Let’s face it. Weddings can cost a pretty penny. The good news is they don’t have to break the bank or put you into a mountain of debt.
We’ve put together eight tips to help you create your wedding budget and stick to it!
- Decide Your Budget
The first step is deciding on your budget. Take a look at your savings and how much you’re willing to allocate to your wedding, including wedding dress preservation. Talk to your parents or other family members to see if they plan on contributing.
- Figure Out Where the Money Should Go
Once you have your final number, it’s time to decide where to spend your money. You need to figure out what your non-negotiables are.
For instance, the wedding and engagement rings are the most timeless part of your day. Make sure a part of your budget goes to having rings you will wear for the rest of your lives.
- The Venue
Knowing how much money you can spend will help you determine the type of wedding you can have. If your budget is tight, having an elaborate destination wedding might not be feasible.
To help you save money, reach out to your network. Maybe someone you know owns a house with a lot of land they’d be willing to let you use for your wedding. Perhaps you have a connection through work who could get you a discount at a local art gallery.
- Your Food Options
Not every wedding needs an elaborate catering menu. Many budget weddings will offer small snacks or even opt-in for a potluck. One wedding I attended had the entire family spend the previous day cooking all of the food themselves.
The bride ended up paying a family friend’s daughter to set the food up the following day at a much lower cost than hiring a caterer. While it might seem like a lot to take on yourself, you can always think outside the box to get inexpensive or even free help on the day of the wedding.
- Think DIY
There is nothing more affordable for your budget wedding than DIY. Things like centerpieces and floral arrangements can add up quickly. Through a little secondhand shopping and picking flowers yourself, your money can go towards more of the necessities like having a good videographer or photographer.
For example, go thrifting or check online marketplaces to see if people are getting rid of old mason jars or candle holders. See what’s leftover from other people’s weddings, since they no longer have a use for them.
- Don’t Have an Open Bar
Whether you have an open bar or not, the guests are going to attend the wedding. Open bars can get pricey, so there’s nothing wrong with opting out.
If you insist on having one, purchase the alcohol yourself and set up a bar station for guests to serve themselves. Go to a grocery store that offers buying in bulk, such as Sam’s Club or Costco. You can get more of the alcohol and mixers at a lower cost.
- Electronic Save the Dates and Invites
Paying to create elaborate save-the-date postcards and invitations aren’t necessary to your wedding budget. Everything can easily be done online. As a bonus, it’s better for the environment.
Collect email addresses from your friends and family. Set up a free wedding website through different platforms like Joy or Minted. Some websites, such as Zola, offer wedding registries so your guests can purchase gifts for you online as well.
- Do You Need a DJ?
More than likely, you have a subscription to Spotify or Apple Music. Instead of paying a DJ potentially thousands of dollars, create a wedding day playlist and let it play throughout the day. All you’ll need is a phone charger and a good set of speakers to keep the party going.
Worried about transitions such as the bridal party entrance or speeches? That’s what friends and family are for.
Pick someone you trust and ask them to be in charge of the music during these periods. They’ll be grateful they had an opportunity to gift you with something that contributes to your big day.
Your wedding can be as simple and as elaborate as you want. If you want to stick to a wedding budget, it’s all about choosing what’s most important and allocating the money there. Get creative and ask for help from friends and family. They’ll be happy you did.