A wedding can be an extravagant affair or it can be a low-key budget event. While the average cost of a wedding hits the mid-five figure mark ($33,391 to be exact!), this price point isn’t necessarily indicative of the status quo. Some couples simply cannot afford to spend tens of thousands on their nuptials, but others opt to use the money for a down-payment on a home or to pay their school loans.
Budget weddings are not only feasible, but they also are amazingly beautiful. Because it’s not how much you spend but how you manage the details. A hand-crafted bouquet can look as artistic as one designed by a pro. And a thrifted wedding gown may bear the same high-end designer name as a dress purchased in a boutique.
Planning a budget wedding takes compromise and a keen attention to detail. When the dollars matter most, and the budget is tight, you need to fully understand how and when you wish to invest your money.
If your financial bottom line is limited and you need to plan your nuptials on a dime, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Know the exact dollar amount you can spend.
Every couple should set a budget for their event, but if your bank account is extra limited, then you really need to know your parameters. Sit down and decide exactly how much you can spend on the event. When you know how much you can spend, then you can decide how to allocate the budget.
2. Limit the number of guests.
When the budget is small, the guest list cannot be a mile long. You’ll want to funnel out the family and friends who are most important to you and set limits on the guest list so there aren’t any hurt feelings. You can limit the list to immediate family and close friends or maybe you just want parents and siblings. Decide on your limitations, and then structure the list accordingly.
3. Opt for DIY when possible.
Some aspects of the wedding can be easy to DIY. Arranging your wedding flowers is both achievable and cost-effective. Make your own centerpieces using simple glass jars or fun mix and match vases. FiftyFlowers.com offers affordable packs like their Make Your Own Flower Centerpieces Combo Box, which includes a combination of focal, filler, and greenery to create your floral arrangements. Another cost-effective idea would be to bring your own food. If a family member is a great cook, maybe they can help cater the event. You may have a friend who can bake your wedding cake or play DJ at the reception.
4. Pick your petals with precision!
Flowers can be an expensive part of the wedding. To keep costs down, choose seasonal blooms. Instead of big bouquets, you can choose to have bridesmaids carry a single flower tied with a ribbon. Small dainty nosegay bouquets also can be designed at budget prices.
5. Invest where it matters most.
How you choose to ‘invest’ your budget is a personal decision. Some couples value photography, others want their food to be top-notch. Discuss what areas you demand quality, and then research vendors who fit your budget and your style.
6. Head to the backyard…or a park.
Need a budget-friendly reception locale? Opt for a backyard reception or research local parks that offer pavilion rentals. An outdoor reception requires little decor!
7. Host the event on an ‘off’ day.
Saturday weddings are most popular. Want to lower your cost significantly? Opt for a Monday or another weekday. Some venues may also offer lower prices for Sunday events. Just understand that weekday weddings may limit attendance, but this also could be beneficial for your budget as well.
For the ultimate in budget-friendly, exchange vows in the courthouse. You’ll still need witnesses and a marriage license, though! After the event, plan a party for close friends and family.
While the average wedding costs more than $30K, a wedding doesn’t have to be high-dollar for a meaningful affair. Weddings and receptions can be tailored to fit any budget, but you may have to be willing to do your research and perhaps even smell (and arrange!) the roses. Set your budget and then figure out the areas where you wish to invest and what aspects you can DIY. With planning and careful budgeting, you can plan a low-cost wedding of your dreams!
Gwen Lewis is a writer and makeup artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great. She has a secret passion for everything wedding and pet related! When she is not relaxing at the beach, you can find her browsing health stores for hours.