Many brides to be have dreamed of their weddings ever since they were kids. Little girls love the ceremony, the elaborate dresses, the beautiful venue, and, of course, their prince charming. However, when we finally see that day coming, the dream turns into a stark reality because weddings can break the bank.
Instead of paying for more than what you can, or worse, postponing the date until you can save more money, there are ways to have the wedding of your dreams for less money. Wedding planning on a budget may seem like a difficult task to tackle without appearing tacky, but it can be done. Below are some wedding planning on a budget tips that may just give you financially stress-free “I do’s”.
Make A Budget
First things first, while this may sound extremely obvious, it is definitely the first step to having a wedding with expenses that won’t spiral out of control. Making a wedding budget isn’t just about allocating a certain amount of money for the wedding but rather digging into every detail. Remember, there are many elements to account for such as the wedding gown, the flowers, the food, the entertainment and more, so it’s important to create a budget for each of these categories. There are plenty of wedding planning on a budget lists online that you consult, making it easy for you not to forget any crucial wedding essentials.
Enlisting Talented Friends
Think about it as a DIY project, where it won’t be you who’s doing the work, but your friends. Simple tasks such as “Thank You” cards, wedding invitations and wedding favors can be done by your talented sister or friend who’s good with arts and crafts. You can pay them of course, but since the items will be technically “homemade”, you’ll definitely get these done for a cheaper price. If you have a friend who’s into the baking business, you can ask him or her to make your wedding cake as well. These home bakers almost always charge less than well-known pastry shops. Don’t forget to ask for discounts!
Rent and Borrow Items
Instead of having gowns sewn for your bridesmaids, rent them instead. Other items which you can borrow include veils and headpieces, ring and coin bearer pillows, pew bows, toasting glasses, cake knives and serving sets, and the list can go on and on. Think about your friends who recently got married. They’re bound to have some wedding items still tucked away in a box. After all the wedding custom does include “something borrowed”.
Plan The Food Wisely
One of the biggest expenses weddings can have is the food. However, there are some areas where you can save on food without having to starve your guests. For example, a buffet is less expensive then a plate in or sit down dinner. You can choose to serve more chicken and pasta dishes instead of beef or lamb. Another thing you can do is have your wedding in the morning or afternoon where you won’t be obliged to provide lunch or dinner. Instead of serving a full meal, you can serve hors d’oevres, cake, and some punch. Another tip is to check with culinary schools. They may want to provide experience to their students and you will only need to pay for the food cost and not for the service.
Forego the Limo
Limousines can be expensive so instead of adhering to the norm, rent a luxury vehicle instead, such as a Cadillac. What’s even better is to have a horse drawn carriage, or any other vehicles that suits your theme.
Save on Videography and Photography
With the increasing popularity of wedding shoots and videography, it won’t be hard to find the perfect group that will match your needs. Look for a professional who don’t charge extra for HD, and always choose a package deal since this will come cheaper. Many videographers hook up with a photographer, so ask if there will be a discount if you hire their team. Avoid professionals who charge by the hour because many weddings can get delayed. Finally, decide what editing you want. Some pros offer same day edits, full coverage and prenups. Instead of getting everything covered, you can instruct the team to only take videos during the ceremony, the cake cutting, the dances, or the speeches, etc.
For most of us, a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience and should be celebrated in the best way possible. Having a wonderful wedding is really more on the people present and the partner we are marrying. Sometimes a small wedding can be more meaningful, and though fireworks may appear grand, all you really need is the spark in your hearts.
Have you or a friend (or relative) recently gotten married? Do you have any money saving tips?
Maybe use a neighbors backyard to host your wedding. Or come up with a wedding theme…it doesn’t have to be traditional and you might not have to pay for a tradional wedding gown 🙂 saving money!
I like the tips!
Great tips! But venue and food makes the wedding. Some people will not go for a backyard wedding.
I am not looking forward to the costs of a wedding. Hopefully we can do something cheap and spend the difference paying down my girlfriend’s student loans.
Did you have that discussion with your fiance?
I think I’ll look for an Indian wife. She won’t expect en expensive wedding ring. Instead, she’ll be perfectly happy to wear a sindoor (red dot) dot on her forehead.
Indian weddings are extremely expensive and fancy!
Yep – they go for days and cost more than a traditional white wedding! SO much fun to attend though.
We bought our invitations at a garage sale. It was just a random thing. I happened to be getting married and someone happened to be selling a big, nice box of “print yourself” wedding invitations with envelopes for $3.00. They were pretty.
Good savings there, but how much was your total outlay for the wedding?
No, I haven’t recently gotten married – but these are all great tips. We had my (now) sister-in-law do the photos, which really helped saved money. You can even rent Wedding dresses or get them second hand. We also didn’t bother with a limo. Best thing to do is figure out what’s really important to you – and cut out or save on the rest!
I agree 100% you need to figure out what’s important to you before moving forward with the huge expense of a wedding.
Getting married is indeed costly. Fortunately, we did not spend a fortune for our wedding. We used our skills, talents, resources, and network of friends. My husband, being a graphics artist, designed and printed our save the date card, invitations, and thank you cards. He also made the layout for the banner for our reception. We only paid for the printing of the banner. Our photographer was our friend who does wedding photography. We asked him to give us a discount for the service, but he did it for free! My best friend ‘s dad lent his 1930 vintage car. My auntie paid for our cake and flowers. My sisters made our souvenir gifts for the entourage and guests as well as the pillows of the ring and coin bearers. My mom gave me her wedding gown and my auntie repaired it so that it will perfectly fit. The reception venue was held in my grandfather’s garden. Our major expenses were food, my husband’s tux, and the entourage’s gown. We also rented utensils, chairs and tables. In totality, we saved more than 50% of our budget.
Wow.. now that’s a great way to use friends and family. I’m curious what was the total cost of your wedding?
Such great tips! Finding a free venue like a backyard like Ornella suggested is a win in my book. And enlisting the help of friends.
I agree. My sister in law got married in her husbands parents yard and it was beautiful.
Weddings are super expensive. I have several friends who have had to put off having kids for a few years after getting married because they’re still paying off the fancy wedding. The bf and I aren’t engaged yet, but have talked about it. Getting married and Vegas sounds better and better as I read how expensive everything can be.