You have been dreaming about your wedding ever since you were a little girl. Now, you’ve finally found the one and your dream is about to become a reality—a reality with very real budget limitations. If you’re worried you won’t be able to plan the celebrity-worthy wedding you’re imagining because of your budget, know that there ae small ways to save money without sacrificing on quality. We’ve compiled 13 tips to help you plan your wedding without breaking the bank.
1. Be Conservative with Your Guest List
You want everyone who has made an impact in your lives to share your special day with you. Does that really include your Mom’s second cousin you haven’t seen since you were five, that college frenemy you still keep in touch with on Facebook, or your 16-year-old cousin’s on-again-off-again boyfriend? By taking a realistic, and conservative, approach to your guest list, you can save significantly on costs associated with the venue, meal, and favors.
Gorgeous flowers add an elegant touch to any wedding, but they don’t have to be huge to be beautiful. Consider small bouquets, or even single stem roses for your bridal party, and small centerpieces with lots of greenery (natural greens are very trendy right now!). Also, be sure to choose flowers that will be in season on your wedding day.
3. Celebrate Off-Season
Some venues may be most costly during wedding season (approximately April through October) because they are in greater demand. Consider an off-season wedding. Not only will you save money, you’ll be a trendsetter, and you guests won’t have to try to party hop between your wedding and someone else’s.
If you’re planning on an outdoor wedding and a short ceremony, consider only renting enough chairs for older friends and family members, and asking the rest of your guests to stand. It will create an intimate feeling, and can save you hundreds.
5. Serve Champagne for the Toast Only
Rather than serving champagne all throughout the cocktail hour, order just enough bottles to offer each adult a few sips during the toast.
Rather than splurging on costly jewelry for your big day, borrow signature pieces from friends and family members. It may be the only time you’ll get to wear your great aunt’s amazing sapphire necklace, so go ahead and ask. After all, you need something borrowed and something blue anyway, right?
7. Offer Family-Style Dining
Can’t decide between sit-down or buffet? Plan a family-style meal (think pasta bar!). It will wow your guests, result in fewer unfinished meals, and save you money.
The importance of the right wedding dress is not to be understated, however there are ways to wear a designer gown for less. Ask boutiques if you can shop off the rack, watch for sample sales, or consider renting a designer gown. After all, you’re only going to wear it for one night.
9. Don’t Get Married on a Saturday
Due to the popularity of Saturday for weddings and other events, it’s typically more expensive to reserve a venue and certain event materials on a Saturday. Consider getting hitched on a Friday, or Sunday instead. Your friends and family will want to see you exchange your vows no matter what day of the week you choose.
Ever notice how many people at a wedding don’t eat the cake? Plan a candy buffet or dessert table instead. That way, all your guests can enjoy their favorite sweet treat, and you won’t have to splurge on wedding cake for 100 guests.
11. Hold Your Ceremony and Reception in the Same Place
You’ll save on rental fees and transportation fees. Some venues will also offer a better rate if you plan the ceremony and reception at their location.
After the cocktail hour, plan to only serve beer and wine. You’ll cut down on the cost of hard alcohol, and the beverages will pair better with your guests’ meals too.
13. Make a Budget and Stick to It
Don’t be the victim of scope-creep as you start shopping for supplies and making decisions on your wedding. Make a budget at the start of your wedding and stick to it. Be disciplined, and you won’t have to cut into your honeymoon budget to pay for your wedding day heels.