How to have an inexpensive wedding? Check out these insanely smart ways to cut costs, save money & have a beautiful wedding on a budget!
If you have seen the famous 1990’s comedy “Father of the Bride”, starring Steve Martin, you know how easily wedding costs can get out of control. The fictional plot of the film is not as ludicrous as it may appear, as many weddings tend to spiral out of control in real life.
There is a lot of pressure and so many things that need to be arranged that it’s easy to lose common sense and overspend on what is often referred to as the most important day of your life.
There is a rule of thumb that says the more you spend on a wedding, the tackier it gets. Of course, this is not always the case, but there is a growing trend toward budget weddings.
Budget weddings have become more and more popular because many people began to realize that in the current economy spending your life savings on this one day is not just crazy, it seems insanely idiotic.
Wouldn’t you rather have money to put a deposit down on a house and furnish it, or pay for your honeymoon? In fact, the down payment for a house would be far more beneficial for your future happiness.
You will have plenty of other expenses to cover after the wedding when starting out on your married life together. It just doesn’t make sense to create problems by over-stretching financially for the wedding.
The days when the bride’s parents paid for everything are long gone and couples tend to fund their own weddings.
Whilst parents may still contribute towards the wedding cost as a gift to the couple, it is pretty rare for them to cover the whole cost.
Usually, this is because they simply can’t afford it. But couples often prefer to pay for their own weddings as well because it ensures that they can plan them the way that they want to without any interference.
Having a budget wedding does not mean that you have to give up on style or sentimentality. You can still have a beautiful wedding without having to go broke in the process.
It means using your imagination and using your own hands or the help of friends and family rather than paying through the nose for professionals. You can save some money without skimping on any of the good stuff.
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to make your day special. There are so many ideas that can make your wedding a great deal cheaper in the long run!
If you want to know exactly how to have an inexpensive wedding, this article is for you!
Without further ado, let’s dive into it!
How To Have An Inexpensive Wedding: 12 Insanely Smart Ways To Save Money
These 12 tips will help you have a fabulous wedding without overspending!
1. SET A WEDDING BUDGET
The most important part of planning a wedding is setting your budget. It’s important because it’s next to impossible to know what you can afford for each major part of the wedding if you don’t set an overall cost that you are comfortable with.
You will probably find that deciding the budget is the hardest job to do because, of course, you want to have the best and most memorable wedding you can possibly have.
Start out with an idea of what you have to spend and come to a mutual agreement on what kind of wedding to have.
Once you have the overall amount that you can afford to spend, you will need to put together a list of all the areas of your wedding that are important to you and make sure that you allocate a sensible proportion of the total budget to each.
Then list the elements within each of the areas that your wedding will include, and decide that if it comes to a crunch, what items will take precedence over others.
There are things that you want in your wedding that may not be within your budget. You need to be able to prioritize and discard the things on the list that are just a frill to you or go for a budget-friendly alternative. The key is to adjust within the budget you have.
It is only by setting down on paper a budget you can afford and listing all of the areas that you have to spend money on that you can begin to refine your ideas on the type and scope of wedding that it is realistic for you to aim for.
If you are overwhelmed with the estimated cost of your wedding and feel you won’t be able to afford the things that are important to you, fear not as there are things you can do to save money on your wedding.
Here are some tips!
2. CHOOSE THE DATE WISELY
The timing can play a big part in the overall cost of your wedding.
Choose a date between November and April to avoid higher peak season rates.
Consider having your wedding any day but Saturday. Fridays are also popular wedding days but may cost a lot less than a Saturday event.
For even greater savings, choose a weekday evening for your wedding. With plenty of notice, your guests can arrange to book a day off at work the following day so that they can fully enjoy the wedding reception.
Don’t worry about asking people to take some time off work. People who really care about you (and only those should be on your guest list) will understand how important this day is for you and they should not have an issue with using one day of their annual leave to attend your wedding.
Schedule the wedding to allow your guests time to arrive at the ceremony after the workday has ended. Many guests actually enjoy weekday weddings as this frees up their weekends for other activities.
3. TRIM THE GUESTLIST
This may come as a surprise, but you can save a lot of money simply by not inviting the entire universe and their mother to your wedding.
Invite only your closest friends and family members – the people who are important to you rather than everyone you know and their mother.
Trimming the guest list can be difficult but the number of guests shouldn’t be too large if you want to cut your wedding costs. Think of inviting only relatives with whom you have a close relationship instead of everyone related to you.
Cross off names on the list of guests who in your opinion might feel obligated to come to the wedding if they were invited but would not have their feelings hurt if they were not asked to attend.
Reducing your guest list means you will save money on the food as well!
4. SAVE MONEY ON WEDDING INVITATIONS
If you thought about inviting people by giving sending them cards with fancy designs and made of expensive ink and paper, you may consider discarding that idea. You’re on a budget, right?
Besides, the sad truth is the people you’re inviting are likely to just throw them away afterward, so why bother? It’s a waste of your time and money.
There are other, cheaper ways of inviting people to your wedding.
You may go for DIY wedding invitations instead. You can do them yourself or ask a friend to lend their talents in lieu of a gift to help make them.
If you want to reduce the paper waste, you can send them an ecard, or if you’re not thinking about formality, just call them instead.
5. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING VENUE
To simplify things and save you money, have your ceremony and reception in the same location or within a walking distance from each other. This will eliminate the need for guest and wedding party transportation.
Many houses of worship have halls that are equipped to handle wedding receptions at reasonable fees-especially if you are a member.
If you or someone you know have a nice large garden you could also hold your wedding reception there. I can think of nothing more beautiful and romantic than a garden decorated with flowers, light garlands, candles, etc.
If you like the sound of that, check out The Ultimate Guide to Planning A Backyard Wedding for some great tips!
If you happen to live near the beach, having a romantic wedding ceremony on the beach would be a wonderful idea too.
If the above options are not possible and you are planning to have your ceremony and reception at a hotel, ask to speak to a manager who is in charge of these services as they should be in a position to offer the best rates for the hotel’s services. Ask them what extras they are able to throw in and always ask for at least 10% off stated rates.
Hotels and catering halls usually have their own “props” and centerpieces that they are happy to loan.
Make sure to also ask for discounts if your family and friends are staying at the same hotel. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests several months before the wedding for the best rates.
6. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Think about it – does it really make sense to spend a fortune on a dress that will only be worn for a few hours?
Buying your dress second-hand or renting it can save you a lot of money. You will be actually able to get a more lavish dress and more value for your money that way. The same applies to the groom’s suit.
There are plenty of online bridal rental places to choose from so browse away but just to give you an idea, you will be able to rent a designer wedding dress from Rent the Runway for $150-$300!
Choosing to buy pre-loved or rent also means doing your part for the environment and supporting the slow fashion movement.
And if you go for the rental option, you will not have to deal with the hassle of what to do with your dress after your wedding. It’s not like you are planning to wear it again, are you!
7. SAVE MONEY ON WEDDING CATERING
There are quite a few things you can do to save money on wedding catering.
To get the best possible price make sure to shop around and book your catering service well in advance.
When it comes to the menu, go for simple and budget-friendly dishes made of local seasonal ingredients.
Skipping the plated full-service dinner and choosing a buffet instead will save you a lot of money on the food itself, as well as the labor and rental costs.
In terms of alcoholic beverages, choose a caterer that allows you to bring your own wine and spirits. Stick to serving only beer, wine, and champagne.
Try sourcing a wine and spirit supplier who has a “buyback policy,” meaning they will purchase any unopened bottles of alcohol back from you after the event.
8. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING CAKE
If you don’t want to overspend money forget the tall, grand cakes from the popular cake shops.
Search for a small local cake shop and hire them to do the job instead. Not only you will save money but you will also support a small local business.
If you or one of your guests have a large social media following, you can also offer to share a photo of your wedding cake to advertise their services in return for a discount.
You may be even lucky enough to have a friend that is talented in that area and they will be able to make your wedding cake for you.
9. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Weddings are memorable events couples and their families want to remember forever, and what better way to capture these moments than by a camera. Weddings may be gone, but the feeling of joy will always stay because of the wonderful moments captured on film.
Hiring a professional photographer to take your wedding pictures and videos can be pricey so search for a photography student in a nearby university who is willing to take on your assignment to unleash their creativity and add to their portfolio.
Get to know them first and have a look at their previous work to make sure you are happy with their level of skills and experience.
Alternatively or in addition to the above, you can ask one of your friends or family members who are passionate about photography to take your wedding pictures.
No matter what option you choose, it’s always good to have a backup, just in case!
10. SAVE MONEY ON WEDDING MUSIC
Don’t go for a professional band if you can’t afford it. There are other options.
Hire a talented small-time singer or graduate student musician instead.
DJs usually tend to cost less than live bands. You could also ask one of your music passionate friends to be a DJ at your wedding reception.
11. SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS
When it comes to the most important flowers of the day, i.e. your wedding bouquet, making your own will save you tons of money. Check out these amazing DIY bridal bouquet tutorials!
Flowers for the church and reception can be rented silk arrangements that will save you a lot of money.
You could also ask a friend to lend their talents in lieu of a gift. If you simplify your flower arrangements, they can assemble fresh or silk flowers for you which will save you hundreds of dollars.
If you decide to use fresh flowers, make sure to choose the ones that are in season as they are much cheaper.
In regards to centerpieces, I love the idea of placing single stem flowers in slim bud holders and placing groups of vases at varying heights together for a stylish effect.
12. ITEMS YOU REALLY DON’T NEED
There are some things that if for some reason appeared on your list, should be scratched off immediately. They are not only unnecessary but also a huge waste of money!
- Save the date cards – you can just message people, email them, or tell them when your wedding is.
- Expensive wedding shoes – nobody is going to see your shoes as they will be tucked away under your wedding dress.
- Wedding favors – your guests are there to celebrate your special day with you whilst being fed an amazing meal so there is no need for wedding favors. Most of the non-consumable wedding favors end up getting thrown in the trash anyway – what a waste!
- Guest book – what are you really going to do with a bunch of your guests’ signatures?
- Professional hair and makeup artist – with an abundance of YouTube and Instagram tutorials available, you or one of your friends will be more than capable of doing your wedding hair and makeup. Have some trial runs beforehand to agree on the details.
- Luxury table linens – honestly, who will even notice what the tablecloths are made of? Cotton or polyester are absolutely fine! And if the tables are nice you don’t need them at all!
- Chair covers – completely unnecessary and pretentious if you ask me!
- Wedding planner – it’s a rip-off because everything you need to know you can find on the Internet for free!
Weddings on a budget really make much more sense than spending like crazy!
I hope this article has inspired you to cut the costs of your wedding and save money for your future married life.
Thank you for stopping by!
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