Lovin’ our venues? You’re not the only one!
Be sure to book now for September and October 2024 so you don’t miss out on popular spots.


Lovin’ our venues?
You’re not the only one!
Book now for September and October 2024 so you don’t miss out on popular spots.    DON’T MISS OUT

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It’s no secret that weddings can get expensive very quickly.

Rather than just saving for a wedding, it’s important to also make a strategy to reduce costs.

The best way to save for a wedding is by first understanding the costs.

You’ll need to choose a venue, photographer, florist, caterer and other service providers to determine costs.

You’ll also need to factor in some of the unseen costs, like your wedding clothes or transportation.

Planning for these expenses ahead of time can help ensure that you don’t go into debt for your wedding.

Instead, you can start making a strategy to pay for your wedding. Here is how to save for a wedding.

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

To determine your wedding budget and savings strategy, it’s important to understand how much a wedding costs.

The average wedding cost in the United States for a wedding with an average of 100 guests is $28,000. That includes both the ceremony and the reception.

When broken down, here are the average costs for weddings:

  • $10,000 reception venue
  • $900 transportation
  • $1,000 wedding attire
  • $245 hair/makeup
  • $1,700 wedding planner
  • $2,300 florist
  • $2,500 photographer/$1,900 videographer
  • $75/person for catering
  • $500 wedding cake
  • $500 invitations
  • $4,300 band/$1,500 DJ

These are just the starting costs. They don’t include rehearsal dinners, wedding favors or drinks.

To determine how much your wedding will cost you have to decide what you want your wedding to be so you can calculate a budget.

How Do I Calculate a Budget?

To calculate a budget for your wedding, you’ll need to answer the following questions:

1. Do we want a large wedding or an intimate ceremony?

2. Do we want to get married locally or at a destination?

3. Do we want to have a rehearsal dinner, reception or post-wedding brunch?

4. Do we want to get married indoors or outdoors?

5. Do we want our wedding to have a theme or to include certain familial or religious traditions?

6. How much are we comfortable spending on a wedding?

Answering these questions will help get an idea of what costs you can expect with your wedding. It’ll also help you get an idea of your budget cap.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll want to start getting quotes from venues, photographers, florists and other providers.

Then you can start building a budget. Keep in mind there are always hidden costs, so add an extra 10% to your budget as a buffer just in case.

Related Article: In What Order Should I Hire My Destination Wedding Vendors?

Where Should I Save My Money to Optimize the Savings?

One of the best ways we recommend for how to save for wedding costs is to optimize your spending.

Here are some ways you can optimize your wedding budget:

1. Rather than a large ceremony, consider getting hitched at an intimate ceremony or an elopement. Oftentimes a destination elopement costs significantly less than a traditional ceremony.

2. You can save money on venues by choosing an outdoor location. You can also save money by buying a venue package that includes an officiant, flowers and food.

3. Marry during less popular times. Most people get married during the summer and early fall. Not only does this increase prices but booking professionals during this time is more challenging because they’re busier. Marrying in less popular times will save you money and ensure you can hire the professionals you want.

4. Compare prices among providers and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

5. Wear vintage wedding attire or hit a sample sale. You can thousands and wear something truly unique. You can also do your own hair and makeup if you’re comfortable. 

6. Consider opting for affordable digital invitations and announcements over costly paper invitations.

7. Book as soon as you can. A lot of wedding service providers offer discounted rates for early booking.

8. Think outside of the box for unique alternatives that can save money and reflect you as a couple. For example, instead of a traditional bouquet you could carry sola wood flowers, a lantern or even balloons. Instead of serving a sit-down dinner, have a happy hour with a snack bar.

Keep in mind, there’s no one way to have a wedding. Being creative will help you save.

How Long Will I Have to Save?

Once you have an idea of your costs, you’ll need to make a savings timeline. How long you save and what you save depends on your wedding budget, income and expenses.

It’s recommended that you save for at least a year. This is because some wedding service providers require upfront deposits, so you’ll be making payments over time rather than all at once.

Las Vegas offers incredible wedding experiences for affordable prices. Start by reading our blog How Much Does a Las Vegas Wedding Cost to see what you could save!

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.