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Budget Friendly Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Updated on April 6, 2015
linfcor profile image

Online wedding planner for over 10 years. My goal has been to show everyone the best way to plan their wedding without breaking the bank !

Best Tips For An Affordable Wedding Ceremony

The cost of wedding ceremonies is getting out of hand. With weddings costing between $25,000 and $50,000, it's no wonder that couples ready to tie the knot are looking for places to cut costs. You can have a delightful ceremony without the cost of it breaking your wedding budget. Here are some great ideas for you to consider.

Your wedding ceremony may take only 30 minutes, but it is a very important 30 minutes of your life. You will want it to be memorable and reflect your theme. It can be done without breaking your budget.

The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again - and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.

— Barbara Angelis

Wedding Ceremony Option 1

Have Your Wedding Ceremony At The Same Venue As Your Reception

If you can plan it this way, the best way to save money on your wedding ceremony is to plan both the ceremony and the reception at the same venue. This may not be the right answer for everyone. If you feel that your ceremony must be held at a church, temple or other religious institution, then this tip is not for you.

But for those folks who can, generally speaking, you will save a lot of money using one venue for both elements of your wedding. Usually the venue will give you a discount on an area where you can have a ceremony. And having the ceremony at the same location as your reception, means that you can eliminate the cost of limosines. That alone is worth some thought.

To top those savings, if you plan your wedding on the right day at the right time of year, you will even save more money ! Typically, weddings occur on a weekend, but that does not have to be the case at all. You will pay top dollar on a wedding on a Friday or Saturday night. But I guarantee, if you have a wedding on a Thursday evening or a Sunday afternoon, your cost will be less.

If you plan your wedding on off peak seasons, you will also pay less for the combo wedding

Wedding Ceremony Option 2

have Your Wedding At A Local Park, Beach or Garden

Often you can expect quite a few expenses to have your ceremony at a church or temple. There will be expenses for the church rental, an organist, a clean up fee, the charge for the priest or rabbi, ect. Check out your local area and see if there are less costly alternatives. One might be a local park that may already have seasonal flowers planted. Another may be a garden that is available for wedding ceremonies. We have one in our county that is run by a local garden club and a garden wedding would be perfect at this locale. Another option might be a beach wedding. All you might need is a decorated arch and some chairs. Consider being married under a spread of oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from it's branches. Look at where you live and think about options that might work for you.

Print Your Programs On Your Computer. It is so easy and saves you a lot of money. Most people only read it once before the ceremony. There are so many pretty printed papers to use. And you can really get creative with this process.

Wedding Program Options - You Can Print Them Off Your Own Computer

Print It Yourself

Almost anything can be printed these days. You can save hundreds by printing your invitations, response cards, programs, place cards and thank you cards. You can purchase kits for each of these programs. There are also internet "freebies that you can use to get these tasks done. For the cost of a kit or some paper, you can save a huge amount of money doing the printing yourself

Outside of family,no one keeps those invitations, so I say, if you want to keep your wedding budget in line, print them yourself

Wedding Option 3- Have Your Ceremony At Home

Home weddings can save a lot of money but will only work if you want to limit your guest list to the size that your space will allow. You have to think about the hidden costs built into this idea, especially if you plan to have your reception at the same location. There will be costs for tents, tables and chairs, dinnerware , ect. However, you won't be spending money to rent a space. So you need to use a balance sheet to figure out if you will actually spending less. For a smaller wedding, it is a great alternative

Have Your Wedding Near A Holiday .Often times a ceremony site will already be decorated and it will save you a lot of time and money

Wedding Accessory Sets - Save Money With Themed Wedding Ceremony Sets

Always buy your wedding accessories in sets. You get complete matching items and the best prices on each item. You will save money over purchases of these seperately

Have your ceremony in a garden or a naturally beautiful garden setting. Often for a very low fee, your garden club may have a site that can be used. Think of a local area, like a beach, a mountain setting or a home garden setting

Save Money On Your Wedding Ceremony Flowers

Flowers for your wedding can be one of the most costly lines on your budget. But there are ways to have a pretty ceremony site without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions

  • Use silk flowers instead of real ones While you may not like the look of silk, you can make all kinds of flower arrangements for altars and other parts of the venue at a fraction of the cost of real flowers. If you know the date of your wedding, and it is at least 6 months away or longer, you can score silk flowers at bargain prices. Simply check out your local craft store. Really good buys occur right at the end of a season. So you could buy summer flowers in August, spring flowers in the summer months, ect. Buying these off season really helps. You can also check for coupons and sales. I saved a lot on money two years ago buying everything at sale prices.
  • Check with your local supermarket and discount store Most of these locations have floral departments that will do arrangements a lot more reasonably than a florist will. Or you can buy bulk flowers from them and place them in your own vases.
  • Arrange for the flower offering for that week to be in honor of your wedding If your church has the option of placing flowers for the Sunday service, then try to get that week in honor of your wedding. The prices for those bouquets will be less than if you ordered them for a wedding.
  • Use plants instead of flower arrangements They will be more reasonable and you will be able to make a wedding garden at your new home
  • Consider a smaller more intimate bridal party The less people in your bridal party, the less the cost for flowers

Omit flowers all together at the ceremony. Have a real candlelight wedding. Decorate with groups of candles rather than flowers. Candles are much more reasonably priced and the look of this type of ceremony is stunning. If your venue does not allow candles, consider flameless or LED candles. You will be able to use them in your home afterwards

Wedding Ceremony Music

Save Some Serious Money

So music is always part of any wedding ceremony, but can also be a costly part of it. There are ways to save significant dollars and still have the ceremony you want.

If you are having your ceremony at the same venue as the reception, ask your DJ if he can also do the ceremony. Most of them will accommodate you at a fraction of the cost of other music options.

Tap into a family friend or family member if they have musical talents. They may be able to do a solo or play an instrument. We had our granddaughter record a solo on the piano that was played during our sand ceremony. It meant a lot to us.

If you want some extra music, check with your local college or community college. They often have lists of students who play at weddings.

Finally, skip the four people quartet and opt for a single musical instrament

Borrow It And Save Money

They say "something borrowed, something blue" . That saying about borrowing can save you lots of money. Borrowed items can be anything from a wedding dress or veil to centerpieces. You can "borrow" themed pieces such as d├ęcor items to make your wedding look more themed. Borrow a cake knife, a cake plate to raise your centerpieces. You can save a great deal of money with anything borrowed

Wedding Music Options

If you would are planning an outdoor ceremony, are having a DJ do your ceremony music, or are playing music at your church or temple, these are terrific options for your ceremony. They are far more reasonably priced than having live music and are all traditional additions to your ceremony

Cut The Cost Of Your Photographer

With the advent of digital photography, you can save a lot of money on the cost of your wedding pictures. Instead of contracting for a full blown "bridal package" costing thousands, you can have the pictures taken by a professional photographer. These pictures can be loaded on a CD by the photographer which you purchase. The best thing about these pictures is that you own the rights of the pictures, which means that you can have as many printed as you want. You can also send them anywhere or publish them on a website. I did this for my 2011 wedding. I had excellent pictures that I can use anytime that I want

Make It Yourself

That is the hottest trend in weddings ! DIY weddings are a wonderful way to save lots of money on the cost of your wedding. You can make your own favors, centerpieces and so much more. The web is full of wonderful places where you can find resources to make almost anything that your mind can imagine. Something Turquoise has terrific tutorials for you to whet your appetite on. The Knot DIY Weddings and Martha Stewart Weddings are some of the best. Your guests will be thrilled over those unique touches that you make yourself.

Where To Shop For Wedding Supplies

When I did my wedding in 2011, one of the things that I did to save money was to find the places where I could get what I needed for the best prices. The first thing I suggest is that you sign up at the box craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joann's. Almost weekly you are going to get information about what's on sale. And you will get those more than terrific coupons that will in the end save you a tremendous amount of cash. Most of the sites on these stores have wedding DIY too. While you are there, check out their policy on using coupons from other stores. Often they will allow you to use other stores coupons.

Don't miss out on savings from the dollar stores. I bought the vases for my center pieces for $1.00 a piece. I also bought the little bubble containers and I decorated them myself. Each box of 12 was $1.00. You can find real treasures at dollar stores.

Check out your local thrift shops ! You cannot imagine the treasures you will find there. Often you can get candles, lace, cake plates, baskets, frames and more for cents on the dollar,.

How have you saved money on your wedding? - Tell Us All About It

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Decorate with framed photos of the bride and groom growing up. Time your reception so guests won't be expecting a major meal. Limit alcohol or make it cash bar. Rather than providing a buffet or sit down, consider a variety of upscale boxed lunches.