I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s really hard to plan a wedding on a small budget and get married for less.
Well, it turns out you can dramatically decrease your wedding budget and plan your dream wedding by following these TEN simple wedding on a budget ideas that will allow you to get married for less.
In today’s post and infographic I’m going to breakdown these TEN wedding on a budget ideas and show you exactly how you can easily save a lot of money and get married for less than you ever thought.
Warning: you are NOT going to find anything about cheap wedding venues (blah) or bad food (yawn) here.
I’m bringing the noise.
Bonus: Download a free Infographic that will show you how to quickly save money with these ideas. So Let’s get married.
1) Know your Wedding Budget
Most couples think about a guest list and everything that they dream for their wedding day without knowing their budget. Let’s get real, how can we even think about a guest list or services without having an exact budget? So the first thing that we have to get in mind before planning a wedding is calculate a budget that covers all the essential expenses and separate them from non-essential expenses, like centerpieces with fifty red roses or separate bands of musicians for the ceremony and reception.
To give you a hand with these calculations, please feel free to download our free Excel Wedding Budget Spreadsheet.
2) Create your Guest List Wisely
If you are already planning your wedding day, you are obviously thinking about all the people you’d love to invite to one of the most magical events of your life. Remember that your guest list will be related and will depend on your wedding budget.
Many couples become worried when faced with the task of writing down all the people they want to invite. Nobody wants to be left out; but the reality is that unless you have a generous budget, you won’t be able to invite every single friend and relative, including their companions or families.
First thing to focus on is invite the people you can’t imagine that day without; and second, and equally important, send out a note to all the people you wanted to invite but couldn’t.
They will appreciate your honesty and will be pleased to know you wished to have them there on your special day. Some people will still be offended, but don’t worry about them, just remember the wise words Dr. Seuss once wrote: “Those who mind don’t matter, and does who matter don’t mind”.
3) Reception Venue
Some wedding reception venues cost an arm and a leg to rent out for just one evening. A fun and creative way to minimize venue costs is by choosing a place out of the ordinary that won’t blindside you with sky-high fees. You could have your reception at a botanical garden or an aquarium. It would definitely be an unforgettable experience, both for you and your guests.
4) Food, Wedding Cake, and Beverages
Since weddings tend to be an event that span several hours; food and beverages are important. You need to be cunning in order to pull this off, because if you go down the road of serving low quality food, you will never forget it.
A few ideas to consider are to make your own appetizers. It may sound time consuming, but you can get the moms’ and friends together to help you out by making appetizers that can be frozen, then just warmed up before serving, this way you will save yourself a considerable amount of money.
A cupcake tower instead of a wedding cake is another choice to cut down on costs since an elaborate cake can be expensive, while there are five tiered cupcake towers that cost under one hundred dollars.
And finally, the liquor… Our advice is to make sure the venue where you will be holding the reception allows you to bring your own beverages, so that you don’t have to pay the high prices you will be charged by the venue if they provide that service.
5) Flowers and Decorations
You don’t need to order centerpieces with fifty red roses in order to create a beautiful atmosphere for your wedding day. In fact, there are many creative ways to keep to your budget and still enjoy a romantic setting for your ceremony and reception.
The main tip if you want flowers at your wedding is to know which flowers are in season and which flowers are the most inexpensive. Flowers such as carnations, daisies and sunflowers are less costly than orchids or roses. By also adding plenty of greenery, you can have lush bouquets and centerpieces that will make the flowers you choose stand out.
If you don’t want to stress over the short life cycle of flowers with all the running around that is bound to happen for the finishing touches on the big day, silk or paper flowers are the way to go. They can be arranged plenty of time before the wedding and won’t wilt. Silk flowers can be bought used or resold after the wedding and if you’re particularly creative, you can get your friends together and make your own paper flowers.
If you want to break the mold altogether, use something original like peacock feathers or have candles or lanterns as centerpieces.
Paper flower wedding craft
6) Make your own invitations
Snail mail and fancy embossed invitations printed on special stationery with gold ink is a thing of the past. With modern technology in the palm of your hand you can let your imagination roam free and create a unique wedding invitation or download an affordable and classic e-card to send out to your guests via E-mail or Instagram.
You can make an online invitation that looks like an airplane ticket or a movie flyer, make a super short and personal video inviting your guests, almost anything goes.
However, bear in mind that for any senior citizens that you want at your wedding, or people that aren’t all that technologically savvy, a nice printout of the invitation sent by mail or delivered personally is important.
7) Wedding Gifts
Many couples find themselves feeling uncomfortable when confronted with the idea of creating a wedding registry. Instead of picking out several items to receive as gifts, plenty of them would much rather receive money as a wedding present.
Nowadays there are websites that do cash wedding registries. So instead of people paying a set amount on kitchen appliances or silverware, they can choose how much they can afford to give you by paying online.
One of these sites is called Our Wishing Well, which not only caters to wedding gifts, but also birthdays, fundraisers, and baby showers; another plus is that they accept most major currencies.
Guests don’t have to pay a fee, although there is a small “cash out” fee depending on how much money you withdraw.
On your wedding invitation you can explain that instead of physical presents you would appreciate your guests to give how much they want to help build your new life together.
Here is a testimony by a couple that asked for money instead of accessories.
8) Custom made and matching bridesmaid dresses
Many brides spend a lavish amount of money or ask their closest friends and family to invest on custom and matching bridesmaid dresses for the wedding.
Modern weddings are no longer following this practice; because, let’s face it, your friends not only have different body shapes but also different personalities. So instead of investing in the same cut and color dress, let your bridesmaids’ mix and match.
In order to pull this off you have many options. You can ask your bridesmaids to wear dresses all in a specific color. Even if they’re wearing different styles, they will still look similar. Another idea to bring your bridesmaids’ look together is by coordinating simple yet lovely floral crowns and bouquets while each one wears a different dress.
9) Music and Entertainment
Music is another fundamental piece at a wedding, and depending on what you can afford, it can cost thousands of dollars to hire a live band. However, there is hope to have great music for a reasonable price that fits into your budget.
Go down the road less traveled by investigating entertainment options like belly-dancers or saxophone players by going to restaurants and bars that offer such shows. Call your local college music department to find music students that will be more than happy to be given a chance to perform and earn some money. You can also speak with the pastor or priest at your church and find out about availability of the choir, pianist or other musicians that play during mass. The options are endless when you get creative and start thinking out of the box in order to have a magical wedding while still adhering to your budget.
10) Wedding Photographs and Videos
By implementing all the tips we have mentioned above, by now you’ve probably saved a considerable amount of money. One thing we believe is an important investment for any wedding day is the photographer. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of that special day. Their knowledge of lighting and special equipment assures that you and everyone there will look their best, and you will have beautiful pictures to last you a lifetime. However, another thing that is very special at weddings are videos. A photograph catches a moment, but a video transmits voices, music, movement, and feelings. For this, you can save on costs by asking a few close friends and relatives to take simple videos of important moments with their smartphones, such as when you’re walking down the aisle or the look on your faces when you’re reading your vows to each other. One month later when your friend finally gives you the file where he recorded you dancing with your husband for the first time is priceless!