Non-traditional wedding ideas to save money

If you are here looking for alternative wedding ideas to save money, you are in the right place. 

You can use these ideas to trim unnecessary wedding expenses, which can quickly creep up if you are not careful. 

Your wedding is one of the most memorable moments in your life, and many would agree that you should go all out in your spending to ensure it’s as grand as it will ever be.

However, not everyone has unlimited funds and should stick to their budget instead.

Weddings are expensive, and unless you can find alternative wedding ideas to save money, you might put a big hole in your finances.

If you are looking for ways to cut those wedding costs, you need to think outside the box.

The best way to cut costs is to look at your wedding guest list,  budget and everything else that entails planning a wedding, such as the time of year you chose to marry.

We will show you how to plan a fabulous wedding for couples looking for unconventional wedding ideas that are not too tacky but will save you a couple of hundred dollars.

If you are reading this post, we are going to help with the following: 

  • How to plan using alternative wedding ideas

  • Ways to save with non-traditional wedding ideas 

  • Different wedding ideas worth implementing

So whether that budget is $2,000, $10, 000 or $50,000 is entirely up to you, but if you want to make your money go further, read on for our many ways to stretch your wedding budget.

If you can, try not to use credit cards. 

And if you do, use one that gives you travel points (for the honeymoon) and pay the card off right away. 

I used this No Spend Challenge Planner and these wedding money-saving tracker worksheets to help me stay on track with my wedding budget. 

Before we get started with tips for planning using alternative wedding ideas to save money, please grab this quick wedding budget checklist to help determine if you can afford the wedding of your dreams!

I also recommend grabbing our Ultimate Wedding Budget bundle right now.

Grab this wedding budget spreadsheet printable to help meet all your wedding planning needs. Here's how to make a wedding budget that's perfect for you, without skimping on the fun stuff. Check our printable Wedding Budget Templates!

It’s designed to meet all your wedding planning needs and ensure you cover all your wedding expenses, leaving little to no surprises. 

We help couples come up with cheap wedding ideas every chance we get.

That is because every couple deserves to marry the person they love without going into debt. 

We have plenty of great ideas to help reduce expenses if you want an alternative wedding that won’t cost an arm or a leg.

We will also discuss money-saving tips for your wedding that will not compromise how memorable it will be for you and everyone attending.

So, how can I reduce the cost of my wedding? 

Before we get started on alternative wedding ideas to save money, we wanted you to take the time to like our Facebook Page here! We also use affiliate links in our blog posts, meaning we can make a commission if you use any of our affiliate links.

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Planning using alternative wedding ideas

Using alternative wedding ideas to plan your big day is an excellent way to save money for other things, such as a house or an emergency fund. 

You don’t have to use every penny in your name on a wedding that will only last one day. 

But you also don’t want to have regrets on the one day that will mean so much to you. 

So what is a reasonable budget for a wedding?

For a 100-person wedding, you can expect to spend approximately $19,000 (including the ceremony and reception)! 

This depends on where you are, and this is on average. 

This is still expensive for some couples. 

That is why we have come up with creative but alternative wedding ideas you can use to try to save more money.

Here are 12 Insane alternative wedding ideas to save money! Use these wedding hacks to save money on your wedding without stressing! You don't need to go into debt to have your dream wedding! Find all the unique ways to save money using budget-friendly wedding ideas THAT WORK!

1. Elopement

There are plenty of alternative wedding ideas to save money that couples could do. 

One of these ideas is to elope. 

Las Vegas boasts an exhilarating, enjoyable, and engaging ambiance, making it one of the most stunning locations to get married.

The ease of getting married in Las Vegas is one of the many reasons it’s a desirable location.

You do not need to wait; you can opt to get married that day.

However, a marriage license from the Clark County Marriage License Bureau is required to start every lawful ceremony.

To apply, each partner must submit one legitimate form of identification (driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate).

A document including the person’s name and picture, or any other document for which identity must be confirmed as a condition of receipt, is required if the document is a birth certificate.

Your legal name, as it appears on your identification, will be used to prepare your license.

Your license is suitable for a year after receiving it, and you can get married immediately.

Prepare a checklist for your first time in Vegas, including accommodation and schedule.

2. Consider other days of the week

We have many creative ways to save money on a wedding, such as picking a suitable date!

Weekends aren’t the only days of the week that are perfect for a wedding.

Weekdays, especially Mondays, are just as good because they offer many opportunities for the bride, groom, and guests.

Because it immediately follows a weekend, out-of-town guests can arrive and make themselves at home before the wedding ceremony.

Additionally, you will be able to meet them ahead of time and possibly host a pleasant welcome party where family members can get to know each other and fully appreciate the setting.

There is also a greater chance that your initial group of top wedding vendors will be available if your wedding is on a Monday.

Other weekdays are also acceptable, especially if they fall near a holiday.

Doing so will make it easier to take some time off work.

With a low-key outdoor wedding, there are many ways to save costs without sacrificing all the aspects of your big day that are essential to you.

Don’t forget to think of the off-season for your wedding date. 

Read more —> Cheapest month to plan a wedding!

3. Make your printed wedding items

Look into Wedding Printables as one of the many alternative wedding ideas to save money.

Wedding printables are an essential component in the DIY wedding toolbox.

They are great for budget-friendly weddings!

Grab a few printables and print them on beautiful stock paper. 

You can use technology to your advantage and print wedding items yourself instead of letting a custom printing company do it for you.

Whether it’s invitations, decorations, and even souvenirs, you can easily print them in your home.

Designing printed materials for your wedding isn’t as complicated as it used to be.

Various design software like Canva is user-friendly enough to be used even by those with little to no background in photoshop and graphic design.

You can even order funny t-shirts that everyone can wear after the event.

Wedding printables are a growing wedding trend lately. 

If you are not a fan of design, you can visit our wedding printable store to find everything you might need for your big day. 

Candy buffet signs printable. Let them know how much you appreciate them sharing in your sweet day with this personalized, printable sign from Weddings. This is the perfect candy bar signs for wedding.

Wedding signage printables

4.  Alternative wedding food ideas 

One of the most significant expenses for your wedding is catering.

There are a few unconventional ways to save money on your wedding food we urge you to consider. 

Go ahead and read this detailed post packed with cheap wedding reception food ideas on a budget

Choosing which foods to serve at your wedding is essential, and the process should be taken seriously.

You want to plan a lovely meal for all your wedding guests to enjoy and make sure everything looks as beautiful as it tastes.

With most of your budget allocated to the meal portion, wedding food can get quite expensive and eat up that budget quickly. 

So what is the cheapest food to serve at a wedding?

Choosing a caterer who provides buffet-style or other flexible catering alternatives is one of the best things you can do to elevate stress from the budget. 

If possible, cater the meal yourself. 

Do you have a good cook in your circle of friends or family?

Find out if they would be interested in assisting with the catering for your event.

If preparing the entire meal sounds too overwhelming, which in most cases it could be, then consider going halfway with your caterer. 

I love food stations, also known as food bars

Why not have a few food stations going?

Potlucks and family-style dinners could also be an option for serving food at a wedding! 

Go ahead and come up with alternative wedding ideas to save money on food and get a plan in place to implement it. 

5. Skip the wedding favours

Even though they are not required, wedding favours are a lovely way to personalize the celebration on your special day.

A wedding favour is a beautiful way to say “thank you” to the relatives and friends who travelled to celebrate with you.

If your budget allows for it and you want to, you can purchase a few inexpensive wedding favours.

But for couples looking for alternative wedding ideas to save money, wedding favours might be one of those things you might have to skip out on. 

Instead of purchasing pricey treats, go for something appetizing like fresh fruit or tiny jars of jam cooked at home.

You can make your favourite spice blend or provide each visitor with a packet of veggie or flower seeds.

The cost of these favours is low and simple to make.

However, wedding favours should not be on top of your list, and you should focus on the more important stuff.

You can skip them altogether if you don’t feel they are necessary.

If you are looking for affordable wedding ideas, click here! We have plenty of great Wedding favours ideas you can use that are cheap and affordable!

Wedding tissue favours!

6.  Rent rather than purchase

If you can, try to rent and return a wedding gown.

A wedding gown may be rented much more easily these days.

You will need to try on gowns on your initial visit to the bridal gown rental store to pick the perfect one.

You can also rent and return the groom’s tuxedo.

The staff will measure you to get the dress tightened if it requires minor adjustments.

You then pay the deposit to reserve that gown for your wedding.

A few days before your wedding, you may try on the adjusted dress, pay the amount owed and the deposit, leave the shop with it, and take it with you!

Before returning the dress to the store to have your deposit returned, be sure it is not stained or damaged.

Aside from gowns, there are other things you can rent for your wedding, including tents, wedding decorations, linens, tables, chairs, lounge furniture, and floral accoutrements.

You may think it’s cheaper to buy, but it might cost you more in transportation, time, set up & tear down. 

Calculate everything and weigh out your options. 

Read –> Everything you need to know about transporting your wedding dress! 

7. Go the non-floral route

Flowers are perhaps the most widely used wedding decoration because of their beauty and scent.

Still, many couples often choose to go with other decorations instead, which is okay.

That’s because wedding flowers can cost you an arm and a leg. 

Instead of full floral centrepieces, you can use baby’s breath in mason jars over a wood slice to decorate your wedding tables.

You can also use other decorations, such as wooden lanterns with candles, glass terrariums with lights, and wood slices with succulents.

Make DIY centrepieces, and your wedding favours with the help of your wedding party.

You may even have friends who would happily assist you with setup requirements.

Couples eager to use wedding flowers can still opt for fake flowers. 

Sola Wood Flowers always has impressive sales to watch out for. 

Alternatively, I love flowers from Ling’s Moments

If you are looking for alternative wedding ideas to save money on flowers, you must look at Ling’s Moments. 

For example, you can get this set of 4 bridesmaids’ bouquets at a completely affordable price from Ling’s Moments. 

Grab these affordable designer flower box sets to DIY your wedding flowers. 

I also love all their pre-made wedding ceremony decor

If you look hard and do your research, you can find plenty of stunning wedding decorations on a budget for your big day. 

Artificial wedding bouquet from Ling's Moments! Find amazing artificial wedding flowers to help you save money today! If you are here looking for alternative wedding ideas to save money, you are in the right place. Just click here!

8. Hire a professional DJ

Good music will make or break your wedding. 

You must choose suitable music to help create an ambiance that your wedding guest will enjoy.  

A professional wedding DJ will help direct the flow of the reception.

From the moment your guests first start arriving to the very last dance and song played in the evening, your DJ will play an integral part in controlling and directing the flow of your event.

Find a wedding DJ who offers a fantastic, all-inclusive package to accommodate your ceremony, cocktail hour, and wedding reception needs.

They may offer everything from emcee and DJ services to basic lighting design and even photo booth setup, and they will usually be less expensive than musicians.

Hiring a DJ is also more affordable than hiring a live band.

They can also create a wedding playlist that will keep everyone upbeat and dancing to the beat of the music.

Additionally, DJs can play great music that caters to a broader range of age groups and even bring entertaining props.

You can grab this simple wedding song list template to help you organize your wedding songs for the day. 

9. Seek Out Up-and-Coming Photographers

Unlike professional photographers, most up-and-coming photographers tend to have lower rates.

However, some of them are already skilled enough to be called pros.

You can ask friends, relatives, or acquaintances if they know a newbie photographer with a solid portfolio.

Remember, photos are crucial, and you get what you pay for. 

And although you are searching for alternative wedding ideas to save money, it is important not to cheap out on photography. 

You can also find outstanding individuals in social media groups where they usually peddle their services, such as in Facebook wedding groups.

Here are a few ways you can save money on wedding photography:

  • Ask for referral discount options
  • Wait for sales such as winter rates, black Friday wedding deals etc. 
  • Book during a bridal show 
  • Book photography for part of the day

Choose someone who lives or operates near the wedding venue, so you don’t have to cover a considerable amount for their transportation fees.

Make sure that before you hire anyone, you have an idea of the quality of their work.

You can ask for samples or pictures of their previous wedding gigs.

You can also ask them to prepare a quote or a package they offer clients before you hire them.

Collect other candid and fun wedding photos from your wedding guests

10. Minimize the size of your guest list

Who doesn’t love a grand wedding with everyone from both sides of the groom and bride invited?

Unfortunately, you might have to cut down your guest list if you want to save some money.

Trimming your guest list is the most significant way to cut wedding costs for your big day.

The smaller your guest list, the less you will need of everything. 

You should minimize the number of people on your guest list for numerous reasons.

The venue, for example, can only accommodate so much.

Moreover, you should also ask yourself if everyone invited is truly an essential part of your lives to be included.

Ideally, you want to prioritize family, close friends, and acquaintances to invite to your wedding in that order.

Talk with your significant other to see if they, too, can remove someone from the list or not.

Be ready to compromise and be fair when preparing the official guest list. 

11. Have an adult-only coupling ceremony

Kids aren’t always the best guests at a wedding.

Aside from a flower girl or a ringbearer, very few couples require young children as part of their wedding entourage.

Not having kids at the venue can help guest focus solely on the wedding.

Furthermore, you can do activities during the reception, such as fun games, that might be inappropriate for small children.

You must be clear with your guests if you plan to host an adult-only celebration without children.

The idea here is to use simple, straightforward language.

We know that some of the most challenging aspects of planning a wedding include etiquette, but having your special day exactly how you want it is worth the awkward talks.

So save the extra few dollars by not having kids attend the wedding. 

Here are 12 Insane alternative wedding ideas to save money! Use these wedding hacks to save money on your wedding without stressing! You don't need to go into debt to have your dream wedding! Find all the unique ways to save money using budget-friendly wedding ideas THAT WORK!

12. Choose a favourite family-owned restaurant

To save money, couples looking for non-traditional wedding ideas should choose alternative wedding venues

Finding a traditional wedding venue that every other couple is booking will be more expensive. 

But we also understand that choosing a reception venue is quite hard, especially if there are many great venues in your area.

It can also be quite time-consuming if you inspect every reception area and taste the caterers’ food.

So, here is a great idea– why not just spend the reception in your favourite family-owned restaurant?

Chances are you are already familiar with their menu and know what most of their food tastes like.

You might even know the owner if you are already a regular at their place.

Hence, you can ask for discounts or special considerations such as reserving the restaurant or a section for the event.

To plan a wedding on a budget, you need to learn how to negotiate, be flexible and think outside the box. 

When looking for unique wedding reception ideas, keep your venue in mind, and use what is already provided to save money. 

And there you have it, the best alternative ways to save money for a wedding! 

Whether you use these unconventional wedding ideas to save money or want alternative wedding reception ideas to be different, stick to your wedding budget. 

Don’t break your finances for one day. 

Traditional weddings can cost you more money. 

Find ways to be different and get your vendors to quote you accordingly. 

Choose one or two (and even all of these) alternative wedding ideas to save money, even if it moves the needle just a bit. 

More cheap alternative wedding ideas to save:

Lucky for you, we want you to save money.

That is why we wanted to add more alternative wedding tips and ideas to help plan your wedding as affordable as possible. 

And that’s it for cheap wedding alternatives to help save money. 

If you have more ideas that are non-traditional, please share them below. 

We want to hear all about them!

All alternative ideas to save money for your wedding are appreciated.

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Read next:

Check out our wedding printable shop to get more checklists, printables and everything you need to plan a wedding.

The Wedding Printable shop! Wedding printables for planning weddings!

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12 Alternative Wedding Ideas To Save Money Easily