Affordable Wedding Tips



More brides and grooms are paying for or contributing to the cost of their wedding than any time before. This has helped fuel the shabby chic, vintage and DIY wedding trends as couples look to create their dream wedding in the most affordable manner possible. So how can you have the wedding you want while sticking to an affordable wedding budget?

Plan Your Budget. The most important thing you can do for your affordable wedding budget is plan early. Review your financial situation to determine how much you can realistically save between now and your wedding date. If your family will gift wedding funds, discuss how much they will be contributing, what they will contribute to and when you can expect the financial support. Knowing their timeline for contribution will help you to manage the cash flow required for deposits and payments of wedding services.

Prioritize Your Budget. A great way to prioritize your affordable wedding budget is to make a list of things you must have and would like to have for your wedding day. Ask your fiance to do the same. This will allow each of you to express what is important and begin building your affordable wedding budget from your shared priorities. If a large guest list is important to you, but ceremony flowers are not, this exercise will help you prioritize your wedding reception budget.

Be a DIY bride. Before taking on any DIY projects, you should calculate the cost of materials and time versus hiring a professional to handle the project. You should also consider how close to your wedding you would have to complete the task. Many brides elect to make and print paper products such as programs and table cards, but leave centerpiece creation to the pros due to timing.

Hire Professionals. It is sometimes tempting to use a “Friendor” for your wedding. A “Friendor” is a friends who you use for wedding services. They may or may not perform this service as a career. Sometimes a “Friendor” works perfectly; you get exactly what you wanted for a price you can afford. But other times working with a friendor can cause more stress than it’s worth and put a strain on your friendship. A “Friendor” can also cost you more in the end if they aren’t in tune with wedding trends, cost savings opportunities such as in season flowers and lost chances to bundle services for savings. Additionally, if you want professional results, it may be best to use a professional service.

So where can you make more affordable choices that go unnoticed by guests?


  • Cut the guest list. This will save money on catering, invitations, guest favors and centerpieces.
  • Think off-peak season and save thousands!
  • Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot — it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour and eliminate the need for bridal party transportation.
  • Consider a Friday wedding – or Sunday for even bigger savings.
  • Have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.
  • Shop the off-season for extra decor — get red vases on sale after Christmas and pretty pink ones after Valentine’s Day.


  • Use more greenery than flowers.
  • Swap out costly flowers
  • Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers.
  • Buy flowers that are in season.
  • Include non-florals, like lanterns, mirrors and candles in your centerpieces.

Food & Drink

  • Skip midnight snacks.
  • Shorten your cocktail hour to a half-hour.
  • Offer beer, wine, and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar.
  • Serve comfort foods like barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, and corn. It’s fun and often cheaper.
  • Skip the champagne toast.


  • Order a small one or two-tiered cake and then supplement cake with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen).
  • Keep the add-ons simple.
  • Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones.
  • Reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table.
  • Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango.

Stationery & Favors

  • Get single-page invites to save on postage.
  • Give out one favor per couple.
  • Make your cake the favors.
  • Have favors double as escort cards.
  • Email your save-the-dates.
  • Make your own menu cards, escort cards, and wedding favor packaging.

Photo, Video & Music

  • Hire a photographer who will give you a copyright release which will save printing costs.
  • Hire a single maned camera videography team.
  • Hire a DJ who can do both the ceremony and the reception.

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“I refuse to accept payment from a client who doesn’t feel as if we exceeded their expectations”, says Mike. “First and foremost, we take care of the client. Everything else will fall into place naturally”.

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Ready to bring your wedding to life? Mike Staff Productions is here to help with any of your wedding planning questions! Feel free to give us a call (877.689.0777) or email us at [email protected]


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