Saving for the Big Day

Red: Pork chops? I thought we agreed to stick to a budget! Pork chops aren’t cheap!Kitty: Well, you know, on the way to the market, I tried to run over a cat. But they are just so darn speedy! –That 70s Show

I always knew weddings could be expensive, but I was ignorant to just how much they could cost. I just assumed I could budget and I could still have a nice wedding. But living in Sonoma County I’ve been struggling to find any venue within our small budget. I considered having the wedding in Oregon, but it would be too hard to plan a wedding a state away.

I found this site that talks about  30 Ways to Save Money and I got the idea that I should come up with a few ways to save money for our wedding. I came up with 10, and maybe you all can give me some more money saving tips. It’s not like I need some fancy over the top affair, but I just don’t want it to be obviously low budget. Here’s my list so far:

  1. Smaller guest list-because caterers and venues charge based on the guest list, this is the first place we’re cutting back. It’s difficult to choose who should come and who shouldn’t though!
  2. Skip on the wedding favors. If we do decide to get any, we’ll use]coupon codes and get them online.
  3. No minister-we’re going to ask one of our close friends to officiate so not only will we save money, but it will mean more to have a friend marry us.
  4. Less flowers-because I want a Fall wedding, I want to use more leaves to decorate rather than flowers.
  5. No bridal party-Match and I are each others best friends, and we really don’t have anyone we want to stand up with us. We care about all of our friends equally and don’t want to choose.
  6. Both a ceremony/reception site. It’s cheaper and it will cut down on things like insurance for the limo which we’re also not getting.
  7. Small wedding cake-I definitely want a pretty cake, but I don’t want to pay a fortune for it. So we’re thinking of having a small cake for cutting and for pictures, and then we’ll serve a sheet cake for the guests. As long as it still tastes good!
  8. Printing our own invitations-There are so many sites out there now that offer cheap invitations, or templates to print your own. I’m not going to waste money on fancy invitations that will just get thrown away.
  9. Hire a photography student-I’m thinking of seeing if there is a student at the nearby college looking to expand their portfolio. They might be cheaper than some of the professional photographers in the area.
  10. Having the wedding on a Friday-I’m toying with this idea, but I’m not sure how easy it will be since we have guests coming from out of town. I know it would save a lot on the venue though

What are some ways you saved money for your wedding? What were things you wished you had skipped on and things you wish you hadn’t?



    There’s a gorgeous venue by me that offers Friday weddings at a discount, but I don’t know if that would work for people with guests coming in from out of state. Since you won’t have a wedding party, you wouldn’t have to worry about friends taking an extra travel day to make it to the rehearsal dinner. You can always have a party later for people who aren’t able to make it …
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Where Did the Weekend Go??? =-.


    Look into your county’s parks department for venues- we saved a ton by having our wedding at a lodge owned by the park and recreation department (and we had the ceremony and reception at the same venue- it’s much greener that way, too!). I would be careful with a photography student, though- the photographer is the absolute one area where we didn’t scrimp. The photos are going to be the most important part for years to come.

    Have fun planning! I’d love to share with you other tips if you ever have any questions! 🙂


    I was on Martha Stewart’s website a few weeks ago and saw a pretty cool trick, using wine bottles as table numbers.

    Good luck with the planning!
    .-= Ivana´s last blog ..A chalet in the Alps {Virtual vacations} =-.


    Great list. I’ve seen all of those done before and they have worked great for other people! (We are doing a destination wedding and that’s keeping our costs down as well, although our guest list is super small). The more you can DIY the better.

    I can also tell you from past experiences that Friday weddings are fine. I went to two last year and it wasn’t a hassle at all because they were in the evening around dinner time.
    .-= Salt´s last blog ..The “Naughty Knot”. =-.


    Oh fun, a walk down memory lane for me! I was a penny-pinching bride (determined to do it cheaper than my free-wheeling cousin), and I employed a lot of things to get discounts. We made our OWN favors (CDs we burned ourselves); we limited our guest list; we had our reception at a place that did a lot of business for my dad, so we got a discount. Also, you can think to ask for a discount– maybe in exchange for free publicity on your blog? It couldn’t hurt!!

    Confessions From A Working Mom
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Truthful Tuesdays– The Biggest Winner =-.


    my part time job on saturdays is at a paper/invitation store. you’d be surprised at how much people are willing to spend on invites. don’t get me wrong. in the 8+ years i’ve been writing up invite orders, i have become some what of an invite snob, but even i know where to draw the line, haha. with that being said, when it’s time to write up, let me know if you need help with the wording 🙂
    i look forward to reading about your adventures with planning the wedding!!
    .-= phoebe´s last blog’s been a while. i know. =-.


    Your list is very comprehensive and soooo smart. I wish I had done even half of the things you listed to save money back in the day.

    One thing I would suggest is consider saving money on your gown by either buying second-hand or renting. I wish I had done either. It would’ve saved hundreds of dollars.

    Stopping by from SITS roll call!
    .-= joy´s last blog ..Christmas cuteness takes the form of two adorable second-cousins {wordless wednesday} =-.


    Definately do the Friday, its cuts the guest list for you, and lets be honest, is your sister NOT going to come becuase its a Friday? The important people will make an effort to be there no matter WHAT day you have it. A close friend of mine got married this summer on a Thursday afternoon and it was lovely, and she still had about 100 guests attend.

    DONT DONT DONT skimp on the photographer, we spent the majority of our budget on photos and it was worth EVERY penny. Trust me. You will never regret that choice EVER.
    .-= M´s last blog ..I dont DO parties….. =-.

Your comments make my day!