How We Cut Wedding Ceremony Costs

How We Cut Wedding Ceremony Costs

I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle on our wedding day. That is the only look I remember. I don’t remember how the aisle looked as I walked down it or the look of the flowers at the altar, or any other decoration that was worked on down to the last detail. I just remember how he looked.

Now, I can totally understand why you think you need to spend a ton of money on your wedding ceremony. While it usually isn’t the most expensive part of a wedding, it is the most important. But, remembering why it is most important is exactly what will keep you on budget. While you do understand what the ceremony is all about, you do still have to spend some money. But, there are a few tricks to cutting costs. Here’s how we did it.

We enlisted the help of friends.
We got married in a church in Pontiac, so there were some costs we couldn’t avoid, including using their pastor and their wedding coordinator. We did, however, have a friend play the music instead of using the church musician. Whenever the venue allows you to use someone else, shop around and find a cheaper option. Or, even better, ask someone you know to do it. If the venue doesn’t require you use their wedding coordinator, ask someone who is close to you (perhaps someone that didn’t make the bridesmaid cut) to be yours. I worked as a wedding coordinator for a year – it is definitely a doable job for someone who is organized.

We borrowed decorations.
Wherever you decide to get married, ask if they have any decorations you can use or rent. If the place has hosted many weddings (especially churches), they may have some nice decorations that wedding parties just simply left behind after the ceremony. I got beautiful, hand-made pew bows for free from the church where I used to coordinate weddings. They had all kinds of things left from previous weddings, including pew bows, ribbons, fake flowers, and a ton of unity candles. If your place doesn’t have anything, I suggest calling around various churches. Many of them are happy to get the stuff off their hands.

We bought cheaper flowers for the altar.
Altar flowers are ridiculously expensive. Instead, arrange your own display. Sometimes it’ll turn out better anyway. Without some kind of decoration up there, the altar looked bare. So, I chose a bunch of simple, white hydrangeas. They were cheap and added a hint of elegance in an otherwise blank space on the stage.

We saved on programs.
We got an awesome deal on programs, but if we hadn’t, we were going to forgo using programs and instead post all the information on a big chalkboard at the entrance of the church. Most wedding ceremonies have the same kind of flow, so people pretty much already know what to expect anyway.

We Skipped the Unity Candle.
When it came down to deciding how we were going to symbolize our unity, we actually decided that we did not need to do anything, though I had some thoughts on how we would do it – and it didn’t include buying a unity candle or the sand. Why? Because those things – store bought – are ridiculously overpriced. If you do want to do a unity candle, do yourself a favor and buy your own candles. You can always dazzle by adding your own decorations. If you want to do the whole sand thing, purchase your own vases and colored sand separately. Again, dazzle them up with your own decorations. Some other ideas I had were: pouring in confetti cut from our favorite love poems or using petals from an extra wedding bouquet. Those are much cheaper – and more creative – options. Doing your own thing adds more meaning and personal touch to your day.

The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding. It’s the whole purpose of your day. People aren’t coming to see how you decorated the venue. They are coming to see you happy, in love, and married. And, when it comes to budgeting for the ceremony, that is what you have to remember.

What they will remember and care about most is the look on your groom’s face when he first sees you, the way you looked walking down the aisle, the moment you were pronounced husband and wife, and the personal touches you included to make it your and your husband’s moment.

What was the most memorable moment of a wedding ceremony you’ve attended?

Photo Credit: Amber Rose Photography