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How to Have a Wedding on a Budget
Having a Wedding on a Budget
While I am only just a newlywed and had to be very firm with my money, I feel I have some very useful tips that can be passed to other engaged couples looking to get a bang for their buck! Understand that some aspects of a wedding can't help but be expensive. My dress was around $700 and it was one of the most expensive aspects of my wedding! Here are some tips on having a beautiful wedding on a low budget.
Cutting Costs on a Wedding Venue
Wedding venues can be expensive. When I was looking for a venue for my wedding, I was blown away at what some places were charging. Here are some tips and tricks for cutting costs for a wedding venue.
- Limit the people coming to your wedding. I know it's hard. Trust me. I had to decrease my guest list from 200 people to 50. But, the smaller the guest list, the smaller the venue. That ultimately means less money spent.
- Have the wedding on an off season day/time. Having your wedding during the week instead of the weekend can decrease your cost by a lot (I'm talking about hundreds of dollars here!)
- Host your wedding in your church or community center. If you are affiliated with a church, most of the time they will let you use their church for cheap or free! Or, you can have your wedding at a community center for $500. They are usually willing to work with you too and some centers are perfect for weddings!
- Have your wedding in a park! Where I live, having your wedding in a park can be a great idea! Sometimes, the city will want you to purchase a license but then the park can be all yours! Use caution though because you will have to abide by the park rules.
- Reach out and find a backyard. If you can find a field that is owned by your friend or if your mom has a huge backyard (like our mom's did), you can usually talk your friend or family into letting you have your wedding there for free!
Cutting Costs on Rentals and Decorations
If your venue doesn't supply its own rentals, you'll have to go through a rental company. This can be very expensive! While I don't have a lot of tips for you here, I have some pretty good ones!
- If you are having an outdoor wedding, opt of the canopy and go for umbrella tables. Canopies may offer full shade in an area, but umbrellas can open up an outdoor space and are a lot cheaper! We saved almost $1000 by using umbrellas instead of canopies.
- Have your bridesmaids and groomsmen help set up. Instead of paying the rental company to set up and tear down for you, ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to help set up. It shouldn't take very long and you can even develop a system and make it go all the faster.
- Attend Bridal Shows and visit all the rental companies you can. This goes for any service you may need for your wedding! A lot of the time, vendors at Bridal Shows offer exclusive discounts for attendees only! I saved 25% off my whole rental purchase by attending one show!
- Join wedding groups on Facebook. Because wedding stuff can get expensive, getting used stuff is a great option! A lot of the time, brides will sell their decorations that were used for their wedding before their wedding is over. That way, the next bride can use it. Aside from getting cheap gently used items, this is another great place to find discount services.
Cutting Costs of Catering and Cake
Catering is another huge cost of a wedding. A lot of the time, catering companies get booked fast and cake is a huge wallet drainer!
- Do a giant takeout order. I was set on Thai food for my wedding. We went to Thai catering companies and they were asking $20 a person for food that I didn't want. We went to a Thai restaurant that my husband and I love and asked if they would do take out for our wedding. We got to pick what food we wanted and they only charged us $10 a person.
- Have a potluck. Especially if you are having an intimate wedding, asking your friends and family to bring something they love to celebrate your love can be awesome!
- Ask your baker for a Styrofoam cake! I didn't know about this until I was looking around for my wedding cake, but the baker can make a cake out of foam and cardboard and then just make a sheet cake to serve at your wedding! No one will know it isn't the real thing and who cares?! Cake is cake and cake is good!
Cutting Costs of Other Services
Having issues with other services like photography and music? Look here!
- Network. Do you know a friend who knows a friend who does something you need for your wedding? Ask them! Does your friend have amazing parties and always hires an amazing DJ? Ask your friend for that DJ's contact information! A lot of the time, services will offer discounts if you were referred!
- Use a laptop. If you truly cannot afford a DJ or a live band, use an MP3 player or a laptop to be your DJ! Have one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen be the MC and off you go!
Wedding planning can be hard and cutting corners can be harder! Remember, a lot of people say that they look back on their wedding day and wish they would have saved it for their honeymoon! Above all else, it doesn't matter that everything went perfect or that you got the most expensive things for your wedding. In the end, you are married to the love of your life and that's all that matters.