Bride & Groom

First, Comes Love

header photo

Weddings Don't Have To Break The Bank

 Once you start planning your wedding , you realize very quickly just how expensive weddings can be. Depending on where and when you get married, the costs can stretch into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Many couples wrestle with the idea of keeping the costs down without cutting quality. Here are some tips to help.


1. Keep your guest list down. That is the number one thing you can do to keep costs down. The per-person cost per guest will be much more than just the cost of the meal at the reception.  Remember that even without a lot of frills, each guest gets

  • an invitation (plus possibly a save-the-date card)
  • a catered meal (including a cocktail hour, dinner, and dessert)
  • a piece of a very expensive cake
  • drinks, gift bags and/or wedding favors

2. Be flexible about timing. Think outside the box.

  • A Saturday evening reception tends to be the most expensive.
  • June and December are the most popular months for weddings. Venues tend to charge more & are less likely to negotiate prices.
  • Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming more popular, and usually cost less when renting a reception hall. It pays to check around.
  • Time of day matters too.
    • If you are having a morning wedding, consider an afternoon reception. A buffet lunch is a lot less expensive than an evening, sit-down dinner. Afternoon receptions can also be alcohol free, resulting in huge savings for a wedding couple.
  • If an evening reception is a must-have, consider a limited cash bar instead of an open bar.  A limited cash bar provides your guests with free beer and house wine while guests who prefer mixed drinks or liquor pay for their own drinks.

3. Floral Arrangements - Typically, flower arrangements are needed for the bride, the bridesmaids, the ends of the pews, the ceremonial space of the church, and the reception tables.

  • Here are some ways to save:
    • Order flowers that are in season​​
    • Have a budget in mind when talking with your florist
    • Many churches have silk flowers, ribbons, and cloth drapes, which can be used for decorating. Use these to decorate the ends of the pews and sanctuary space.
    • The church is already decorated with fresh flowers and/or plants at certain times of the year; i.e. Christmas, Easter, Fall, Spring. Use the flowers that are already there.  It will vary from church to church, so check with the church's wedding planner.

4. Gifts -  It has become customary for some couples to provide gifts for guests staying in hotel rooms. If you choose to do this, the gift does not have to be extravagant.  A snack, a bottle of water and a hand made thank-you card will suffice.  Keep reception gifts simple; make homemade, if you are talented in that area.

 5. Use the Internet.

  • offers a range of almost-new wedding dresses.

  •  allow you to work directly with designers, and  purchase handmade items on any price scale.

6. Do it yourself. Make your own gifts, wedding favors, or other decorations  If you, or any of your friends, or a family member is talented in that area. There are also many websites that offer options for printing your save-the-date-notices, as well as, invitations. It is super-easy to print up your own wedding program!

7. Prioritize the percentages in your wedding budget. If food or photography is a big priority, then let your budget show that, and cut back on something else. If music is your number one priority, then adjust your budget accordingly. If you are allergic to flowers, there is no law that says you have to have them. Use silk flower arrangements instead, or you can totally go without them. You can adjust the percentages in your wedding budget however you would like, just realize it can't add up to more than 100 percent.

8. Don't lose sight of the prize. - In this case, the prize is your love and commitment to each other! Regardless of whether everything is perfect or not, your wedding day will be magical and special for you. Live in the moment. Enjoy the process and excitement of planning.  Let the people that you hire for your wedding (caterer, photographer, musicians, etc.) do their jobs. Stay calmer and have less stress by not over-planning every tiny little detail in an effort to make it perfect.