterer’s food and they can offer diverse menus and flavor profiles, ask the same caterer to handle more of your wedding weekend food needs. Often, a caterer with guaranteed business from one client (like rehearsal dinner, reception dinner, and day-after brunch) will be able to offer a slight discount as a courtesy.

  • Serve a signature drink! Obvious ways to save money on your bar spend include offering a cash bar or only hosting a beer and wine bar. If you’re hoping to employ one of these options, but you still want to treat your guests, consider having the bar service include a signature drink (or two) to be served complimentary. Not only can a custom drink add a nice touch of class, thoughtfulness, and self expression it can also provide guests with the option of a hard liquor beverage in addition to their other options. A custom drink with a cash bar is also a nice way for a host to show guest appreciation. 

  • Pass your appetizers! It may be unexpected, but the often classy touch of passing appetizers can save on food spend. Unlike stationary appetizers, guests won’t be able to fill their plate with appetizers that are passed. Additionally, guests tend to consume passed appetizers more slowly as they’re usually subject to the server’s presence. To top it all off, unlike stationary food displays, when passed appetizers are almost gone, caterers can slow service just enough to make guests hardly notice they’ve stopped serving! Just make sure you factor in extra servers, though that cost is usually minimal.

And of course…

If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to fine tune your budget, we can help!

Photo by Shining Light Photography


More about Christianna

I believe a truly remarkable event is able to rejuvenate the spirit and provide a reprieve from the stresses of reality. I began my career as an event specialist at one of the world’s top luxury convention hotels, and that is where my vision for Elysian Events began.

My passion lies in creating a wedding experience that exudes a vibrant, warm ambiance with an elegant touch. 


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