How to keep your wedding under budget

Dallas Arboreteum

It’s wedding season again and brides are being swept up in the romance of their fairy-tale celebrations.  But nothing brings a fairy tale to a grinding halt faster than bills in one hand and a shrinking budget in the other.

If you need to come in under budget, but still want a great wedding, try these great tips from experts Vicki Karigiannis of and Andrea Lown and Leah Andrews from

Location, location, location

  • Get married out of town. Locations can be cheaper out of the city.
  • Try a beautiful backyard instead.


  • Ask the photographer for just digital images instead of print.
  • Create your own wedding album instead of paying extra to have the photographer do it.
  • Consider using a friend with photography skills.


  • Go for in-season flowers. They’re often cheaper than out-of-season ones that have to be shipped.
  • Go fake
  • Make the bouquets yourself
  • Get married in a natural location such as a garden or someone’s backyard. The backdrop will serve as décor.

Food and drinks

  • Forgo the cake and serve small portions of the couple’s favourite dessert.
  • Ask your family to make desserts and serve at a dessert buffet.
  • Have a waiter serve a red and a white wine to each table. Don’t leave unopened bottles of wine as you will have to pay for them.
  • Bring in your own alcohol.

Instead of buying your invitations, try:

  • Downloading templates and creating your own invites.
  • Go traditional, but limit the amount of inserts (maps, accommodations) and put that information on a website.
  • Have a postcard RSVP or RSVP online via a wedding website.
  • Make them yourself.
  • Start a wedding blog, email the URL and put all relevant information on the blog.

Dresses and accessories

  • Go with simple silhouettes – the less fabric, the cheaper the dress.
  • Shop online. Brides can save up to 50 per cent on dresses online vs. in the stores.
  • Buy samples or pre-owned.
  • Rent your dress.
  • Consider accessories from sites such as


  • If you want live music, try universities for classical music students. They will often play weddings for a good price.

The rings

  • lets your friends and family donate their old gold to make your rings.

(Photo by Jason Gulledge)

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