Chances are, you’re dreaming of an over-the-top wedding: An event with the prettiest flowers, the tastiest hors d’oeuvres, the coolest photo booth, and on and on. You’re thinking a flower wall that rivals Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s crazy wall of blooms, a wedding cake like Sofia Vergara’s tiered masterpiece, a gown as beautiful as Eva Longoria’s body-hugging wedding dress (designed by fashion bestie Victoria Beckham, nonetheless!). But here’s the thing: All that style is really, really expensive.
Lucky for you, our editors teamed up with some of the top wedding professionals from coast to coast — florists, planners, chefs, mixologists, cake bakers, you name it — to put together a master list of been-there-done-that advice that will save you hundreds (and, sometimes, thousands!) of dollars on your wedding. From hacks that knock $500 off the wedding dress and $3 per slice of wedding cake (that’s $300 for your 100 guests!), it’s safe to say that this list may very well be your new MOH.
The best part of these 53 budget-saving tips? They save you money without sacrificing an ounce of style. You see, when it comes to planning a wedding, it’s all about knowing your priorities and using your money wisely. For instance, if you want that Kimye-level flower wall, you can have it, but you might want to consider cutting those over-the-top centerpieces on each table. Have to have that five-tiered showstopper of a cake? Try it in buttercream rather than fondant and trade sugar flowers for actual flowers (they’re a fraction of the cost and just as lovely). And about that designer wedding dress: Shop at a salon’s sample sale to score it at 20 to 90 percent off the original cost.
And sometimes, it’s all about working with what you already have. Did you rent special gold Chiavari chairs for your ceremony? Use them at your reception — you’ll have to pay a moving fee, but it will still be cheaper than ordering twice as many. Hint: You can do the same with your ceremony décor and bridesmaids’ bouquets at the reception. And what about the deets for those other events like the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids’ luncheon, and day after brunch? Put them on your wedding website (you did build one, after all!) rather than print them on a separate card in your invitation suite for savings of $800. Done and done.