Use someone’s backyard! A free/cheap venue will save you big time. The venue typically makes up for a huge chunk of the wedding budget. By finding an extremely inexpensive/free venue you will save yourself thousands of dollars. Is a backyard not available? Look into city owned parks! You will need a permit, but these are typically anywhere from $50-$200 for the day! Be sure to consider alcohol licensing if you are going the park route!
Lulu’s has super inexpensive and pretty wedding dresses (less than $100). Notable mentions: Cocomelody and JJs House (the quality from JJs House is a bit hit or miss). By finding a beautiful dress from a less expensive shop you can save A LOT! Lulu’s dresses tend to be a bit more casual but most of their wedding dresses range from $90-$120. Cocomelody has a lot more “bridal” options that are absolutely gorgeous in the $300-$600 range.
Have food either be potluck or get a taco truck! Food trucks are shockingly inexpensive (we’re talking less than $1000 for 200 people) and has good reviews. Food trucks or generally any caterer who is familiar with large events but not necessarily weddings are a great way to save money. If you are thinking of going to potluck route then you will really save money. Ask everyone to bring a dish as a wedding present!
Get a keg or two instead of a full bar. Renting a full bar or opting for a venue that provides a bar (at a price, of course) really adds up. Depending on your venue you may need someone to serve the alcohol, but if you are able to use a friend or relatives backyard that is one more expense you don’t need to worry about
Check out thrift shops and craigslist for decorations and get creative!! People throw weddings every single week. There are so many decorations that are available to buy second hand. If you want to get really creative, look for items in thrift stores that aren’t wedding specific. They will be even less expensive. Candle holders, items for center pieces, even cake stands are great examples of items you can re-purpose.
Have a friend officiate. Becoming ordained online is completely free! If you have a friend who you think is an awesome public speaker and can capture the tone of your wedding ask them to officiate your wedding. In Los Angeles most officiants range from $250-$600 depending on your needs. This could be a huge savings if you have a friend or family member up for the task!
Make your own cake or buy one from the grocery store. Wedding cakes can cost an A LOT. The irony, it almost never is fully eaten. I have left many weddings where only a few slices where even taken. Yes they are pretty for pictures, and cake cutting is a wedding tradition, but do you really need to break your budget for a Pinterest worthy cake? Probably not. If you or someone you know is particularly gifted at cake making GREAT! If not, Costco makes amazing, simple, multi-tiered cakes for under $100. Best part, they’re yummy!
Have a wedding website (free on Zola if you don’t buy the domain) and have people RSVP there. Send invites via email. If you have your heart set on mailing invites, print your own. Skip the save the dates. Invitations and save the dates seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but once you add postage they really start to add up. Websites like vistaprint or shuterfly offer inexpensive options. You can also buy an invitation format on Etsy, customize it and then print them at home! Reduce your spending further by having people RSVP online at a wedding website. If you are on a very tight budget consider sending invitations via email. Bonus- its a very eco-friendly option.
Skip party favors! Yes it is nice to send your guests off with a little something, but it is not necessary. I can’t tell you how many times dozens of party favors are left at the end of the night. Your guests are not going to cherish whatever trinket they receive from your wedding, but they will cherish the opportunity to be there for you on your special day!
Have a small bridal party or skip the bridal party altogether. Having a bridal party adds up. Even if you are going to have them pay for their own clothes, make-up and hair, believe me, it adds up. $15/person for a bridal party gift may not seem expensive, but multiply that by 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen and you’ve really added a huge expense. Save yourself the cost by cutting down on your bridal party.
Have a smaller guest list. It can be tempting to invite every person you’ve ever met, but if you are on a tight budget don’t succumb to the temptation! Every single person you invite is an added expense. If you’re budget won’t allow a huge guest list, then make sure the people you are inviting will truly add something to your special day by being present!
Buy your flowers from the flower market. If a flower market isn’t available in your location Trader Joe’s or Costco also have beautiful flowers for very inexpensive. This will, of course, mean someone will need to set up all of your centerpieces, bouquets, or any other place you may want to set up flowers. If you, your bridal party, coordinator, or family are able to do this you can save a lot! Florists can be very expensive and for good reason! The work they do is beautiful, but if it’s not in your budget, this is a great way to save!
Have a friend coordinate. I, obviously, say this with severe reservations, BUT it can save you money. It is important to have some one spear-heading all of the behind-the-scenes happenings of your wedding day. If a professional is not in your budget make sure you have delegated this task to someone. NOW! On the other side of that, a good coordinator can actually save you a lot of money and stress. I allow my clients to use my decorations. This is a huge savings for them. I have relationships with other vendors who offer special deals to my clients. Again, this is a huge savings. If you are planning on using a day of coordinator, find one who is well connected with great decorations in addition to being an amazing coordinator!
There are plenty of photographers who are just starting out and will do your wedding for around $500. This can definitely be risky business. At the end of the night the wedding ends, everyone goes home, and pictures or video are really going to be what you have to remember the day by. If you are taking a chance on someone be sure they fully understand what goes into wedding photography. Find someone who has some samples of their work that you really like, but be sure that those samples include action shots. It takes a special kind of talent to capture the mood of a live moment in a picture! Still photo’s are only a small portion of the pictures you will want at the end of the day. Ask for an engagement shoot to see if their talents and style translate to you!
de Bois Entertainment has been providing the top wedding bands in the Los Angeles area for over 25 years. You can book our bands for your upcoming event anywhere in the world and we can even help you to pick out aÂ specialty act, such as a comedian, a hula hooping troop, a stilt walker, a juggler, a fire spinner [poi], or face painter for your kids birthday party in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Santa Barbara or even internationally, contact us today for more details.