Planning a Wedding on a Budget Guide

Weddings cost thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. Often the couple is expected to foot the bill for these elaborate and expensive affairs, but as a young couple just starting out, playing for a wedding is a huge stretch.

Even couples on a tiny budget can still have a wedding, and not go into debt. Planning a wedding a budget means thinking about what's most important and making cuts when at all possible. It also means doing much of the work yourself.

The first step to planning a wedding on a budget is to of course decide on your budget. It might seem like common sense, but take an afternoon to sit down and come up with how much you can realistically save before your wedding. Set back an amount each month or paycheck for your wedding to build a wedding savings. 

Make decorations yourself to save money.
Make decorations yourself to save money. | Source

Make a List

Now that you know how much you can spend, rather it be $1000, $10,000 or $100,000, sit down and make a list of what's most important to you and your fiance and what you could live without. Are you not a cake person? Plan on getting a smaller, inexpensive cake that's made by a family or friend to save money. But, if you must have good photos from the day, plan on spending more money on a good photographer. 

Rank what's most important so you know what you can't sacrifice. Make the list as a couple so both of you are on the same page. 

Also plan out basic details. Having a wedding not around a meal time will save you from being forced to make an elaborate mail, instead you can just serve desert or appetizers planning on the time. 

The fastest and easiest way to cut your wedding budget is to cut your guest list. Each person you cut from the guest list will save you exponentially. Decide together how big to make your guest list. 

Cut Down on Big Ticket Items

Some items eat up a huge chunk of your wedding budget. Look at these things to see if you can cut back or do some of the work at home to lower your wedding budget.

Wedding dress

Intricate homesewn wedding gowns can cost thousands of dollars. Look for sales and clearance mark downs. Also look for outlet shops. Make sure to shop around. The same gown at different retailers can cost more or less depending on the shop.


This is another big ticket item that can cost thousands of dollars to get a qualified photographer. Look for budget photographers that do decent work or try to find a student or someone just starting out to take photos.


Again, these can be quite pricey. Think about making them yourself. Even if you aren't crafty, chances are you have a crafty friend that can help you come up with ideas, or you can get an at home printing kit to make them at home.


As mentioned above, don't serve a full meal to save on wedding costs. Other ways to cut the reception costs is to hold the wedding on off peak times and dates. June and September are huge for weddings, so consider having an October or May wedding. Also, if you host the wedding on a non-traditional day like Friday or Sunday, you could save thousands of dollars. 


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