How To Cut Costs At Your Wedding

Yesterday I got a cute little package in the mail from a local calligrapher full of sample invitations and place cards. As I sat on my couch with my boyfriend ‘ooing and ahhing’ over the different textures of paper, colors of ink, stamps used on the envelope they all came in and the feel of the calligraphy on the paper, my boyfriend just stared at me. And then he said it, “only you or someone in your line of work would notice that”. First, I don’t think that is true in this case. These envelopes were STUNNING. But then I started thinking, there are aspects of weddings that I typically tell my clients not to focus on because, “no one will notice but you”. So thank you, boyfriend, for being the muse to this weeks blog post, How To Cut Costs At Your Wedding.

Ceremony Programs

The problem: I see it every wedding. The couple spends a few hundred dollars on beautiful programs, acknowledging their wedding party, family, and loved ones that have passed or were unable to attend, only to be left scattered on the chairs and floor at the end of the ceremony. Headed to the trash. They are used as fans during the ceremony, and rarely read in the entirety by anyone.

My advice: If you want to have a visual for your guests to list your wedding party and family, one large chalkboard or frame of some kind at the entrance to your ceremony will work! Have the officiant acknowledge those who have passed out loud at the beginning of the ceremony, or include their photos in a display at the reception.

Photo – Amaris Photography



The problem: Just like ceremony programs, I see favors forgotten and left on the reception tables at the end of the night – ready for me to pack up with the rest of your stuff and send back home with you! Couples spend time and energy thinking of cute ideas that represent their wedding or where they met, cute puns to print on labels and part of their wedding budget to make it all happen.

My advice: You can skip favors. Trust me, you really can. If you are dead-set on providing a favor (on top of the awesome party with dinner and an open bar), here are my suggestions. Make it useful, or make it edible. Koozies are wonderful favors, because your guests will actually use them during your wedding! Pre-packaged donuts, or cookies, or macaroons (yum!), are always hits. Or take the funds and provide a ‘late-night snack’ instead. Your guests will love to much on hamburger sliders while they party the night away.

Photo – The Nixon’s Photography


The problem: I would like to start this section by saying that I love flowers. If you have the money in your budget to create a beautiful floral design, by all means, go for it. Some of your guests will appreciate the beauty of the arrangements, but some will not even notice (i.e. most men). Guests remember their experience at your wedding more than they remember the centerpieces – so I suggest spending money on transportation, heaters for the patio, air conditioning for the tent, the band, etc. I typically recommend putting away somewhere between 8%-10% of your overall budget for your flowers.

My advice: Repurpose your wedding party’s bouquets. After the ceremony, have your planner collect the girls bouquets and place them in vases in the center of the table. Consider a cocktail style reception. This will require less tables, i.e. less centerpieces! Repurpose your ceremony flowers. If you want to have two large arrangements creating an altar at your ceremony, have your planner move them inside during cocktail hour.

Photo – Jessica Schmitt Photography