It seems kind of silly to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a day that only happens once.
For many people, the fact that a wedding only happens once is what makes it worth it.
For the thrifty and the frugal among us, though, that money could be better spent elsewhere. And one of the biggest money saving tips for your wedding is to figure out who you know.
Family and friends will probably be willing to help you out with your wedding – they can count it as their wedding gift to you!
Do you know any professionals, or amateurs?
1) The first thing you should do is think about who you know that might have professional skills.
Or even amateur skills. You know, like a hobby. Flower arranging, photography, decorating and catering are all items that you can cast about for friends and relatives.
For my wedding, someone in my church congregation decorated cakes for a local caterer. She made our wedding cake as her wedding gift to us. My uncle is an amateur photographer, as is my husband’s sister. Between the two of them, our wedding photos turned out great.
Another friend of mine offers to do wedding photos as gifts to her friends and family. She loves it. Her acquaintances get free wedding photos, and she gets exposure as a photographer.
A friend of mine knew a florist, and, even though she didn’t get all the flowers for free, she got them heavily discounted. And the florist threw in the arranging for the reception and the ceremony as the gift.
Sometimes, if a religious leader is close to a family, he or she will perform the marriage free of charge. But that isn’t really something you can ask for.
A seamstress might be able to make your wedding dress (my mom made mine and my sister’s) for a discounted rate as part of your wedding gift.
2) Get creative
Additionally, you can usually find relatives and friends that have decorations that will work for your wedding.
One of my dad’s friends had a lovely trellis that he let us use for the reception. A friend of mine had a cousin who owned a pet shop.
For the centerpieces of their wedding, the cousin brought over brightly colored tropical fish to swim in bowls.
Another thing you can do is use hand-made centerpieces. A friend of mine had a grandfather who whittled well. All of the centerpieces were beautifully carved wood pieces. Of course, some of these things require advance planning, since months might be needed.
3) Have the wedding earlier in the day
Instead of an evening dinner reception, have an earlier wedding.
That way you can have a brunch or a luncheon instead. You will save a lot of money on the food, and there will be no need to buy more expensive alcoholic drinks.
(Bonus: if you know a caterer it might help you get your food for less money.)