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Top 8 Creative Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Modern Love

Posted on April 12 2018

Creative ways to cut wedding costs

So, you’ve created an Excel spreadsheet with all sort of different wedding quotes and are pretty terrified by the number in the total column. Welcome to wedding planning! No matter what your budget is, exceeding it sometimes feels inevitable. Never fear – we have come up with Modern Love’s list of ways to reduce your wedding budget without sacrificing fun or style:

  1. Send invitations online! Wedding sites such as or online invitation sites such as are a fabulous way to eliminate the cost of printed invitations – and to save a few trees while you’re at it. Their gorgeous templates won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on choosing beautiful invitations!

  2. Cut the bar tab…without closing the open bar. Sound impossible? It’s not! There are multiple ways to do this:
  • Serve a signature drink at cocktail hour rather than opening the bar – this adds a personal touch to your reception, but provides you with greater control over your bar tab.
  • Leave the bar open during dinner, but don’t provide table service for wine or leave bottles of wine on the tables for guests to self-serve. Anyone who wants a drink can get up and get one, but somehow free-flowing wine always means that people consume more than they would otherwise.
  • Ask the bartender not to pour shots or doubles. Think nobody is going to take shots in a more formal setting? Think again. As soon as the first person orders a round of celebratory shots, others follow. Just ask anyone who participated in the 79 shots of tequila consumed at my wedding…

  1. Rent a dress, or purchase one used. If choosing a dress is the aspect of planning that you are most excited about, then maybe this tactic isn’t for you. But if you’re a person who is dreading the dress shopping experience, then maybe you can avoid it altogether! Consider checking out or

  2. DIY – Do you have an artsy friend who has beautiful handwriting? Perhaps she can help create your wedding signage or invitations! What about an aunt who is a fantastic baker? Maybe she would be willing to bake for your dessert table in lieu of a wedding gift. Even if you’re not especially crafty yourself, tapping into the talents of those around you can result in major cost savings. Moreover, your loved ones get to feel involved in the preparations for your wedding, and whatever they help to create will be one-of-a kind.

  3. Skip the cake! As cake enthusiasts ourselves, we understand your skepticism. This doesn’t necessarily mean skip the dessert, but in many cases, the wedding cake isn’t eaten by guests unless it is cut, plated and served during the reception. Consider a fun dessert option such as donuts or a self-serve candy bar.

  4. Consider incorporating non-floral elements in your décor. There’s no way around it – flowers are beautiful but expensive. Incorporate features such as lanterns, greenery, candles and signage to achieve the look that you want, while reducing the number of floral arrangements that you need to create a beautiful space.

  5. Pick a venue that doesn’t require you to rent furniture, glasses, flatware, etc. The cost of rentals can get out of hand quickly. $10 a chair plus a delivery charge? No big deal. Multiply that by the number of guests that you plan to have, and yikes! We’ll let you do the math…

  6. Hire a planner – this one may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to cut costs, but working with a wedding planner is essentially hiring a wealth of knowledge about weddings up front. She has seen quotes from countless vendors, so she can steer you in the right direction and help you to allocate your budget realistically. Many wedding planning companies offer a “day of” planner who essentially serves as a traffic controller, coordinator, people wrangler and sanity saver. Hiring this person early in the planning process means that you can consult with them throughout without paying them to plan the entire wedding.

The good news – none of these changes will take away from a beautiful day surrounded by people you love. Bartender, pour me a double single… cheers to staying within your budget!

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