We honestly hate helping in any form, but the wedding industry has gotten so out of control that it demands our expertise. Between shows telling us that you have to spend upwards of $100k on one goddamn day and brides pitching actual crying fits because mommy won’t buy them the $30k dress of their dreams, we needed to bring everyone back down to Earth.
You can have a super amazing day, dress, and overall wedding without blowing your savings and parents’ retirement fund. Here are our top 10 tips for cutting costs at your wedding without making you seem tacky and cheap.
1. Get Married December-March
Winter weddings are daring in general (here’s hoping it doesn’t blizzard), but if you take the risk, you may be rewarded with more money for drinks on the honeymoon. Choosing “off” months between December and March can mean as much as a 40% less cost at some venues, depending where you are.
2. Get Married On A Friday Night Or Sunday Morning
I make a lot of fun of brunch weddings (cause I don’t want to get drunk in front of family members before noon), but if you wanna save a buck or two, picking an off time is the way to go. Saturday nights are in high demand, so choose a Friday evening for your super special day or a Sunday morning brunch. Bonus points if you choose a Sunday night before a Monday holiday like Memorial Day when everyone is off anyway.
3. Chill On The Invitations
I know you want Minted’s handmade, laser-cut, imprinted, glitter, foil, rare edition, unicorn tear invitations, but unless you want to spend more than $800 on 200 invites, you need to chill. People aren’t going to spend more than five minutes examining your invite, so the idea of spending a ton of money is preposterous. Go pretty, go classic, and pick one—MAYBE two—special touches like a foil or letter press.
4. Be Besties With Your Florist
If you’ve been dyyyyying for hydrangeas but they’re out of season and are going to cost you $24 per stem (real talk), let your florist lead the way. These are goddamned flower experts, and if you tell them to substitute with cheaper but similar looking colors and flowers, they will. I told my florist to use my color scheme and go nuts—keeping it around a specific price. She delivered, and the flowers looked amazing.
5. Do Choose An Actual Venue
You may think having a backyard barbecue at your friend’s parents’ Hamptons house is going to be cheaper than an actual venue, but you could be wrong. Once you start factoring in catering, tents, utensils, linens, the band, the restrooms, etc., your bill is likely to be just as much as a venue (if not more). PLUS, it’s a lot more fucking work.
6. You Don’t Need A Giant Fucking Cake
I’ve said it time and again—no one gives a shit about your 12 layer platform vanilla-on-vanilla wedding cake. Save some goddamn green, and get a small cute tea cake to cut with your S.O. that you won’t even have to share with anyone. Everyone else can fuck themselves eat cookies.
7. Buy, Don’t Rent
If you’re at a venue that’s charging you for every fork, napkin, and plate, see if you can use or buy your own items. Seriously, it’s often cheaper to use your own linens and utensils, if the venue will allow it. So start stealing knives, forks, and napkins, fam.
8. Stick To Your Goddamn Dress Budget
This is a big one. Nothing pisses me off more than the bitches on Say Yes to the Dress who have a budget of $3k and end up spending nearly double. STICK TO YOUR DRESS BUDGET. DON’T EVEN LOOK AT DRESSES OUTSIDE THAT BUDGET. Remember that even if you pick a dress at your $2k budget, you’re still going to shell out for alterations. So going above on that means you’re going to lose something else or pay way more than you want in the end. CHILL. IT’S ONE DAY.
9. Make Your Guests Do Work
I mean, you’re paying for a five or six hour party—the least your guests can do is help out. Whether you make them set tables for the reception, make your desserts (guilty and it was AMAZING), or bring all the liquor to stock the bar, making your guests pitch in is totally a great way to cut costs.
10. Visit The Tacky Bridal Shows
I KNOW they’re literally the worst, but the best thing about those bridal shows and expos is that florists, DJs, bands, planners, and venues hang out there to snag brides with a good deal. Honestly, I know a betch who got like 40% off her DJ because she hired him from the bridal show. So, yes, it kind of sucks to go to a room full of what feels like used car salesmen, but you’ll thank yourself when you see the bill later on.