Affordable elegance: ten ways to cut your wedding costs

If you’re like most couples, chances are there’s a little something you’ve been dreaming of for your big day that’s just stretching the budget a tad. Perhaps it’s a huge show-stopping floral installation, not one, but two fabulous wedding outfits, or an amazing live band to really get the party started? But let’s be real, all that style doesn’t come cheap.

So, here’s the good news! To help you lovely lot out as you’re knee-deep in wedding planning, here are 10 handy tips to help you cut your wedding costs.

And the cherry on top? You won’t have to compromise on your dream wedding vision to keep those costs down. 

Happy planning!

Wedding on Crear beach in Scotland

1. Shrink your wedding guest list

It can certainly be difficult, but one of the best ways to cut costs is to cut your guest list. 

Think about it: fewer guests mean you’ll spend less on food, drinks, serving staff, and venue space. Plus, a smaller, more intimate crowd often means you can dial down the décor and entertainment without losing any of the magic. And hey, with a more manageable guest list, you might even snag a better deal on your dream venue. So, trimming the guest list? It’s a win-win for your budget and your big day!

2. Consider getting married on a weekday 

Many wedding venues (and sometimes suppliers too) offer discounts for weekday weddings. This means you can have your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

3. Save on wedding stationery costs

If you’re a stationery lover and paper invitees are a must, then here are a few ways you could keep costs down: 

  • Rather than have bespoke-made stationery, many stationers offer signature collections which are less expensive. 
  • Go with standard invitation sizes so you don’t have to pay extra postage. 
  • Make careful paper choices e.g. using a thicker card for the invitations and a thinner card for the rest of the inserts.
  • Do away with save-the-date cards – since many of your guests will know the date of your wedding by the time you send your cards out anyway, you might as well save the paper and postage.
Bride and groom walking on the sand near the sea short

4. Go paperless

Ok, it maybe doesn’t look quite as beautiful or have the same level of excitement as a paper invite popping through your guests’ letterboxes… But when the cost of a 2nd class stamp is at least 85p (depending on the size/weight), it’s a cost that will soon add up. And if you use one of the free email providers like Mailchimp or Mailerlite, there’s the added bonus that you can check who’s opened your email invite and if any have bounced, so you can much more easily chase RSVPs. Having a wedding website (e.g. from Wix) could also be a massive saving, and offers flexibility too, as you can update it as your plans progress. 

5. Buy a sample or pre-loved wedding dress

Going to a sample sale is a great way to save money on your dress, where you could get as much as 75% off your dream dress! There are also lots of pre-loved wedding dresses or rental options out there. So if sustainability is your vibe, then that’s something to explore. 

6. Limit your drinks

Alcohol can get really expensive quickly. So instead of having pre-poured champagne for every guest ready as soon as your ceremony is over, why not make it available at the bar? Not all your guests might want champagne, so making it optional could end up saving you some pennies. Having a few signature cocktails or only having an open bar during cocktail hour can also be a great way to save drink costs. 

7. Use seasonal flowers and other money-saving decoration ideas

Flowers are beautiful but also costly. So for starters, choosing seasonal and locally-grown flowers is often the best way to keep to a more reasonable budget. Also have a think if there’s a way you could repurpose your flowers for different parts of the day. For example, could you reuse your ceremony flowers and/or bouquets at your wedding breakfast? Using greenery for your table runners is often less expensive than using lots of flowers. Or how about adding fruit as decoration to your table? And think of the glorious scent, especially if you were to add oranges and lemons!

8. Get creative with some wedding DIY

Making some of your decorations yourself can be a great idea if you’re a bit more budget-conscious. It might even be something that you can get your bridal party involved with, so the work isn’t all on you. There are so many things I’ve seen couples do from making their own bouquets and buttonholes, flower crowns, transforming vintage mirrors into signs, learning calligraphy and making their own table name cards, foraging for greenery to decorate their venue with, making their own confetti… the list goes on!  

9. Don’t go overboard with the evening buffet

If there’s one thing I don’t like about weddings, it’s the amount of food that is often wasted! Some of your guests might leave early and others won’t want to eat after the 3-course meal you’ve already served them, so no need to go overboard with the evening buffet. As a rough rule of thumb, you’d be good to order late-night snacks for only about 70% of your guests. And maybe have some takeaway boxes so guests can take away any leftovers at the end of the night. Having a food truck could also be worth looking into. 

10. Have a DJ rather than a live band

This is probably an obvious one, but a live band is always going to be a lot more expensive than a DJ. So if you don’t have your heart set on live music, then this could be an easy way to save. 

bride and groom standing on rocks

Navigating the whirlwind world of wedding planning, it’s easy to feel like you need a bottomless budget to make your dream day come true. 

But here’s the friendly reality check: at the end of the day, it’s best to think about what’s truly important to you as a couple and why you’re embarking on this journey together rather than what you have at your wedding! After all, your wedding is about celebrating your unique love story with all your favourite people, not about how much you spend!

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Photo Tags | Supplier Love

Venue: Crear Scotland
Photographer: Lorna Richerby Photography
Flowers: Blooming Wild
Registrar: Argyll & Bute Registrars

LET’S CHAT ABOUT YOUR WEDDING

lorna richerby with green leaf background

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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