Bride and groom feet on their wedding day.

13 Ways To Save For A Wedding

Victoria Araj5-minute read
September 21, 2020

I love spending a small fortune to get married — said no one ever. While you’ll want to bask in an aura of love during your wedding, you probably want to avoid heading to the poorhouse. Here are 13 ways you can save for a wedding:

Average Wedding Cost

Sad but true: The average cost of a wedding can cost more than a car, a down payment on a house, or one year of in-state college tuition. According to The Knot’s Real Wedding Study, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was a whopping $33,391. Higher spenders doled out an average of $105,130 to hear wedding bells.

How Much Does A Small Wedding Cost?

It depends on how the details, you can probably slash the cost of tying the knot in half by having a small wedding. That said, you’re looking at around $10,000 to $15,000 for a smaller wedding. While the number of guests does play a large part in the cost, details such as the venue, food, time of year and destination impact the price tag.

Besides asking your parents to pitch in or tapping in to your savings, are you considering other ways to fund your dream wedding? If so, Rocket Loans offers wedding financing options.

Get Hitched In The Off-Season

According to The Knot, the most popular months to get married are June, September, and October. So the cheapest months to get married would be in the spring or winter. Choosing an off-peak time of year to get married could cut the costs of expenses on everything from the venue to the photography to caterers. When there’s greater availability and less demand, venues are more willing to offer you a better rate.

Enlist The Help Of Your Friends And Family

Have a relative who owns a catering company? Have a cousin who would be happy to bartend during the reception? Don’t be shy about reaching out to your friends and family to see if they’d be willing to lend a hand to help put together your wedding. It could help you cut down on everything from post-wedding cleanup to name placards during the reception.

Go Low-Key On The Alcohol

If there are local breweries near your venue, it might be less expensive to order a keg or two. That way you won’t have to order bar service at your wedding. Plus, guests can get a taste of a unique local offering. To save on libations, you can also limit the drinks menu to a few signature drinks or favorite wines and spirits.

Plan For Lighter Fare

Instead of an 8-course dinner, consider going tapas style or offer your guests a selection of finger foods. You can also entertain your guests with lunch fare, which will help you cut back on costs. Another way to save on food is to limit the pricier meat selections and load up on appetizers, side dishes, or smaller plates.

Keep It Simple With The Flowers

 If having a floral touch at your wedding isn’t a top priority, consider going minimal on the floral arrangements. For instance, choose to have arrangements on a few tables, or nix flowers and go for a sparse yet elegant look with curly willow branches and a few sprigs of baby’s breath. You can also choose something different for a centerpiece, such as wooden boxes with fresh, seasonal fruit.

Shop Online

Consider shopping for a used wedding dress online. Or, look at your favorite online retailers to see what you can snag for a good price. You can also rent a wedding dress that’s on consignment. You might want to skip the expensive accessories by shopping online and seeing what turns up.

There’s no hard and fast rule that you have to wear a wedding dress. Perhaps a pretty white dress from a boutique will do the trick. If you’re spending a pretty penny on the dress or suit, maybe you look for a less-expensive veil or cufflinks.

Rent A Non-Traditional Venue

The largest cost of a wedding is by far the venue. According to The Knot, the average cost of a venue is $15,163. As banquet halls, historic buildings, rustic barns and vineyards are popular places to rent out for your wedding, consider something a little off-the-grid.

Technically anything that is spacious enough to accommodate your guests and that you can throw a party is fair game. Community centers, public parks, or your friend’s backyard can make for lovely environs. And don’t overlook a local restaurant. If you’re a member of an art museum or botanical garden, you might be eligible for a member discount.

Go For A Smaller Cake

Instead of getting a multi-tiered replete with metallic gold leaf wafer roses, spring for a smaller cake. To save even more money, nix the cake altogether and opt for a variety of cupcakes in your favorite flavors, or a selection of pies. Not only will it lower your wedding costs, but your guests will have several options to choose from.

Send Digital Invitations

Let’s face it: Chances are those fancy invitations will probably get tossed in the mail after the wedding day. As you’re already researching wedding planners, creating gift registries and websites online, send digital invites instead. You’ll note only save in printing and postage costs, but in time hunting down snail mail addresses.

DIY Your Invites

If you want to go the traditional paper invitations, consider going the DIY route. If you have the time and can enlist the help of some friends, hand-create your invitations. Simple methods such as stamping and using a design template could make it fun.

Nix The Videographer

To save on photography, if your wedding is during an off-peak time of the day or part of the week, you might be able to do without a professional videographer. Instead, ask guests and members of the wedding party to take videos on their camera phones. You’ll also get a more personal touch, and from different vantage points during the ceremony and reception.

Negotiate Rates With The Photographer

See if you can save on photography by asking the photographer to stay for a shorter time block. Maybe they don’t have to stay for the entire reception. And if your wedding happens to be taking place during a non-peak time of day, day during the week, or month, you might be able to negotiate for a lower rate.

Plan A Values-Based Wedding

This is your and your soon-to-be spouse’s special day. Make the proper trade-offs to lower expenses in what’s not so important to the both of you, so you can afford to spend a little more in areas that you value you.

For instance, if you and your partner are foodies but aren’t so particular about the flower selection, bump up your budget on libations and food, and go simple on the flowers. Or if you aren’t terribly particular on the venue, you can pour more money into a photo booth or candy bar.

By knowing what’s most important for your special day, and being resourceful and making the proper trade-offs, you’ll be able to save on your wedding. In turn, you’ll have a memorable, beautiful day without worrying about skimping on what matters.

Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.