Q: My partner and I are preparing for our wedding, and due to financial constraints it will need to be planned on a strict budget. I’m glad we aren’t racking up huge bills, but I don’t want to compromise on the day of my dreams. Can a budget wedding still be beautiful?
A: Your desire for financial responsibility is commendable. Fortunately, a budget wedding can still be beautiful – even on a tight budget. Here’s how to plan the wedding of your dreams without breaking your budget.
Set a budget
The first step in planning a wedding on a budget is to actually set a budget. Determine how much money you can afford, and are willing to spend, on your wedding and allocate your funds accordingly. Jot down a list of all the wedding expenses you expect to incur, such as venue rental, catering, photography and decorations. Then, prioritize them based on their importance, attaching a higher dollar amount toward your top priorities.
When setting your budget, be realistic about what you can afford. Don’t take on more debt than you can handle, as it can put a strain on your relationship in the long run. Consider cutting back in areas that aren’t as important to you. This might include having a smaller guest list or opting for a simpler, or secondhand, dress. On the flip side, remember that your budget does not need to be evenly balanced as long as the total does not exceed your maximum budget. For example, you can decide to spend a lot of your wedding money on an elaborate dessert table, and hire a no-frills caterer for the rest of the meal.
Remember, a budget is an opportunity to get creative. Together with your partner, you can find unique ways to make your wedding special without spending a fortune.
Choose a venue
One of the biggest expenses of a wedding is the venue rental. The good news is, an out-of-the-box venue can save you boatloads of money without sacrificing on style and beauty. Consider having your wedding in a park or on a beach; many public spaces offer affordable or even free venue rentals. Alternatively, if you’re set on having a traditional venue, look for off-peak times or consider a weekday wedding, as these can often be more affordable.
Another option for saving on the venue is to have your ceremony and reception in the same location. This can save on transportation costs and can be more convenient for your guests, too. Look for venues that offer both indoor and outdoor spaces so you have a built-in backup plan in case of inclement weather.
When choosing a venue, be sure to keep your overall wedding theme in mind.
For example, if you’re going for a rustic feel, look for venues with natural elements like wood and stone. If you’re going for a more modern look, go for venues with clean lines and minimal decor. The venue sets the tone for your entire wedding, so it’s important to choose one that reflects your personal style.
Another big-ticket item likely to be on your wedding budget is the decor. To save in this area, consider DIYing some, or all, of your wedding decorations. You can look up tutorials online to learn how to do a job that will bring professional results, and with the help of a few friends, and a minimal investment in materials, you can create beautiful, low-cost decorations for your wedding. This can include centerpieces, floral arrangements, favors and more.
Another way to save on wedding decor is to repurpose items you already own. Mason jars, vintage books, old picture frames and unique vases can all serve as decor elements for your wedding. You can pick up more low-cost decor items in secondhand shops or borrow from friends.
Finally, consider renting decorations instead of buying them. Many rental companies offer affordable options for wedding decor, such as tablecloths, chair covers and ceremony arches. This can shave lots of money off your budget wedding while also reducing waste.
A beautiful budget wedding is more doable than you may think. Follow these tips to plan the budget wedding of your dreams.
Your Turn: Did you plan a budget wedding? Tell us about it in the comments.