Abby Hacker Photography | Tips on planning your wedding: Saving money

Tips on planning your wedding: Saving money

January 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

So, I threw together my wedding in just 3 months and after that I feel like I could run an entire site on what to do for weddings! But because I'm not going to do that, I thought I'd write a few blog posts. This first one is how to save money on your wedding! 

1. Figure out early on what is important to you and make sure you set the money aside for just that. For me the #1 most important thing to me was wedding photography and video. Obviously this can be expensive, but for me I knew it was one of the only things that would last and help me to remember the day as it happened. So I made sure that I got a good photographer and videographer! I think the #2 priority (after venue, of course!) was dessert…LOVE me some dessert! 

2. Have your wedding on any day of the week other than Saturday! The cost of our wedding venue was cut in half because we had it on a Friday. If you have over 6 months planning your wedding, I really recommend doing a Friday (or any day other than Saturday) wedding - it's enough time for family and friends to get off work if they really want to be there. Honestly, it didn't even feel like a Friday wedding to me…it felt like a Saturday, and we had a GREAT turn out, even for just having 3 months notice! 

3. ASK. This might seem really obvious but if you want a discount on something, just ask for it! Sure most of the time they will say no, but sometimes they say yes and it will save you money! Early on, I had asked a photographer that I had been following for YEARS if they were available to shoot my wedding - I didn't have enough money to pay what they normally charge, but told them what I could pay…they said they would totally do it since I had been a fan of theirs for so long…how did they know? I commented on their statuses and blog often. It really does pay off! In the end we couldn't work it out because they had a wedding to shoot the next day and they couldn't find a red eye flight out after my wedding - but just knowing that people are willing to compromise was huge! I know that a lot of people will not budge on prices, but it's always worth asking!

4. Fake flower centerpieces, people! I ordered $250 worth of fake flowers…I ordered from for 14 tables centerpieces! I put them in ball jar type jars, and I think they looked pretty fabulous! I did have real flowers for the whole bridal party though! (I've also heard that grocery stores like Kroger and Costco are doing wedding flowers now…they cost probably a 1/4 of the cost as florists do!)  We also made the table numbers out of homemade confetti, which probably cost us about $4 total….sure it took a LOT of time, but saved us money!  If I had done real centerpieces it would have cost me over $1,000…glad I didn't do that! Most people don't remember the centerpieces from your wedding, so I don't think it needs to be that big of a cost!

5. D I Y ….I can't say enough how much DIY really helped with how our wedding look turned out! I had specific items that I wanted and I put together a list and my family and friends would help and I would just do as much as I could when I had the time! I also purchased a font that I loved for about $20 and made signs for the bar, guestbook, lantern send off, dessert tables, etc. So for $20 I had a different font than anyone else and I designed the signs so there was a theme throughout the wedding. I printed these on thicker paper myself, probably saving myself a couple hundred instead of having someone design them and print them for us! We also had a homemade LOVE Marquee, a paint chip heart,  and so many other personal touches that I just truly loved! 

6. Hair and Make up: Man…this was a toughie for me for more than 1 reason. I had someone lined up early on (2 months out) for my hair and make up. I did a trial run, which cost me $60. Then they sent me the invoice to reserve the date. There were many costs that weren't told to me up front and it included sales tax. Because I do photography I know that you don't charge sales tax on a service, but only something tangible…so I tried to get that sorted out and it didn't work, so I had to find someone else. This was 3 weeks before my wedding when all this came about. I found someone else, went to the trial with her 2 weeks before my wedding and I looked AWFUL. Haha…just terrible…so there went another $60 for another trial and I still had no one to do my hair and make up. At this point I was stuck paying a premium for everything, and didn't have time to do another trial. Lesson: Get recommendations from friends, family, Facebook people - ANYONE…and be sure to do a trial. Most good make up and hair people will do a free trial if you hire them, so just keep that in mind!

7. See if you can bring in your own cakeif they say it has to come from an approved vendor, ask them if Costco is ok. Sure, we had a whole dessert bar, but we also had a small 6 inch cake for us to cut and then 2 sheet cakes from Costco! Guess how much a sheet cake costs from there? $17….yup. If I went with a local bakery it would have cost me a couple hundred dollars to have that much cake! #BOOYAH!

Ok - I think this is enough tips for the day! :) I hope you enjoyed them…share this with anyone getting married and don't forget to contact me if you're looking for a wedding photographer or if I can answer any other burning questions for you!  -Abby


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