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5 Tips for A Budget Dream Wedding

Updated on November 2, 2012
Don't break the bank with a wedding you can't afford!
Don't break the bank with a wedding you can't afford!

Many women who are about to get married have a dream wedding in mind. Some of these women have been planning out their dream weddings since they were very little girls. Others have recently attended the amazing weddings of their friends and have gotten ideas in their head at these events. Unfortunately, the dreams of little girls and envy of friends doesn’t take into account the very real budget that you’re probably working with as you start to plan out your own wedding. Does this mean that you have to give up your dream wedding altogether? Of course not. However, it does mean that you need to do some serious planning and make a few concessions so that your dream wedding doesn’t bury you in debt.

Here are five important tips for having a dream wedding on a budget:

1. Think do-it-yourself. One of the most important things that you can do if you want to keep the costs of your wedding down is to do a lot of the work yourself. Some of the things that you can do yourself include making your own wedding invitations, catering the event yourself, hosting the reception at your own home or a local park, designing your own wedding dress, making the decorations for the wedding yourself, picking your own flowers fresh from the garden instead of getting a florist to decorate the wedding and doing all wedding planning yourself instead of hiring a professional to do this for you. This is time-consuming so set a date far back on the calendar for the wedding. Break the work down in chunks. Enlist the help of your friends to assist in doing as much as possible. And make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle. If you’ve never made a dress before then it will probably cost you more to learn how to make a good wedding dress than to purchase one. DIY isn’t always cheaper. So do think do-it-yourself but compare DIY options with the cost of non-DIY options when planning your budget wedding.

2. Avoid hiring wedding specialists. You will certainly hire some people for the wedding rather than doing everything by yourself. When you do, avoid wedding specialists. Instead, select people who do the same type of work but who don’t necessarily specialize in weddings. For example, instead of getting a wedding photographer with twenty years of experience in photographing weddings, you might get a general event photographer. As long as he has a good portfolio and you like his work, this general event photographer can do just as good as a wedding photographer and will charge you a lot less since he’s not a specialist. Caterers, DJs and florists are other general people that you can hire instead of looking at specialists in these areas who have done a lot of weddings specifically.

3. Review what it really means to you to have a dream wedding. We get a lot of ideas in our heads about what we want to make a wedding perfect. Some of these are those old little girl fantasies that we’ve had forever. Other as based on more transient trends that get into our heads as we read bridal magazines. Make sure that you take the time to sit down and get in touch with yourself before you plan out your dream wedding. Ask yourself what is really important to you about this wedding. Maybe having your wedding in a dream destination is important to you but having the “perfect” wedding dress is not. Or maybe you want a great tasty meal at your reception but don’t care if the right flowers are there. Create the wedding that really is your dream wedding and you’ll be able to easily see less important areas where you can cut costs.

4. Set a budget and save up for the wedding. As you begin to look at the different costs involves in having your dream wedding, you’ll get a good idea of approximately how much money you are going to need to spend on the event. Create a budget based on these estimations before you actually start making any purchases. You want to make your wedding finances work out on paper before you start to actually buy anything so that you can keep to the budget that is going to work for you. You also want to make sure that you save up for the wedding rather than putting the costs on a credit card. Paying interest charges on a wedding is not a good financial move for the start of your marriage!

5. Take your time. It cannot be stressed enough that you should have a long engagement period when planning a dream wedding on a budget. This will give you the time that you need to save up to pay cash for the wedding. It will also give you plenty of time to shop around to get the lowest prices and to do the DIY work that you need to do to have your dream wedding for an affordable price.

Your dream wedding can happen. You just need to think it through. You need to be flexible about exactly what it means to have a dream wedding and what aspects of the wedding you are willing to compromise on. You have to be smart about your finances and willing to budget for your wedding. Do those things and your special day won’t break the bank.

More Great Frugal Wedding Advice


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  • GDiBiase profile image

    GDiBiase 6 years ago from Portland, ME

    Great economic advice.I had a beach wedding, the wedding party still wore formal,I made silk kissing balls for our flowers, guests were encouraged to dress for beach and we had it catered by Paneras with Box lunches. It was a fabulous. Budget friendly is very do able you just have to be creative.

  • Ashantina profile image

    Ashantina 6 years ago

    I'm planning on getting hitched in my bikini on a hot sandy beach..

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Kathryn, excellent tips. All of them definately doable. In this day and age most people can't afford their original dram of their perfect wedding. All they really need to do is tone down the must haves and do the work themselve. Great job.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    You can have a wonderful day without spending the earth. Great, helpful hub.

  • Nan Mynatt profile image

    Nan Mynatt 7 years ago from Illinois

    KV. I was married in Las Vegas at a fraction of the cost of a real wedding. We had a honeymoon there after the marriage. I wore a white suit with a pink Camesol.