Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Budget- What would you cut?

Hi!  So my wedding is about 2 months away.  We are running over budget.  I'm wondering what advice people have to cut back on the budget (all ideas big or small are welcome)!  I've read a lot about cutting down the guest list etc. but that is alittle hard to do at this point.  If you are already married, what do you think you could have cut that wasn't necessary?  What items do you think are less noticable/memorable in the grand scheme? There have been some unplanned large expenses (renting chairs for the ceremony is $450 etc.) that have put us over budget!  I also don't want to seem cheap.  Thanks for the help!


Here are my ideas for cutting money:


* don't get flowers for ring bearers or ushers

*pick up flowers instead of having them delivered

* have less appetizers at the reception

*get a sheet cake instead of a tiered cake (we haven't bought a cake yet)

*smaller centerpieces (we are already getting them at $20 each so I feel that's pretty good)

*don't get my hair done (I'm terrible at doing hair)



Re: Budget- What would you cut?

  • I think you have to decide what your personal priorities are and go from there.  For me, we decided that a cake wasn't a big deal since we didn't want the traditional "cake-cutting" photos anyway. As a result, we went with sheet cakes. I'm not getting flowers for the ring bearer because he will probably pick at it or rip it off anyway. I would also skip flowers for ushers if we were having them.  I decided to only do floral centerpieces on 1/2 of my tables and I found pretty, but reasonable candle holders for the other half. It saved on my floral budget, plus I'm planning on reselling my candle holders after the wedding.

    If you are doing favors, you can always skip those since many times it isn't something that guests really care about anyway. If you are doing an open bar, you can consider having a signature drink or just wine/beer rather than a full open bar with hard liquor.  If you are renting decor items, you may be able to buy them yourself cheaper, then resell, or do away with completely. For example, we are renting chargers at $4/charger. If push came to shove, I could buy gold or silver ones at the dollar store and resell them afterwards for $.50/ea or just do away with them completely.

    Personally, hair and makeup was a big deal to me since I want to look good on that day. Consequently, I would never tell someone to get rid of their hair person completely. But maybe you could find a cheaper vendor or go to a salon where the prices are lower.

    Good luck!

  • I would suggest reconsidering your guest list even though you said it's too late. That is by far the fastest way to save large amounts of money, any wedding planner will confirm this. I personally preferred to have a smaller guest list and nicer amenities. We had less than 100 people, and with that amount, we got to talk to the guests who attended 5 minutes or so each. It was nice that we talked to pretty much everybody. I've had friends who had huge weddings where they couldn't do so, and they said they felt bad afterwards. If that is the case, ask yourself what is the point of having so many people there. If you don't get to visit with them, will it really matter if they are there? Many people will say they have to invite a lot of guests because they don't want to hurt people's feelings, but these days people know money is tight and they won't feel slighted.

    Often, too, I hear about people including folks they don't even know on their guest list. I don't know if this is the case with you, but if you've included people like your parents co-workers, etc., you should ask if this matters and what would happen if they weren't invited.

    If your guest list is still not trimmable, other ideas for saving money that haven't been mentioned- no videographer- have a friend do the wedding video if you want one. No photo booth, ask people to upload candid photos to a web site. Reduce the number of hours your photographer will be there and have friends who like photography take photos during those times.

  • We were married last year and looking back, this is what I would have cut:

    Flowers at the church - people are only there for an hour and don't really notice the flowers that much.  Our church is really big and to have had any real impact we would have had to have tons of flowers.  We had flowers on the end of each pew and on the altar and I would have done away with all of them.

    Flowers for any guys in the wedding party (BM, Groomsmen, Ushers, etc.)  We had our guys just get pocket squares for a little color.  None of them wanted to have a flower on anyway and it was a very nominal charge from the rental company to get pocket squares with their rental.

    Perfomer during cocktail hour - We had a live musician play during cocktail hour and no one paid much attention to him.  I would cut that out if I had to do it again.

    On your list...I would absolutely not cut hair or make up.  You want that to be perfect in your pictures!  For appetizers, I would plan for 3 per person (on average) - if you have more than that you can probably cut some of that.  I would definitely have flowers delivered and set up - ours spent a lot of time doing that and I can't imagine having to worry about that during the wedding day!

    Good Luck!

  • We are having cupcakes instead of a cake.  I am borrowing cupcake stands that will double as our centerpieces.  

    All the little things add up.  Centerpieces, favors, programs etc.  Ask yourself if you really need that.  Most likely, your guests will not remember.  

    I strongly agree with the others to not cut your hair/makeup.  You are going to be looking back at yourself in your wedding pictures for years to come.  I do my hair and makeup everyday, but am still getting it done by a salon.  I don't want the stress of having something go wrong.

    Good luck!
  • Centerpieces should definitely be the first to go.

    $20 each x #of tables= Big savings!

  • Thanks ladies!  I will keep the hair and makeup.  I think cutting on the centerpieces makes sense.  Perhaps I'll look into a non-floral centerpiece.  Thanks for all the great ideas.  We aren't having any flowers at the ceremony, live performers or a videographer.  I think I'm also going to look into shortening the hours of our photographer.
  • The reason I said we can't trim the guest list is we already sent save the dates a few months ago and just started sending out the invitations.  It'd be pretty rude to univite someone.
  • Also, it's not too difficult to do the floral centerpieces yourself if you have a few people to help. For my brother's wedding, we went to the farmer's market and preordered the flowers we wanted. On the Friday before the wedding, we went and picked them up, then arranged them Friday night for the Saturday reception. Since they just go in vases, it doesn't have to be perfect or wrapped or anything.
  • flower_loverflower_lover member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited June 2013
  • The reason I said we can't trim the guest list is we already sent save the dates a few months ago and just started sending out the invitations.  It'd be pretty rude to univite someone.

    That makes sense. If you haven't already factored it in, there will surely be some guests who cannot attend, and that will help your budget, too.

  • We also didn't do flowers for the groomsmen or ushers.  If your reception site has a stereo set up, perhaps you could book your DJ for less time and just plug in an Ipod for dinner music?
  • We're thinking about doing DIY centerpieces with wine bottles (myself and friends saving the bottles) and then creatin arrangements with inexpensive flower sprays and branches. This is a good site! http://www.save-on-crafts.com/
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