Weddings are expensive with the average total cost running upwards of $30,000. But don’t worry. You don’t have to go into debt just to get hitched. There are many ways to cut costs that are frugal but definitely won’t cheapen your special day. Here are some simple ways to save some cash on your big day.

  1. Save money on your engagement ring: Does the “2-3 month salary” rule for what amount to spend on a traditional diamond engagement ring have you sweating? If that hefty price tag is keeping your future spouse from making the ultimate commitment, there are other alternatives to traditional diamonds that will dazzle any bride-to-be. Man made diamonds are a great alternative to traditional diamonds and are much better for the environment. Non- traditional, colored diamonds or gemstones are a great way to show off your personality and unique style. When was the last time you saw a yellow or pink diamond engagement ring? Consider different cuts to save money as well, such as a cheaper emerald cut diamond ring.
  2. Buy a budget dress: For many brides, find “the one” wedding dress that you’ve been dreaming of is one of the most important parts of the wedding day. Often the price tag can get in the way of the dream dress. There are many ways to save money on the dress and still get the one you’ve been dreaming about. Consider repurposing a family dress, such as your mother or grandmother’s if they are still available. Purchasing your dress at a vintage or thrift store is a great way to save money on a one-of-a-kind dress. Got your heart set on a particular style at a wedding salon? See if you can purchase the floor sample instead of buying brand new.
  3. Serve a Limited Menu: Food for guests is one of the highest costs associated with weddings. Consider an earlier wedding and serving brunch, or having a variety of appetizers only. If you’re set on serving a full meal to your guests, serving the meal as a buffet or family-style is another way to save big bucks on the food. You can also cut down on waitstaff by not serving a plated dinner.
  4. Simplify your invitations: Skip the custom invitations and pricey calligraphy work. There are many online ordering options available that can dramatically cut your paper goods costs. Removing extras such as custom calligraphy, ribbons, and embossing can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Consider printing your own invitations from a kit or using a cheaper, online DIY design alternative. If you’ve got your heart set on luxury invites, consider using a higher quality paper, such as linen, or enlisting the help of friends to add ribbons or any extras.
  5. Save on the cake: A custom designed, multi-tiered wedding cake can cost thousands of dollars. One way to save tons of money on your cake is to instead have sheet cakes for serving guests and only have a smaller, two-tiered cake for cutting. Some bakeries can even create false layers on your cake to save you even more money. Sheet cakes are also easier for serving guests and more predictable on the amount of cake you’ll actually need to serve everyone.

With a little creativity, you can have your dream wedding without starting your marriage off in deep wedding debt!