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Planning a Wedding With A Student Budget

Updated on January 30, 2012

Have a Beautiful Wedding with Limited Finances

After years of relationships and figuring out what you want in life, you have finally met your one true love and decided to get engaged, but now you realize you don’t have the funds necessary to have your dream wedding. There are many ways to have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank, and you would be surprised at the elegance you can have for very little cost. There are a variety of money saving ways to plan your wedding such as Do-It-Yourself planning, finding low cost wedding and reception sites and purchasing very cost effective formal wear. That being said, keep in mind what things you are not willing to compromise on while you are on your quest for a beautiful, inexpensive wedding.

Do-It-Yourself planning may be the most effective way to save money, and the biggest way to make sure you get exactly what you want. The most important thing is to stay organized and the easiest way to do that is to get a wedding planner book. These books have plenty of space to jot down ideas and many give you helpful tips and hints when planning your wedding while providing a starting point for the things you need and want to include in your plan for your perfect wedding day. Another important thing to have when planning your wedding sans wedding planner is a budget. Your budget should be feasible, between one to three months salary, and stick to it. Make sure your budget is realistic by window shopping and calling around for price quotes for goods and services you will require such as a ceremony or reception site.

Finding a good ceremony site is hard to do on any budget, however it becomes much simpler when you think outside of the box. If you want a traditional church wedding, using your personal parish maybe a good option as they usually provide a discount to members. If the religious aspect isn’t so important then you have a lot of room to play with. Try local civic locations, they often have beautiful architecture and are usually reasonably priced. For instance in Madison, Wisconsin, the state capitol is available for ceremonies free of cost, you must only apply for a permit. Keep in mind you will need to provide your own ceremony official and seating. Another option is local parks or public shelters and these are usually available through reservations. Another option might be the home of a friend or family member. Maybe Uncle Joe has a summer home on the lake or your friend Mike might have a pretty landscaped yard. Keep these ideas in mind when you are shopping around for different ceremony sites.

Finding a good reception site is probably one of the most difficult tasks to undertake. Depending on the size of your wedding, you might consider having it at a park shelter, or maybe someone you know works at a hotel and can reserve a banquet hall at a reduced price. Food is also a big consideration and you must decide between doing it yourself and hiring a caterer and this is probably one of the most important decisions you will make. Each decision has its pros and cons but a good decision method is actually writing a pros and cons list of each.

Bridal gowns and tuxedos are probably the most recognizable part of any wedding, and both are equally important on this big day. The key to finding an inexpensive gown is to consider non-traditional options, perhaps a bridesmaid gown that you personalize with appliques and beading or a gown from a consignment shop. Bridesmaids dresses have come a long way and they are infinitely more personalizable than a bridal gown in terms of color, style and length. A second hand dress is also an alternative to consider especially since you know it was only worn for one day and sometimes not even at all, and it comes with a sometimes surprising back story, which can become part of your own bridal history. Tuxedos are just as important, however as a necessary evil, sometimes this is an area where costs are cut the most. Renting a tuxedo is very inexpensive relative to many other wedding day costs, and many grooms will not have a need for a tuxedo in the future. Another option is to find discount warehouses or wholesalers, you may have to dig or check back several times but persistance pays off.

Now that some very good cost saving ideas have been laid before you, like Do-It-Yourself planning, budgeting, a variety of ceremony sites and reception ideas, as well as formal wear hints you can begin planning your wedding day a lot more efficiently and for less than you thought possible. In conclusion you can have a wedding of your dreams without spending your life savings as long as you learn how to be thrifty.


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    • DreKiss profile image

      Drea 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      That is a great idea. I wrote this as a paper for school when I was planning my wedding. I didn't end up getting married but I learned a lot and got an A.

    • profile image

      oldandwise 5 years ago

      Excellent advice. I also did a hub on wedding decorating on a budget using balloons. voted up!