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17 Genius Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

Diply 25 May 2018

Weddings are notoriously expensive. In the United States, the average wedding costs $33,391, and that figure can be a little terrifying to future brides and grooms.

Of course, super pricey weddings are driving that average up, but you still don't want to find yourself in tons of debt after you say "I do."

Take a look below for some incredibly smart ways to save that cash for your life together.

1. One of the most significant ways to lower your costs is to cut down on your guest list.

Etsy | HappyLifePrintables

This doesn't work for everyone since all families and friend groups are different, but the shorter your guest list, the less you're paying on food, alcohol, chairs, a larger space to put everyone in, etc.

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2. Go with a buffet instead of a sit-down dinner.

Instagram | @dreamchefirenze

All of those servers are going to cost you a lot more. Instead, price out different caterers, and try having various stations where guests serve themselves.

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3. Don't get too stuck on a Saturday wedding.

Not on the High Street | Not on the High Street

Everyone wants to do their wedding on a Saturday, so the prices shoot up for venues and vendors.

Also, if you're looking to cut your guest list without hurting too many feelings, a weekday is harder for a lot of guests to make, but cheaper for travel and accommodations for the guests who are able to make it...

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4. If you're comfortable with a bit of DIY, try doing your own bouquets with flowers from Costco.

A Practical Wedding | A Practical Wedding

You can get a few wedding participants to help you with making bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. the day before and choose some cheaper flowers you love.

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5. Instead of real flowers, you can also try making your own paper flowers.

RuffledBlog | RuffledBlog

Print out patterns online onto colored paper and cut them out, or you can make flowers from old books from a thrift store or library sale.

These flowers look so nice, I'd never be able to tell they weren't real.

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6. Give Pinterest and wedding magazines a break.

Instagram | @sarah_w_xo

They have tons of beautiful ideas, but you'll start wanting every single detail, and that can really add up. Instead, manage your expectations and don't build up a fantasy that you can't afford — and don't need.

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7. Try printing your own invitations instead of springing for fancy ones.

Printable Invitation Kits | Printable Invitation Kits

You can buy simple designs for cheap online, and then either print them yourself on cardstock or bring them to a printing company. Go for a design that doesn't use up a lot of ink, and try to buy envelopes in bulk on Amazon.

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8. Skip out on an elaborate custom wedding cake.

Instagram | @seanwsmith

You can buy several (much cheaper) nine-inch cakes from grocery store bakeries and top them with flowers. Another option is to get a tiny cake for cutting and a regular dessert table (or donut wall) for all the guests.

Don't forget sheet cakes either!

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9. They always say the photography is the one thing not to skimp on, but have you thought of trying student photographers?

Instagram | @britt_lee_photo

You're not going to get the same experience from a student as a professional, obviously, but see if you can find a talented student who's done a few weddings and whose photos you love.

They'll probably charge way more one day in the future, but you might be able to book them while they're still in your budget.

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10. Spend money on the areas you really care about, not everything.

Instagram | @bridalguide

Are you all about the ceremony and the dress, or do you want amazing food and great music? Make sure to prioritize your budget towards items you actually care about and be willing to make sacrifices in other areas.

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11. Hit up your talented friends and see if they'll perform any services as your wedding gift.

Instagram | @o0olivia0o

Weddings are expensive to attend too, so your friends might prefer to act as the DJ, design wedding invitations, bake a cake, or take some engagement photos rather than spend money on a toaster.

Just make sure you give them an in, and let them know that you'd actually enjoy the result.

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12. See what you can buy from Craigslist or "buy and sell" groups on Facebook — and then sell afterwards.

Instagram | @dlugoiszczesliwieweddings

You can get great deals on table numbers, linens, and all sorts of items that have already been used while also helping a fellow bride or groom get some money back.

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13. Consider having your reception be a brunch or lunch.

Instagram | @loveandoliveoil

Costs will go way down for catering, and you don't have to worry as much about alcohol costs when your reception is earlier in the day.

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14. Don't sweat the favors.

Something Turquoise | Something Turquoise

Honestly, a lot of your guests will forget to bring their favors home with them, and others won't give them much thought. You can skip a favor altogether or consider something cheap and simple, like caramels wrapped up in a bow or your favorite coffee beans.

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15. See if you can find an all-inclusive package in a venue that has everything you already want.

Instagram | @specialeventrentals_regina

These packages can definitely be cheaper than individually finding vendors and venues, as long as you're not spending extra for ice sculptures you have no use for.

An outdoor wedding in a field sounds cheap, but when you start factoring in tents, chairs, linens, dishes, and bathrooms, it can start to become more expensive than a venue that already has the basics, like seating and serving platters.

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16. Try looking in other places than bridal stores for a wedding dress.

Modcloth | Modcloth

If you're not set on a princess dress, see if you can find a white cocktail or garden party dress that will match the occasion — even styles that look like simple wedding dresses can be way cheaper.

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to white either!

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17. Have both your wedding and reception in the same venue.

Instagram | @smoothmovesevents

You'll save money for venue rentals and then you don't have to worry about paying to transport your wedding party. Just grab some "volunteers" to move around chairs and tables while you're taking pictures.

Bonus points if you have rooms there where the bride and groom can get ready so there's no last-minute run to get to the ceremony on time.

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