- Hold your wedding and reception in the same
location-this could save you the cost of renting 2 different
facilities. If your reception facility has space for
ceremonies, they typically will not charge extra for you to
hold your ceremony there (unless there are special
requirements such as chairs needing to be moved, or a tent
or other equipment).
- You can save a great deal on the costs of flowers by
doing your own arrangements, or having a friend or friends
do it for you. Some brides have a gathering the day before
the wedding to decorate the reception hall, and arrange the
- buy cut flower bouquets from the supermarket or
local farm stand
- buy inexpensive vases--for a country wedding, you
can even use mason jars--and make simple arrangements
for the tables. Each arrangement could be different. If
the vase is too small for the center of the table, use a
basket, or put a napkin of contrasting color in the
center, and put vase on that. Or spread ivy or other
greens around in the center of the table, perhaps around
the vase to fill out the centerpiece.
- You can have a very nice reception with only cake and
punch—proper etiquette dictates that this type of reception
should be held in midafternoon, or after seven at night.
- To cut costs, consider having a small "fancy" cake, and
then having the baker provide sheet cakes of the same kind,
which are kept out of view, and served to supplement the
display cake. OR provide another type of dessert, such as
ice cream cake, or petite fours, and serve guests a very
small slice of the wedding cake.
- For small, informal wedding receptions, this tip could
provide cost savings, as well as a personal touch: ask
several friends to bake normal sized cakes, and guests can
select the kind of cake they want.
- Borrow a cake-top from someone-perhaps your parents or
grandparents still have the one from their wedding cake!
- A brunch or hors d' oeuvres reception is typically less
expensive than a main meal/sit-down dinner. A buffet may be
less expensive than a served meal, although not necessarily.
Also, "passed hours d' oeuvres" may be more costly than a
buffet-style hors d' oeuvre offering - people may eat more
when the food comes to them!
- Some vendors offer a discount for non-Saturday or
Off-Peak times (off season, weekdays, Sundays).
- You may find that service providers who work out of
their homes (photographers, cake bakers, caterers, etc) are
less expensive than those who have a shop
- You may be able to negotiate a discount if you pay cash
instead of using a check or credit card. However, remember
that paying with a credit card offers some protection in
terms of postponing or withholding payment if there is a
problem with the service or product.
- Talk with photographers to see what their "package" of
services includes, and if they will be flexible in order to
help you save money:
- Some photographers will provide fewer hours of
coverage—perhaps just the ceremony and formal portraits
afterward. You could provide disposable cameras for the
reception and/or ask specific people to take specific
photographs and you will provide the film and you will
take care of the processing.
- Ask the photographer if the proofs (the set of
photographs you are given to select your reprints from)
are included in the package price.
- Some photographers will give you a certain number of
hours of coverage, and then will give you the exposed
rolls of film to take for processing and reprints. This
saves them the time and effort of dealing with that
aspect of it, and it will save you a great deal of
- Ask if you can have or purchase the negatives. The
photographer may want you to purchase a certain number
of prints through him/her, but after that you can get
any additional reprints on your own, saving you money.
- If you want to save money on your wedding gown, try
these options: borrow from a friend or relative, buy "off
the rack", look at consignment shops, alter your mother's or
grandmother's gown, or incorporate its design or pieces from
it into a custom made gown for yourself.
- You are generally expected to provide food for service
providers such as: band members, photographer, videographer,
etc. However, you are not "required" to provide them with
the same meal that you are providing for your guests. You
can make arrangements for a less expensive meal or they can
be invited to partake of the buffet when the guests have
finished. Discuss this with your caterer.
- Save money on flowers by using flowers that are
in-season at the time of your wedding.
- Plan to have your decorative ceremony flower
arrangements taken to the reception hall to decorate tables
and entrances. This way, your flowers do double-duty!
- Use the bride's and/or the attendants' bouquets to
decorate the tables at your reception. This works especially
well with "hand-tied" bouquets; they can simply be put into
a vase or laid on the table as centerpieces.
- Use balloons as decorations, they are less expensive
than flowers. Tie a balloon onto the back of each chair at
the head table to add color and interest.
- Don' spend lots of money on center pieces. Most guest
don't remember what's on the table to begin with. Try going
to a discount outlet or even a dollar store to buy less
expensive vases or other items that could be used a center