How to Save Money on Your Wedding

By David Ning

| Photographs By Rawpixel

I still remember the first time I realized the true power of my wife’s money-saving skills. On our wedding, my wife probably saved us an amount in the five digits. As a result, we had an spectacular wedding that cost pennies on the dollar.

This is how you can save money on your wedding as well:

Picking the venue for your wedding

One of the most important decisions you will make for the big day is the location of your banquet. Are you looking for a venue that has great views, or are you more of an indoor person?

Before you go to each location to ask for pricing, figure out your preference so you can rate it against the prices you are quoted.

One of the tricks that sales people seem to use is to give you an ultra-low price to grab your attention. As you inquire further, everything will seem to cost extra. Forks? Add X to the total. Want fish instead of beef? $$$.

That’s why it makes sense to go to the venues several different times. On the first visit, let them give you the sales talk so you get a feel for what’s available, and get a quote. Then gather all the information and figure out what you’d like in your wedding.

Once you have a general idea, make a list with everything you’d like for the wedding and go back and ask for a price. Otherwise, you will never be able to compare apples to apples.

Wedding planners vs. wedding coordinators

There are wedding planners and there are wedding coordinators. The planners help you plan the wedding before the wedding, while the coordinator will help you organize what happens on the day of the wedding.

Most wedding planners will do both, so make sure you know what exactly you are paying for. For those who have budget concerns, do not use a wedding planner because everything can be done yourself. However, coordinators are money well spent because he/she will help make sure all details are executed on the day of the wedding.

Do you really want to be worrying about whether the flowers arrived or the tables are set up? Furthermore, paying for a wedding coordinator means you can bounce ideas off the person, which means more help on the planning side.

Saving on wedding dresses

Vera Wang dresses are amazing but not everyone can afford owning one. For those who don’t mind, renting wedding dresses may be for you. Before you commit, make sure to ask around to find a reputable company to rent from to avoid hassle.

Also, rentals should be available to be picked up a few days before and they should also be adjusted (to a limited degree) to fit you. Also, make sure you understand the terms (if it gets damaged, for example), and see what your liabilities are.

If at any point you aren’t comfortable with the company you are dealing with, go somewhere else.

Photographers and videographers

There are people who will take photographs for free and there are ones you can spend the rest of your life working for because they charge an arm and a leg.

Look, good photography is worth every penny, as you will be looking at your wedding pictures for years, so find a person who can take those types of pictures. Anything more than that is probably too much for you if budget is a concern.

Video is another story and it all depends on how many times you are actually going to watch the show. Once? Twice? Maybe even 10 times in your life. Balance your budget accordingly.

How to be cheap on flowers without getting caught

Flowers make everything look better and vendors know this. That’s why they will charge you extra if you tell them it’s for a wedding. Instead, talk to your wedding coordinator and your married friends to see if they know of wholesale flower markets where the vendors themselves go.

If there are ones around your area, you can just go there and buy them yourself. They usually look like the Costco for flowers, and everything is so much cheaper.

Makeup specialist

Some brides like to change clothes during the wedding, which means different makeups. On our wedding, we actually flew someone from Taiwan over here to help us and it still turned out cheaper than hiring one in the states. Why? The artist in Taiwan charged for the entire trip while everyone here wanted to be paid every time he/she picked up the brush.

On the big day, we didn’t have to worry about being nickled and dimed, not to mention that she followed my wife the entire day as she was fixing my wife’s “look.”

Obviously, not everyone has access to people in a different country, but do you have a friend who is in the industry? Try asking around (like your hair stylist, for example) to see if there is anyone who can help.

Chairs, ribbons and other things

Where do you get deals? Forget wedding places. Look for party shops for ribbons, furniture-rental places for chairs and everything that has nothing to do with getting married.

Be creative. Any vendor that tailors its business to that big day will overcharge, guaranteed.

Save money on wedding favors

The most creative and cheapest wedding favors are actually ones that you make yourself. Rev up your creativity and don’t be lazy.

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