Weddings, the most joyous time of your life, can quickly become a nightmare for your finances if you are not careful. Creating a budget early on, and sticking to it can be the key to success. Here are some tips to having a wedding on a budget.
- Book your venders early! The closer your wedding date is, the higher prices skyrocket.
- Consider booking your ceremony on a day other than Saturday. Weddings on Sundays, Fridays, or any week day tend to be significantly cheaper.
- Save money on an expensive wedding cake by having your baker do sheet cake for your guests. You can still have a small display cake, or even a big one with fake layers. Guests won’t be able to tell the difference once the cake is cut, and sheet cakes are much cheaper than big fancy wedding cake.
- Try to keep the guest list small. The more guests you have, the more your expenses will be.
- Have a buffet style reception instead of the classic sit-down dinner. This especially will come in handy if that guest list did get a little out of hand. The price per head for a buffet is often incomparable to the steep price of traditional served dinners.
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- Choose flowers that are in season. Many brides are surprised by how expensive floral arrangements can be. One way to cut costs greatly in your bouquets and arrangements is to only choose flowers that are in season during your wedding month.
- For those whose bridesmaids are also on a budget, consider ordering dresses online. I know it can be scary, but there are many great websites with easy return policies and good quality dresses. (A personal favorite: com) You don’t have to make your bridesmaids spend hundreds of dollars that you wouldn’t want to spend yourself.
- DIY!!! Many things in wedding planning can be done yourself, but specifically consider doing centerpieces and table decorations on your own. When having them done professionally, this can become one of your steeper expenses. Hit up Michaels and Sam’s for good deals. Unleash your inner designer.
- Re-use decor from your wedding rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony at your reception. Decor such as flowers and signs can be used for more than one location.
- Keep costs of Save the Dates and Invites low. Many get trashed (sorry to be the one to say it!) and so much money can be wasted. Find websites with coupons, deals and reasonable prices. (Vista Print and Snapfish are a couple options.) Maybe you can consider skipping Save the Dates and just sharing your date early with close friends and family or through social media.
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- Have your wedding ceremony at a free or cheaper location. City-owned venues tend to be cheaper than privately owned. If you or your fiancé are active members of a church, often you can be married there free of charge.
- Check out Facebook Yardsale websites or Craigslist ads for wedding sales. Many brides sell all their wedding decor in bulk after their big day is over. This is an easy way to get a ton of your decor for little to no cost. Hey, maybe you’ll re-sale the same decor after your special day to make some of that money back!
- Go light on the alcohol. Your uncle may be hoping for the open bar, but you will save so much money by skipping it. Have a dry wedding or only do a signature drink and champagne toast to cut costs big time.
- Skip wedding favors or do something cute and cheap, like little bags of Hershey Kisses. Things that you can buy in bulk are the way to go. There is a reason so many people do bubbles or rice; favors can get very pricey.
- Decide what is the most important to you and splurge on that. It is your special day! Cut costs everywhere else, and it will begin to add up. Your wedding can be magical without breaking the bank. Make a budget, stick to it, and happy planning!
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