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Wedding Bells or Cash Registers? Celebrate Your Special Day with These Money-Saving Tips!

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budget wedding tips hip2save

Here comes the Bride, and the debt!

Weddings are a time of joyous celebration, but unfortunately, that can come at a price. We asked the Hip2Save community for some clever money-saving wedding tips that will make your heart, your mind, and your wallet happy. 😍

budget wedding tips

Consider getting hitched on a day other than Saturday.

Money-saving wedding tips include planning a different date.

Midsummer Saturdays are probably the hottest (literally) dates for weddings. This means you’ll be paying a premium price to book them. Try an alternative day like Friday (or even Sunday). While a Friday afternoon ceremony might be tricky for guests due to work schedules, you’ll find most will at least make the reception.

That said, your guests may really appreciate an off-season date, since summers are typically packed with vacation plans and—you guessed it—other weddings.

“Have your wedding on a Friday. Venues are typically lower in price. I got married on a Friday and saved $700.00.” – Gabby

“Get married on a Sunday — many venues are 1/2 price!” – Kyle

Say  ‘I do’ to wallet-friendly dresses.

budget wedding tips - look for cheaper dresses

I’m not trying to steal your thunder. I understand your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most important events in your life. Still, is it worth spending hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars for something you’ll wear for maybe 12 hours max?

If you’re looking to save some serious cash, check out these wallet-friendly (and just as gorgeous) wedding dress options:

  • TJ Maxx Seriously, is there any product category TJMaxx doesn’t thrive in? Their bridal gown selection maxes out at $300 and even includes designer brands like Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, and Zac Posen!
  • Azazie  Starting at $199, all dresses are custom-made. Just choose from a standard size or send your measurements for a custom-sized piece (just know these gowns are not returnable). Great for bridesmaid dresses, too!
  • JJ’s House  Enjoy a HUGE assortment of reasonably priced dresses, with most under $300!
  • Marketplace sellers like eBay, Mercari, or Poshmark  There are lots of women who either want to sell their gently-used dress to recoup some of the cost, or they end up buying multiple before the big day and selling the ones that didn’t make the cut. Either way, you’ll be saving tons of cash by purchasing secondhand.
  • Borrow one! If holding onto the dress after the wedding doesn’t have significant value to you, ask around to your family and friends to see if you could borrow theirs.

“I bought my wedding dress from eBay — it was the exact dress I wanted, just used.” – Aly

“White bridesmaid and prom dresses make budget-friendly wedding dresses.” – Diane

“I found the dress I wanted in store but searched the internet and found the exact thing on eBay for half the cost (before buying I read all the seller reviews!)” – Jessica

“Borrow a dress. Ask around. All your friends probably still own theirs and would be happy to see it get used. Just cover the cost of cleaning before you return it.” – Sheena

Locate frugal finds for the wedding party.

budget wedding tips - budget bridesmaid dresses

You’re not the only one who has a hefty price tag on your wedding garment. The average bridesmaid dress costs around $200, and groomsmen typically pay around $250 for tuxedo rentals! While this isn’t exactly your cost, it doesn’t hurt to take into consideration the amount your wedding party will be spending over the course of your engagement between the bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, potential travel, time off of work, and obviously your wedding gift.

Keep costs low for the ladies by:

  • Finding a low-cost dress retailer: Lulu’s has gorgeous dresses perfect for your bridal party, with most ringing up under $100!
  • Let them choose their dress: Have your bridal party shop for their own dress that meets your specs (skirt length, sleeve style, etc.) either in a specific color range or in white. If you go with white, you can dye all of the dresses the same color for a uniform look!

For the men, check out Menguin, which offers at-home try-ons for suits starting at only $85! If the group rents 5 or more suits for the wedding party, the groom gets his tux for free!

“Buy flower girl dresses after Easter. Colors are pastel and the price is 75% off. Also if it’s a destination wedding, send post cards of the place instead of cards for savings.” – Martha

Forego a traditional wedding cake.

budget wedding tips - don't get a massive traditional wedding cake

Wedding cakes can be an art piece, so they typically come at fine art prices. Try out another dessert option, like donuts (so trendy right now!), pies, cupcakes, or a festive candy spread that all come with a more affordable price tag.

Prefer an actual cake? Order a small-tiered cake that you can cut at the reception, and pick up sheet cake for serving (Hello Costco! 🙌). To save even more, buy a plain white iced cake and decorate with pretty edible flowers or basic piped icing.

“When it comes to your wedding cake, purchase a SMALL cake to cut (2-3 layers). Then order a sheet cake for your guests. The sheet cakes do not have all the fancy decorations the “presentation” cake has and saves a fortune! Then, the catering staff can cut, plate, and serve it immediately as soon as the cake ceremony is complete.” – Laura

“Sams Club has a 3-tier cake for $60. Get it and either decorate it yourself with flowers or leave it plain.” – Maura

“Ask students in cake decorating or photography event planning to help in exchange for some money and exposure.” – Kathy

 “Find what you like and find LOCAL folks that can do it cheaper! The wedding cake I wanted was going to be $1300, but we found an amazing baker that did it for under $300.” – Michelle

Trade services if possible.

budget wedding tips - offer skills in exchange for goods and services hip2save

Do you have mad freelance skills? A job where you can offer a discount? If you’re a whiz at social media, have serious photography skills, or can code a website in your sleep, leverage your strengths to your potential vendor to see if you can strike up a mutually beneficial deal.

With my background in graphic design, I was able to help my brother and his wife cut some wedding costs by negotiating with a local chocolatier to make their chocolate wedding favors at no cost in exchange for ad design services!

It’s important to note that this really only applies to local businesses, as franchised stores might not have the same ability to create those kinds of deals.

Print your own invitations.

Given all the resources now available for custom stationery, it’s crazy to NOT make your own wedding invites! Check out Etsy, Creative Market, and even Pinterest to find an invitation you like and purchase the design file directly from the creator. Most designs are under $20, though it may cost more for them to customize your personal wedding information if you’re not comfortable using file editing software.

For printing, call a local print shop for a quote for your order, or look into online printers like VistaPrint, Office Depot, Zazzle, or Shutterfly. Also, consider sending postcard-sized Save the Date cards and RSVP cards to save on postage.

“Get wedding invitation kits from Staples or an office store and print your own invites. How many of your guests actually keep the invites?” – Jamie

“We ordered ours from Invitations by Dawn. They were about $1 each. The RSVP was a tear-off postcard (we stamped those as well since postcard stamps were cheaper), and it was standard postage to send. I found it to be a very reasonable way to reduce costs without adding more work. And it really wasn’t much more expensive than buying the print-your-own sets and paying for printer ink.” – Angela

“Print your invitations on your own. I used, as it’s so much cheaper and people throw those things away anyway.” – Rebecca

Create your own wedding decor.

budget wedding tips - make your own decor

I mean, have ya looked at Pinterest lately? I think DIY wedding decor is the hottest thing in weddings since the engagement ring! There are so many:

An important thing to remember about DIYs: Take into consideration the material cost, project time, and labor effort. Sometimes the DIY ends up costing more than if you’d just bought the finished product! Don’t forget that your time holds value, too. Sure, you could make your own impressive centerpieces to save some money, but if it requires a ton of time, is it really worth it when you’re burned out by the time the wedding comes?

Be your own DJ and save hundreds!

budget wedding tips - make your own playlist hip2save

This is coming from someone who dates a DJ! Wedding DJs can cost hundreds, even thousands, depending on their experience. Instead, purchase a Spotify Premium membership (if you don’t already have one) for a month for only $9.99 and make your own wedding playlists — one for cocktail hour, one for dinner, and one for dancing. Then enlist the help of a bridesmaid or groomsmen to press play when prompted. Be sure to adjust the playback settings to have a little bit of a crossfade so songs seamlessly play into one another.

For the dance playlist, you could also check out the RockMyRun app ($2.99 a month) for playlists mixed by actual DJs. As you can expect from the name, the app is intended for working out, but a 30-45 minute mix of music is great for peak dance floor time. Then you can switch back to your own playlist for must-play hits near the end of the reception (Sweet Caroline, anyone?).

Keep in mind that while it’s your day, choosing a variety of genres that cater to multiple music tastes will make your guests feel included, too. You can even include an “I promise to dance if you play ____” note in your RSVP to get an idea of songs to choose. When selecting, definitely consider what level of profanity is appropriate given the audience — your 80-year-old grandmother and 8-year-old niece don’t need to hear the f-bomb multiple times over the speakers.

Lastly, if you do go this route, spend a night in and run through your intended music scenario in real time to get a feel for how these transitions will sound (then adjust your playlists accordingly).

Don’t overpay for flowers and arrangements.

Floral arrangements can make a huge dent in your wedding budget. Instead of ordering by the bouquet or centerpiece, ask if you can cut the flowers yourself or take them away in buckets to create your arrangements. It will require some extra effort and a bit of craftiness, but you can save hundreds this way.

Be sure and check out Trader Joe’s for flowers if you have one nearby. They offer trendy and totally affordable fresh flowers, and we heard from many readers that it is a go-to resource for wedding flowers!

You can also opt to simplify your greenery by using eucalyptus, pine bows, or other branch-like foliage and simply arrange them as a natural runner on tables. Succulents are also a great option given their price point, the range of style, availability (you can order them on Amazon!), and they can double as favors for your guests to take home after the reception.

“Ask which flowers are in season. It saved us a ton of money by selecting flowers that were readily available and didn’t require us to have them shipped in. We also used potted plants/flowers instead of ‘church flowers.’ Saved a ridiculous amount of money and my mom’s porch looked amazing that year.” – Julie

“I used Sam’s club for flowers (bouquets for 6, boutonnieres for 20, flowers for 36 tables, flowers for flower girl lanterns) that cost under $400.” – Aly

“I made my own centerpieces versus getting them from the florist… I wanted orchids submerged under water in tall vases, and the florist wanted something astronomical. I used half-off Michaels coupons and bought my orchids, and the florist actually let me borrow the tall vases! Once the fake orchids were under water and surrounded by candlelight, you would never know they weren’t the real thing!” – Nicole

Don’t book expensive professional photographers.

Let’s be real. You aren’t going to peruse your wedding photo album or watch your reception video on the regular, so why spend so much on it!? The average wedding photographer costs around $2,000. That price increases once you add on extras like album printing or a pre-wedding engagement shoot.

I am NOT hating on photographers and what they charge, because perfecting photos is a serious skill. But if you’re looking to save some cash and don’t need your photos to look like the cover of Vogue, call up a local high school or college and see if there are any photography students who would want to make a couple hundred bucks to shoot and edit the photos for your wedding. Ask for some examples of their work to get an idea of their style and skill. Be sure to get an agreement that all photos will be released to you in a digital format so you can order the ones you like for framing and create your own photo album on Shutterfly.

What’s more, most of your friends will be snapping their own photos on their smartphones throughout the night, so ask for them to use a wedding hashtag to find them on social media or email them to you after the reception.

“We skipped on the videographer and had the ceremony recorded with our family’s go Pro and iPad”  – Kim

“Find a photographer who is just starting out who needs to build their portfolio. Wayyyy cheaper. Got a photographer and her assistant with edited photos for 4 hours for $400.00.” – Kristen

B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Bar).

budget wedding tips - bring your own alcohol

If your venue allows it, ask if you can supply your own alcohol for the reception. My brother was able to do this and made a limited (but commonly ordered) drink menu — 2 types of red wine, 2 types of white wine, 2 types of beer, champagne, and mixed drinks with vodka, gin, whiskey, or rum.

They also made signs for signature cocktails by the bride and groom to help make the ordering decision easy. It also didn’t hurt that he was able to purchase the liquor at a discount through a liquor store where his friend worked.

“We really saved by finding a venue that allowed us to supply their bartenders with our own booze” – Angela

“Find a venue that lets you bring your own vendors, as well as one that will allow you to provide the bartenders alcohol. Stick to a beer, wine, and 1 or 2 signature cocktails instead of a full-blown bar.” – Brittany

Get creative with the food.

budget wedding tips - get creative with food hip2save

I’m not here to tell you to do a potluck style reception where the food is made by family members (not a bad idea), but you also don’t have to stick to a traditional sit-down style meal.

Think of what you and your future spouse like to eat and turn that into a theme. Big into burgers? Create a make-your-own-burger bar and see if a local BBQ company could grill burger patties on site. Love street food? Ask a couple of food of trucks to set up shop at your venue, and take care of the bill before they go.

I know this won’t work for every couple and/or venue, but it’s worth thinking outside the box to offer a memorable meal that won’t break the bank. Just keep dietary restrictions in mind so that ALL guests have something to eat during the reception.

“Look into food trucks/taco trucks instead of catering!” – Sarah

“My husband and I LOVE BBQ, so we did a two meat BBQ dinner with salad and two sides from a favorite local restaurant. We were able to get it for $9 a person and we had so many people tell us that it was the best food at a wedding they’ve ever had.” – Brittany

Give favorable favors… or don’t give them at all.

budget wedding tips - cookie wedding favors hip2save

I don’t mean to sound all Bah Humbug about this, but I’m sure you’ve been to a wedding or two where the favor was more tchotchke than useful. And if I’m being honest, I’m not even sure favors are necessary anymore. Most people already have a bottle opener or wine stopper, and other similar favors often get left behind on tables or tossed into a miscellaneous drawer once they’re home.

That said, edible favors like cookies, candies, or other treats do pretty well since most are consumed on site. Other more gourmet options like homemade vanilla, infused salts, or artisan coffee beans (all of which can be DIY’d for cheap) have a better chance of being used, given their perceived value.

One of the more unique favors I’ve seen lately was an acrylic standing frame for a photobooth strip, which, not by coincidence, was at a wedding reception featuring a photobooth. I don’t know how expensive the favor was, but it shows the couples planned thoughtfully.

Avoid the word “wedding” in anything you purchase.

budget wedding tips - don't use the word wedding hip2save

This is simple yet sound advice! Whether it’s your cake, flowers, or decor, the word “wedding” has a tendency to make these products magically jump in price. When sourcing and ordering, leave out the fact that it’s for a wedding and use the generic term “event” instead.

 “Stay away from referring to things as specialty items.” – Brittany

“Comparison shop and don’t get sucked in by wedding show vendors that try to make you think if you don’t buy/sign now that you will miss out. Bring a few friends who aren’t as emotionally invested in your big day as you are to be your rational guides.” – Debra

Elope or go to the courthouse!

budget wedding tips - get married at city hall hip2save

Skip all the wedding planning and have a quick and easy ceremony, as suggested by Sarah S., Sarah R., Susan, Keneke, Lacey, Laura, Jennifer, Pamela, Julie, Ashley, Jessica, Sharon, Lauren, Bethany, Rosie, Marcie, Sabrina, Abby, Autumn, Christina, Kristin, Terry, Nicole, Crystal, Kelly, Heather, Cobb, Yvonne, Angela, Karen, Angie, Cynthia, and Jamie — that’s 32 Hip2Savers and one sidekick!

This allows you to focus your wedding plans to simply figure out a time, date, and place, along with which family members and friends you’d like there (if any!). You then have the option to plan the reception for a later date, or you can skip the party altogether and allocate your budget toward a lovely honeymoon or a down payment on a house!

And I just want to leave you with this…

budget wedding tips hip2save

Whether you go extravagant or intimate with your ceremony and reception, remember that the only opinions that matter regarding your marriage belong to you and your spouse. As long as you’re both happy when the wedding is over, consider the celebration done to perfection.

“It’s about the marriage. Don’t go into debt for a show.” – Aly

Emily ( loves a good deal, especially when it comes to fashion finds, home decor, and all things self-care!


Up Next: Check out these reader tips on how to plan a bachelorette party for cheap!

Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. mommyx4

    Look around for a dress I went to our mall and into a wedding dress shop ended up getting my wedding dress that was an actual wedding dress with tail and all for $50 it was in the clearance section nothing was with it they just had new inventory going in

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome, what a steal! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amy

    Thank you for all the tips! Our >$4,000 budget including my dress, rings etc for around 100 people has led us to: getting married at a lakeside campground with a building we could rent for $600 for 4 days, wooden boxes my fiancé made with scrap wood from another project filled with annual flowers that can be brought home by us or others after, tomato plants as favors (I do a ton of gardening) , a dessert bar with contributions from many family members with all our favorite treats, and a very simple menu with bbq pork and brisket and sides made by my mom. My friend will take photos as our wedding gift, and we are skipping the dance and playing a game of kickball and having a fire after. It may not be what everyone would want, but it is “us” and it was fully funded in cash money. No after wedding remorse for us!!

    • Jervine87

      That sounds lovely!

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Amy, that sounds incredible! What a fun wedding and reception with so many personal touches to make it even that more special. And for under $4,000 no less!

  3. twizzdmob

    That’s awesome Amy!

    We used a lot of these tips but were also able to rent the table linens from the venue. Throw in a discount for taking them to the cleaners and ironing ourselves (put the MIL to work! Lol), favors from oriental trading and we saved tons. All people really cared about was the open bar!

  4. Mamabear

    You can go cheap in so many ways for your wedding. A couple things not to go too cheap on is the cake table and photos. Photos will be something that captures the evening and a great memory. Remember cake/cupcakes/sweets will be the last thing your guest will eat. Sweets always makes people happy. Costco has a florist. You have to pick up your flowers, but you can save big! I have seen many wedding done this way and looked beautiful.

  5. Edy

    My daughter bought her gown at Marry go round that was priced at 6,000 for 800 brand new dress , we found the dresses brides maids at Macy’s but when it came time to get all of them there were no longer available so, we found them new sone and some used ones matching at offer up and Facebook sale site , shoes hit the clearance rack at Macy’s , my dress JCPenney reg 150 for 79 dlrs — the grandmothers dresses ross ,the father of the bride suit Macy’s on sale for 100 dlrs and we got cash back got it in December , now I will try to sell 2 bridesmaids dresses and the maid of honor dress – and will sell mine and a extra that JCPenney send because one got lost

  6. Blessed

    I am all for a bargain. IMHO please try to get a good photographer

    • Sara

      I agree. I didn’t think I would care about wedding pictures as much as I did after the wedding. I got a photographer for less and regretted the outcome. Spend the extra money and get a good, not decent, photographer.

      • Cherryluva

        That’s the ONE thing my bro and his wife regret. Going super cheap on photog. Ahe ended up losing ALL their pics!!

    • Brittany

      I agree! My wedding photos are my favorite thing about the day! They turned out sooo fantastic! Some were even featured on both The Knot & my wedding dress designer’s website. I did a lot to save money on my wedding so that I could afford a nice photographer. We did our own cocktail hour food (the venue allowed this) and I did all of the decor/flowers myself. Your photos last a lifetime! Everything else only lasts the day of.

  7. Elaine

    For the dress, ask shops when they sell discontinued dresses. I bought my dress that way. I got a $1,400 dress for just $300.

  8. Carleen

    Hi! I recently got married. I bought my dress from Lulu’s, its an online shop that has a great return policy, so you can try and buy. My dress was 100$, and I used a coupon code! I also bought my 3 tier cake from Sam’s club for 70$ it was beautiful & tasted great. They have several to choose from. I agree with the above poster, a great photographer really makes a difference.

  9. LC

    Excellent, relevant advice

  10. Emily Barnes

    I am extremely frugal and was with our wedding (this was pre pinterest days) and made a lot of our decor and came up with the ideas. I will say photography is nothing something to skimp on. It is possible to find talent or possibly a shorter length package for a reasonable price but still get great photos for a day that should be treasured forever which is often a blur. Forget the expensive invites and fresh arrangement on each table and use it towards the honeymoon or a downpayment on a house. What matters is that you’re married at the end of the day 🙂

  11. Candace

    My husband and I got married in our teens, so we had a VERY frugal budget, like $20, lol. 17 years later, I don’t really feel too much like we missed out. We have each other every day 🙂 But that’s what worked for US. When my mom got married a very nice lady at the local grocery store bakery told her not to say she was buying a wedding cake, and not to go all white. She got a white cake with some pale purple flowers around the edge for 20% of what she would have paid if she had asked for a “wedding” cake.

  12. Mercedes

    • I saved a ton on my wedding dress by buying it from a bridal resale shop outside of Fort Worth called “Sundays Bridal.” They have tons of designer dresses and they ship worldwide.

    • I bought my bridesmaids dresses from “David’s Bridal Outlet” on Amazon (which oddly enough has no affiliation with David’s Bridal).

    • We saves on food by only having cake, appetizers and punch. We made sure the wedding was not during regular meal times to people wouldn’t be hungry.

    • I created my own centerpieces and we saved on flowers by ordering the roses from Sam’s Club and the vases from Craigslist.

    • For my invites, I bought a Groupon deal using a promo code for Zazzle.

    • I bought my candy bar vases on Craigslist.

    • We did splurge on a photographer because the memories are worth it. 4 years later, I’m glad we did!

    • I agree! Try not to search “wedding” when looking for items.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Mercedes, thank you for sharing your tips! That’s great to know about those wedding and bridal party dress stores!

  13. Pam Peercy

    My husband and I have been married for 43 years and had six children. We probably had the most frugal wedding ever. I made my wedding dress, and the two bridesmaid dresses. I wanted the bridesmaids to carry parasols. So we found two umbrellas at our local 5 and dime store and my mother took the fabric off and used as a pattern and covered them with a sheer printed fabric that matched the dresses. They were beautiful. My bouquet was purchased at our local small town florist. This was back in the day where you just had a cake and punch reception. My husbands aunt made our wedding cake as a wedding gift. The reception was held int he basement of our church. So no cost there. A family member took pictures and another family member took 8mm movies. The thing I cherish most is the 8mm film which I had made into a VHS which now I need to have made into a CD, because most of the older family members in that movie, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are no longer with us. It was a wonderful day and just like so many said above it doesn’t matter how much or how little you spend what matters is at the end of the day your married. It is a sad fact that most wedding goers all they care about is if there is going to be a bar. So I say skip the cost of a bar and see who your friends truly are. Just have a champagne toast!! 43 years later still married to the love of my life, six wonderful children and 12 fantastic grandchildren.

  14. Tina

    There’s some really great advice here. I definitely regret spending a fortune on our wedding, and wish we had just done the courthouse and had dinner with immediate family afterwards instead. One thing we did to save money was ordering flowers from Sam’s club and arranging them ourselves. I had a friend who had worked at a flower shop so she was able to help with things like corsages and boutonnières but I ended up getting very little help from anyone else and it became a very stressful thing the day before my wedding and the day of my wedding. I would recommend it to save money if you know you’re going to have lots of help, otherwise I would say it wasn’t worth the stress. I would have rather cut down on the flowers than stress so much about flowers on my wedding day. I agree with others that photography is not a place to skimp either. For me, the cake was important so we splurged and I’m happy we did, it was one of the only things that really turned out exactly how I wanted and it was so delicious. You just have to pick the few things that are important to you to splurge on and try to save on everything else. Also, not to be a downer but check your state laws regarding bartending, I know my state requires minimum training for bartender. If someone was to leave the wedding and get in an accident or get a DUI that teenager you asked to serve a couple drinks for $50 for the night to save money, could be liable. Just a thought.

  15. Steph

    I just got married in August with a VERY frugal wedding since both of us are still in college.

    We didn’t want to make the groomsmen pay the $300 men’s wearhouse wanted for navy tux rentals so instead I used my kohls charge to get navy suits for $90 each! The groomsmen were all pleased since they got to keep the suit afterwards and each saved $200. Highly recommend this.

    Our bridesmaids dresses were from Lulu’s and after the coupon were only $50 and were better quality material than most at David’s bridal. While the dresses aren’t marked online as ‘bridal’ Lulu’s has a phone number you can call specifically for questions about dresses you want to use in a wedding and helped me get all the sizes my girls needed.

    For photography I disagree about just having a friend take photos. If you need to save in this area, hire a photographer just for the ceremony and family pictures so that you can have some professional ones. Then have family and friends capture pictures of you getting ready and pictures at the reception. We had a college student studying photography take ours and she only charged $700 for the whole day compared to the $2500 I was quoted by others.

  16. jen

    I think we might be contenders for most frugal wedding ever. I bought my dress (regular dress, not a wedding dress) at T J Maxx for about $30. Husband wore his own clothes and bought a bow tie to jazz it up. We got married at the courthouse, my Dad took pictures, and it was just us and my parents. Afterwards we had a meal at our favorite local restaurant. That’s it. My only regret is not taking the time to get a prettier bouquet from the farmers market or Trader Joe’s, because mine was UGLY. 😀

    There are rare moments when I regret not having a “real” wedding, but I just couldnt stomach the idea of blowing SO much money. We started a family immediately and there were much more pressing needs for our funds.

    Plus it was so easy! The planning took about 3 hours. 🙂

    If you really must have a dream wedding, and can afford it, then by all means go for it! But give some serious consideration to who you’re doing all the expensive planning for. Remember it isn’t your family’s wedding, or your friends.

    • Shannon

      Jen — I had the exact same wedding as you did!! My dress was $30 I think it was a clearance prom dress and a restaurant dinner. My bouquet was from the grocery store and my mom paid for that but I doubt it was more than $30. We both have families in different cities far far away and no one would have come anyway unless it was in their city. Baby was born 6 mo later 😲😲😁The only thing I regret was not getting a professional photographer because a lot of the pics turned out blurry.

    • Cherryluva

      Getting married in 2 years. Will save this whole time. My friends and family mean a LOT to us. We cannot wait to have a HUGE celebration and have others celebrate with us…we live kind of far from others so it’s usually just us, so we are looking forward to being around others not just us two. A wedding is a celebration.

  17. Monika

    If dancing is a big part of your wedding … get a DJ. A playlist isn’t the same. Also, get a great photographer if you want to actually have great documentation. My bestie got married and he photoshopped me out of the pictures when I was helping her set up her dress for photos. He made us look amazing. He just was worth the money. He didn’t shoot the reception and they saved that way.

  18. Shannon

    I work as a tailor and I alter wedding dresses for $50 or less if it’s not the whole dress that needs altering. So it’s definitely worth it to get a used dress!

  19. Francie

    I have to say that this article is hating on Photographers! We all need to make a living as well. We as photographers feel it is the most important investment of your day. Likely to be the only Professional pictures you will ever have as a married couple. These Memories being captured you can revisit on anniversaries and also show your children the love you all felt on this special day. I find it sad that people do not deem this valuable service important enough to invest in. I invest much of my money in equipment to make sure I am offering a top quality product.

    • Tina

      Read the comments. Nearly everyone said they disagreed with that part of the article.

  20. JES

    I ordered numerous dresses from Nordstrom Rack to try for my wedding. I got to try on several different styles. Ended up with one for less than $100.

    • Holly (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome!

  21. Margaret

    Thanks for this – as someone who is getting married later this year, it was certainly helpful. However, although Friday/Sunday weddings may be cheaper for the couple, they are often times far less convenient for your guests, who may have to leave work early on a Friday, or have early mornings for work on Monday after Sunday festivities. Yes, it is cheaper for you, but it’s worth the money to be to be considerate of your guests and their schedules. Just my two cents!

  22. debbie

    does anyone have any ideas for so cal wedding venues?

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