4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

The first rule of wedding budgeting is simple. If you want to cut costs, cut the guest list. If you cannot bear to miss any of your distant family and friends on your big day not to worry, I have 4 ways to dramatically slash your wedding costs.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Cheap and awesome can go together quite nicely.

Please do not beat down my door with torches and pitchforks for #3.

1) Limit +1’s.

Why to do it: Consider the costs that go into each extra guest. Each person costs more than you might think, from food to drink, cake, chairs, table settings, service, favors, programs, escort cards, and a lot more. It is not uncommon for the total cost per head to be over $100.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs
How to do it: I said it was easy, I didn’t say it would be painless. I don’t recommend cutting all of the +1’s per se – just because a couple isn’t married shouldn’t mean they don’t get to bring their significant other to your wedding. Consider a six-month or one year rule, or a cohabitation rule.

If the couple has been together for a long enough time that they would be considered to be in a committed relationship, or if they live together, the S/O should probably be addressed by name on the invitation as well. To be fair, though, you have to apply the rule equally across the board. Just because you don’t like your sister’s live-in boyfriend of two years, doesn’t mean you can declare it “not a real relationship.”

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

D-bags have feelings too sometimes

2) Ditch Some Staff

Why to do it: Have you ever wondered why catering is such a big chunk of the wedding budget? It’s not the food and drinks. It’s the people it takes to make them, serve them, clean up, and run around making sure your wedding edibles and libations flow perfectly. The less manpower that is required to put on the show, the cheaper it will be.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Clearing these tables would be a bitch. You had better tip these guys well.

How to do it: You can’t make people do more with less, so you have to give them less to do. Try station hors d’oeuvres instead of passed, more cold and room temperature food items and less hot items, a separate bar with self-serve non-alcoholic beverages, buffet or family style (even better) instead of plated dinner, the list goes on and on.

Ask your caterer where the biggest staff costs are, and see which labor-intensive items you can eliminate.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Cute=huge labor costs

3) Kill Some Traditions

Why to do it: Have you have always dreamed of walking down the aisle in your wedding dress to see your groom with tears streaming down his face the moment he lays eyes on you? Yeah, I guess, but if you told me I could cut every cost associated with cocktail hour down to zero? I’m listening…

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Hungry, thirsty, bored, uncomfortable and impatient. Where are the bar and hors d'oeuvres?

How to do it: This might get me killed, but I’m going to say it anyway. Take your bridal party and perhaps family pictures before the ceremony. If you can get over this sweet but slightly antiquated (you guys have been living like a married couple for a while now, yes?) notion that he can’t see you before the wedding, you stand to be able splurge a little on your honeymoon.

If your guests don’t have to spend an eternity drinking and snacking away the awkward mingling time while they wait for the wedding party to show up, you can go right to dinner and party time and lop off a big old slice of the catering budget.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

At the very least, take all of the pictures you can pre-ceremony

4) Apply DIY Sparingly

Why to do it: Listen up, because this is important: YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL YOURSELF. Nor should you. Wedding planning is a huge undertaking, even if you don’t handcraft a damned thing. Make an honest assessment of your skills and resources. Can you make it quickly, easily, cheaply, and does it look good? If you cannot make it so, seriously consider whether making it yourself is worth the investment.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Good DIY

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Bad DIY

How to do it: Some DIY wedding projects are easier than others. You can easily design your own paper materials like invitations, programs, escort cards and get them printed online. Vistaprint and companies like it have everything you need to use either your own design, or use one of theirs and customize it exactly how you like.

Save a bundle on flowers by making bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages from preserved and dried flowers, as well as other natural materials, well ahead of the wedding. Save On Crafts has a huge selection of everything you could possibly need, and best of all, no matter the heat on your big day, your bouquet will hold up.

4 Ways to Slash Your Wedding Costs

Images via save-on-crafts.com

Pulling off the wedding of your dreams on a budget means compromise. It means taking each thing you have your heart set on and giving it a good hard look, realizing that there are more options than you know, more ideas, if you keep your mind, eyes, ears and heart open to new inspiration. You can’t always get what you want, but I tell ya – if you try sometimes, you just might find…you get what you need.

Yeah, I went there.

Now, I know you crafty geniuses have figured out some fantastic ways to save on your weddings. If you have an idea too clever not to share, well, then, why wouldn’t you?

Tell us about your best money-saving wedding schemes in the comments section below!