5 quick tips for how to save money on your wedding ceremony
by Stephanie

Here's a crazy concept — you spend your whole engagement (an average length of 13 months) planning for a 6-7ish hour party. Yup, that's right. Factor in how much you're planning on spending for those few precious hours with your nearest and dearest, and even couples with a healthy budget can start to feel deflated. But not to worry brides — we've got tons of tips to help you cut little costs to save big.

Today, we're tackling the wedding ceremony. Overall, your wedding ceremony will probably only take 20 or minutes or so. Typically it's not a huge part of your budget, but hey, it's the small things that can make a big impact right? Factor in decor, music, an officiant and rentals, and you'll be surprised and how quickly the budget for your ceremony can start to feel squeezed. Here are some quick tips for how to save money on your wedding ceremony.

1. Have a friend officiate

Choosing a close friend or family member isn't just a meaningful way to include a loved one in your wedding ceremony — it's also an easy way to cut costs. Booking a professional officiant can put you out anywhere between $500-$800. Keep in mind, the bulk of that fee will go to their congregation or place of worship/work, but still... that's an extra bundle of cash you could use elsewhere. If you and your significant other don't feel the need to pull in a religiously affiliated officiant, having a friend or family member is great and affordable alternative, with a fee of around $30.

2. Don't choose extravagant decor

Photo by  Evynn LeValley

Aisle runners, stunning backdrops, Chiavari chairs — Pinterest will make you believe that all these fancy decorations are must-haves for your big day. But you know what? I've seen beautiful, simple and elegant ceremonies without extravagant decor that still makes an impact. This is especially true if your ceremony is taking place outdoors or some place with natural beauty.

If you're still on the fence about cutting back on ceremony decorations, then just think of it this way — the ceremony is just a few minutes, and you spend a lot more time with your guests and photographer at your reception. Choosing to decorate your reception with a few more fancy details could be the option with more bang for your buck!

3. Skip the string quartet

Sure, a string quartet is nice and does lend a certain air of formality to your ceremony. But if formality isn't your style and you don't picture classical music playing at the ceremony, then skip the quartet. Professional DJs are used to playing processional and recessional songs; or, you could even DIY the music and have a trusted friend in charge of ceremony songs.

4. Create a sign instead of printing individual programs

Printing over 100 of anything is going to be costly; factor in the wedding cost multiplier, and you're looking at a pretty hefty bill just for printing your ceremony programs. Cut back on the cost and hassle of printing programs, and create a simple chalkboard sign or poster for your ceremony instead. Your guests won't miss fumbling around with a sheet of paper during the ceremony, anyway.

5. Consider a standing ceremony

Photo by  Tec Petaja

Photo by Tec Petaja

Want to keep it really simple and cut costs? Consider going a with a less traditional but more intimate standing ceremony. It's exactly what it sounds like — you and your beloved, surrounded by guests for 5-10 minutes for a quick but memorable ceremony. Bonus if your guests get a glass of champagne — bubbly is sure to make your already unique standing ceremony unforgettable and fun!

Would these sneaky tactics help you save money on your wedding ceremony? Which of these tips will you consider using? Let us know in the comments!