These days getting married is one of the most expensive things you could ever do, with a wedding often costing more than the down payment on a house, a four year degree or even having a baby! But the one thing I have learned is that no matter how tight the budget is, brides always manage to get seriously inventive with making every cent go as far as possible!
And if Queen Elizabeth II could pull off a royal wedding despite having to use ration coupons to buy the material for her wedding dress – then I think any bride on any budget CAN plan the wedding of her dreams! Actually I KNOW it’s possible because I recently helped a friend with her minimal budget wedding, and it was honestly one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to!
So if you’re planning on getting married but have almost no money to spend, here’s some of the things you can do to cut as many costs as possible and still put together a dream wedding…
Be Wise About The Date
Both venues and vendors charge more during the wedding season (late spring to early fall), and there is more risk that they’ll be fully booked! December and February (Christmas and Valentine’s) are also extremely popular months to get married so consider out of season dates.
Because they are the most convenient, Saturdays are the most popular day of the week to get married, so a midweek or Sunday wedding can also save you quite a bit. Just make sure your guests have enough notice so they can get time off work if necessary!
Timing Is Everything
The traditional time of day to get married is late afternoon, which is then followed by a reception where the guests are served dinner. This often includes hors d’oeuvres for while the guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin and the post ceremony formalities to be completed.
But dinner is the most expensive meal of the day so if you had your ceremony in the early afternoon, you could follow with a champagne and cake reception. If you prefer your wedding to be later, you could have a cocktail party with finger foods instead of a full meal.
Know Every Potential Cost
Once of you first steps is planning a REALISTIC budget. The first part of that is creating a rough checklist of absolutely EVERYTHING wedding related that you might need to do or pay for from this moment until the day you get back from your honeymoon.
There are obvious costs like the venue, wedding apparel, entertainment and catering. But then there are all the ‘I didn’t think about that’ costs like the wedding stationery, pre-wedding parties and marriage licence, among others.
Once you’ve made a list of everything, it is time to start researching so you can get an idea of average costs for each. Finally go through everything and decide what you can’t compromise on, what you’re willing to do without and what you could replace with more budget friendly options. For instance, there are plenty of online coupons you can take advantage of on Discountrue.com and shop in affordable prices in Kohl’s and many other popular stores. There’s always a way to make things work!
Recruit Your Friends
The first rule of planning a wedding on a budget is to use what you already have at your disposal, and as cheap as it sounds that includes your friends! You’ve made a list of everything you might need for your wedding, now start asking friends if they can help with any of them.
Some of the obvious possibilities are an amazing home baker to help with your wedding cake, someone crafty to help with décor, a part time DJ to help with your entertainment, or a photographer willing to give you a discount.
Just remember that you don’t always know about a person’s hidden talents, so try using your social media to ask everyone you know if there is anything they’d be willing to do to help you out with. You can also find people just starting their careers because they’ll be cheaper!
Simple DIY Invitations Are Elegant
Once you’ve decided how many people you’re actually going to be inviting to your wedding and you’ve chosen your venue, it is time to start thinking about getting your invitations made, and collecting addresses so you can post them to everyone.
But getting those invitations printed and paying for the postage takes up a hefty chunk of your budget. However you could design the most elaborate invitations imaginable and send them via email, which costs nothing. Get really creative and make them interactive too!
If you prefer physical invitations then opt for a simple design on stylish paper, slip it into a small glass bottle and hand deliver them. You could also make them yourself with some simple scrapbooking techniques using pretty fabrics, stencils and embellishments.
You might think that compromising on the venue and booking one that is less attractive will save you money, but it also means you have to spend a whole lot more on your décor in order to make it beautiful enough for the wedding.
But if you choose a venue that is beautiful in its own right, you won’t need as much décor because the surroundings provide all the ambience you need. You can also opt for a non-traditional venue as their prices might not be as exorbitant as those known for hosting weddings.
Also try finding just one venue rather than two separate ones. If you have your heart set on a church wedding, then look for one that also has a reception hall. If you’re not that traditional then look for a beautiful reception venue that can accommodate the ceremony as well.
Try Alternative Décor Options
Every bride adores having fresh flowers at their wedding, but they can be exorbitantly expensive and may not end the event as beautifully as they began. Think about alternatives like fresh fruit, other foliage, herbs, candles, marbles, silk flowers and even balloons or colourful aquarium gravel.
If you really want fresh flowers then remember that less can be more. A single flower submerged in a vase of water, a small spray of inexpensive flowers in an unusual vase, or a combination of wildflowers and branches can be more eye catching than a huge arrangement.
Use cascading runners with wooden tables so you don’t have to worry about tablecloths, tie ribbons on chairs instead of using seat covers, or buy yards of your own attractive fabrics for everything from covering tables to using as drapery for walls and ceilings.
Our Closing Thoughts
We don’t all have limitless funds available, in fact most of us have pretty small bank balances. But if you start planning long before your actual wedding then you will discover that there are hundreds of ways to save money on every aspect of your wedding – and you won’t have to compromise on an ounce of style, beauty or elegance!
Your wedding is one of the most important events of your entire life, and as we already said they can also be one of the most expensive! But if you’re careful about what you spend your money on, think outside of the box and use a little do it yourself creativity then you can have the perfect wedding you always dreamed of!