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Wedding Planning on a Budget | Wedding Budget Etiquette

Updated on July 24, 2009
You don't have to give all your money away to have a great wedding
You don't have to give all your money away to have a great wedding

Saving Money Without Sacrificing Quality

There's no denying that today's weddings are expensive. But they don't have to be, if you stick with your wedding budget. Truth be told, you can have a great, inexpensive wedding without sacrificing quality.

Read on to learn tips on how to have a great wedding for a great price without breaking any wedding budget rules. Oh and join me on Twitter where I tweet on all things wedding.

Common Thinking

Many engaged couples today really want to have a wedding that doesn't break the bank. And considering the fact that the average wedding cost is over $20,000, this trend might be here to stay.

However, the common thought is that a cheap wedding equals a bland wedding. Supposedly if you sacrifice on wedding costs, you will end up not having a great wedding, people won't enjoy themselves and the overall feeling of the wedding will be "cheap".

Fortunately for you, those ideas are wrong- you really can have a great wedding without spending too much.

Take a look at the following articles for some great ideas on how to create a wedding budget and save money on your wedding. Also, don't forget to read about wedding budget etiquette below.

Wedding Budget Etiquette

If you want to have a wedding that is cost effective, you will naturally have to adopt an effective wedding budget. But how can this be done carefully and without stepping on anyone's toes? Take a look at the tips below to create a wedding budget without breaking wedding etiquette rules.

Communicate often with those involved in your wedding budget
Communicate often with those involved in your wedding budget

Wedding Budget Rule #1: Keep communication levels high

When creating a wedding budget, you have to make sure you discuss your ideas frequently with your future spouse. This will help you further bond with your fiancee and will lay the groundwork for a healthy marriage.

It is also a good idea to regularly talk with those family members who will be contributing financially to your wedding. It would be quite rude if you received a lump sum of $12,000 from the mother of the bride and later decide your want to only spend $7,500 on the wedding. It's tacky and family might be insulted, so keep communication lines open.

Wedding Budget Rule #2: Be honest with your total budget and try to not exceed it

Although it's a good idea to add 10% to your total wedding budget to cover unexpected costs, try to not exceed your wedding budget. If you do exceed your budget, financially contributing family members might be let down that their monetary contribution, "wasn't enough". Plus, setting a budget and sticking with it is a good habit to have throughout life.

Don't ask for handouts at your wedding
Don't ask for handouts at your wedding

Wedding Budget Rule #3: Never ask for money for your wedding

This is similar to panhandling, and is just plain tacky. Rather than ask for extra money to help with your wedding, adjust your budget so that you don't over-spend.

Wedding Budget Rule #4: Fully disclose previous debt with your future spouse

Your relationship will be much better if you share with your future spouse all the debt you're bringing to the relationship before the wedding. So instead of telling your husband about your $40,000 credit card debt after you get married, be upfront and tell him about it now. It might have an impact on your wedding budget, but more importantly it will foster closeness and communication in your friendship.

Don't skimp on tips
Don't skimp on tips

Wedding Budget Rule #5: Don't skimp on etiquette necessities

If you want to have a wedding on a shoestring budget, great! But don't cause others to suffer because of your decision. Don't decrease vendor tips and don't buy cheap wedding party gifts. Do your best to communicate to your wedding party that you love them and are thankful for their friendship. Giving them a cheap gift (or no gift) doesn't help this effort.

Similarly, communicate to vendors that you're thankful for their help. If you don't want to have to tip them, simply don't hire them.

Wedding Budget Rule #6: Don't attempt to get money from guests or solicit for wedding sponsors

A cash bar at a wedding is like an open hand asking for money from your guests. Don't force them to feel guilty for eating the food and drinks you offered to them.

Also, having a sponsor for any part of your wedding is equally as tacky. Having brand names plastered in speeches and printed on products used in the wedding only detracts from the main event- YOU. Stick with proper wedding etiquette rules and avoid wedding sponsors.

Using these basic wedding budget etiquette rules you will be setup to have a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank and without stepping on anyone's toes.

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You can still have a great wedding reception with beautiful table decorations and stay under budgetJust like you wouldn't buy a fake engagement ring and rose for your significant other, don't skimp on wedding party gifts
You can still have a great wedding reception with beautiful table decorations and stay under budget
You can still have a great wedding reception with beautiful table decorations and stay under budget
Just like you wouldn't buy a fake engagement ring and rose for your significant other, don't skimp on wedding party gifts
Just like you wouldn't buy a fake engagement ring and rose for your significant other, don't skimp on wedding party gifts


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    • eventsyoudesign profile image


      7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Good article. Glad I found you. I hope you will check out my pages. I will certainly read more of yours. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Leslie I'm glad you found it helpful! Thanks for commenting and congratulations on your recent engagement.

    • profile image

      Leslie Wu - Wedding Planning 

      8 years ago

      Really helpful article about wedding planning. We are planning our wedding since my fiance proposed to me last December. This was very helpful thanks so much.

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub.There are a lot of ways to make a wedding memorable without spending too much.

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Angela, some great wedding deals can be found online, especially with coupons. Thanks for the insight!

    • couponalbum profile image


      8 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

      Nice hub WeddingConsultant. But I think you must add online shopping to your list. Shopping online with online coupons can really help to save a lots of money. I do have many hubs on online shopping, if someone is interested. Overall, nice tips and joining your fanclub for more nice hubs. I would also like you to join me and share some comments.

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Stay strong Tori, stay strong! When you get engaged, don't fall to all the extra costs- stay on budget :)

    • Tori Maltby profile image

      Tori Maltby 

      8 years ago

      Great Hub. Having planned many events in my day I have been horrified to see the areas where money is wasted. And in the process of planning my own wedding I vow to myself not to be caught up in the same things. Like a couple hundred dollars for a cake just because it has the word "wedding" in front of it! But who knows, I will probably get wedding fever and blow the budget out of the water!

    • OliviaT profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Good Ideas. Now i just need to share with my sister and get here to follow some of this stuff.

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Good thoughts Ann- it's important to know what the motives of the videographer are. Thanks for adding your input.

    • Ann Rountre profile image

      Ann Rountre 

      8 years ago

      Awesome hub! You have posted a lot of useful information. I own a premier video production company in Missouri and we do commercial video along with wedding videography. It truly breaks my heart to hear of competitors that try to up sell budget conscious couples on their video wedding package. If your readers are thinking about using a professional videographer, they really need to be wary of companies or individual videographers that are just in it for the money. The couple will probably have a good idea if this is the case after contacting the video production company. They just need to make sure that the videographer wants to make there day special and give them exactly what they are looking for.

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Suiiki, you're right about the wedding dresses. I'm in awe of how many thousands of dollars some brides shell out for a dress that will be worn once. I understand that it's a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment, but you make a very valid point- why not by a dress that has a style that's a few years "old"?

    • Suiiki profile image


      9 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

      Great hub, I think I might fan you :) My spouse and I got married in a small civil ceremony, and we are planning on having a "wedding" in a couple of years for the experience, as well as for our families, since we couldn't afford it the first time. (The only reason we didn't wait flat out was because I needed it for my residency paperwork)

      I'll definitely be keeping your advice in mind. One thing that I want to mention, is that when buying a dress, try out local dress shops first. A friend of mine bought her wedding dress at a small local shop, and she spent about $250 US on it. If she had gone to a large Boutique, a similar dress would have cost her a thousand dollars or more. Also you can get some great deals on wedding dresses designed in previous years if you absolutely MUST have a boutique dress. I'm currently dreaming of a beautiful one from David's Bridal which is a 5 year old design, but is still absolutely gorgeous and looks just like the dress I designed when I was a little girl. It costs about $400 US.

    • Info Provider profile image

      Info Provider 

      9 years ago from St. Louis Mo.

      this hub provides a lot of good info

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Well thanks for swinging by and dropping a comment mauiel. And a great first comment, at that! An Ipod instead of a DJ is a great way to save money, thanks for the suggestion.

      Welcome to hubpages!

    • mauiel profile image


      9 years ago

      Aloha Wedding Consultant,

      Great tips!

      I'm a wedding planner, too. And I sure as heck don't want one of my couples to end up in bankruptcy court before the top layer of their cake gets freezer burn!

      One way I help couples save money is by having them bring an Ipod to Maui and then just rent the speakers. That alone saves about $700 compared with hiring a DJ.

      As far as vow renewals go, I'd say just about anything goes... The etiquette is so much looser you can do, or not do, about anything you want.

      By the way, I'm a barely hatched hubpuppy. Just hubbed for the firs time and this is my first comment on any hub.

      But cheers! It's nice to see another professional who truly cares about the people first.

      Peace, sunsets and aloha from Maui!

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Elynjo that's Fantastic! Could be the topic of a great future hub, thanks for the idea!

      Any budget tips for vow renewal ceremonies? I'd love to hear them.

    • Elynjo profile image


      9 years ago from Sin City

      My husband and I are thinking of renewing our wedding vows, in three years time. It won't be as expensive and as grand as the first one, but we are already saving for it little by little.

    • WeddingConsultant profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      @ladyvenus- Ok, you've got the easy part done (wedding ideas squared away). Now for the hard part (roping a suitable groom)! Good luck.

      @Jerseygirl- I loved the examples! Looks like you did a great job getting some great gifts for the wedding party...even someone you did't have much in common with. You win the award for most considerate bride.

    • JerseyGirl profile image


      9 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Great Hub! Thanks for sharing. You point out a lot of tips for those brides and grooms to be. Let me share - I lived this nightmare! While I did not want to spend the extra $$$ for an open bar ($10. bucks more per person), nor spend the $$$ on wedding attendants gifts - I did anyway!

      Wheh! Best thing that I could have done!

      Uncle Mike (No, I don't even remember who he is; brother of one of my Aunts, who is a sister to someone else...) He headed up to the bar early in the day. He ordered a Vodka and Tonic, & the bartender served him quickly and did not ask for $$$. Uncle Mike was pleasantly suprised and left a $5. tip.

      As for my wedding attendants - I first thought that a "staple" gift (for each of them across the board) would suffice. (A picture frame, a candle holder, maybe even a pen and pencil set.) No! Stopped myself in my tracks. Each person received a personalized gift. All to which they would remember the day, and receive a gift (for their giving), that they could use &/or cherish.

      Example: Sister in law, lives out of state, never really knew her well, but hubbie chose her to be in the wedding party. She loves cats. She has 6 cats. I HATE cats. What do we have in common? Not much.

      I ordered her a "personalized" desk set of writing paper, sticky note pads, and pens with her name on it. Also, her name is Kathy - so had the "holder" personalized further: "Kat, thanks for a great time & being on my side - certainly you know how to take care of your Cats!, Hugs much, we love you." ..... XX and XX -

      Works for me!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for this nice hub. I already have idea's about wedding reading your hub but the problem is I have not find my groom yet. Wink*


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