7 Brilliant Ways to Stretch Your Wedding Budget + Still Wow Guests

DIY Boho Wedding

If one of your New Year’s resolutions involved “getting your budget sorted once and for all,” we hear you. And if you’re also planning a wedding this year, we know how especially daunting that can be. How and where do you allocate funds when you have SO many decisions to make? More importantly, what if your brain is on a budget but your heart isn’t…? Oh yes, do we hear you!

And that is why we decided to talk to the pros and find out top recommendations for couples who are on a budget but don’t really want to cut corners. We should also let it be known that we 100% support the incredible wedding artists who make this space beautiful as it is and we think everyone deserves to work with people who catch their vision. Hard waters to navigate, for sure, but thankfully we have the very talented Elise, owner + lead designer at Brannan Events & Design, and Danielle, owner + designer at Rosewood Weddings, to light the way. (And lucky us, Danielle is also on our editorial team at GWS!)

Without further ado, let’s hear from the ladies!

above photo by Uriel Photography from this DIY Boho Wedding on a Budget

Garden Bohemian Weddingphoto by Vienna Glenn from this Southwestern-Inspired Wedding

1. Make Large Purchases do Double Duty

“Many of my couples are also starting to put together a home when they are planning their wedding. It’s a great opportunity to double-dip those budgets together! Are there cool bookshelves you want for your living room that could also double as your escort card display? Is there a new couch you’re dying to get that could be a part of your dream lounge? Look to purchase things that will go beyond the wedding day itself!” –Elise

2. Maximize Delivery Times

“Look for a venue that allows you to set up the day before and break down the day after. This might be a challenge but it will save you lots of money by (a.) opening up your rental delivery windows. This means labor and delivery fees will be much cheaper. It also (b.) allows you to have the opportunity to bring in personal items or creative projects. It’s great to have time (even as a planner) to get all of those elements installed.” –Elise

Carmel Valley Weddingphoto by Carlie Statsky from this California Wedding

3. Go Greenery

“Save the big, expensive blooms for your bridal bouquet and have your bridesmaids carry all green bouquets. This can drastically cut down your floral proposal, especially if you have several bridesmaids. Here’s a group of gals rocking all greenery — even without flowers, it still looks gorgeous!” –Danielle

drinksphoto by McCune Photography + stir sticks by Delovely Details

4. Save Money (and the Planet) with Sustainable Options

“Sustainability is sexy for many reasons BUT it’s also often the cheaper option when it comes to your wedding! Opt for reusable, recyclable or compostable materials instead of plastics that will linger on the planet for decades to come. It’s so easy! Use wooden/bamboo drink stirrers instead of plastic ones, choose recycled paper for invitation suites and day-of goods! Use paper confetti instead of cellophane, or maybe opt for a fabric or wood welcome sign instead of something acrylic!” –Elise

statement wedding florals
photo by Logan Cole Photo from this Seaside Surfer Wedding

5. Repurpose Your Statement Florals

“Statement floral pieces always make stunning aesthetic impacts; however, there might not be room in the budget for every floral installation you’d like. I encourage my clients to allocate money in their floral budget to one big-ticket item that we can repurpose in some way. An arch during the vows could then be repurposed as decor for the head table, for example.” –Danielle

6. Pick a Planner Who Prioritizes Your Wedding Budget

“Get a planner who understands the priorities of your budget. We can help you craft something perfect for your needs and are your biggest cheerleader!! If you want to have pizza at your wedding because an epic floral display is more important to you, then I say friggin’ do it!” –Elise

wedding favors
photo by Bear Warner Photography

7. Follow This Wedding Favors Rule:

“If you want to give guests wedding favors, my rule is always to keep it edible or drinkable! Unless your guests can eat or drink it, it’s usually a waste of money. Unfortunately, most wedding favors that can’t be consumed are left behind. This groom makes beef jerky as a hobby and offered that fun, personal favor to his wedding guests.” –Danielle


Thanks to Elise at Brannan Events & Design and Danielle at Rosewood Weddings for offering your insight! And for more ideas, here are 10 sneaky ways to cut your wedding budget!