Wedding Portrait 3

55 Crazy Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

55 crazy smart ways to save money on your wedding

After planning and DIYing my two daughter’s weddings, I want to share these 55 crazy smart ways to save money on your wedding.  We had so much fun planning, shopping, researching, sewing, crafting, and really just spending quality time together.  Download and print out this free 16 page Wedding Binder I have on my free resource library to start your wedding planning (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).

55 suggestions

#1 – Create, start, and stick with a good budget – Download this wedding budget I have on my free resource library for various ranges of budgets with a breakdown by percentage that needs to be applied to each category. (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).

#2 – Narrow down the guest list – This is hard to do, but saves so much money on the size of the venue, invitations, food, and drinks.

#3 – The price of the venue – Pick one where you can have the wedding and the ceremony at the same place.  Use the resources that the vendor has.  Choose one that has the tables and chairs and hopefully has props and decorations that you don’t have to spend extra money on.  Make sure they have a kitchen area.

#4 – Pick a day other than Saturday – The price drops if your big day is on a Friday, or consider a Sunday.

#5 – Choose a date that is off-season.  Late spring or early fall is a great time for saving money compared to those popular summer months.

#6 – Put all your purchases on a credit card that has reward points.  And to get money back or gift cards on purchases – download the ibotta app.  Use my referral code – dxfuxec

#7Serve only beer and wine and maybe a signature cocktail.  Don’t have an open bar.  Purchase your own alcohol.  Sam’s Wholesale Club or Costco are great places for cases of beer.  You can get a discount on quantities of wine at a local liquor store.  Hire a bartender and check your state laws on serving alcohol.  I even had a whiskey fountain at one.  This one is from Oriental Trading.  It was a big hit!

Whiskey fountain

#8Skip the champagne toast.  It’s costly. 

#9Cater your own food.  This is a huge money saver.  Full served meals are the most pricey.  Food bars are middle of the price range and very popular right now.  And the least expensive are heavy hors d’oeuvres. Avoid hard to prepare foods.  Buffet lines and sweet stations are the direction all the cook kids are leaning toward.  Check out this detailed post on foods to serve that your guests will love.  And ask some close friends or family to help in the kitchen.

#10 – On the cake, use buttercream instead of fondant.

#11Downsize your cake.  Have your aunts and grandmothers each make a cake or a pie that they are known for.  Maybe your grandma makes the best italian cream cake on the planet?!?

#12Design and print your own wedding invitations, programs, and enclosures – Here are some examples.  Be consistent with your font on all your printed items.  Be mindful of the size of the envelopes you will be using, the card dimensions, and the colors.  On this one, we used 12″x12″ scrapbook paper and cut it down to fold up.  We used cording and folded it up so that when the invitation was opened, it tied the knot.  The invitation had a statement that said “we are tying the knot.”


Recruit your grandma, your aunts, your mom, and your friends.  They were happy to help with the construction.




Make your envelopes stand out with something unique


This invitation is ready for the printed out invite to be taped in with double sided tape.  It folds up into a square.  Be mindful that a square envelope takes additional postage.


Print your programs in the font you are using

Ceremony Program

It was going to be a hot outdoor wedding, so we rounded the corners and added a wooden handle to make fans out of the programs.

Ceremony Program Fan

#13Save money printing and buying stamps by having your guest RSVP on your personal website.

#14Shop wedding dress sample sales or go with pre-owned.

#15 – Hire a DJ instead of a band.  Better yet, have a friend be your DJ.  You could pick out all the songs ahead of time.

#16Find an up and coming photographer that doesn’t charge as much.  Pick a package that has add on’s and order an album at a later time when you have more money.  But don’t wait too long, as this is the only thing you will have to remember your day.

#17Hire the photographer for only 8-10 hours instead of hiring them for the whole day.

#18Make your bridesmaids get ready shirts – Here are some that have an embroidered monogram on an over-sized shirt.  See this white men’s shirt at Amazon. (affiliate link).  Embroider their initial on them.

Bridesmaids Embroidered Shirts

Bridesmaids Embroidered Shirts

#19 – Decorate the flower girl basket – These are baskets that I’ve added jute rope to with Mod Podge glue.  Add a flower or ribbon to the handle. (affiliate links)

Flower Girl Basket 1

Flower girl basket 2A

Flower girl basket3

Flower girl dress

This one has material added to it

Flower girl basket4

#20Make the flower girl’s outfitSee this post of Flower Girl Ideas on dresses I’ve made and also another with a denim shirt and shorts.

Flower Girls

Flower girl dress3

#21Make the flower girls headpiece – See this post for a headband and another choice of a baby’s breath halo.

#22Make a tied no-sew fleece blanket for flower girl and ring bearer.  See this post for directions.

#23Make a ring bearer pillow and/or sign.

Ring bearer sign

Ring bearer pillow

#24Make your own garterGet instructions here!

#25Make your own veil – I recommend Butterick Pattern B4487.  As a result, you find their measurements for the style you want.  In addition, sew the lace to the edges.  After that, hand sew it to the hair comb.

Wedding Veil

Wedding Veil

Wedding Veil

Wedding Veil

Wedding Veil

#26Make the bridesmaids dresses or ask them to pay for their own.

Bridesmaid dresses

#27Print out name tags for the guys attire, girl’s dresses, and all the flowers.  Moreover, use the same font you used on the invitations and programs.  Furthermore, print them on colored paper.  In addition, use double-sided tape and use two separate colors of card stock.

Name Tag 2

Name Tag 3

Name Tag

Name Tag2

Name Tags

#28Borrow your jewelry or consider renting it.  Also, make your own accessories if you can.  We priced this belt at $80.00, and bought some ribbon and chiffon and made it for less than $10.00.

Hand made belt

You are half way through the 55 crazy smart ways to save money on your wedding

#29Use larger blooming flowers and you will not have to buy as many.

#30Use more greenery instead of flowers.

#31Re-purpose wedding flowers to use at the reception.

#32Design silk arrangements for aisle markers and reception tables.  See this post on how to make these gerber kissing balls and this post on how to make a silk arrangement so they are ready ahead of time.

Gerber kissing balls

#33Make a backdrop wall behind bride and groom table with lights and chiffon.  See how I did it here.

Wedding Backdrop

Curtain backdrop

#34Use candles for table centerpieces instead of fresh flowers.  See this post on how to make wooden candle stands and how to make inexpensive candles look elegant and rustic.

Candle Holder2

#35Download this list of supplies for a wedding day survival kit to make your own.  It is in my free resource library.  (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).

Wedding Survival Kit

Wedding Day Survival Kit

#36Do not have a limo.

#37Make a wooden sign-in for guests to sign when they arrive, as an alternative to a guest book.  You can display it in your house later.  See post here to learn how to make your own.

Wedding Sign in Signed

#38Decorate a rustic heart to display at your wedding or reception.  Makes a big impact.  See post here for how-to’s.

Wedding Wreath

#39Study this list for great inexpensive places to order wedding supplies. tablecloths, favors, etc

#40Make and set up a cookie and milk bar at wedding reception.  You need this!  People love it.  See this post for details.

Wooden Table Signs

#41Make gifts for your groomsmen and bridesmaids such as these etched redneck wine glasses and beer mugs.

Reception display4

#42Make a honeymoon fund jug to start saving for your honeymoon and for dollar dances at wedding reception to earn money for your honeymoon.  Find out how to make them here.

Honeymoon fund jar

#43Add special touches to spruce up your wedding reception.  Following is a fun list of DIY projects.  Recruit help from your family and friends and enjoy the quality time spent together.

#44Make seasoned pretzels to serve at the bar at reception.  Drizzle olive oil on pretzels and add a seasoning such as this one and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 300.  So good – and helps to absorb alcohol.  lol

Wedding Snacks

Only 10 more to go in 55 crazy smart ways to save money on your wedding

#45Set up a popcorn bar later in the evening when the crowd starts to thin out.  I got these great topping at Walmart.  Set them out with the popcorn and let your guests season their own.

Wedding Popcorn Bar

#46Make “I Do” wooden letters to hang at the reception.  These letters are from JoAnns Fabrics, painted, dry brushed, and hung on a ribbon.

| right here |

Reception display 3

I Do Wood Sign

I Do Wood Sign

#47Make a picnic table out of pickets for kids to sit at for a rustic country wedding reception.  Make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kiddo’s.

Kids Table

Picnic Table Child

Picnic Table Child2

#48Supply coloring books and crayons for kids – to keep them busy at the reception.  Get your crayons at the Dollar Tree, and download a freebie wedding coloring book from my free resource library  (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).  Just fold and staple together.

Wedding Kids Crafts

#49Make a Love Bug handout for kids that includes candy.  Download this freebie printable of a Love Bug from my free resource library.  (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).  Print it on brown paper, (affiliate link) cut out the center on the dotted lines.  Put some sour patch gummy worms in a ziplock snack bag and tape to the back so it shows through the opening.  Cut out another mason jar and use double sided tape to attach it to the very back.  So cute, so easy, and the kids will love them.

Wedding Love Bug

Wedding Love Bug2

#50Make a wooden picket sign to welcome visitors.  See this post on how to assemble signs.

Wedding Direction Sign Paint

Wedding Directitons on Easel

Sign on Easel Names

#51Make your own welcome sign at the entrance to the wedding.  See same post on how to assemble signs.

Welcome sign



#52Make a Mr and Mrs pillow to display.  See this post on how to make a designer pillow cover.


#53Make wooden 2×4 signs for head table and serving tables at wedding reception.  Click here for instructions.

Head table2

#54Print out your own fun signs to display at the wedding reception.  Use the same font you used on invitations and programs.

Wedding Sign Drinks1

Wedding Sign Drinks2

Wedding Sign Love

Wedding Sign Thank You

Thank you window sign

#55Last but not least – Make your own decorations!  Here are some pictures for inspiration.

A burlap pennant to hang where cards are to be gathered

Cards pennant

New couple’s initials to display at the reception behind the cake table or elsewhere

Initial burlap


Initial Cake Table

Initial painted on burlap to put under cake on the cake table

Tablecloth with Initial on Burlap

Embossed leather covered wooden initial


Pictures on an old window backed with burlap

Picture window

Framed engagement pictures

Reception decoration

A little bit of burlap and jute to tie in the wedding theme

Reception decorations

Tied raffia on the serving knife and spatula to fit the theme of the wedding

Reception decorations2

Favors (shot glasses) and sparklers at the exit table

Reception display7

PS – Give guests a surprise every 30 minutes such as

  • Father/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Dance
  • Cake cutting
  • Bridal Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Maid of Honor Speech and Best Man Speech
  • Toasts
  • Orchestra
  • Fireworks
  • Surprise singers
  • Silver trays with sweets
  • Wedding March
  • Elvis impersonator,
  • Mariachi Band
  • Silhouette artist
  • Face painters
  • Flash mob for Bride and Groom


These are the Sweet Adelies for some surprise songs for the bride and groom

Sweet adelines

Oversized toasting glasses made for a fun topic (and lots of wine)

Toasting glasses

Toasting glasses3

An actual choreographed flash mob at a reception was one of the funnest things ever.


I truly wish you good luck in all your planning and hope these help you out in some way.  Just remember to enjoy it and have FUN!!!


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” 

1 Corinthians 13:13


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