Hold onto your pocketbooks, because we’re back with more wedding budget and finances! The main purpose for this blog is to serve as a resource for planning a Washington DC area wedding and who better to share budget-cutting tips than married and local couples themselves!? We’ve gone through our past featured real weddings and pulled some of our favorite tips for keeping the cost of a Washington DC area wedding down. Now, here is some advice that’s worth re-sharing.

Photo Credits: Jodi Miller Photography

Janelle said: I think being flexible is key. We had a Friday evening wedding to get the venue we wanted and it also made getting some deals with vendors a bit easier. We also purchased a cute return address stamp from Etsy, which we’ve used on everything (and still do!) – best $25 spent.

See more from Janelle’s modern yellow and gray wedding.

Photo Credits: Readyluck Photography

Jessica said: Throughout our planning process, we often felt challenged to stay within our budget. Vendors consistently offered bigger, better, tempting options, but by prioritizing, we were able to keep extraneous spending to a minimum. At the end of the event, the things that mattered most were the family and friends we shared it with.  I would encourage brides and grooms to push to stay within budget and to get creative with DIY projects when they can!

See more from Jessica’s elegant and woodsy wedding.

Photo Credits: Shelby Leigh Photography

Brooke said: Budget-wise, I would say a big help is checking with your caterer to see if they offer the option of bringing in your own liquor. Ours did offer that, and it definitely helps with cost. I think another big thing is go with your gut with vendors. I had such an incredible time in my meetings with my vendors and bonded with them all. I was so happy to have them be a part of our special day. The vendors we picked we felt matched our personalities very well and it added to the loveliness of it all!

See more from Brooke’s purple and aqua handmade wedding.

Photo Credits: Jillian McGrath Photography

Wendy said: Figure out what is important to you and what is not, and then stick to it and don’t let others try to tell you what you “should” do (especially if you are paying for part or all of your wedding). It was important to us to have a small, more intimate wedding, so this involved some hard choices on our invite list, but it was well worth it! Having a small intimate wedding ensured we could talk to all of our guests and it allowed us to spend more money per guest to ensure they had great food and drink and a great experience!

See more from Wendy’s modern and non-traditional wedding reception.

Photo Credits: Julie Renee Photography

Gloria said: Hire a wedding planner. They actually help you save, not only because of connections they have to vendors but there are items you didn’t realize you don’t have to purchase as much. Such as, even though my wedding was 100 people, we only ordered 45 wedding programs rather than 100. And 45 was well enough for our guests. So right there we saved 50% of our budget on paper stuff that could go to our décor. The wedding planner also knows areas in the contract that can be negotiated and included to accommodate your vision

See more from Gloria’s vibrant blue and green wedding.

Photo Credits: Ethan Yang Photography

Maria said: Booking our vendors based on our priorities also meant that when we went a little over budget on the high-priority items, we could still cut back in areas that were less important to us, like flowers and linens. I searched for bargains on everything – I bought my shoes on Ebay, used a Groupon for our photobooth, DIY’d all of our paper products, and scoured Etsy for everything from my crystal sash to the gumpaste flowers on our cake. I really embraced the challenge of sticking to my budget!

See more from Maria’s unique and industrial Baltimore wedding.


For more on how to save money on your DC-area wedding, check out more of our wedding planning and budget tips and advice! Best of luck and happy planning!

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