With everything becoming more expensive weddings can be very hard on the pocket and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to marry the love of your life. Even if your finances are limited, you can still do something really nice for your wedding.

We live in an age where it’s “out with the old and in with the new”. You don’t have to follow traditions or do things the way your grandparents did, your options are endless!

Here are a few ideas where you can save money on your wedding by cutting back, or just being clever with your arrangements; nobody will know! With the right DIY-skills you can still make your wedding look nice.

Save on the Venue/s and Catering

  • Only invite close friends and direct relatives, unless you are close, your cousin’s cousin’s mom doesn’t need to be there, it’s your special day, and if they don’t play key roles in their lives, they probably won’t mind not being there.
  • Get married just after lunch time, then you can serve snacks instead of a full buffet meal.
  • Choose a venue where you can bring your own wine, champagne, and other drinks.
  • Get that relative who makes amazing food to help cater for your wedding; also make sure that your venue allows self-catering.
  • Compare venue rates.
  • Don’t let your wedding run late, you pay for extra time.
  • Ask your venue about hidden costs so you don’t get slapped with an extra invoice afterward. Most venues are pretty transparent and will be open and honest about costs.
  • Have a cash bar instead.

Save on Stationary

  • If you have to, you can find plenty of free customizable printables online.
  • Deliver invitations or save-the-dates by hand and not via post.
  • Skip the name cards except for the head table, keep it fun and informal.
  • Don’t bother with individual menus, print a large menu at the entrance.
  • Make your own artsy table number markers.

Save on Decorations

  • Instead of big arrangements of flowers, go for single flowers in vases.
  • Buy your flowers directly from the farm, if you know someone who has pretty gardens you can even ask them if you can pick a few. Especially when it comes to proteas too.
  • Add a touch of whimsy with fairy lights, they are reasonably priced to buy or rent.
  • Make your own centerpieces by recycling glass jars, tins and scrap fabric – if done right this can still look really pretty.

Photography and Music

  • If you really can’t afford a photographer, opt to ask family and friends to bring cameras with.
  • Find a photography student to take your wedding pictures, but bare in mind that you get what you pay for, so be very selective on this one.
  • If you get a professional photographer, maybe just arrange to have them there during the ceremony and a few hours at the reception.
  • If you can’t afford a DJ or entertainer, set up a playlist and rent a sound system – or ask the venue if they have a sound system available.

Food, Drinks, and Favors

  • Wedding favors are always nice, but they’re an optional extra. If you can’t afford big gifts but want to give your guests something small, opt for those small bottles of alcohol or something homemade like fudge or homemade bags of sweets.
  • Make gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
  • Buy the alcohol wholesale.
  • Only serve champagne for the toast, juice, and water, and have a cash bar available.
  • Skip desserts and have cake as dessert

Wedding Cake

  • Bake your own cake or ask a friend or relative to do it.
  • Serve cupcakes instead of a fancy wedding cake.
  • Have a small cake on a decorated base that looks like the real deal.
  • Use ordinary cake icing or buttercream.
  • Use fresh flowers or fruit to decorate the cake.

Wedding Attire for Him

  • Rent a tux instead of buying one.
  • Borrow a tux from a friend if you really can’t afford one.
  • Make your own butthole flowers for the men.
  • Opt for heirlooms or items from parents or grandparents such as his grandfather’s cufflinks he wore on his wedding day for some extra sentiment, and it can also save you money.

Wedding Attire and Accessories for Her

  • Wear your mother’s wedding dress or rent a beautiful wedding dress, most dressmakers have dresses available for rent too.
  • Buy a second-hand dress.
  • Be on the lookout for sales, especially shoe sales too.
  • Wear flowers in your hair instead of a veil.
  • Skip headgear altogether; because, why not?
  • Borrow jewelry from friends or family.

Hair, Nails, and Makeup

  • Do your own hair and makeup, or get a friend to help you.
  • Choose something simple to do with your hair, less is more.

Other Extras to Save On

  • Let the best man wear his own suit.
  • Ask your bridesmaids to wear a specific colour, but let them wear their own dresses – even shades in a specific colour looks really nice if it’s done well.
  • Keep your bridal party to a minimum.
  • Skip the confetti or dry rose petals from a friend’s garden.
  • Choose an extroverted friend or family member to be MC.
  • Ask a friend with a nice car to drive you instead of hiring a car.

Your Honeymoon

  • Go local.
  • Choose a cheap international destination.
  • Check out self-catering accommodation.
  • Be on the lookout for holiday specials throughout the year.

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