groom with arm around bride
With the average cost of a wedding clocking in at $27,000 (not including the average $5,000 cost of a honeymoon), savvy couples are hunting for cost savings wherever they can find them. And while it takes some planning, effort, and elbow grease, but budget-conscious spouses-to-be can save oodles of money on their wedding day.

As a couple, you should plan a wedding that is authentic to you. Separate the needs from the wants, avoid frivolous expenses, and ignore the expectations of others.

Then, instead of plunking down tens of thousands of dollars, consider some of these sensible options for fabulous weddings on the cheap.

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Laura Long Woerner

I just got married May 1st and I did all these things.. I was married and had the reception in the same place, my best friends mom married us for free, I had fake flowers, a dress I bought from ebay (was gorgeous and new!), did my own decorations, along with sparkling apple cider and lots of appetizers instead of dinner, the only thing I splurged on was the location and photos, but my wedding and honeymoon was under 5000. There is no reason to spend over 5000 on a wedding and its ridiculous that people go into debt for it.

September 01 2012 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A few tips from us ... married in a quiet, candlelight evening ceremony w/ 40 guests in downtown Minneapolis for under $5000. Choose the off season (we chose a Friday night in winter). Choose a venue that has ceremony and location at the same site, use the same chairs, don't hire a wedding planner BUT do splurge on hiring a wedding coordinator for the day of (you can often pay for a la carte services), serve cupcakes (got ours at Costco for CHEAP! and they were tasty!) and rent the cupcake stands for display. Skip the fancy dress and find something sexy and sleek and on sale. Make your own invites, programs, menu cards, thank you's. Browse etsy. Focus more on the marriage and less on the wedding. :)

August 15 2012 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

there is a budget calculator at

go there today to start budgeting for your wedding!!

August 15 2012 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

break the engagement move away while you can save a ton of money on wedding, kids , divorce

August 14 2012 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrkdds2256's comment

I couldn't have said it better. If you drive it, fly it, or for internet purposes "date it", RENT it! It's much cheaper!!

August 15 2012 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil de Prato

My advice to men is marry very old but very wealthy women with no one to will thier money to except you. As to age 99 or older is ideal and it certainly helps if they have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Good luck.

August 14 2012 at 3:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Savings tips 1 thur 10: stay single x10 = savings to the 10th power.... PRICELESS!!

August 14 2012 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Get a dog and 100lb bag of food.

August 14 2012 at 9:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

A great way to cut photography costs is to go to your local university. Find upper classmen who need portfolio fodder. They will do beautiful work and cost substantially less than studio pros. And, you get the added benefit of giving a student a leg up onto that ladder to success!

August 14 2012 at 9:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to denisedianaty's comment

great idea.

August 14 2012 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sharon Hudgins

Articles like this are really disturbing. As the owner of an Event company, we have created a culture where brides do not think they need professionals and they can do everything on their own. The end result usually is the bride being disappointed, and a wedding day debacle that can't be done over. Brides, just get what you pay for. While I am not saying to go overboard on spending, a wedding is an event where money has to be spent..............just like buying a house or a car. Finally.......... a sheet cake for your wedding cake? Really??

August 14 2012 at 9:20 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sharon Hudgins's comment

why? does the truth hurt? or just hurt your business?
weddings and funerals are scams that play on people's emotions and pander to the "what we think we should have" crowd. funerals are worse as the bereaved are often pushed to very expensive coffins and vaults...
my parents planned their wedding in 17 days because my dad had been accepted to yale and had to get across country to go to school...friends of my kids have spent less than $5000 on their weddings largely by doing the things in this article. the sheet cake was just for serving the guests not for the photos...buying a house or a car is a long tern and practical purchase and hardly comparable to a wedding which is a one day event - a PARTY...
brides and their families and friends CAN do everything.

August 14 2012 at 11:36 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to undrgrndgirl's comment
Laura Long Woerner

Loved your response I did allot of things myself or with the help of friends. A friend did my cake and she used to do it for a living and the cake turned out beautiful and good. I did fake flowers that looked gorgeous and simple, but pretty decorations... there is hardly any reason to spend so much money on a wedding

September 01 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I'm sorry. Unless you are Bree Van DeCamp or Martha Stewart - those DIY's might be terrible or be a prelude to the "bridezilla." People still have to pay for all the materials, so I don't think DIY's are going to be that cost effective. Oh and hair and make-up are remarkably cheap compared to everything else on a wedding list -, and I'm glad that whoever wrote this doesn't think it's important for a woman to get her hair or make-up done, for the one day she actually wants to be photographed. There are several ways to cut costs, but it doesn't need to be at the bride's (or for that matter the groom and wedding party's sanity.) Article: Epic Fail. By the way taking rocks out of ripirian routes is damaging to the environment- and those tulips looked withered and sad.

August 13 2012 at 11:43 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cairo's comment
Laura Long Woerner

A bride usually has allot of people more than willing and talented enough to help with make up and hair there is no reason to "need" professional make up and hair... IF you can afford it then fine, but to stamp your feet and claim you need it is selfish. I'd rather have a nice honeymoon and nice pictures then professional hair and make up.

September 01 2012 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply