Planning a Beautiful Wedding in an Ugly Economy

Valentine heart

Sure, love is timeless, but why did your wedding and the celebration of that love insist on arriving at a time when the economy decided to take a hiatus?  Budgets are tight, and that big budget you always imagined needs to remain in savings in case of an emergency.   Unfortunately, I cannot give you advice on riding out these tough economic times; I can only give you my best wishes along with money saving tips I have gathered over the years as CEO of American Bridal.  However, you do not have to settle for anything but the wedding of your dreams.  You have waited for this day since you were a little girl, and I want to fill you in on a little secret that will ensure an amazing wedding;  by saving money on the little things, you can afford to spend on the wedding components that matter.

Do-it-Yourself Wedding Favors & Decorations

Making your own wedding favors is the single best thing you can do to save money.  By purchasing the components separately, you can create beautiful and personalized favors that guests will truly appreciate, and you will save incredible amounts of money on the prepackaging.  Those bridesmaids are there for a reason, so plan a fun get-together and put them to work!  Providing champagne or delicious sweet treats is a great way to reel them in and thank them for their hard work.

DIY wedding favors


For a favor idea that is easy to create and pleases crowds every time, buy some beautiful gift boxes, ribbon personalized with your names and the wedding date, and fill boxes with a delightful surprise.  Candy and candy-coated nuts are traditional and beloved; who doesn’t want a sugary midnight snack for later?!  Personalized candy, chocolate, and cookies are available at some exclusive wedding favor websites.  You can also choose to fill the boxes with small trinkets or jewelry, sachets, or any other creative filler you can imagine.   Another idea is to buy personalized cookies and store them in clear plastic favor bags tied with satin ribbon.  Pile up the favors on tiered cake pedestals by the reception exits or place at people’s place setting and for a small cost and minimal work you have created a delightful, personalized wedding favor that people will love.

wedding favors diy


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Do-it-Yourself Once & Combine it!

The easiest, most-effective way to save money is to only buy the necessities.  Some of the things expected at weddings are centerpieces, place card holders for table settings (if you have a sit down reception), wedding favors, and decorations that pop.  If you can combine even a couple of those necessities, it will save you a huge chunk of your budget, and no one will ever know anything is missing! Let me explain:

With all the options out there today, you can find beautiful favors that translate into other wedding accessories.  For instance, if you have a sit down dinner or assigned seating at your reception, choose place card holders that complement and enhance your decorations.  The place card holders can double as favors that guests can bring home and use as photo holders.  Furthermore, if you buy extras, you can put photos in excess place card holders and add to the existing décor.  A nice idea that one of my bridal customers used was to compile pictures of every guest, placing them in these “photo place card holders” and setting them at each person’s place setting.  This unique idea showed guests to their seats while also suggesting how they can be used later, at home.

favor and centerpiece in one


For weddings without pre-arranged seating, the savings can be unbelievable.  If you carefully choose a charming favor that compliments your wedding décor, you can simply stack them in the middle of tables and create a wedding favor centerpiece.  Stack extras in other decorated places, and you have favors that have covered three of the four expected wedding accessories.  Flowers are extremely expensive.  If you find a favor that doubles as a centerpiece and added wedding decorations, you can afford to buy fewer flowers, saving you a large chunk of change.  As an added bonus, there will be much less to clean after the reception, because half the decorations will have been happily “clean away” by your guests!

wedding favors and centerpieces


Order Online

This simple strategy will save you a bundle of money, time and effort.  Rather than hopping in your car, sitting in traffic, visiting several stores, wasting gas, and at the end of the day finding nothing appealing, save yourself the trouble.  Stay home with that fiancé of yours and type “American wedding favors” (might as well boost the economy in the process) into your favorite search engine and shop through the listings.  A task that would normally waste at least one full day and a pocketful of gas money (more unnecessary money removed from the wedding budget), you can complete over your lunch break and at a major discount from a fancy boutique.  The online stores do not have the overhead of brick and mortar shops, so they can pass the savings on to customers.

wedding favors online


Hopefully you find these money-saving tips helpful.  The best part about these tips is that no one will ever feel like you skimped on important wedding components, or even suspect that you were on a tight budget.  By following these money saving strategies, you will be able to save a large portion of your budget, still have that beautiful wedding you always wanted and play host to some very happy guests.

About the Author
Team Wedding, founded in January 2000, is a network of wedding related directories and niche wedding websites designed to alleviate wedding planning stress and to give brides and grooms the one-stop-shop experience they need in this busy, modern world. Top Wedding Sites, is the Internet’s first directory of the top ranked wedding sites, voted on by brides, grooms and others interested in hosting a wedding. Plan your wedding fast, easy and in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.

Related Posts

  1. Amelie Thomas

    I love wedding favors that can serve two purposes. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone! We’re getting married this summer and we ordered customized bottled water to serve as refreshments AND wedding favors.

    It seems expensive at first, but we did the math and it ends up being a great deal, plus the bottles will look great as part of teh decorations at the reception! We found our water bottles at and I’m absolutely in love with the design.

    It’s worth doing if you cn figure out how to combine aspects of your wedding to save money!

  2. ViGi Karayiannis

    To save money on our rings we decided to make use of a diamond dealer where you choose your stone and have it set into your custom designed ring. This is a great money saver as it gives you so much more diamond for what you are spending.

  3. True Bride

    I think the more you can do yourself (with the help of family and friends) the more you can save on wedding costs. It might be worth trying to negotiate with some of your wedding vendors/suppliers. Keep in mind, though, that it is hard times for them as well, and be reasonable with your negotiations. We all have to earn a living.

  4. Donia

    My niece had a close friend, who is a good photographer, take the important wedding pictures. Then she had several family members and friends taking candid shots throughout the wedding reception. She created a wonderful photo memory by getting many pictures that may not have been possible using one photographer. She saved a bit of money.

  5. donna

    Yes, you can save money by asking friends and family to take photos, but, you always run the risk of getting poorer quality photos or even no photos at all when you don’t use a professional. You also run the risk of causing a rift in a personal relationship if you don’t like the photos or if the makeshift photographer doesn’t come through as expected. It’s always best to hire a professional, but, it is a great idea to put disposable cameras on the table for guests to take shots from their point of view. If you’re on a tight budget, speak to your photographer. Many have ways to shave the budget without sacrificing quality. See our list of the top wedding photographers here:

  6. Jess at Marilyn's Keepsakes

    I think it’s important to strike a good balance between do-it-yourself and acquiring the services of others. Sure you want to keep the cost manageable, but you also want the experience to be remembered fondly and not as one that was stressful.

Leave a Reply