Photo Credit: Richard Prenger
Getting married on a budget? No problem! You can absolutely have that stylish/fun/meaningful wedding you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you plan the wedding of your dreams while sticking to that oh-so-important budget.
Prioritize! Identify the absolute must-haves of your wedding such as magazine-worthy photos or a large guest list, and then compromise on the less important items. Being flexible on these less significant items will make the important ones more possible within your budget. But don’t cross those other details you love off the list too fast – you may just have to approach them with some creativity to be able to include them within your budget!
Set a Budget. Having a budget will make sure that both of you are on the same page money-wise and will make some of those big decisions easier. No matter how much you love that gorgeous historic mansion, if it is over budget, you know immediately to cross it off the list. A concrete number also helps in prioritizing. You’ll be more aware of how much you can spend on those wedding elements that are the most important to you and then where you need to stretch those wedding dollars.
Be unique: You’ve heard it before, but it is still true that booking a wedding in an off-time or off-season will save you oodles of money. Still want to get married on a weekend? Consider Sunday! Your friends and family won’t have to take off work, and this could save you hundreds on your venue alone. And venues are not the only aspect you’ll save on! Many vendors, from photographers to florists to DJs will give you a discount for a non-Saturday wedding since it means they can book more than one wedding in a week. Those savings could add up fast!
Consider the whole package: Make sure to look at the entire package when you are comparing vendors. Understanding exactly what each package contains will let you easily compare each vendor and will help you to make an informed decision to maximize your budget. If Photographer A is $150 more than Photographer B, for example, but includes rights to the photos, that may end up saving you significantly more than $150 in photo printing costs. Look closely at package details and, if necessary, negotiate what is included- this will help you stretch your budget even further and ensure you are only paying for what you need.
By using coupons and stocking up on deals when they were available, I created these out of town bags for less than $1 each- a complete steal!
Stock up when you can: Take advantage of sales on everything! From cardstock for table numbers to tea lights for centerpieces to bottles of water for out of town bags, stocking up on items that are on sale will help you cut down on costs tremendously. Back to school sales, for example, are the perfect time to score paper for free (or almost free) for projects like programs, while after Halloween sales are great for stocking up on cheap candy for your candy buffet. Knowing in advance what supplies and items you’ll need and then grabbing them when they are on sale will help you save big time!
Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of family members, friends, and the wedding party! Match tasks up with the skills and the things that family and friends like to do. Have a woodworking father? Ask him to help build the pergola you’ve been dreaming of. Have a grandma that loves canning? See if she can lead an effort to make jam for your favors. Accepting the help of others is a great way to save on wedding expenses, involve your loved ones in your special day, and make elements of your wedding even more personal.
Use coupons! Like in so many areas of life, coupons can be a huge money-saver in wedding planning! You may be surprised how often coupons can come up in purchasing elements for your wedding. Weekly craft store coupons, for example, can be used to save 40% off DIY invitation kits or place cards, while an extra coupon code at a department store could help you score lanterns or candles at an amazing price. Combine coupons with sales to get an even bigger bang for your buck.
These chalkboard vases made from recycled bottles would make perfect wedding details - for just $2.50 each!
Think outside the box. Being creative in all aspects of wedding planning can have a huge impact on keeping your wedding costs down. Approach both major aspects like selecting a venue as well as smaller details like choosing centerpieces with a creative perspective. Your creativity could be something as simple as spray painting the vases you found for $0.50 at a yard sale or as complex as hand assembling your own candelabra to establish the same romantic atmosphere you saw in a photo shoot. Thinking creatively will not only allow you to save money by bypassing pricey wedding products, it will also put your own mark on all elements of your day- making it distinctively yours!
And over everything else—Enjoy it! This is always my last tip because it is the most important!!! Have fun planning and enjoy this very special time in your life! Congratulations on your wedding!
Check out Belles on a Budget for more tips and ideas for planning a budget-friendly wedding!