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Keeping your wedding budget small may seem impossible, but we have some great tips that are sure to make it something you can manage with no problems. There are so many great ways to lower your budget but still give you and your partner the experience you’ve been longing for. Since your wedding is a big day that will be documented and remembered for years to come, using these tips can help you keep within your budget and still have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of having.
7 Tips For Keeping Your Wedding Budget Small
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Your dream wedding may involve carriage rides, a huge castle, and a wedding gown with a 20-foot train, but keeping your wedding budget small will likely mean a lot of these are not available. That doesn’t, however, mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. A beautiful gown, hair styles, gorgeous venue, and even the amazing wedding cake are all things you can afford when you focus and use our top tips for saving extra money.
Limit the guest list. This suggested for a wedding budget can be tough. If you always dreamed of a big wedding, accommodating a lot of guests can be expensive. Instead of hosting your wedding at a large and costly venue, instead have the ceremony at home and then have a reception later for the larger group of friends who would want to celebrate with you and your new spouse.
The trend of smaller intimate weddings has gotten more popular in recent years. This is especially great for blended families that are having a wedding for a second marriage. You can easily make it a small intimate ceremony with just spouses, children, and parents or siblings in attendance. To honor you marriage and enjoy the love of your friends and extended family, an after wedding reception is a great method.
Make your own invitations and thank you cards. Paying for wedding invitations can be a huge expense. Especially if you go the route of a traditional invitation that includes double envelopes, an RSVP card, and a special seal. By creating your own unique invitations you can save tons of money. There are multiple websites that allow you to customize your own invitations and thank you cards for after the wedding. Their pricing is much easier to manage than some local printers would be.
Suggested sites to create your own invitations and thank you cards:
- Vistaprint, Zazzle, Shutterfly, Cardstore, and Tiny Prints all have designs you customize, or the ability to create your own and order to be shipped to you.
- PicMonkey, Canva, and Adobe Photoshop allow you to create and print your own unique invitation and have printed at a local office supply store, or on card stock with your own printer.
- Office Depot, Walgreen’s, and Fed-Ex all offer various options for printing invitations and thank you cards online for picking up in store or have shipped.
Make your own wedding decorations. We have a whole blog post about this, but also want to add the reminder that making your own decorations can save a ton of money and help keep your wedding budget small. Whether you are renting helium to blow up balloons or running various colors of braided tulle along the seating or tables you can save hundreds on your wedding cost by making your own unique wedding decorations. Candles, centerpieces, flowers, and seating or table decor can easily be created at home by yourself and your family then set up at your wedding or reception venue instead of paying out pocket for a florist or designer.
Shop sales for your wedding gown. We’ve all heard horror stories about buying wedding gowns online, but there are several reputable places to shop for sale gowns. Not only do you want to look online for great dress ideas, but you can shop at local venues for sales.
Suggested places to find sales and discounts on wedding gowns:
- Amazon, eBay, and Etsy all have various options of custom designed wedding gowns as well as bulk overstock of items from various vendors. Watch for shipping times, sizing, and read customer reviews carefully.
- Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom also often have great discounts on wedding gowns as well as prom dresses and gowns that may be suitable for a wedding.
- ModCloth and Shabby Apple both have unique styles that fit a retro or vintage look for wedding gowns.
- Local thrift shops, resale, and consignment shops can be a great place to find a low-cost wedding gown that is gently used.
- David’s Bridal and Allure Bridal both run regular sales on last years styles making some of their gowns in the $99-$200 range on a regular basis.
Have your wedding and reception at your home or church. Instead of paying for a special destination wedding venue, ask your church for pricing on holding a wedding there. If your home or someone you know has a home that would be large enough and functional for a wedding, don’t hesitate to ask about using that as an alternate location. A $50 host fee and the promise of cleanup to a friend is a lot less than the hundreds required to rent traditional wedding and reception venues.
Skip the wedding meal and have appetizers only. Instead of a sit-down meal that costs $12-$20 per head, serve appetizers and desserts only. It is much less expensive to arrange for appetizers, fruit trays, and vegetable trays along with the traditional wedding cake. You can also go with alternate choices like an ice cream bar, chocolate fondue fountain, or even cupcakes over the wedding cake.
Catering your own wedding is another way to save on your wedding budget, but it takes a lot of work and planning. This works best if you have your private wedding ceremony on ne day and host a special reception on another date.
Don’t serve alcohol. Everyone loves a good drink or toast at a wedding, but if you have a large group attending, this can be one of the most expensive things you invest in. Go alcohol free and serve up low-cost punch or sparkling cider instead. If anyone asks, just let them know you are making it a bit more family friendly.
These are some of our top tips for cutting expenses greatly. Your wedding budget doesn’t have to be huge to give you and your partner a wonderful memory to look back on later in life. Whether you take care of some arrangements yourself, or decide on a smaller wedding party won’t matter. Your love for each other is the most important part of the day.