10 tips on having a cheap wedding that your guests don’t notice

We all know money is tight with the economy being in the shape it is so I complied a list of 10 tips on having a cheap wedding that your guests don’t notice.

1. Invite only TRUE family and friends – This isn’t Facebook. Do you seriously need to invite everyone you went to college with? If you wouldn’t recognize them on the street, they shouldn’t be at your wedding. It’s your day, and you should be surrounded by the people closest to you in the world – and that doesn’t always mean blood relatives. You may need to make some compromises here and there, but don’t sacrifice the presence of someone you truly want there because your mom doesn’t want to offend some distant relative. That’s her problem, not yours.

cheap wedding cakes2. How big is your wedding cake? Most wedding cakes are 40-50% eaten. Why waste money on food thrown in the trash? If you want something gorgeous have a display cake that is perfect but smaller. Then feed your guests from a basic sheet cake to save money. If not interested in sheet cake have your local baker create a large cake with only simple white fondue covering it. You can even use organic edible flowers to decorate it with such as:

  • Nasturtium (peppery tasting)
  • Rose (mild, sweet tasting)
  • Lavender (perfume tasting)
  • Chicory (spicy, bitter tasting)
  • Oregano ( spicy tasting)
  • Pansies (semi-sweet tasting)

3. How long are you wearing the wedding dress? What, maybe 6 hours max? Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a dress you’re only going to wear once. David’s Bridal has $99 wedding gown sales constantly, and you can find awesome bargains at regular dress shops, too. Don’t forget eBay and Craigslist.  Your dress may even be a prom-season find that cost only $100. Do you honestly think your daughter will want to wear your wedding dress 30 years from now… I don’t think so. When your done, pass it to a consignment store and get some money back on it too.

4. Keep the menu simple. Do you really need crab balls and lobster bisque and filet mignon to be able to enjoy your wedding dinner? You can negotiate a five-course plated dinner (including filet mignon) with open wine and beer all night and an hour of passed hors d’oeuvres for less than $50 per person at a nice restaurant in town if you do your homework.

5. Get wedding flowers from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart/Costco. Our local Winn-Dixie even creates free flower arrangements if you buy flowers from them & bring in your own vase. You end up saving about 80% compared to typical florists doing this. Go ahead and ask for a discount and based on your quantity they will probably give it to you. Just keep in mind to use blooms that hold up, as you will need to make arrangements ahead of time. Make sure they use knives to cut the stems, not scissors (adds about 4-5 days to the life of the flowers)

6. Don’t ever hire a wedding DJ. Instead of hiring someone create a playlist on our iPod and hook it up to the reception hall’s speaker system. Your in control and you can make sure the Electric Slide is left out.

7. Be savy about wedding photography. Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a so-called professional photographer with 20 years experience, hire an art student from the local college or a friend of a friend that is gifted in the art of photography. It’s still a good idea to ask to see a portfolio and make sure the personalities fit your style, but don’t assume that you have to spend the Franklins for memorable pictures. But remember, these wedding photos are the only thing that you shouldn’t try to get your uncle Jimmy to do as his wedding gift either…BAD IDEA.

8. Who needs live music from a string quartet? You can walk down the aisle to a beautiful arrangement of Pachbel’s Canon in D Minor on a free CD or your iPod. Just have a good friend push the play button as you walk down the aisle.

cheap wedding invitation from Michael's9. Wedding Invitations get thrown away remember? There are many sources from which to purchase invitations, but one of the least expensive ways to purchase invitations is to do them yourself! You can purchase beautiful invitations that you can print yourself and save a small fortune at places such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. If you really want to go ultra cheap use a website like evite.com for invitations and RSVPs. Heck you can even create an event on Facebook and do the same thing. This is the 21st century right?

10. Wedding Venue – If you belong to a church, or if your parents or another relative belong to a church, you can likely rent the church free to hold your wedding. Churches also often also have a place called “fellowship hall” in which you could have a free place to hold your wedding reception. Hopefully you hvae some family that’s Catholic since they typically have the most beautiful churches.

Hey, since this is a blog designed for 2 way conversation what other ways can you think of to shave money off that wedding bill?

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8 thoughts on “10 tips on having a cheap wedding that your guests don’t notice

    1. Michelle,
      Yes, BUT most brides don’t want to opt out of the wedding entirely. Though eloping is always an option. Heck, you could spend the money on a world cruise. I checked out Vacations to Go and you can go on a 40 day world cruise for only $6,000 a person (technically it only hits Australia, China, Guam, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, & South Africa but that’s the world most USA residents don’t see right?). It’s all about what’s important to you.

  1. This list is totally fierce! First there were Maxxinista’s, then Frugalista’s, and now, um, WeddingDayIsta’s???!

  2. OK OK hold on! Some great tips here but let’s also remember that this is the one day of your life (hopefully) where you should have just what you want to celebrate. List your priorities and budget around them – and also remember the things that will last. Wedding rings and photographs are the one thing that you’ll be left with – so don’t be tempted to compromise on them. I am a photographer so I’m biased – but I have heard of so many stories of botched wedding pictures by so-called professionals AND well-meaning friends and relatives. Students are OK but lack the presence and experience to control a group of people in a non-confrontational manner. They also won’t have insurances or back-up equipment. If photography is not important to you, its absolutely fine to hire a non-professional. But if you want pictures that you’ll enjoy looking at in 20 years time – do the reseach and pay the money. Paying a few dollars ( or £s) for pictures you hate is a few dollars wasted – paying lots of dollars for fabulous pictures that you love is money well spent.

    1. I have to agree with you, photography is the one thing you REALLY don’t want to go cheap on. A good photographer can make a cheap wedding look elegant and expensive. You are right.

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