I’ve noticed as of late, more people would rather have a budget wedding or just get married at the courthouse (or VEGAS!) than spend thousands and thousands of dollars for one day. Most people these days would rather spend the money on a new house or car.
I have compiled some tips for the bride (or GROOM!) on a budget to use. You can still have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of on the budget you currently live on.
Tip #1-CUT DOWN THE GUEST LIST
This is vital when planning a budget wedding. You cannot book a space and feed 150+ guests when you have a budget of just a couple thousand dollars. The perfect range is 30-50 guests. Now, I know how hard it is to pick and chose who gets to attend and who gets cut. If this sounds like you, at least try to keep it at or below 100 guests.
Tip #2-USE YOUR RESOURCES
Does your Uncle Tom take some pretty great photos in his off-time? Does Grandma Bernice have a massive flower garden? Does your fiance’s cousin Stacey and her husband Sam own 5 acres of land? Good. Use these to your advantage. Ask them if they would like to help you make the most of your wedding. Create a list of family and friends that you think might be able to help you out in some way. (Make sure to ask them in a non-tacky way.)
Are you crafty? Or at least try to be? Get your crafty friends and family members together a few days a month and work on items for the wedding. You get to have a get-together day and enjoy everyone’s company while also working towards making your wedding ideas come true. Not to mention, when you DIY you know that no one else has had the same exact thing at their wedding. You can visit your local Michaels or Joann’s and pick up supplies for various things; ceremony decorations, invitations, save-the-dates, centerpieces, favors, etc.
Research and I mean really research to find the cheapest items and places. Not everything that’s gonna fit your wedding budget is going to be found on the first couple pages of Google. You’re going to have to really dig deep. Get in there and make sure to carefully chose your words “on-a-budget” will return better results than “cheap”. (You don’t want to go with anything marked Cheap because it will come with a price and I’m not talking about the money.)
Tip #5-DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?
Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On the left side I want you to write “Wedding Traditions” and on the right side I want you to write “Do We NEED It?”. (Make sure to underline the word “NEED” so that you know you mean business.) Then write down all of the “normal” wedding traditions, i.e. garter toss, bouquet toss, catered dinner, D.J., ETC. By doing this, you can cut out some of the extra costs. And if you feel like it won’t be the same without it, brainstorm some replacement ideas. (Instead of a D.J. Why not fill an iPod with different wedding playlists and hook it up to a stereo?)
Tip #6-TWO WORDS POT-LUCK
Skip the thousands of dollars worth of catered food and invite your guests to bring something special with them to share with guests. The best way to do this would be on the invitation with something like “In lieu of gifts we ask that you bring a dish to share.” Get a notebook and make sure you keep track of everything people say they can or will bring. That will cut down on the food cost tremendously! (Don’t forget to follow up and re-confirm one month before the date, two weeks before the date, and a day or so before the date.)
Tip #7-WHAT ABOUT THE PARK?
Having your wedding at a park is the perfect decision for weddings on a budget. For one, they force you to limit your guest list as most can only be reserved with a limited number of guests. For two, you are surrounded by natural beauty. No need to over-decorate as the outdoors can already bring that beauty to your ceremony and reception. And for three, they are so BUDGET-FRIENDLY! Most of the time you just have to pay a small fee to the city for use of the park.
Tip #8-DON’T USE THE “W” WORD
Did you find the perfect flower arrangement for your centerpiece? How about the new cupcake shop downtown? The thing I have a love-hate relationship with is using the words “For my wedding” when inquiring about things. It causes the company’s ears to perk up and thus the price for your 4 dozen chocolate cupcakes have just gone from 250.00 for a birthday party to 1250.00 for your wedding. If you can, tell the person you are discussing prices with that it’s for a wedding or family get-together. Leave out the word “Wedding” as much as possible.
Tip #9-HAVE A “HOMEY-MOON”
Unless someone is paying for your honeymoon, they can be outrageous. There are a couple of things you can do to cut costs. You could skip it, but it’s good to have that time together! However, you can plan your honeymoon for a later date to allow time to save up for the one you really want. This way, you still get your dream honeymoon to Cancun and save money for the wedding. Another thing you can do is, have a “homey-moon”. It’s perfect for the couple that are always working – jobs. Take a few days off after the wedding and stay in. Watch your favorite movies, order your favorite take out and just spend the time together. (Cell phones off, of course!)
Tip #10-DRESS FOR LESS
Your wedding dress can still be absolutely gorgeous without being a Vera Wang, or even without it being brand new. There are plenty of consignment shops both online (like tradesy) and around town where brides are selling their used wedding dresses. Yes, it might have been worn once before, but that’s thing it was literally only worn for a few hours. It’s such a shame to see such beautiful dresses go to waste after only being worn once. It’s worth it to look into if you are wanting a higher end brand. You can also search around the web (SEE TIP #4!) and find prom dresses that are cheap but can pass as a wedding dress.
Don’t forget, this is YOUR day. You get to plan it out how you want to. The more you add your own personal touches, the more you can save. Your wedding is meant to be all about you. You don’t have to follow the lead of everyone else!