March 5, 2024

15 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget

Weddings often come with high costs, making some couples research creative ways to slash the budget. I’ve written a list of 15 ways to cut your wedding budget with a variety of ideas. Choose one or many to implement for cost savings on your wedding day.

1. Skip the champagne for toasts and let guests toast with their existing drinks, such as wine or cocktails. You don’t have to have champagne for toasts!

Bride and groom toast for their Estancia wedding in La Jolla. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

2. Serve Signature Cocktails instead of a full bar. Personalized craft cocktails make for beautiful photos and give guests an idea of what to drink. I know I’m always lost for what to order if I don’t have a cocktail selection in front of me.

3. Repurpose ceremony flowers for the reception. Even high end weddings do this! It’s more environmentally friendly and more economical.

White tree and carpet ceremony Pelican Hill Wedding - Cavin Elizabeth Photography
White reception seven tier cake alternating cake and flowers with white draping and carpet ceremony Pelican Hill Wedding - Cavin Elizabeth Photography

4. Have guests RSVP online instead of paying for physical RSVP cards and envelopes. You can chose to make their invitations printed or digital and for either selection, RSVP online.

5. Morning person? Host a brunch wedding. People will drink much less and your overall day likely will be shorter. Brunch food specifically can sometimes be less expensive than dinner, as well.

Outdoor brunch reception fruit salad, and tropical centerpieces with palm leaves, pink anthurium, and proteas. 15 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget. Riviera Palm Springs Wedding by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

6. Skip corsages for mothers and boutonnieres for fathers. Skip grandparent flowers. Keep flowers for the wedding party for the most impact on your photos, but you can always cut bridesmaids bouquets and only have one for yourself. This makes the “personal flowers” cost much lower. Do keep in mind that many florists have minimums, but that doesn’t mean you have to go beyond those.

7. Select in-season flowers for your bouquets and centerpieces. Your florist can assist with the selection. Out of season flowers must be imported from other countries, making costs increase quickly.

Long wooden table with a white table runner. Low candles and a low floral centerpiece with pink roses, coral charm peonies, and pink and peach ranunculus. Posies Floral Co and Cavin Elizabeth Photography shot on film. Rancho Valencia Wedding.

8. Consider a Friday or Sunday for your wedding. I saved thousands from our venue for choosing a Sunday. Note that savings usually come from the venue site fee being waved or from a lower food/beverage minimum. So it’s not always a discount, it could just be that Sundays have lower minimums for food/drinks.

9. Have a “smaller” wedding party size (4 instead of 7, 7 instead of 14). This translates to less bouquets, gifts, seats and tables, etc.

Sage green velvet short sleeve bridesmaid dresses. Bridesmaid bouquet with white sweet peas, ranunculus, and roses mixed with subtle pops of warmth with blush and terracotta roses. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

10. Cut the guest list. This is one of the most impactful ways to cut your wedding budget. Less tables, less food, etc. 100 guests is about 10-12 tables. 90 guests would be about 9-11 tables. Even one less table means less rentals, flowers, and other decor. Plus, 10 less people to feed and serve at the bar.

11. Have a friend or family member officiate your wedding. This personal touch makes the wedding very special and can save hundreds of dollars.

Bride and groom first kiss in front of a Pergola wrapped in greenery with blush flowers on the side columns and hanging blush and ivory flowers in the center. Rancho Bernardo Inn Aragon lawn wedding ceremony. Film photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

12. Skip ceremony programs – it’s not a complicated business seminar. Guests can make it 20 minutes to an hour without a program. I love the look of programs if they’re in budget, but they aren’t necessary.

13. Forego wedding favors. Consider whether or not the guests would even care. Do they really want 1 or 2 personalized mugs with your wedding date? It can save hundreds to skip favors. They are not necessary and unless they’re edible, they often get left behind at the venue.

Escort card display with soap favors covered in Southern Smilax and hand painted. Play on words pun ideas. Thank you soap much for coming. Cavin Elizabeth Photography.

14. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator. At first glance, you’re probably wondering why hiring another vendor would save money. Planners have incredible knowledge of how to put together a wedding on a specific budget. They know which vendors are worth their price. They can actually save you money through savvy budgeting and make your life easier. Plus, some planners have preferred vendors that give their clients discounts.

15. Stop serving alcohol 30 minutes to an hour before the end of the reception and serve coffee. Not only does this ensure more responsible drinking, it also will lower your alcohol costs. The more people drink, the more likely they are to get more drinks. Toward the end of the night, people will be clamoring for final drinks like crazy. Stopping alcohol 30-60 minutes early will save on countless drinks.