With wedding planning in full force—Google searches for "weddings" have been increasing since February 2021— it's no secret that planning, and attending, a wedding can get absurdly expensive.
Fortunately, you can still plan the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.
Plus, you’ve already met your Prince Charming, so that’s pretty magical, too.
We connected with Katie Brownstein, Director of Marketing & Communications at Joy, a digital platform that provides couples with tools to plan the Big Day.
An expert in all things wedding-related, from invitations, to venues, to curating the perfect aesthetic, Katie knows how to plan a cost-effective wedding that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Below are Katie’s expert tips and tricks on how to save money this wedding season!
Venues charge a premium for Saturday night weddings as it’s the most popular day of the week to get married. By opting for a Friday, Sunday, weekday, or daytime wedding, couples can save thousands of dollars on their venue costs. Given the number of weddings taking place in late 2021 and 2022 due to Covid postponements, venues and vendors will have more availability on off dates as well.
Couples can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars off their wedding budget by sending online Save the Dates and invitations. For example, Joy offers free online Save the Dates, invites, and eCards which couples can match to their wedding website or choose from hundreds of designs.
If online invitations aren’t for you, you can still choose to have guests RSVP online rather than mail in their response, saving money on response cards and postage. Not to mention, saving valuable time tallying up responses!
There are several ways to save money while still finding the dress of your dreams. Attend designer trunk shows at local bridal boutiques, where discounts are offered on purchases made that day, purchase your dress off the rack in a sample size rather than having it custom-made, or purchase a dress second-hand from a bridal boutique or online sites like Poshmark, Tradesy, or Still White.
75% of couples register for cash funds, and most cash registry providers charge fees between 2.5 - 3% on cash gifts. This means if a couple receives $5,000 in gifts, they pay $150 in fees - the average value of a wedding gift in itself! Joy is the only zero-fee cash registry, saving couples hundreds of dollars on cash gifts.
Florals are often one of the pricier line items in a wedding budget. Create beautiful centerpieces and eye-catching decorative displays from budget-friendly options such as greenery, candles, twinkle lights, or creatively draped fabric to save big.
Rather than grant your entire guest list plus ones, reserve the option to bring a date for couples in serious relationships and for your wedding party. This will not only reduce your guest count and cut costs, but will ensure everyone attending your special day is someone you actually know. Sites such as Joy let you assign (and limit) plus ones within your guest list, meaning guests can only RSVP for the number of plus ones allotted to them.
Avoid having to provide transportation between the ceremony and reception by holding both at the same venue. Additionally, providing an Uber or Lyft code for guests to use to and from your event is often a less expensive alternative to hiring shuttle buses for the duration of your wedding.
An easy way to save on rentals and florals is to repurpose items from your ceremony for your reception. Use your ceremony chairs for dinner table seats, and repurpose florals used in bridesmaid bouquets and ceremony decor for table centerpieces.
Choose flowers and menu selections that are within season—meaning their price is lower as they are in peak supply. For example, selecting fluffy cabbage roses vs. shipping peonies from another country can save you hundreds.
Photography by: Courtesy Joy, Shardayy Photography, Elvis Bekmanis, Kelly Sikkema, Charisse Kenion, Charles Deluvio, Jonathan Borba, Ilana Kovalova