10 Ways to be a Frugal Bride

The average wedding in the United States costs in excess of $20,000. It's no secret that weddings can be a challenge for bridges who need to stay on budget. Have no fear, though. There are some great ways for you to remain frugal while planning for your wedding. These strategies will help you plan a great wedding while still coming in under budget. 

1. Sample sales for the dress

Sample sales can be a great way to save money on the dress. Each year, bridal shops need to clear floor space for their new arrivals. Like car dealers getting rid of the 2012 models in favor of the 2012 crop, bridal shops will sell their old sample dresses at deep discounts. Some brides are able to save hundreds of dollars on their dress with this strategy. 

2. Be Open to an offbeat wedding date

Wedding sites increase their prices dramatically for weekends. If you want to be frugal, think about having your wedding on some day other than Saturday. Sundays are good for less expensive weddings, and weekdays will certainly bring your costs down. Many couples have gotten savings by holding their wedding on holiday weekend, especially during the summer. 

3. Day time wedding with brunch or lunch reception

You can save cash, too, by going with a daytime wedding. Not only will your host site costs go down, but it will cost less to feed your guests. A brunch or lunch reception will have less alcohol, and you can provide great quality food for less than a dinner might cost. 


4. Big savings on flowers

Flowers are always one of the biggest expenses in any wedding. You can save money by going with flowers that are in-season. These will cost much less per flower and per arrangement, too. On top of that, you might consider going with only one or two core flowers rather than four or five. The simpler you can make it for the florist, the bigger break you are likely to get on the final bill. 

5. Save on the cake

Depending upon the kind of cake you want and how many people you need to feed, this can be a spot where your budget bursts to the seams. The smart move is to go modest with the cake. Wildly ornamental designs cost a lot of money and provide little return. Understand that quite often the people at your wedding will prefer a cake that tastes great over a cake that looks good (I know I do ).

6. Retain the ability to hire who you want to execute your wedding

Some venues will force you to use their wedding planner, their official, and even their catering service. When you operate under this arrangement, you have little leverage and can end up paying too much for everything. Try to choose a venue that lets you choose the people you want. This will allow you to negotiate lower prices and choose individuals who fit your needs more closely. 

7. Consider a DJ over a band

If you can entertain a DJ rather than a band, you'll end up with big cost savings. (I know, I know… bands are awesome but DJs can be too). Bands are much more expensive, and they'll come with a list of demands, too and dinner an drinks can add up. DJs are often one-man operations, keeping their costs down and passing the savings on to you. 

8. Limit those plus-ones

(Ugh! tough one) When you're filling out the guest list, be sure to limit the plus-ones you hand out. Don't allow every single friend to bring a date. Reserve that privilege only for those friends who are in a committed relationship. 

9. Borrowing the bridal jewelry

It can make sense to borrow the jewelry you wear on the big day from a friend or family member. There may be some sentimental necklace or pair of earrings that can make the day much more special without costing an arm and a leg. 

10. Have a friend officiate

Getting licensed to perform weddings is a cheap and quick process. If you have a friend who would do a great job as the officiant, you should choose him. Why have a stranger direct your wedding when it could be someone special in your life? (It’ll be great)

Mary Comerford