Wedding Costs to Cut

Wedding season is here!

I’m thinking back to those glorious days when my husband and I were preparing for our own special day. I reveled in the details and logistics, and I was so excited to marry the man of my dreams! However, along with the excitement came the overwhelming reality of the financial aspects of the wedding. I had read that the average American wedding cost over $35,000 in 2016, according to

Whoa. $35,000 on one day? Yikes!

That just wasn’t going to cut it for us. If we’d had to save up that much for our wedding, we’d still be engaged. We went through a wedding planning checklist and found some spots where we could make some cuts. Here are some items we cut out or cut back on to make the day more cost effective.

What We Cut Out

  • Save the Dates
  • Wedding favors
  • Guest book
  • Bouquet & garter to toss
  • RSVP envelopes with postage: We had guests reply using our wedding website at They could even select their meal online.
  • Hotel: We spent the night at our own apartment.
  • Videographer
  • Photographer: My dad is a photographer, and he took some of the photos. We also asked a friend to take more photos.

Where We Cut Back

  • Decorations: We had lovely venues and needed little decorations. We had simple centerpieces and Rick’s stepmom made us a beautiful sign that we displayed at the gift table.
  • Hair/makeup/jewelry: I did my own hair and borrowed jewelry. My engagement ring and Rick’s wedding band were family heirlooms. Rick bought a wedding band for me.
  • Transportation: Everybody drove themselves or carpooled.
  • Flowers: I bought all the flowers for the bridesmaids bouquets and centerpieces (minus my bouquet) at a grocery store. I made the bridesmaids bouquets the day before. I made a bouttoniere for Rick, but we did not give anyone else flowers.
  • Centerpieces: I gathered empty wine bottles, stuck a rose in each and put some candles (from the Dollar Tree) around the tables.
  • Alcohol: We went with a hosted cocktail hour with beer and wine, and the rest of the night our guests paid for themselves. I was worried people would be upset by this, but no one seemed to mind.
  • Guest List: We trimmed our guest list and ended up with 88 guests at our wedding.
  • Invitations: My sister’s a graphic designer, and she designed simple but elegant invitations and ceremony cards for us. I had them printed in black and white at an OfficeMax.

Feel free to share other things to cut out or tips on cutting back on wedding expenses!

Happy planning!



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