I wanted to wait until after my wedding to share my tips on how I saved, but with five months to go I think I’ve waited enough. I had an original budget of 8k for my entire wedding – that was unrealistic but, I am proud of the routes I am taking to save John and I major cash. Here are a few (but not the only) easy things you can do to save money and headaches!
#1 No Bridesmaids or Groomsmen. Many modern brides are opting for smaller ceremonies and using this option can really save cash, time, and drama! Typically brides purchase gifts asking friends and family to participate in their union ($25 each). Then you need flowers on the day of for your entire bridal party which can cost hundreds. Bouquets are about $100 a piece so multiply that times your BFFs. Boutonniers for groomsmen cost about $20 a piece. Bridesmaids will pay for their own dresses but what about hair and makeup? You can stop there for me – no thanks. Cutting the wedding party alone saves around $2,000.
#2 Don’t Choose A Wedding Venue. All of the wedding venues I toured wanted at least $15k just to have my wedding reception there. That did not include food, flowers, or cocktails. Wedding venues are outrageously expensive so if you can get creative with where you have your celebration, you will save a lot. I am having my wedding reception at a lounge/bar in San Francisco. The decor is gorgeous on the inside and the venue is typically closed during the day on Saturday but they are opening up just for me – for only the cost of alcohol. I am dropping cash on something my guests will actually use, not the venue, so drink up! Using a unique venue just saved us at least $7,000. AT LEAST!
#3 Search For Coupons Heavy. I look at Gilt.com and Groupon every day for deals on massages, electronics, clothes, and wedding stuff. I scored 50% off on Wedding Paper Divas and that saved me $250 when ordering my invitations. I purchased a $250 coupon for $500 worth of invitation credit. I also received 10% off of flowers for my wedding by asking the venue for a coupon code and offering to pass it on to the other engaged women in my office.
#4 Hire A Student Musician. I haven’t done this yet since my wedding is still five months away, but I plan to. I was looking for a musician to play during the ceremony and they charge anywhere from $500 – $1500 for two hours. I knew this could not be the only way, so I reached out to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and they only charge $95/hour for student musicians. Jackpot. This saved me another $500.
I will have more tips later as I can’t reveal them all now! Leave your tips for how you saved or plan on saving for your events below!