Many people have dreamed of their wedding day before they even met their spouse. They had an idea in their mind of what it would be like, what they would wear, what would be served, and who would be there. Now that you’re engaged, you may, like many, have an idea of what your dream wedding will be like, but you might feel restricted and like it won’t be what you want because of your budget.
Although budgets may require certain sacrifices, they don’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. Even if you’re restricted to a certain budget, there are some things you can do to cut back on spending and stay within your budget without having to have a courthouse ceremony.
Create a Budget
If you have to plan a wedding on a budget, you need to know what your budget is. You and your fiancé should sit down, discuss how much money you can put towards your wedding. Then, you should discuss what you have to/want to have, and the things you’re willing to be flexible on or can do without. This will give you a good foundation to build off of as you move forward with planning your wedding and start incurring expenses.
If you don’t want to make a budget on paper or create one on your own, you can use a free budgeting software like Quickbook’s Mint. You can also easily find a guide online to help you budget out your wedding and get a good idea of where you’ll land.
Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Your Dress Online
Purchasing clothing online can be scary—you never know what you’ll get, if it will look how it’s supposed to, or what it will be made out of. That makes it even scarier to drop hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a wedding dress that you purchase online, not sure if it will be everything you hoped. Luckily, there are trusted retailers you can purchase from who will even show you real photos of real customers in the dresses that they sell, making it easier to find a dress online, save money, and have the perfect look for your wedding day.
Ditch the Caterer
Caterers can be an expensive part of the wedding day, so if you’re not dead set on a specific dish prepared by a specific caterer, leaving a caterer out of the budget is a great way to save. Instead, you can ask family and friends to help you with refreshments—and remember, there’s no rule that says you have to serve guests dinner, you can serve dessert. You could have family members bake a few dozen of their favorite cookies, then serve milk as the refreshments for your big day. Or, you could serve cheesecake from Costco with fresh fruit on the side.
There are a lot of refreshment options that you and your family and friends can put together on your own, saving money and keeping you in the budget.
Opt for an Alternative to Cake
As beautiful as a towering wedding cake is, it can also be expensive. And let’s be honest, neither the bride and groom nor the guests get the chance to enjoy it before the night is over. Instead, you might want to consider an alternative like a cupcake tower, mini cakes for the bride and groom only, or large sheet cakes that everyone can enjoy. Those kinds of alternatives are much more affordable and easier to serve without requiring someone watch over and assist.
Enjoy a Honeymoon Close to Home
After all the stress that comes with planning a wedding, newlywed couples deserve a getaway. A trip to the Bahamas or a tour of Europe can be out of the question, though, when you’re operating on a budget. As great as traveling abroad can be, there are a lot of hidden gems close to home. Instead of paying the price to travel far and wide, try visiting places you’ve never been in your state or nearby states. You’ll save a lot of money, stay in budget, and still get quality time with your new spouse.
Be Flexible on the Venue
Venues can be one of the priciest parts of a wedding. As beautiful as a grand ballroom may be, you might find that a local park or church is just as lovely and doesn’t cost nearly as much. If you’re getting married in the summer, you may want to consider a good friend’s perfectly landscaped backyard, or you might be interested in reserving a campsite up the mountain where mother nature provides the decorations. There are a lot of cheap or free wedding venues to consider that can help you stay on budget.
Keep Drinks Simple
Another high-cost wedding item is drinking. While weddings are everyone’s favorite place to get a little tipsy, the alcohol alone could cost you your entire budget or more. Instead of offering an open bar, you could keep drinks limited to one or two classic (and affordable) options. Or, if you’re not too worried about serving alcohol, you could serve only water and soft drinks and adopt a bring your own booze (BYOB) policy—that way, guests will get what they want, but it won’t come out of your budget.
What’s the biggest way you’re saving money on your wedding?