Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

Top 5 Ways to Save On Your Wedding (& Win A Copy Of “The Tax Deductible Wedding”)

Published on January 25, 2010 by   ·   21 Comments Pin It

Sabrina Rivers, Author of The Tax-Deductible Wedding wants you to know you really don’t have to blow your savings on that one special day.   The Tax-Deductible Wedding is a fantastic resource to help take the mystery and anxiety out of financing for your wedding. This book is your wedding-cost-control survival guide and provides practical advice on how to throw your dream wedding while saving money and having much of the cost be tax deductible!   Hoorah!   Here are her 5 favorite tips, shared especially for the readers of!;

1. Start by creating a Budget

How to Create a Budget: Mention the word budget to most people, and they cringe. Or they get the “deer in the headlights” look as if creating a budget involves some kind of voodoo magic, or that it’s too hard to do. Think of a budget this way: It really is just a tool that you can use to track how your money is spent and to set goals and limits on how much you want to spend. One way in which we recommend saving time and money is by looking at different wedding packages in Leicester, you can find brilliant offers when buying the services you will need as a bundle. Just be careful to check what is included in the package you are paying for! When doing a budget, you need to make sure that you include all of the details related to the costs of goods and services that are part of your wedding. Have a budget for the dress, cake, flowers and rings. You can find a great range of titanium rings online for fantastic prices, just do your research! Here are the six steps to creating a wedding budget:

  1. Decide on the style of wedding and number of guests
  2. Determine all of the goods and services that you will need to buy/rent to host that style of wedding (including tips)
  3. Decide on your budget priorities
  4. Decide on the total budget amount, and also break it down by expense category (make sure you include as many details as possible when estimating your costs)
  5. Decide on what expenses the bride or her parents will pay for and what the groom or his will parents pay for
  6. Fill in your budget worksheet

2. Choose a Tax Deductible Location

Location, Location, Location: Brides and grooms spend hours looking at brochures, visiting venues, and fantasizing about where their ceremony and reception will be held. Did you know that your wedding reception site can be tax deductible? Most couples have no idea. There are many options to choose from when picking out a ceremony and/or reception venue, and if you decide to go with something less traditional, you could save some money. The organization must have 501 c status to qualify as a non-profit organization.

Some fun and interesting alternatives for your wedding venue include:

  • Museums
  • National Parks
  • Botanical Gardens, Public Gardens, and Arboreta
  • Historic Sites
  • Wildlife Preserves
  • Farm/ Animal Sanctuary’s

3. Other Tax Deductions that we all forget about

Wedding Leftovers-Do Not Let It Go to Waste!

Now that the big day is over, what to do with all the leftovers? Food, flowers, and unwanted wedding accessories can all be donated.


Leftover appetizers, entrees, bread, condiments, fruit, desserts, etc. from your wedding can be donated to a local shelter or food bank/food pantry, which can be found at For example, America’s Second Harvest has a network of over two hundred food banks that they distribute food to on a daily basis. Before you decide you want to donate leftovers to a food bank, clear it with the caterer, because they will have to prepare the food for pickup, and each group has different requirements about what kinds of food can be donated, in what form, and in what kind of containers. Call the food bank for any rules and restrictions.


Rather than just toss the flowers out after your wedding, why not donate them to a hospice or other charitable hospital? Chances are the cost of the flowers, if donated to a charitable organization, will be deductible.


You’ll likely want to keep certain items from your special day to remember it by-perhaps your “something blue” or a cherished family heirloom you wore-but there will definitely be other items that you’ll never use again. If they are not particularly sentimental, such as your wedding shoes, the handbag you used for the dollar dance (if you had one), or even that slip that kept shifting around when you walked, you can find a consignment shop that donates proceeds to charities such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Not only will you help out a good cause, but another bride-to-be will be ecstatic to find a bargain or two. Also, if you have any leftover balloons or decor that you used to decorate the reception site with, you may want to consider donating them to a local children’s hospital. You could brighten someone’s day.


Well, we are not finished yet. You probably thought we were at the end of the tax-deduction possibilities, but I have saved the best for last: Your honeymoon can also yield a tax deduction. What better way to get closer to your main squeeze than by taking off on a honeymoon and the adventure of a lifetime, all for a good cause? Read on.

Going Global for a Tax Deduction

Global Volunteers is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian development organization founded in 1984 with the goal of helping to establish a foundation for peace through mutual international understanding. They offer a short-term service program that places volunteers in twenty countries worldwide.

Build a Home for Someone Else Before You Start Living in Yours

Doing something together that reinforces your shared values helps to deepen your bond, and this can be a great activity to do during your honeymoon. One way to do that is to help someone else realize his or her dream of owning a home. Habitat for Humanity International has helped build homes for thousands of people who, due to financial hardship, might not ever have owned their own home.

Planning and organizing, figuring out how to do a budget, estimating how much your wedding will cost, determining what is tax deductible-I think we have covered all of the parts of the initial phase of planning your wedding. The next important area to cover is how to save for your wedding and how to save on your wedding. Because if you don’t have a plan for this part, you will not be able to get to your final destination-the altar.

4. Finding a Sponsor/ Barter (other options)

Bet you didn’t think that a little shameless self-promotion could save you money or maybe get the entire cost of your wedding covered, did you? It will involve a little legwork on your part, but you could definitely save some serious cash if you manage to get your wedding sponsored or barter for like services. From the reception to the honeymoon, there are businesses related to travel, food, wine, hospitality, entertainment, transportation, fashion, jewelry, music, makeup, nails, hair styling, luggage, shoes, clothing, etc., and each of these businesses needs to get their product or service in front of the buying public. What merchants really want is to be able to market directly to their target audience in a way that is easy, inexpensive, and will leave a lasting impression on their potential customers. Oh, and they want those customers to tell their friends and families about the product or service being marketed. Word of mouth and a positive recommendation trump advertising almost every time. The reality is that all business owners want to raise their profile and name recognition, and they need to do so by using any means possible- and sponsoring a wedding could give them the creative edge they’re looking for. Also, there are plenty of online bartering networks that will link you up with someone who maybe be looking for your services.

5. What’s really important?

Have fun doing it, don’t lose sight of the real reason you are getting married -that wonderful person standing in front of you!!

The Tax-Deductible Wedding: More Wedding and Fun, Less Fret and Debt by Sabrina Rivers, $13.22

The Tax-Deductible Wedding: More Wedding and Fun, Less Fret and Debt by Sabrina Rivers, $13.22


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Readers Comments (21)

  1. Simone says:

    oh and lets not forget to nix the rice throwing at the end and replace with birdseed..rice can kill birds and we all know they need more seed!

  2. I am ordering my wedding sari from overseas. Thats saving me a LOT of money!

  3. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Top 5 Ways to Save On Your Wedding (& Win A Copy Of… – view page – cached Top 5 Ways to Save On Your Wedding (& Win A Copy Of The Tax Deductible […]

  4. Sara says:

    One of the best ways to get money back on your taxes is not to let your s.o. do them and enter the wrong account number…

  5. Shaquia says:

    Great Advice!

  6. Jeanie says:

    Greeeeaaat advice! Thank you!

    And Simone: the “rice kills birds” thing is an urban legend.

  7. Christine says:

    Love the idea of donating all the leftovers!

  8. Lauren Dornell-Neal says:

    I’m spreading the word about this book and posting it on Facebook, Such great ideas for saving moolah during tough times.

  9. Melissa says:

    Great ideas! I once worked for a catering company and they required us to throw away the leftovers citing legal liability if someone got sick for spoiled food. I wonder if there is any way around this? Buying food and hiring servers rather than having the same company cook and serve your food? The idea of food getting thrown away from my festivities while other people are going hungry is super sad :(

    I am planning an event right now where we’re making all the decorations out of things that other people have discarded. Right now I’m working on table coverings made from outdated flyers that have been posted around my University. The flyers were beautiful and now so are the table coverings… A little creativity goes a long way.

  10. Nichole says:

    I’m giving away a Tungsten wedding ring!! That’s a way to save on a budget!!

  11. gail says:

    These are wonderful ideas! I am planning to have as budget friendly, creative, and DIY wedding as possible, all without creating a tremendous amount of waste, and I wish there were more resources for that type of thinking on the web – instead, there is an overabundance of out-of-the box, over-the-top, cookie cutter weddings. I appreciate the focus in this post on being both budget-savvy and waste-conscious.

  12. malia says:

    I am having a wedding this summer at home in hawaii…I am a lifelong thrift store junkie so i am building a paperless rsvp wedding website, a second hand wedding dress, beautiful locally grown and donated flowers and fruit in abundance as favors, a low impact high glam decor scheme of recycled, second hand and borrowed fabrics and lanterns. I already spend money on a for profit location, but am still shopping ideas for eco charity wedding registry sites and minimal recycled paper home-made invitations. Our families are gonna pitch in with food, decor and services…we are so blessed and grateful!

  13. Jeanie says:

    Okay, I have had this book on my Amazon wishlist since I saw this blog…it is PERFECT for me. I am married to the idea of having a super-elegant, old world glamour/Victorian romance sort of New York City wedding (fiance is a native New Yorker and I’ve wanted to be one since I was a child; we hope to do grad school in the city and then never, ever leave) with some modern and personalized touches, but budget constraints imposed by the massive quantities of student debt that I’m carrying make carrying out that vision a bit difficult! Further, I’ve been a vegetarian since age eight, a vegan since thirteen and can’t fathom having my wedding be the cause of the mass slaughter of innocent animals or the mass waste of precious natural resources, so I’m committed to having a totally vegan, eco-friendly ceremony and reception as well. So we’re aiming for a traditional-romantic wedding that’s vegan and environmentally-friendly and will still please the heck out of my fiance’s carnivorous family. It’s a bit of a paradox, but it’s what we’re striving for.

    Additionally, I’m a bit of an aesthetic control freak, so I’m DIY’ing a lot of stuff (as they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself)! It’s been a major challenge thus far to blend all of these elements and still achieve our vision of a perfect wedding, especially given our budget constraints. This book, I’m sure, would make life much easier. I’m glad we started planning early, but we still need all the help we can get as to how to make this work!

    Ehhh, I just realized that in a post about weddings I said I was “married to” an idea. NO PUN INTENDED, I swear.

  14. Beverly says:

    I love the idea of having a honeymoon that gives back the community around you! I also like the idea of local vacations. Instead of traveling far away, it is neat to research what historical sites are near by and find a new restaurant while your at it! I just found some great vegan friendly restaurants in Santa Cruz, CA.

  15. Austin says:

    Another excellent idea, related to wedding sponsorship, is to choose a social justice theme (ie protecting the environment, DV/SA prevention, et cetera) that you tie in very suavely with the entirety of your wedding, and THEN approach vendors to explain how their sponsored participation in your wedding would benefit them directly. More businesses will want to work with you if they are mentioned somewhere in writing; your wedding blog or website is an obvious choice, as is a wedding ceremony program.

    Also, as part of our wedding favors, we offset the carbon of our wedding (all of the travelers coming from far and wide, and all the other hidden wedding sources of CO2) using an online company; some of these companies are non-profits, and therefore your donations are tax-deductible. We received a really nice framed certificate from them, which we displayed on the place card table.

  16. Kelly says:

    What a timely post. My wedding is a week from Saturday. Our venue (an art museum) is a 501(c)(3) organization, but I assumed the site fee wasn’t tax-deductible because we were receiving a service in return. I’ll definitely research this (and donate a portion of the proceeds to my favorite animal shelter!)

  17. Cecilia says:

    I had not thought of a wedding as tax-deductible before. Some of these deductions are not dollar for dollar, nor really applicable unless you have enough to itemize, especially once you are married when your standard deduction doubles. You can also just go small–justice of the peace, etc.

  18. Kim says:

    This is great!!! and such a worthy cause, too!

  19. […] DIY. Whatever you can, from invites to hors d’oeuvres. We liked the advice in this SmartMoney article, and the budget worksheet here-and the warnings about rip-off scams here. Budget wedding resources are plentiful, so keep clicking to have the happiest financial day of your new life together! Want tips on how to throw a GREEN and CHEAP wedding?   Check out some our *favorite* tips for an ECO Wedding HERE. AND: Check out the top 5 ways to save on your wedding (via the author of “The Tax Deductible Wedding”) HERE. […]

  20. Ann Garth says:

    this is awesome… thanks so much!!!

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