Money Saving Wedding Tips

Welcome to the summer rebroadcast of Ten Money Saving Wedding Tips from the Wedding Planning Podcast!

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Ten Money Saving Wedding Tips

Listen to the full episode here, and read on for a full recap of the details!

#1 Eliminate ONE Small Detail

Think about how much money you’re preparing to spend on custom printed napkins, or maybe an elaborate chalkboard sign, or table confetti or whatever.  Skip ONE of these things that you’re like, eh, kind of lukewarm about.  No one will know the difference!  Depending on the price of the item, this can be a huge savings to you.

#2 Double Up  

Have your place card holder do double duty as a wedding favor.  Look for a design that will hold a name card, and maybe also a picture.  Or, use something with a dual purpose, like maybe luggage tags with the guest’s name and table number, or a mini potted succulent plant with a tag attached with the name and seating assignment that can be taken home.  Possibilities here are pretty endless for a double-duty place card & party favor – go to Pinterest and get lost in it!  

And speaking of doubling up …

A similar tips is to put couples on the SAME name card / place card so that you’re effectively cutting in half the number of place card holders & name cards you will need to purchase.  For example, if you have a married couple, instead of Jim and Suzie having their own name card and holder, you put Mr. & Mrs. Jim & Suzie on the SAME card, since they’re obviously sitting right next to each other anyway!

#3 Choose a Couple of DIY Projects

Are you planning on purchasing favors and place card calligraphy AND fancy place cards with glitter and lace?  I would recommend choosing ONE of those special extras, and for the rest, doing a really affordable DIY version instead.  Maybe your mom, sister or bridesmaid has nice handwriting and can be your “calligrapher”.  Or maybe you can purchase simple tented cards at the craft store and decorate them yourself with lace & little flowers.  Be creative.  If you’re totally not crafty at all and the thought of using a glue gun or stepping foot into a craft store gives you extreme anxiety, then enlist the help of your wedding party and delegate a project or two. 

#4 Save on Your Cake

Did you know that you can have a smaller sized wedding cake for show & decoration, and then you can have your baker make simple sheet cakes?  Sheet cakes come in full or half sheets.  How many you need will depend on how many people you’re expecting, and this route will save you a ton of money!  It’s so much less work for the baker to do sheets versus tiers with decoration, and your guests won’t know the difference.  The tiered cake will still be on display, so you’ll have a traditional beautiful wedding cake that everyone will see.  The only difference is that when it’s served, behind the scenes, the sheet cakes are cut and those pieces put on plates.  

#5 Your Wedding Shoes

Remember in my intro episode, the very first one, when I shared with you that my wedding shoes cost $6?  OK, you don’t need to spend $6 bucks on shoes like I did, but seriously, let’s talk about some places you can hunt for shoes that are fabulous and affordable. 

My all-time favorite spot is DSW.  DSW has beautiful designer shoes at great prices, but the real secret here is their clearance section.  I’m talking about shoes right now, but remember – you do NOT need to be buying things for your wedding that are WEDDING THINGS.  Does that make sense?  You don’t need to buy shoes from the same place you buy your dress, and that goes for undergarments, bridesmaids dresses, jewelry, hair ornaments, whatever.  If it’s sold by a wedding vendor, I can almost guarantee it’s going to be more expensive than if you searched for the item from just any retail store. 

OK so back to shoes, you don’t need to buy WEDDING SHOES, you just need to buy shoes that will be beautiful with your dress, that are comfortable, and that you love!  Oh, and if you do go to DSW and fall in love with a pair that’s not in your size, try their website – they carry a great selection of clearance shoes there too, and you might be able to find that fabulous pair online.  You buy your dress pretty early on in the planning process, so you’ve got plenty of time to look for a great pair of affordable wedding shoes.

#6 Your Wedding Flowers

This tip is definitely worth well over $100.  If you’re using a professional florist, I want you to do something that is so simple you may not have even thought about it.  Send your florist an email or call them and ask them how you can cut $100, $250, $500 off your floral bill.  Just ask them.  It might mean using a different kind of flower in a similar color, it might mean using more of a filler or greenery, and less flower blooms.  It also might mean that you skip flowers for your junior wedding party members, like your flower girls, you skip boutonnieres for the young men attendants.  Flower budgets can grow really quickly, but the good news is that there IS a lot of room to cut back here without making a noticeable difference on the overall look of things.

#7 Make a Swap on the Cocktail Hour Menu

Just one small swap.  Fancy cheese and crackers instead of baked brie.  Nix the hand passed stuff.  Take one thing away.  You know that mantra about getting ready to go out, and you get ready and put on all your jewelry, and then right before you leave you take ONE thing off?  Do that with your cocktail hour appetizer menu.  Just take one thing off.  Super simple.  Don’t overthink it, no one is going to know the difference!

#8 More Small Details 

Let’s think of some areas that you don’t necessary need or want to cut, but you can do for less money.  Easy examples:

Your Guest Book

You know what a really affordable and memorable way to do your guestbook?  Make a photo book on Shutterfly with pictures of you & your fiancé – especially cute to use pics from your engagement shoot, if you did one of those.  Make a simple book with lots of white space in the margins around your photos and have your guests sign that with meaningful notes.  Shutterfly does so many coupons, and they actually give photo books away for free, a lot.  Really.  If you’re not already using Shutterfly, go make an account and watch how many coupons they send you, it’s crazy.    

Your Card Box

 You don’t need to buy a fancy wedding card box!  Make one, or look for a premade style that someone else has used for their own wedding.

Custom Cake Topper

Totally not necessary, I LOVE the look of using fresh flowers on top. 

Custom cake slicers and champagne flutes and all this stuff that we’re conditioned to think we HAVE to have at our wedding because it’s tradition and you’re not doing it right if you don’t have these elements – forget it!  If it’s not meaningful or important to you, then just don’t do it, save the money.

#10 Your Photographer

Choose a photographer who will give you digital versions of every single finished picture so that you can print them wherever you choose.  The markup on prints and albums through photographers is just insane.  It’s an art form, and I respect the craft, but you can get perfectly gorgeous quality photos and albums using any one of the major online photo services that are available today.  Some photographers will mandate that you order prints and albums through them, be sure to ask about this when choosing your photographer so that you don’t get stuck having your photos held hostage.  Digital copies are your friend, and they will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by skipping the middleman, and getting your prints direct from the source.

What do you guys think?  Was this useful?  I hope there were at least a few things that you can feel comfortable putting into action!  If you have any questions about these ten easy ways to save money on your wedding, or any of our past episodes, be sure to shoot me an email – I would love to hear from you! 

kara@karasvineyardwedding.com

@karasvinwedding

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