12 Fun Ways to Save on Wedding Costs

Saying “I do” doesn’t have to mean saying yes to debt—or parting with every penny you’ve saved for a down payment on a home or car.

We know this because, back in 2008, blogger Sara Cotner, author of "A Priceless Wedding: Crafting a Meaningful, Memorable, and Affordable Celebration," married her hubby Matt in front of 80 of their “nearest and dearest” for less than $2,000.

Both teachers dedicated a grand to their wedding—and actually came in under budget.

RELATED: How I Held a 100-Person Wedding for Under $4,000

“We knew we could make it sincere without money,” Cotner says. “Having a smaller budget enabled us to focus on the importance of this major life milestone. It wasn’t about the dress, the flowers, the centerpieces. It was about community, connection, commitment and old-fashioned fun.”

The couple found incredibly creative ways to save, from booking a quaint, no-fee B&B to melting down old jewelry to create custom rings—for a total cost of $109.

So inspired by the challenge of pulling off a memorable—and very affordable—celebration, Cotner now blogs about it at 2000dollarwedding.com.

Here, she shares her tips for getting hitched in style—without “losing your savings or your sanity!”

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  • Laura

    I really like the idea of gathering gold from loved ones to make your own rings. That’s definitely one idea that I would have never thought about.

  • Kate

    Box wine and keg beer? Board games? Many of these ideas seem to be tailored to very young, college-age people, but maybe that’s just me.
    Though, I like the idea of Whole Foods cakes– my friends have also done cupcakes to save on costs, and also friends as photographers.

    • Krissy

      Actually there are some pretty tasty box wines on the market now, not just Franzia. Try Big House wines. I love their Cardinal Zin. Also, black box Malbec is delish. At $20 for the equivalent of four bottles (here in PA) they are great for parties, even for the 30+ set! And you can get any kind of beer in a keg, it doesn’t half to be natty ice. ;-)

  • w

    These are fantastic ideas – thank you!

  • Name

    I love the idea of doing a dessert bar instead of one big, expensive cake.

  • Gretchen1

    We did a potluck reception, and it went over GREAT! Our music, cake, and wedding planner was all gifted to us. I think we spent around $5000, including venue, honeymoon, hotels, gas.

  • http://www.mybridalpix.com/ MyBridalPix

    Some great ideas! If you are not comfortable with just relying on friends to photograph your wedding, consider posting a bid request on the My Bridal Pix wedding photography job board – http://mybridalpix.com/find-my-photographer/advanced-search/.

    From student photographers to pro photographers there is a photographer for every bride and budget. Simply post what you are looking for, state your budget and a few details and interested photographers contact you securely through the site. Save hours searching online and let the photographers find you!

    My Bridal Pix also offers online tools to make wedding albums, guest books, boudoir books and more…save about 1/2 of what you would typically pay!