The average cost of a wedding in the United States is somewhere around $20,000—that’s a very large portion of the median household income of $52,000. And it’s easy to spend a lot more than that. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of websites out there that will help you save money on your wedding. These are 8 of the best.
What Do I Know about Wedding Planning?
I got married about a month ago. And because my wife and I are both graduate students—and in the middle of an international move—we had to make the most of every dollar in our budget. We used a lot of the advice given on these sites to cut costs and ended up with a fantastic wedding that didn’t create a huge amount of debt. I hope they help you as well!
If you want to save money on your wedding, this is the blog to read. It has just about everything you’ll need to plan your day, from wedding budget planning spreadsheets and lists of wedding dresses in your price range to tips on choosing the right photographer and choosing a budget-friendly caterer. There are also lots of DIY instructions, so you can create your own lighting setup, an automated DJ, decor, a photobooth backdrop, thank-you cards, and more.
One of the most helpful sections of The Budget-Savvy Bride is the Real Weddings section, where you can find examples of weddings that people have put on at specific budgets, from $1,000 up to $20,000. The site will soon have a community section as well, so you can trade cost-cutting tips with other users.
The Budget section of Bridal Guide contains a lot of great advice on how to budget and save. Reading through articles like “Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget,” “How to Negotiate with Vendors,” and “75 Money-Saving Tips for Your Wedding” before you get started on your budget will help you keep your costs within your range. And don’t miss the DIY instructions, either; you can make your own favors, envelope seals, garlands, and a lot more.
If you’ve been planning your wedding for more than couple days, you’ve probably come across The Knot. It has a huge variety of information for almost anything wedding-related, and the Budgeting section is a great resource for finding ways to keep your costs to a reasonable level. Articles like “30 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding” and “Budgeting for the Wedding? Here’s How to Save Big” give you some basic advice on how to cut costs.
The information on The Knot can be hit-or-miss, with some articles including tips like “Unless you’re prepared to have truly minimalist decorations, the only way you can really cut costs is to cut your guest list.” But these articles will give you an idea of the kinds of things you’ll need to think about when planning.
While Offbeat Bride isn’t specifically focused on helping you save money, there are a lot of great tips here that can help your bank account.
Opting for a non-traditional wedding, activities, or decorations can help you save a lot and make your wedding more unique. There are a lot of DIY tutorials on this site that will help you add a personal touch and save some money along the way. and don’t miss “22 money-saving ways to stretch your wedding budget as far as it’ll go.”
To run a wedding, you need a lot of stuff—material things. And most people spend a lot of money to buy those things, from decorations and table linens to wedding dresses and centerpieces. What most people don’t realize is that a lot of these things can be borrowed from other people who have them for a lot less. Sites like Loanables, Streetbank, and NeighborGoods (which we’ve written about previously) hook you up with people who have things to lend and can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
There are tons of options for photography, videography, catering, flowers, planners, and venues—and it’s easy to just go with the first one you see. However, by comparing different vendors, you can find the one that works best with your budget. WeddingWire allows you to compare vendors online—just enter your ZIP code and the type vendor you’re looking for, and you can get vendor information and see reviews from people who have gone with them in the past.
Getting flowers from a florist or another traditional flower vendor can cost thousands of dollars. But if you’re willing to put in some work to arrange your flowers yourself, you can order flowers from a wholesaler like FiftyFlowers. (We got flowers for our wedding from Costco, which is another great wholesale option.) Then all you need to do is throw a flower arranging party before the wedding and you’re set!
If you’ve never looked at wedding invitations before, you might be blown away by how expensive they are—you can easily pay $5 or more per invitation. Running your invitation bill up to $500 isn’t hard with invitations like that! WeddingPaperDivas offers a variety of wedding stationery, including save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, thank-you cards, programs, and menus. They often have great sales, too. (Though you can save even more by printing your own.)
Skip all of the non-essentials and use one of their affordable designs to save a lot of money. Another great cost-cutting tactic is to have online RSVPs from a site like RSVPify means you don’t have to include RSVP cards, envelopes, and return postage. Include the URL in the invitation, and guests will be able to respond and get all the details they need online.
Share Your Money-Saving Tips!
Of course, one of the best ways to find out how to save money on a wedding is by asking others who have been there. So share your favorite websites, apps, and ideas for saving money on a wedding below. We’d love to hear your best strategies!