Frugal Living: How We’re Saving Money On Our Wedding (And How We’re Not)

April 24, 2014


I’m vlogging to tackle another reader question on frugal living this week- how are we saving money on our wedding?  I’m going to talk about that,but also, how we aren’t saving money on our wedding.

Honestly- like anything in life, living frugally is about priorities.  When you plan a wedding, you have to choose what’s worth spending money on, what isn’t and of course, how to console yourself when reality and your budget don’t match up.

We had some hard let-downs when we found venues we LOVED but realized they would push our budget to the breaking point.  While I’ve heard that some spending categories will require you to save in others (like if you insist on fresh flowers, you may have to cut back on your table favors, those kinds of trade offs) as a couple, we reached a personal breaking point when the venues we wanted were going to push our budget for the venue so far over that we’d have to severely limit our spending on the dress, gifts and flowers (which is a big deal for me!)

We’ve booked a moderate, but fabulous venue and learned a valuable lesson- Your budget should feel right to you.  Yes, sometimes budgets suck, but having one helps you feel out those moments when buying something feels wrong in your gut.  Budgets of all types, not just for weddings, are great barometers for how we are responding emotionally to financial choices we make. Whether we’re debating going back to school, buying a handbag or going for an impulse buy run to Target, that budget is the rational side of sometimes very emotional spending.

I learned through wedding planning, budgeting is not just a financial tool but an emotional one, to get what you truly want!


I would love to hear your questions so I can record another vlog!


What questions do you have for me?  Any questions on fitness, frugality, life or random topics are welcome! 🙂


8 comments so far.

8 responses to “Frugal Living: How We’re Saving Money On Our Wedding (And How We’re Not)”

  1. Janine says:

    I love this. I think finding a balance is great. I don’t think that just cutting all the costs and not having the wedding you want is the right choice. From what I’ve seen you have to kind of make a list of what is most important to you and cut costs from there. You’re wedding sounds lovely,I’m very excited for you!

  2. Ashley says:

    Haha. I have wedding planning flashbacks every post you have. You are going through the exact process that I went through. Thoughts, frustrations, etc. A huge part of my wedding was based around me needing a giant tent and all the kids.

    I did everything DIY, and saved so much money that way! It was only really honestly that stressful the week of the wedding. Worth it 😉

  3. michele says:

    Love this!

    I’m in a weird limbo where my boyfriend and I aren’t engaged BUT we’ve looked at rings, so I’ve taken that as permission to make an obsessive spreadsheet and figure out budget. I knew attire/venues/food/booze would be pricey… but OMG invitations??? SO EXPENSIVE… or super ugly.

    I’ll probably DIY them, but I’m having a hard time deciding if the rules of formal invitations- 2 envelopes, enclosures, etc, are really necessary/worth it. I’d LOVE to hear anyone’s opinion: if you got an invite that was just a single sheet, in a single envelope, would you die of embarrassment on behalf of the tacky bride? Would you even notice? I love tradition and ceremony, but in 5 years (or even 1…) I don’t think people are going to remember the paper goods.

    Maybe I just answered my own question, but I still would love opinions 😉

    • Alyssa says:

      I’m thinking about doing a much simpler invitation too. I feel like in this digital age where 99% of things are done online I should be able to do email RSVPs without being tacky!

      I think we are going to do online save the dates from too.

  4. Caitlin S. says:

    I agree with everything you have said. We got married in an off-month and got some pretty sweet deals. We had a very small budget and only a few (6 months) to plan it (and it was a long distance plan too!). Some of the things we did was a. RSVP online or over the phone for those who don’t have the internet, b. we handmade all invitations, c. we did not send out save the dates since we were sending an invitation shortly after. d. I got my dress on sale at a small locally owned business. Other things: My matron of Honor made the cake for us, a friend from college married us – he is a pastor, another friend did flowers for us, we made our own centerpieces and take home gifts (snowflake ornaments with there names and the date – which also served as table place cards). We also just created a playlist on Itunes and had someone help out with it. The one part we skimped on was a photographer and I WILL FOREVER REGRET that. Get the best you can on that one!

  5. Alyssa says:

    Somethings are definitely worth splurging on! Like you mentioned, it’s important to decide what’s important to you and what can be cut back. I really want fresh flower bouquets but will probably skip any flowers for the centerpieces. We aren’t going to do any decorations at the church because it has a classic beautiful look and they will have flowers there. My big things are good food, free booze and a good dance party.

  6. Amber says:

    I think it’s great that you know what you want and have a budget set. My wedding was SUPER cheap. It was only about 50 people and it was a backyard family style wedding. We had family pitch in to make food, the cake, etc. I was lucky enough to get a great photographer for only $300 because she was a good friend. Honestly the only thing I would spend more money on if we did it over again would be the dress. I liked my dress and it was beautiful for only $70 (not designed to be a wedding dress.) I just think that it was my one chance to wear something really amazing and perhaps it would have been fun to spend more and have something once in a lifetime. I’m so glad we didn’t spend big money on a wedding, but I know plenty of people that loved their expensive weddings too. Thanks for sharing where you’re at with us and I wish you luck with all your planning.

  7. deandra says:

    Great idea to do electronic save the date….I will definitely speak with my fiancé about that. Majority of our family check they emails so I’m leaning towards doing that.


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