How to manage wedding expenses—7 savings tips to help you plan for the big day

Personal savings
Bride and groom walking through thrown rose petals and smiling

Planning the perfect wedding is a dream for many couples, but the costs associated with this special day can quickly add up. We understand the importance of keeping wedding costs in check, ensuring a memorable celebration without the financial stress. Here are tips to help you achieve your dream wedding without breaking the bank:

Build a budget

Start by creating a budget that includes all aspects of your wedding, from the venue and catering to attire and decorations. Have an honest conversation with your partner and prioritize what you want for your special day. See our blog, Navigating financial conversations with your partner.

Many financial institutions offer online budgeting tools to track expenses and allocate funds all in one place so it’s easier to stay on track. Our Personal Financial Management tool is a digital service that’s fully integrated into our online and mobile banking applications. Clients can easily add accounts from other financial institutions to their Banner Online & Mobile Banking service and manage their budget. 

Open a savings account

Kickstart your wedding planning by opening a dedicated savings account. It’s never too early to start saving. Consider opening an account when you get engaged! With a savings account, your money earns interest and you can watch your funds grow as you contribute regularly. Maybe you’re planning a longer engagement and have more time to save. If you have funds you don’t need right away, consider making them work harder for you by putting them into a certificate of deposit (CD) account, as these typically earn a high interest rate than standard checking accounts. See our blog, Understanding Certificates of Deposit and CD Ladders to learn more.

Optimize wedding vendor contracts

Compare vendors and negotiate to secure the best deals. Try to bundle services like catering and photography to benefit from package discounts. Bridal shows are a great way to gain inspiration and can offer discounts when you book services while you’re there. 

Community Division Manager Monica Clayton, who gained experience planning her son’s wedding, recommends keeping your itinerary in mind. “If you’re trying to save on food costs, plan your wedding in between mealtimes. For example, 2 o’clock in the afternoon works great because your guests already had lunch and will likely have dinner later. Instead of offering a full meal, you can provide a light appetizer.” 

Remember to do what’s best for your situation. It’s your day so do it the way you want.

Another option to consider is hiring a wedding planner. They can save you a lot of stress by coordinating the details. But make sure you understand their charges and fees, and ask how they can add value to your big event.

Get creative and embrace DIY 

Infuse your wedding with personal touches by creating your own decorations and invitations. Not only does this add a unique charm to your celebration, but it also saves money. If you think outside the box, you might also find a nontraditional venue that fits your budget and style—like an appealing room at your local historical society, a spacious dance studio, an art gallery or a beautiful backyard.

Cash in on cash back rewards

Consider putting your wedding expenses to work for you by using a cash back credit card. Our TruRewards® Mastercard® Credit Card has no annual fee and can help you earn rewards on purchases like venue bookings, catering and attire. You can redeem them for future savings or apply them toward your wedding costs. Be sure to use a credit card wisely and avoid carrying a balance.

Secure a sensible loan

It’s best to avoid going into debt for your wedding, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for one all at once. If you’re planning on taking out a loan, be sure to do it wisely and think about your affordable financing options. If you own a home, consider tapping into a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With lower interest rates and higher limits, it's a smart way to borrow and take the "yikes" out of wedding plans when costs get high. Installment loans with reasonable interest rates and tailored repayment plans help you manage expenses without sacrificing your dream celebration. 

By combining careful planning and smart financial choices, you can enjoy a beautiful wedding without the stress of overspending. For more financial tips, explore other blogs on our website to help you achieve your financial goals.