10 Money-Saving Wedding Ideas for Brides on a Budget

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Here comes the bride, the groom, and the excessive payments for what should be the happiest day of your life 🙁. The average American couple spent roughly $33,391 on their wedding in 2017, with a huge chunk of that money going towards their reception venue.

Most weddings are expensive, but yours doesn’t have to be.

The secret to saving money on your wedding is finding alternatives to the most expensive aspects of your big day. It’s not always easy, but it’s certainly possible to host a beautiful event for a fraction of the average cost!

Scope Out AirBnB for Venues

Some venues on AirBnB allow guests to host events, and some hosts are even known for hosting weddings. AirBnB lets users pick from a wide range of housing options, including chalets, cabins, and even yurts.

To find a cheap wedding venue on a budget, adjust your filters to 16+ guests and check the box that says “Suitable for events.” Some AirBnB homes require that you stay for a minimum of 2 nights, which gives you time to set up and the ability to host out-of-town guests. Before booking, always message the host to go over details and make sure they’re up for hosting you!

Hire a DJ From a Local College

If you’re getting married close to a college town, you have a wide range of inexpensive DJs to choose from.

Most colleges use student DJs for on-campus events and college radio shows. Check with nearby universities to get their DJs’ contact information. A college student who’s learning more about the industry will be happy to accept compensation, even if it’s less than the industry standard.

Let a Trusted Guest Be Your Photographer

Is one of your wedding guests good with a camera? Chances are, someone on your invite list is capable of taking quality photos with a professional camera. Reach out to your talented guests to see if they’d be willing to be your photographer (but make sure you let them enjoy your wedding, too!)

Make Your Own Invitations

Don’t waste your money by hiring someone to make your wedding invitations. Using free tools like GIMP and Canva, you can create your own invites! If you’re not that creative, check out Etsy for downloadable invitation templates.

Do Your Own Makeup

If you’ve ever put on makeup for someone else’s wedding, you’re skilled enough to put on makeup for your own. If you’re not that great with makeup application, have a trusted bridesmaid help you out.

Rent Your Dress

Some brides like to hold onto their dress, but you can save hundreds by renting one instead. Some bridal gown rentals are only $75! Be sure to look into additional costs, like alterations and fittings.

Have a Smaller Affair

Many venues and catering companies will charge by the person. By limiting your affair to the people you and your partner are closest with, the overall cost will go down tremendously. You’ll also save money on favors and hotel rooms.

Skip the Videographer

Will you really watch those videos from your wedding day? Chances are, the DVD from your affair will sit in a closet, never to be touched again. Allow guests to record videos on their smartphones to get some extra footage of your big day.

Consider Skipping the Open Bar

Open bars are expensive, but cash bars throw guests off guard. If your venue allows you to bring in outside beverages, consider offering beer and wine to your guests.

Plan an Inexpensive Honeymoon

You can still have a honeymoon, even if your wallet isn’t bottomless! Consider trips within your own country, but don’t push aside international options. Iceland, Portugal, and Jamaica are all suitable for newlyweds on a budget.
Wedding planning can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to break your bank. Save thousands on your big day, and save time by cutting out the vendors you don’t need.

More Ideas:

If you’d like more money-saving wedding tips, check out this article from my friend Kathryn at Money and Mountains

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