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13 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Weddings are awesome. It’s such a special time and very exciting to officially become family with the person you love. However, weddings can also be extremely expensive. The average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $33,900 (source). Guys… that’s EXPENSIVE. Like, more than what I paid for my car expensive.

As special and important as weddings are, you don’t want to put yourself into debt for them, or set yourself up for financial failure. So, I want to share 13 ways you can consider cutting some dollars from the cost of planning a wedding.

1. Have a Plan

Once you’re engaged and ready to start planning, having a checklist to follow is a good idea to make sure you stay on top of the important tasks. Forgetting something until the last minute often means having to shell out extra money for it. Allstate has a wedding planning checklist to keep you on track!

2. Print Your Own Invites, Menus, etc.

I did all the paper for our wedding, including our Save the Dates, Invites, and place cards for the wedding day. I’m no graphic designer, but I was able to create something I was pretty happy with for both. But, you can also buy templates on Etsy for not much.

Then, I just went to my local Staples to have them print on cardstock and cut. Check out how I DIYed our Save the Dates and our Wedding Invites for less.

3. Use an Online RSVP Service

I used anrsvp.com and it was amazing. The site is free, allows me to upload all my invites, create unique links for guests to RSVP, and all the info comes into my dashboard in a nice organized fashion. It’s one less thing to pay to ship and address. PLUS, no more chasing around tiny RSVP envelopes.

4. Make a List of Your Top 5

With a wedding, it’s SO EASY for little things to just keep adding up. And it’s easy to justify it because people say it’s “the most important day of your life.” To help keep things in check, sit down with your partner and make a list of the top 5 most important things to you on the big day. Maybe it’s the dress, maybe it’s the food or the flowers. Maybe it’s the music or bride’s suite or photography or dessert or… whatever. Those are the five things that matter most to you and you can splurge a little (within reason). If it’s not on your top 5 list, be willing and flexible to opt for something more budget-friendly.

5. Save on the Dress

If you’re looking to save on your dress there are definitely options – especially if you have time. Shop consignment and know a tailor isn’t that pricy compared to a full price dress. Also, consider going non-traditional. There are a lot of beautiful white dresses (or other colors if that’s your thing) that aren’t “wedding dresses,” but would still look amazing to walk down the aisle in.

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Some white dresses under $99

Other options include shopping trunk sales, waiting for clearance events, and looking online for used dresses on places like Facebook Marketplace.

6. Borrow Decor

There are so many little “things” that come up when planning a wedding. Chalkboards for the Welcome sign, lights for the bar, candle votives, vases, the LIST GOES ON. Luckily, a lot of it is the same at most weddings, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel each time. Share amongst friends and reuse items in multiple weddings. You can also look online (such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace) for past brides selling decor for cheap.

7. Give Your Wedding Party Flexibility

If you’re up for it, consider doing a mismatched bridal party which gives your Bridesmaid and Groomsmen some flexibility on what to wear. This way they can shop around a bit. See my tips for a mismatched bridal party here. And, you don’t even have to go mismatched with colors, you could just have them all in the same color but different dresses.

We just told our guys to wear light grey suits, white shirts, and brown shoes, and we provided ties. For them, that was super easy since they all already owned a grey suit.

For the girls, they were each assigned a color and could go from there.

TIP for doing this: most of my girls still ended up buying bridesmaid specific dresses because of the colors I chose (light corals and mint aren’t really colors you often see on the racks at the mall.) So, make it easy, try opting for popular colors like navy, black, gold, royal blue, etc.

8. Reconsider Special Accessories

You’ve got the dress but now you need shoes, jewelry, a veil, and accessories. These things can often end up adding up. First, ask yourself if you really need them all. Then, see if you can opt for things you can wear more than just your wedding day.

Our wedding was outdoors so I wanted flat shoes and found a pair of sparkly sandals at Marshalls ON SALE for $15. I wore them the whole year after my wedding too, they were super versatile. For jewelry see if you can find something that can be worn again and ask friends if they have something you can borrow.

9. Don’t Overdo it with Food

I’m always surprised by HOW MUCH FOOD places will suggest you get per person. Never in my history have I attended a wedding where the food ran out. Often it’s the latter and there’s SO MUCH leftover I wonder what the heck they’re going to do with it. It’s wastefu.

If you’re doing hors d’oeuvres before the main meal, keep it simple. It’s nice to have something people can snack on, but you still want them to be hungry for dinner. We just had a large charcuterie set up during cocktail hour.

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10. Skip the Cake

Unless a cake was one of your top 5 items, it might be worth it to skip it for a more budget-friendly option. Wedding cakes are often very pricey and not always worth it when it comes to taste. Consider swapping it for a different dessert instead – we did whoopie pies.

Another option is to get a standard sheet or round cake instead of an elaborate wedding cake.

11. Consider an All-Inclusive Option

By far the most expensive part of our wedding was the fact that we did it at a private residence. It meant we had to bring it ALL in: the tent, the tables, the dance floor, the plates, the waitstaff, the food, the bartender. Not to mentioned travel for guests to and from the venue. While I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding day, you can definitely cut your budget back by choosing a more all-inclusive option.

12. Consider Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance is like special event insurance that can protect your investment in the big day if something should come up (such as illness, severe weather, etc.) With all the money you have riding on that big day, it would be a tragedy if something happened and you were left empty-handed! Learn more about what wedding insurance is here.

13. Don’t Feel Pressured to Live Up to Traditions

Some parts of weddings couples end up doing simply out of the tradition of doing them. People say you have to have a wedding party or you have to have a champagne toast or you have to have a cocktail hour. This is YOUR day, you don’t have to do any of these things. Trying to squeeze in every tradition can add up financially, so just stick to what you really care about.

So, to recap…here are…

13 ways to save on your wedding

1. Have a Plan

2. Print Your Own Invites, Menus, etc.

3. Use an Online RSVP Service

4. Make a List of Your Top 5

5. Save on the Dress

6. Borrow Decor

7. Give Your Wedding Party Flexibility

8. Reconsider Special Accessories

9. Don’t Overdo it with Food

10. Skip the Cake

11. Consider an All-Inclusive Option

12. Consider Wedding Insurance

13. Don’t Feel Pressured to Live Up to Traditions

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.