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Wedding Wisdom

The 10 Best Ways to Cut Wedding Costs from Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss

You may remember a few weeks ago wedding planner to the stars Mindy Weiss (one of the most sought-after party planners in the country!) popped in to see us and share her top 5 wedding splurges, well today she is back with more expert wedding advice for those brides on a tighter budget (I know I was one!)

The 10 Best Ways to Cut Wedding Costs from World Famous Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss

The 10 Best Ways to Cut Wedding Costs from World Famous Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss

Much as I love a good wedding, and swoon at all of the creative little details so many couples today are including in their celebration, I am firmly of the belief that your wedding is only one day, and not worth breaking the bank for! So, if you are a bride on a budget, where are the areas that in Mindy’s experience you can make the biggest savings? What are the things or details that can be ditched, without sacrificing the style and substance of your celebration? Well, I will let her tell you – and there are some really great ideas here that will save you $$$$s!

“Obviously, there are as many ways to scrimp as there are to break the bank. But the key to a great wedding is knowing where to spend and where to save. Here are the ten best ways to keep the bills down without compromising the integrity of the event:

1. Trim the guest list – it may sound severe, but your cost per head is your biggest expense! I couldn’t agree with Mindy more, as a bride who celebrated with just 30 people (and her husband) I would definitely recommend taking a close look at your guest list – have you seen them in the last 10 years? No? Take them off your list. Have you spoken to them in the last 5 years? No? Don’t invite them! Do you spend time with this person outside of work? No? They shouldn’t be on your list to begin with. We compiled our invite list by imagining looking at our wedding photos in 20 or 30 years time, who are the people we will still be close to? 

The 10 Best Ways to Cut Wedding Costs from World Famous Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss

Photography ~ Pierre Curry via Chic Vintage Brides


2. Choose a gorgeous setting – whether it’s a conservatory or a Tudor ballroom you will save a bundle on decorations.

Stunning Wedding Setting

Photography ~ Julie Paisley via SMP


3. Skip the off-site location and go with a reception site (a hotel, club, or restaurant) that comes with tables, chairs, flatware, and staff. Tents, furniture, lighting and tableware add up to a substantial expense.

Romantic Modern-Vintage Wedding Reception Decor

Photography ~ Clareece Smit Photography via Chic Vintage Brides


4. Start your wedding earlier in the day. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or heavy hors d’oeuvres cost less than dinner; and earlier in the day, people drink less, lowering your liquor costs.

Lunchtime Wedding Reception

Photography ~ Naomi Kenton via Rock My Wedding

(Take a peek at two such weddings with high tea receptions rather than 3 course dinners here and here)


5. Limit the alcoholic offerings to wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. Also consider sangria or punch as a festive but cost-effective alternative to mixed drinks.

Wedding Beer Bar

Photography ~ Sylvie Gil Photography via SMP

And going non alcoholic can save a few pennies too!

Non Alcoholic Wedding Bar

Photography ~ Mariko Kay Photography via Pink Peonies


6. Move the wedding from Saturday to Sunday; if you need to bring down the price even more, move it to a weekday. Many vendors lower their fees for weddings that are on days that are less in demand.

Sparkler Wedding ExitSparkler Wedding Exit

Photography ~ Marissa Lambert via Chic Vintage Brides


7. Eliminate the champagne toast – in my experience much of the bubbly is thrown out anyway! Instead have guests toast with whatever they’re drinking at the time.

Wedding Champagne Tower

Photography ~ Kurt Boomer


8. Instead of a band, hire a DJ or have a friend create a playlist.

Wedding BandWedding Playlist

Band ~ Carte Blanche, Photographer ~ Chris Spira via Chic Vintage Brides


9. Opt for an inexpensive printing method on your invitations. You can get a great effect from offset printing, for a fraction of the price of letterpress or engraving.

Floral Vintage Wedding Invitation Suite

Painterly Floral Wedding Invitation from Rachel Marvin Creative

And you can save even more by printing your own – you will find lots of downloadable designs on places like Etsy for VERY reasonable prices, including personalisation!

Floral Wedding Invitation Printable

Floral Printable Wedding Invitation from Darling Paper Company


10. Skip the favors and write a heartfelt personal note instead.”

Wedding Thankyou Note Favour

Photography Yasmin Khajavi Photography via Wedding Chicks

That last one is SUCH a good idea! And one that I am sure will be as appreciated by your guests as it will by your budget – especially if it was done by hand. I can’t tell you how many times I have left a wedding and either forgot my favour (eek!) or have thrown away something edible a year or so later (I always find them hiding in my dress bag next time I go to use it!)

Anyway, a huge thankyou once again to the lovely Mindy for joining us and for sharing pearls of her wedding-planning wisdom here on Chic Vintage Brides! Don’t forget you can find more of Mindy’s wonderful hints, tips and insights in her fabulous book…..

The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss

The Wedding Book: An Expert’s Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day–Your Way‘ – it covers everything from how to get the most out of Pinterest (and other social apps) in your wedding planning, to managing those all important food sensitivities! I can’t think of a better engagement – or Christmas – present for any newly engaged bride-to-be.

Mr E and I saved a few pennies ourselves when planning our wedding. I managed to find an accessory designer who created my bespoke headpiece from spare crystals from my dress, it cost me under $100 (rather than the $$$s I was looking at for a Jenny Packham piece) And because we were getting married on NYE and wanted to serve nibbles before midnight, we ditched dessert and served our wedding cake for our final course. That saved enough for us to be able to put money behind the bar for each of our guests to have one or two drinks on us.

So you see, planning a budget wedding you can still have a few splurges! You just have to prioritise what is important to you, and cut back on (or ditch altogether), those things that aren’t. Let us know in the comments below if you have any cost cutting tips, and share any ways you have found to save a few cents.