If you are in the process of getting married or have gotten married recently, you know the cost of the event itself is huge. In fact, studies show that the average cost of a wedding is creeping up to $30,000. Yeah, you read that right. That is the annual salary for many people.

When I got married 2 years ago, I saw exactly why weddings cost so much. It’s because those in the industry (well not everyone, but many) prey on brides and grooms to be. They sell them the idea (or fairytale) about the wedding day being the most important day of their lives and as such, the bride and groom give into the pressure and spend, spend, spend.

But I am here to help. Below you will find a handful of tips to help you throw a frugal wedding. If you follow these tips, you can avoid coming anywhere close to $30,000 for your wedding. Let’s get started.

The Dress


Back when I was single, an ex-girlfriend would watch Say Yes To The Dress. I was amazed at the prices of a dress. After all, you are going to wear it one time. But I know, it’s your wedding day so price doesn’t matter, right? (That was me being sarcastic.)

Instead of spending a few grand on a new dress, what about buying a used dress? Now hear me out. My wife did this and I think she looked amazing. And no I’m not just saying this. She really did. Even the guests said the same thing. Then they all found out she was wearing a used dress that cost $500.

Her sister ended up going the same route too, saving boatloads of money. There are secondhand wedding dress stores all over the place, all you have to do is look.

And if you want to really be adventurous, look into renting a dress.

The Venue

If you can have the wedding ceremony and the reception at the same place, you will save money. Even better is if the venue has tables, chairs, linens, plates, etc. This will save you money as well.

Another way to save money on the venue is to buy your own liquor. Granted you will have to work out the math on this one, but most times it is cheaper to buy the booze yourself than to pay the package price for the liquor.

To really save money on a venue, think outside the box. Maybe a family member or a friend has a great yard you can hold the ceremony in. On top of that, you can make it a pot luck affair and have everyone bring a food dish.

The Flowers


It’s crazy how expensive flowers are. I am convinced if you walked into a floral shop and told them you need a certain number of flowers for an event, they would quote you a completely different price than if you said they were for a wedding.

In any case, skip the floral shop. Go to Costco or other bulk stores and buy the flowers there. Or, save some money and buy fake flowers. Hardly anyone will notice.

Be Rational

As I mentioned at the start, wedding planners prey on your emotions. They know how important the wedding day is and guilt you into getting everything and anything. Before you get caught up in the hysteria, stop and write down what is important to you. Focus on this list going forward.

For my wife and me, we wanted good food and music. So we spent a little more on these and skipped out on a lot of the other “necessities”. We bought our invitations from Michaels for $10 using their 50% coupons they offer. We skipped the centerpieces on tables. After all, who is really going to remember these things 5 or 10 years down the road? No one, so why waste the money?

I’m not telling you to throw a horrible wedding and the whole thing is a scam. I am just trying to help you remember what is most important and to spend your money wisely. Don’t just spend without thinking things through. You can put your finances in big trouble very easily when a wedding gets out of control. And there is no point in starting a marriage off on a bad note by overspending on the wedding.