The United States wedding industry is worth approximately $53.4 billion.
Weddings have gotten so expensive that some even purchase wedding insurance.
Some even go into debt to pay off their wedding and ask for a wedding loan.
If you're one of those people that want to avoid going into debt for their wedding, read this list to get inspired and motivated.
Your wedding doesn't have to cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the quality doesn't have to suffer when trying to have a frugal wedding.
Below are 15 ways to save money on a wedding that won't decrease the quality of the wedding, and will also save you tons of cash.
1. DIY some stuff, but not everything
Weddings are naturally filled with DIY projects. You could potentially save thousands of dollars by DIYing a few projects yourself.
For example, we arranged all of the flowers for my sister's wedding ourselves. If we had hired the flower shop to arrange them, we would've spent a couple thousand due to how many flowers we bought for the wedding.
However, it's always good to outsource projects that may be out of reach for you.
Stick to projects you and your friends have time to make, and will make well. For me, personally, I wouldn't DIY the table decor because spending the time to do so would end up costing more money rather than if I had paid someone to do it.
A few things you can DIY with articles included to show you how:
2. Use money-saving websites to save money
When buying supplies, clothing, decor and everything else, I recommend using Ebates. It's a free service that gives you cash back for doing your regular online shopping.
You can get cash back on Amazon, Best Buy, Macy's, and hundreds of other stores. You get $10 for signing up with my link here.
If you need to buy lots of food, decor item, or clothes, use Ibotta. Ibotta is a free app that lets you get cash back on items. All you have to do is find the items you want to buy at the store in the app, buy the item in the store, and then take a photo of your receipt using the app. You also get $10 when signing up through my link.
If you're having a destination wedding or honeymoon, I recommend using Groupon to get your hotel or entire travel getaway package. Trips are insanely cheap on Groupon ($199 for a Bahamas cruise for 2).
3. Offer your services
Do you have services that you could trade work for? For example, if you're in advertising or graphic design, you could offer your services to a DJ or restaurant who needs help in both of these areas.
When a friend of mine got married, she offered her services to almost everyone that needed to be hired for the wedding. Not everyone accepted, but several did, which saved her thousands of dollars.
4. Rent a dress
Rent your wedding dress! I know there are women out there that are against this because they like the idea of passing their dress down to their daughters. However, styles and trends change often, and your daughter will most likely not want your dress.
Also, wedding dresses are expensive and full retail price and take up a lot of room in your closet. Rent The Runway is a website that lets you rent dresses for all types of occasions.
Not only that, you can see how much it costs to rent the dress, and how much the dress was at retail.
The coolest feature (in my opinion) of Rent The Runway is seeing the reviews. Previous renters will upload photos of them in the dress, along with their full measurements, which is extremely helpful.
5. Less meat on the menu
Meat is usually the most expensive food on the menu. Ordering less meat and providing more vegetables, potatoes, and fruits can drastically cut costs. Here is a detailed guide on saving money on wedding food.
6. Use products that are in season
When buying items for your wedding, make sure you're buying things in season. Flowers and food should always be bought in-season. For example, you wouldn't want to buy foods with a bunch of bell peppers, basil, or berries for your winter wedding.
This also goes for flowers. This list here shows which flowers are in season every season.
7. Don't suck into the peer pressure
You don't need a brand new dress that costs thousands of dollars or personalized napkins for every single person. Weddings have gotten insane the past decade, and I think social media plays a huge factor in that.
Magazines, television shows, and movies are known for going big on weddings.
8. Decrease the # of guests
Do you really need your moms best friends son and his family at the wedding if you don't know them? No.
Limit your guest list to people you really care about. This will not only save you money, but you'll end up spending your special day with people you actually care about.
9. Diamonds don't mean marriage
In the past decade, diamonds have become less popular. Women and men are opting out for less traditional rings, such as rings with opals or rings with nothing at all, the band only.
Etsy is filled with rings that are unique and have an original design. Not only that, these rings are significantly cheaper than buying a diamond ring for thousands of dollars.
10. Skip the DJ
If you're a DJ, I'm sorry ahead of time. I think DJ's are awesome, but if you're tight on cash, you could simply create a Spotify playlist and play it at your wedding. Rent speakers and have a friend or reliable teenager keep track of the music.
P.S. I already know people are laughing at me at this, however, I think it's worth it to save $1,000.
11. Book your wedding on a non-traditional day
Weddings that are booked on a Saturday in the summer are going to be the most expensive. Try to book your wedding on a weekday, or even the day before a holiday on a weekday. This allows people to go home the next day and sleep the hangover off, rather than go to work.
12. Plan far ahead or super early
This is tricky, but booking at the right time is key.
Booking a year or so in advance can have its downfalls, but booking too late can have its downfalls as well. If you book too late, you might not be able to hire your favorite caterer or florist, but if you book far in advance, you'll definitely be paying full price.
When you book closer to your date, you have a chance of asking for a discounted price IF the person isn't booked yet and is looking for money and/or hours.
13. Get creative with invites
Send out digital invites instead of having someone create them. They're significantly cheaper and you'll be saving paper as well. Paperless Post and Minted are both great options for wedding invites. You can also gather RSVP's a lot easier.
14. Get married in the winter season
Weddings during the holiday season are a fantastic idea since most places are already decorated and have beautiful lights hanging everywhere.
15. Make connections
Is your best friend's husband or wife a graphic designer? See if they can design invites for you.
Do you have someone in the family that owns a restaurant or knows how to cook well? Ask them to cater for your wedding. They'll most likely give you a discounted price for their work.
Now that you've finished the post, you're either laughing ridiculously hard at me and this list, or you're thinking, wow, this is such a great list! Either way, let me know what you think in the comments.
If you've been married, what have you done to save money? And if you haven't been married, would you do any of the things on this list?
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