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Mariah Milan is an internationally published wedding photographer based on Maui serving all of Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Destinations Worldwide.

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4 Ways You Can Cut Wedding Costs to Save for Your First Home

Cut wedding costs? It seems nearly impossible, doesn’t it?

When you were young did you fantasize about marrying and buying a home with the person of your dreams—your young, starry-eyed self probably never fathomed the costs. Now that you’ve grown up and have decided to take the next steps with your forever partner, such fantasies can seem… well… daunting. 

The wedding you may have dreamed of doesn’t come at a low cost and may force you to reconsider what is most important to you and your partner. 

Maybe you’ve wanted to buy a home and feeling like you’re stuck between two wonderful things. Deciding between your dream wedding and your dream home can sound like an impossible decision. However, it doesn’t have to be a case of one or the other; you can always find ways to cut certain wedding costs, which will help you save for buying your first home as a couple. 

Here are some financially-savvy ways to prep for some of the largest investments of your lifetime and cut wedding costs but not the quality of your big day.

couple elope's on Maui with a haku lei and a ti leaf lei on the beach to cut wedding costs

Consider the costs 

Given the average cost of a wedding is what it is today, the logical first step is to make a budget. Before setting aside a specific amount to put toward your wedding, it’s important to first figure out how much house you can realistically afford, especially if you’re planning for both big milestones at once. 

A mortgage preapproval will determine how big of a loan you qualify for, which will give you better insight as to how much you’ll have to spend on a home when you begin looking. Once you have an idea of how much money you’ll have to put toward your home, you can more clearly decide how much of your combined income you’re realistically able to put toward your wedding. 

Try out a DIY 

When planning a wedding, there are so many minute details to consider like wedding invitations and centerpieces that can quickly lead to a slew of additional costs. If you’re the type that prefers all the bells and whistles on your big day, you can still have them without breaking the bank. 

Instead of paying for custom made invitations from a designer, consider going the DIY route and making your own invites and party favors from scratch. Even if you’re not the artsy type, there are plenty of places you can find directions for wedding DIY projects. Pinterest also has a wide variety of directions for DIY projects you can follow or simply use as inspo for your own ideas. Take the time to use cost-efficient supplies and materials on your own to save money anywhere you can. The next thing you know, you’ll have stashed hundreds of dollars away that you can put toward your first home.


Eloping to an exotic destination like Maui is the perfect way to keep your wedding small and minimalist, while still giving it that lavish and grandiose feel. It also gives you the opportunity to orchestrate a smaller event that you’ll be able to enjoy with your closest relatives and friends that you truly wish to celebrate this momentous occasion with. 

The national average for most weddings is around $33,000, whereas the average cost to elope can range anywhere from $5,000-$15,000. That’s less than half of a normal wedding, making it a worthwhile consideration when coming up with ways to save for your future home. 

Take a cost-effective honeymoon 

If you are planning to elope, why not kill two birds with one stone by going straight to your Maui honeymoon—no additional travel needed! You can save a significant amount by taking your honeymoon in the same area, as you’re ultimately planning one trip instead of two separate adventures. 

Not only that, but by taking your honeymoon in the same location, it will give you more time to spend doing things like getting wedding or engagement photos if you didn’t have time prior to the wedding. Hawaii has plenty to offer, and now that the wedding stress is finally off your shoulders, you can unwind and explore the island carefree with your life partner. 

cut wedding costs by having a small beach wedding

Purchasing a home and celebrating your wedding in the same year may seem far out of reach, but making smarter decisions regarding your big day can make it more attainable than you think. Your wedding can still be a beautiful, special day without giving up on your goal of purchasing a home as well. In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too!

“Purchasing a home and celebrating your wedding in the same year may seem far out of reach…. but it is possible!”

Mariah Milan

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