Planning a wedding is a wonderful, and sometimes stressful, undertaking. Aside from the obvious inclusions, such as a guest list, attire, and decorations, there are also the minute details like seating arrangements, music choices, and complementary colors.

All of this can become overwhelming, both to your brain and your bank account. You can relieve some of the cost, and the trepidation, by cutting down on your wants, needs, and expectations without losing any of the charm, elegancy, or beauty of your special day.

Here are 10 ways that you can save on your nuptials while still enjoying a classy and beautiful ceremony and reception.

1) Cut the Guest List

Although this may seem harsh, cutting down the guest list is a simple, realistic, and logical way to save some money. Invite the people that you want to be there and don’t worry about people you haven’t seen or talked to in years. This is your day, and it should be filled with people who understand just how much it means to you.

By having a shorter guest list, you could save money on the venue, invitation costs, and meal expenses. This alone could put a good chunk of cash in the bank to go towards a home or a honeymoon.

2) Use DIY and Recycled Décor

Use the internet to your advantage and seek out simple and cheap projects that are budget-friendly. If you really don’t like crafts, look online to see if anyone is selling decorations from their own party or wedding. You could end up getting the perfect items for a fraction of what they would be new.

Making your own invitations, centerpieces, and even favors can save you a lot. Choosing items that you can either use again after the wedding, or that your guests can take with them, will end up saving you the task of having to package, store, or sell everything after the fact.

3) Enlist Family and Friends to Help

If you have a friends or family members that are experienced in anything that needs doing, ask them for a hand. Hairdressers, seamstresses, tailors, make-up artists, musicians, photographers—anything you can think of. You might not get their services for free, but you may get them at a discount.

If they do want a fee, ask if their services can be in place of a wedding gift. That way, you get the things that you need and they don’t need to shop for a gift that you may or may not use. Win-win!

4) Delay the Reception

Instead of having a large reception right after the ceremony, consider planning one a few months down the road. Invite your closest friends and family members to the actual wedding, and have a big BBQ in a park or a community hall for everyone else later on.

Using a cheaper venue for the larger party will allow you to have a more intimate and personal setting at your ceremony and it keeps anyone from feeling left out.

Waiting for a bit will also give you the opportunity to focus on the actual “getting married” part of the wedding, instead of planning a big event for a large group of people.

5) Get Married When No One Else is

Wedding season starts in the spring and runs until the beginning of fall. Everyone gets married in the spring or summer, while the weather is fair and travel is much easier. Because of this, venues and services are often more expensive during these peak times as they are in high demand.

Keep some cash in your hand by getting married in the fall or winter. These seasons can offer more romantic settings and unique pictures than the usual ones and you won’t be fighting with anyone over a booking date or time slot.

6) Hire Students

People who are currently enrolled in trades or other programs tend to offer their services for less than professionals, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t do a wonderful job.

Take a look at their portfolios and past projects to see if their style and skillset match your own. If they do good work, give them a nice recommendation or endorsement to use. Treat them well and they may offer you deals in the future.

7) Create Online Invitations and RSVPs

Instead of wasting paper and paying for postage, send out email invitations to anyone you possibly can. To those you can’t, a simple handmade invitation will do.

If you can’t send out email invitations, request that guests RSVP via phone or email. You can even create a new email address to use solely for your wedding correspondence. This way, you save time, money, and the environment, all while getting the same results.

8) Ask for Discounts

Whenever possible, ask for discounts. You may get a lot of “no’s”, but even a couple of discounts can make it worth it. You never know what people may be willing to do for you unless you ask.

And don’t be afraid to barter. Call around and get a few quotes on items that you need, such as flowers, and see who will offer the best deal. If you have a preferred vendor whose prices are a little too high, ask them if they can meet another cheaper offer.

9) Get Married in the Morning

Breakfasts, brunches, and lunches are much more affordable than dinners. Having an earlier wedding can beef up your budget while still feeding your guests. You don’t need to scale down your expectations in terms of food choices. Many dinner menus are available for lunch but are smaller and more affordable.

10) Sell it all When You’re Done

Once the wedding is over, you’ll likely find yourself with a pile of leftover sentimental items, such as candles, centerpieces, and other décor items. Since you probably won’t use most of them, sell them online either separately or in bulk. You might not get what you paid, but it will reduce the cost significantly and you’ll be helping someone else to save on their big day too.

In Conclusion

You don’t need to spend a fortune to have your happily ever after. Of course your wedding is important, but many couples are also saving for their first homes, starting a family, or paying off debt. Because you’ve got other things to save or pay for, it’s beneficial to save when and where you can. A few dollars discount here means another few dollars in your savings account.

What other savings tips do you have? Were any of these new to you?

Posted by Brittany Foster

Brittany is a writer, editor, and content manager interested in law, marketing, and technology. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2014.