The #1 Way to Save Money on Your Wedding

When it comes to cutting wedding costs, there are a variety of ways you can save. You can DIY your décor, look for vendor discounts, or even ask a friend to handle the flowers. But the simplest way to save hundreds or even thousands is to cut your guest list.

Maybe you have a close bond with your extended family or a large circle of friends. Maybe you just have always wanted a large wedding. But you have to ask yourself is how much of your wedding vision are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen? If you’re okay with cutting costs elsewhere to allow for more guests, that’s totally fine! How you prioritize your wedding planning is up to you.

But if you don’t want to sacrifice your vision to invite distant cousins and acquaintances, then consider trimming that guest list to make room in your budget for the things that matter most to you and your partner.

Overwhelmed with that list of guests? Here are some ways to cut down your numbers.

Organize, organize, organize
Instead of one long guest list, break your list into groups: immediate family, close friends, colleagues, etc. It’s easier to cut entire groups than individual people and can also help you avoid hurting people’s feelings. If you’re not sure who to cut, give some thought about who you really want at your wedding. Don’t think about family obligations or guilt. Instead, think about what you want for your day.

Leave out the extended family
Weddings often serve as family reunions, but they don’t have to. If you have a close relationship with your cousins or aunts and uncles, then invite them! But if you don’t see them often, consider leaving your extended family out. If you or your partner have a large extended family, taking aunts, uncles, and cousins off your guest list can save you hundreds.

Cut the coworkers
You work with your officemates every day and may have even talked about your wedding plans with them. But if you don’t hang out with your coworkers outside of work, they don’t need to be invited to your wedding. Unless you have a close-knit group of work friends, it’s a good idea to leave coworkers off your list.

Veto your parents’ friends
This can be a little tricky, especially if your parents are paying for your wedding. In that case, it may be best to let them invite their friends. But if you and your partner are paying for everything, sit down and talk to your parents about your budget and why you need to keep the guest list smaller.

Eliminate old friends
If you have a childhood friend or two who you have stayed in touch with your whole life, they definitely belong at your wedding. But if you have friends you haven’t seen since graduating high school or college, don’t feel obligated to include them.

Don’t feel obligated to invite new friends
In the months leading up to your wedding, you and your partner may make new friends, which is great but a little awkward when it comes to wedding planning. Instead of adding some last-minute people to your guest list, explain that you have t keep it limited. Chances are your new friends will understand.

Figure out a plus-one policy
People will ask if they can bring a plus-one pretty early on, so you and your partner should have an answer ready. A good rule of thumb, if you’re trying to keep your guests to a minimum, is to allow plus-ones only for long-term, engaged, or married friends. Your single friends shouldn’t bring a date to your wedding. After all, do you really want complete strangers at your ceremony and reception?

Keep it small
Maybe there are only a few people you really want at your wedding. In that case, opt for a destination wedding or an intimate ceremony for just immediate family and close friends. Holding your wedding this way is the perfect way to keep your guest list down and avoid offending everyone else.

Celebrate with a post-wedding party
What if you want a small wedding but still want the fun of a large reception? You can have both! Have an intimate wedding ceremony with a few people and then a large reception. This way, you can focus your budget on food, drinks, and dancing, and avoid the costs that come with a large ceremony. Plus, you still get all those gifts!

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