Cutting down the budget doesn’t have to mean a less stylish wedding. In fact, the need to get creative with money can increase the uniqueness factor of your day! Consider these 10 ways to save as you plan:

  1. Double-check your guest list: Look for ways to limit the number of guests you have invited. This is the number one way to save!
  2. Find an up-and-coming photographer: Many photographers who are just starting a business will provide their services for significantly less than seasoned photo-takers, and the price often isn’t a reflection of the skill level. Be sure to check out their portfolio to make sure they fit your needs, or schedule an engagement shoot with them if you want to do a test run. Alternatively, you might ask a friend or family member who is good with a camera to capture your special moments.
  3. Don’t hire photographers/videographers for the entire day: After the dance, have friends or family take over with photos and video. You can also use disposable cameras, photo apps or guest video cameras to collect a ton of memories from the point of view of those who are at your wedding.
  4. Try a cake alternative: Classic cakes are becoming less and less of a norm as people try out new, creative ways to showcase their wedding dessert. If you know someone who is talented in the kitchen, ask them to help you create a dessert bar, cupcake display or other cake alternative. These are interesting to look at, they add to the decor and they taste amazing! Another option is to get a small cake that will be eaten only by the wedding party, with a slab cake to serve to guests.
  5. Bring your own DJ: There are many new and improved self-DJing options available out there. Hire your MC or a trusted friend to run the music for the evening. Try out a DJ app or cheap computer program. Also look at options for live music – much like photography, hiring a musical friend or an up-and-coming band can be affordable and unique! Just make sure you hear them sing first 😉
  6. Find a discount wedding dress: Some brides are understandably superstitious or picky about getting a brand new dress, but if budget is your number one concern, there are many gorgeous used dresses to be bought at a fraction of the price. You can also look for discount racks, trunk shows and other sales. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to barter at a store, many places (especially smaller shops) may be willing to negotiate a deal.
  7. Use your own car:  If the fancy rental car is a detail you are willing to lose, you can save a ton of money by borrowing a nice car from someone you know (and having them drive it) or just decorate your own!
  8. Break the mold of time and place: Getting married in the off-season, on a less-coveted day or a different time will usually give you significant discounts. Also experiment with location – places like a backyard, art gallery or local theatre can decrease your spending and increase the wow-factor of your wedding.
  9. Break the mold of food and drink: Wedding couples and guests alike are becoming  increasingly interested in alternatives to the standard sit-down dinner reception – not only for budgetary reasons, but because they want to try something new and unique. By having a brunch wedding, a stand-up reception or food stations, you can cut costs without lessening the appeal of the party. Also try to cut down on drink options. Create a signature drink to fit your theme; if you are having a vintage party, try a lemonade cocktail! Apart from a themed beverage, you may want to consider charging at least a few dollars per drink (people will be less likely to waste drinks or drink as much), or have a cash bar.
  10. Focus on inexpensive decor: Start collecting things early for centrepieces and other decor, whether it is using things you have, shopping thrift stores or online marketplaces, or taking advantage of great sales. Also borrow things from friends, make things yourself and find reasonably priced rentals. We’ve seen many budget-friendly, plain venues transformed by adding chair covers and linens – ask yourself what will give you the most bang for your buck and focus on those areas.