If your wedding budget is tight, you’ve probably heard tips like “trim your guest list” or “don’t marry on a Saturday” to help keep costs down. Those are both great pieces of advice, but what if you can’t marry on any other day of the week because of your work schedule and you have a huge family and close friend group? Below, take a look at five unconventional pieces of budget-trimming advice you can actually use.
1. Have a brunch wedding.
Brunch — or lunch, or even breakfast — weddings are becoming increasingly popular with today’s couples. Tying the knot at an off-peak time makes it easier to find an affordable venue and cuts down food and beverage costs. For an unforgettable, yet cost-effective, meal, serve waffles with lots of toppings, feature an omelet bar with fresh, local fillings and keep the mimosas flowing but skip the open bar. You can always go out dancing later that night if you’re itching for an after-party. See a brunch wedding from our real wedding section.
2. Wear a white bridesmaid dress.
If you’re planning a rustic, country or vintage-style wedding, a chic white bridesmaid dress paired with cowboy boots or other statement shoes offers a great alternative to the traditional wedding gown and will save you a boatload of cash. Case in point: This gorgeous ivory bridesmaid dress from BHLDN is just $260.
3. Serve beer, wine and a signature cocktail.
Instead of offering a full open bar, cut down your alcohol bill by serving beer, wine and one or two signature drinks. If you live near a brewery or vineyard, consider buying from them directly — you can often get bulk discounts. You can also skip the top-shelf liquor and choose something mid-range. With a tasty signature beverage in hand, your guests won’t bat an eyelash.
4. Repurpose bouquets as centerpieces.
After your wedding ceremony, it takes just a few minutes to slip bridesmaid bouquets into mason jars or vintage vases and pop them onto your reception tables. You can use your own bridal bouquet to decorate your sweetheart table, or save it for the bouquet toss. Fill your tables with candles and photos in vintage frames to create a beautiful tablescape for much less than the cost of floral centerpieces.
5. Close the bar and serve coffee during the last hour of your wedding.
Closing the bar an hour early will save you a fortune, and your guests won’t mind one less hour of drinking. Plus, it’s a nice way for everyone to wind down before heading out the door. You can pair the coffee with mini donuts or another sweet treat in lieu of traditional wedding favors.