Planning a Wedding: How we are saving $5,000 and Counting...

Let's be real for a second! Planning a wedding can be super overrated and stressful. Yes, this is one of the most important days of your lives. So why stress about it? We've compiled a list of things that have helped us save money throughout our planning process. No, we definitely are not all done planning, but we thought we could help a brother and sister out with some tips that worked for us! 

When we booked a venue for our wedding, the owner mentioned her preferred vendors list that included food, flowers, photographers, DJs, and much more. She even asked if we had a plan for linens (which apparently is really expensive by the way)!? We immediately looked at one another and knew we had no idea how much planning actually went into a wedding. Like really, who thinks about linens? Going to friends/family weddings or browsing through Pinterest, you only see the big items in a wedding: the dress, venue, decorations, and food.

That is why we are working really hard to plan everything perfectly, and under our budget. We say perfectly, but we know everything won't go as perfectly planned. And we are okay with that! That's where the fun memories happen. We are about half way done with the planning process; so far, we have saved over $5,000! We will give out our tips on how you can save money. In addition, we have contacted various vendors to offer a discount to those who mention Living Roots! WOOHOO FREE MONEY!

(Scroll down to bottom for free money)

First, here are just a few quick

tips on what we have learned so far

  • Know what’s important. A wedding insist of many different assets; once you find out the most important to your personally, it is easier to plan the entire wedding. For some people, the honeymoon is the most important! If that’s you then you should have a small wedding of using about 60 percent of your budget, and 40 percent on the honeymoon. For us, we put a high importance on photography/videography and venue. Overall, it was a good chunk of our budget. However, we are willing to sacrifice other assets of the wedding to get our ideal photographer/videographer and venue!

  • Find your connections. Seriously! We did not think we knew as many people as we did who are involved in the wedding industry. Overall, we have saved money on multiple vendors, wedding coordinator, hotel rooms and more. Ask around! People are so generous and good at what they do.

  • Preferred Vendors List. Our venue, Rosemary Ridge (which is amazing by the way!) has a preferred vendors list. This is all the vendors that they work with and have deals with. Most of the time you can get a pretty sweet hook up from someone on a vendors list. Make sure you get your hands on one of these if your venue provides it!

Our Process

The theme of our planning thus far has been spending money on the things we will remember and look back on, and save money on everything else. Breanna is an artist (an amazing photographer if you didn’t know ;p), so the most important things on her list was the photographer/videographer and venue. Not surprising that these are the most expensive items for the wedding! However, because that is something that is important to her we understand that to have these things we are going to sacrifice other items on the list. Thankfully, we will have about a year of engagement to plan everything out. Since we have a year, we are planning everything out to maximize our budget.

how we saved 

  • Be Different- One of the best decisions we have made was getting married on a Thursday. Yes, a Thursday! Crazy, huh? We have already saved around $3,000 just for getting married on a weekday versus the weekend. The venue was cheaper, our DJ gave us a bigger discount, and food is cheaper all because it was not peak business days (Friday-Sunday). A weekday can be inconvenient for a lot of guest, but you can plan it around holidays to help with peoples work schedules. We are getting married in-between Christmas and New Year for our families to be able to schedule the entire week off to enjoy the holidays in Oklahoma, and go to our wedding.

  • Get Creative- For save-the-date, and invitations we decided to go paperless! Printing out cards and mailing them can add up. Digital is not only a cost saver, but also a time saver since we already have most people’s email. Although not all of our announcements will be paperless. Some will be printed out and mailed to various family members. They are always nice to have as keepsakes!

  • Do It Yourself- Next big saver is DIY. We have decided to do most of our florals and decorations ourselves for the wedding and by doing so cut our cost down from around $1,400 to $800. Mostly, we have Pinterest to thank for all the inspiration.


where we saved

wedding chart

Free Money:

We have had the chance to work with amazing vendors through shooting weddings, and throughout our planning process.  We have worked out a deal with some of these vendors to offer discounts on their product or service if you mention Living Roots!

DJ Connections

These guys rock. Many DJ services out there are people who do it as a side job, but at DJ connections, it is their ONLY job! They offer tons of benefits when booking them, which include all day services on wedding day, tons of sound systems/lights/and microphones, and an extremely customizable playlist. Although the underlying reason on why we chose them is because they are fast at emailing back, super easy to work with, and you are given an account to update/make changes to your song list and wedding schedule.

Mention our name, Ryan Nielsen and Breanna Galley, and you will receive $100 off

Prescott Bridal

Picking out my wedding dress was an amazing experience! Before buying a dress, Breanna was nervous about the whole process of it: the stress, worrying about picking the right dress, and if I would even be able to make up my mind. Prescott Bridal creates such a relaxing environment for soon to be brides! They have a huge selection for all styles, and body types. Go check them out!

Mention Living Roots to receive 10% off your wedding dress + 10% off veil and accessories WITH purchase of a dress

You didn't think we would let you go without offering you a discount, did you?

Living Roots Photography

Oh, hey that’s us! If you mention this blog, and tell us about your wedding planning experience so far, we will give you 10% off our wedding packages!

Mention this Blog to receive 10% off


Needless to say, we are having so much fun planning our wedding and having even more fun planning our future together! Don't take it too seriously and don't be too cheap. Know what's important to you guys and figure out where you can cut costs. The most important thing is to have fun. And ladies, let the guys have a say in decision making too! ;)

Ryan + Breanna