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Top Tips for a Frugal (Not Cheap) Wedding – DaVinci Bridal Blog

You don’t have to break the bank to have a beautiful day including lots of traditional trimmings, not with our Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding.

All it takes is time—either more time brainstorming how much you can cut or time invested in DIY creativity.

Go ahead & choose upscale, elegant details like invitations, your dress, awesome food & a romantic honeymoon. Just choose fewer of each of those things.

Let’s get started!


Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Guests & Gifts

Source: Brides

Keep the Guest List Short

Resist the temptation to invite everybody you know. Why? Each extra person:

  • Raises your budget requirements
  • Makes your wedding less intimate
  • Can make you feel obligated


How to whittle the list:

  • Reduce by 20%
  • Review & then reduce by another 20%

You may be surprised to find out you’re happy with the results!


Need more help? Check out this article: How to Cut Your Wedding Guest List: 9 People to Cross Off Right Now


Ask for Help, not Presents

  • Assistance creating decorations or florals
  • Friend or family member’s fancy car instead of a limo
  • Assistance with decorating
  • Help with breakdown & cleanup

Tip: Consider an alternative wedding “registry” where guests can donate to your honeymoon.


Don’t buy groomsmen & bridesmaid gifts

  • Consider a simple but beautiful thank you card
  • Throw a pizza, cocktail or potluck dinner party just for them in your new home after your honeymoon
  • Create a ceremonial thank you at the reception—take a minute or two, call up each attendant & share with the other guests a special memory or moment that led to that person being in your wedding



Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Food, Venue & Drinks

Food Options

  • Do the catering yourself
  • Dine at a family-owned restaurant—or—have the family restaurant do the catering


DIY Your Own Wedding Cake? Why not?! 

It’s easier than you think. Click to check out this article with 15 Homemade Wedding Cake Recipes


Venue Options

Renting a building or hall can cost a fortune. Instead, consider having either the ceremony or the reception—or both—in a free location.

  • Ceremony in your home or one of your parents or friends
  • Ceremony in a public park with a gorgeous view
  • Reception in a traditional venue


  • Ceremony in a traditional venue—church, synagogue, or an alternative like a museum, library, etc.
  • Reception in the church or synagogue hall—often located downstairs or in an adjacent building)
  • Reception in someone’s home or backyard
  • Reception in a free public venue


Note: If you can have all or part of your wedding outside, do have a Plan B that accounts for the weather—tents, industrial fans, etc.


Bar Options

Source: Elegant Wedding Invites

  • Ask the formal venue if you can provide your liquor:
  • Get everything—open bar, champagne & beer/wine—from a discount supplier
  • Ask to bring one or the other–either the bar liquor or the dinner beer/wine/champagne
  • Limit alcohol to beer, wine & soft drinks only


Important Tips & Advice:

  • Do buy more than you need—better to have extra than run out
  • Do not buy kegs for beer—they won’t keep if you have any leftover



Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Flowers & Invitations

Flowers: Simple & Elegant

  • One single rose or bloom per bridesmaid—for instance, calla lilies & over-sized stem blooms like hydrangeas or giant sunflowers make a statement
  • Petite bouquet for the bride
  • Fancy ties for the groom and/or groomsmen instead of boutonnieres
  • Splurge on bouquets but choose fakes or rent greenery for ceremony & reception

Tip #1: DIY as much of the flowers as you can & you’ll save a bundle.

Tip #2: Fake flowers—either silk or dried—for all flowers (bridal party, ceremony & reception).


Check out more gorgeous fake flower designs at Budget-Bride

Source: Budget-Bride Silk Wedding Flowers



Invitations: DIY or Digital

  • DIY on a home printer with an invitation kit
  • A cost-effective site like Vistaprint
  • Hire a freelancer for a custom invitation—freelance sites like Fiverr can start as low as $5



Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Entertainment & Photo/Video

Source: Entertainment Unlimited

Instead of DJ:

  • Use or borrow stereo equipment
  • Put speakers only around the dance floor
  • Create an iPod playlist


Instead of Professional Musicians:

  • Use truly talented family or friends
  • Contact a local university
  • Check out talent from your local community theater

Insider’s Tip on Community Theater: In addition to a singer, ask about hiring amateur musicians from their orchestra pit


Instead of Pro Photo/Video:

  • University students with a major in media
  • Hire the professional’s apprentice or assistant at a discounted rate


Tip if you still want professionals:

  • Offer “Vendor Cards” as a trade-off for reduced rates
  • Advertise with a card at each place setting with each vendor’s name, business specialty & phone number

Note: This could work for your florist & caterer as well


Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Decorations

Source: Rock My Wedding

  • Price shop places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, even Walmart for DIY
  • Consider used florals & centerpieces—Craigslist often has used items from brides & sometimes venues that are updating & getting rid of older decor
  • If marrying in your church or synagogue—ask if the Ladies Auxiliary can help with existing decorations

Tip: Do ask the Ladies Auxiliary for help in setup & cleanup, especially if you have the reception at the same place you get married. Groups like that are often thrilled to help in exchange for a donation.


Top Tips for a Frugal Not Cheap Wedding: Tuxedos, Rings & Honeymoon 

Source: Unsplash



  • Rent tuxedos as a group
  • If cheaper, rent matching suits
  • Skip the tuxes & suits—instead ask the guys to invest in quality mix & match dress pants, sport coats & sharp dress shoes



  • Splurge on an engagement ring but keep wedding band simple
  • Substitute the diamond solitaire for a semi-precious center stone—Morganite is one stunning alternative
  • Skip the engagement ring & choose a diamond eternity band
  • Instead of gold for the engagement ring & wedding bands, chose titanium, sterling silver or ceramic



Source: Wedding Ideas

If you’ve kept your wedding & reception super-simple, then sure—splurge on an over the top honeymoon. If not:

  • Choose a “fancy” trip like a cruise or destination but keep it shorter—3 to 5 days.
  • Honeymoon at a local upscale hotel or one just far enough away for privacy—one state over can do the trick.
  • Offset the price of the fancy trip with a credit card that offers rewards or a sign-up bonus.
  • Rent a fun car like a convertible & take a road trip—stay in less expensive motels (Motel 6 is famous for being both cheap and clean) then splurge on nice meals.
  • Stay in a nice hotel/motel with amenities that offset food & entertainment costs.

One example: Courtyard by Marriott has beautiful rooms with the works.

  • Well-stocked efficiency kitchen
  • “Living room” with sectional
  • “Bedroom” a king-sized bed
  • Over-sized flat-screen TV that separates the living area from the bedroom area
  • Complimentary breakfast/brunch


Want to get away but not spend a fortune?

Check out this article on the 12 Best Affordable Honeymoons in the U.S.


Last & Most Important Tips

  • Plan, plan plan

  • Do Not Stress


You got this! 

Source: Sounds Unlimited




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