Ways to Plan a Budget Wedding

Estimated read time 9 min read


You’ve probably envisioned your dream wedding since you were a little girl. The color of the flowers, the cake flavors, and the perfect dress all play a role in that vision. But now that it’s time to plan your actual wedding day, how do you make everything come together without breaking the bank? Well, as with anything else in life, there are ways to save money on your wedding and still have fun with it! Here are some easy tips for keeping costs low while still having a great day!

Have your wedding during the off season.

If you’re having a summer wedding, consider having it during the off season.

The off season is when venues are cheaper to rent and vendors are less busy. You can also get the date you want with fewer restrictions on availability.

Take a honeymoon instead of getting a pricey wedding cake.

Instead of buying a fancy wedding cake, you should take a honeymoon.

The average cost of a wedding cake is $750, which is enough money to fund a week-long getaway for two. Granted, your wedding cake will probably taste better than whatever you’d get on vacation, but it won’t be much more memorable or fun than that slice of chocolate chip cookie dough pie in New Orleans I once had (and subsequently bought four more slices from). And don’t even get me started on how much better the honeymoon will be than having your picture taken with that life-size sculpture of yourself dressed as Cupid while holding cupcakes shaped like hearts and arrows (which could have been spent making love in front of an open window). Even if it’s not romantic at all—or rather especially when it isn’t—a honeymoon is guaranteed to be more enjoyable than any wedding dessert ever could be.

Wear two dresses — one for the ceremony and one for the reception

If you’re getting married in the summer, consider wearing a dress that’s appropriate for the season. If it’s going to be hot and humid outside, try not to wear something that will make you uncomfortable. And if it’s cold and rainy, don’t wear anything too heavy or thick — you don’t want to get too hot during pictures!

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Also consider whether you’ll be having an indoor or outdoor ceremony; if it’s indoors, then feel free to show more skin than usual (or go bare-faced). Just remember that whatever decision you make will affect what kind of shoes are appropriate: heels are great for an indoor wedding but probably not so much when walking through grassy fields with wet feet on a rainy day…

Ask a friend to officiate

If you have a friend or family member who’s qualified to perform the ceremony, ask them if they would be willing to officiate at your wedding. This person may be able to help you plan the event for free or at a discount (especially if they are already an ordained minister), and they’ll also provide some peace of mind that everything will go smoothly on the big day. If you’d like someone with more experience than your own mother—and there’s no shame in that!—you can also look into getting an officiant who is trained specifically in weddings.

You may feel strange having someone apart from your partner preside over your wedding, but remember: You’re not just marrying each other; you’re uniting two families as well as two sets of friends and loved ones. The more people who share this special moment with you, the better!

Let friends and family help out with food

You can also ask your friends and family to make a dish for the wedding, like a dessert or side dish. If you are on a budget, it’s not uncommon for brides to ask their guests to bring food instead of buying their own. This is especially true if the bride does not want her guests to spend too much money on their gift.

For example, if your cousin loves baking pies but doesn’t live close by, ask her to bake one for your wedding! Or maybe someone in your family has been dying to try making sushi; well now’s his chance!

And don’t forget that even if they don’t have cooking skills themselves, some people may be willing (and excited) enough about attending wedding showers that they’d bring food as gifts instead.

Get married at a restaurant.

Are you dreaming of a wedding that’s as romantic as it is delicious? Rather than having your ceremony and reception at two different locations, why not combine them into one magical evening at a restaurant?

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A private room or special event space in a restaurant can be the perfect place for an intimate wedding ceremony. The room will already have all the essentials—a beautiful backdrop for photos, tables and chairs for guests to sit down at, and plenty of space for dancing.

Have an intimate backyard wedding.

Have an intimate backyard wedding.

If you want to cut costs and have a smaller wedding, then consider having it in your backyard or at a park or community centre. You can also ask friends to help with the cost of hiring out venues by hosting the event at their home. Another option is to have the ceremony at one venue and reception at another location—this way, only one set of rentals will be needed for each part of your celebration.

Plan ahead for DIY projects.

One of the best ways to save money on a wedding is by making your own DIY decor. This can be as simple as finding inexpensive frames and printing out photos, or it can involve creating a vast array of handmade items that will tie your whole look together. It’s important to note that some DIY projects are more difficult than others, but having an idea in mind before you begin will help you plan ahead and know whether or not it’s something you should attempt yourself.

Rent the venue and decorations from a rental company.

The best way to save money on a wedding is to rent the venue and decorations from a rental company. This allows you to avoid the costs of decorating, cleaning up after your guests leave and dealing with bad weather.

Downsize the guest list.

The simplest way to cut down on costs is to limit the number of people in attendance at your wedding. Your budget will be much easier to manage if you don’t have hundreds of guests, and it’s actually a great idea for your guests too! If you invite only your closest friends and family, they’ll feel more wanted than they would if they were included in a huge guest list. You could also think about having two weddings: one small ceremony with just immediate family, followed by another ceremony (or reception) with more friends and acquaintances. This way everyone gets their own special day!

Send out digital invites instead of paper invites.

There are many ways to invite guests to your wedding without spending a ton of money on paper and postage. You can:

  • Send out digital invites, whether via email or text message.
  • Post your invitation on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Include the details of your wedding in an online registry for guests to access and make purchases from there.
  • Use an app that allows you to create guest lists for events (like Apple’s iCal) or use a mobile app like HoneyBook or WeddingWire that lets you manage your events from anywhere at any time through their apps on phones or tablets (and they’re free!).
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Keep things simple.

  • Keep things simple. This is the most important thing to remember when planning your wedding. Focus on what’s most important to you and make sure it’s reflected in your wedding, not all of these common pitfalls:
  • Do not go overboard with decorations or centerpieces.
  • Do not have too many courses or courses that are too elaborate. People will enjoy looking at them, but they won’t be able to eat what they see! And don’t forget about dessert! You can always bring out cake after dinner for everyone who wants some extra sweetness (and calories).
  • Don’t have too many guests or invite people who barely know each other (i.e., distant family members). That way, if someone misses out on an invitation because there was no room left over by adding more people then it won’t be so bad because there were no actual relationships involved anyway — just acquaintanceship at best!

You can have a beautiful, memorable wedding without spending too much money

  • You can have a beautiful, memorable wedding without spending too much money.
  • Use your creativity.
  • Use your resources.
  • Use your friends and family.
  • The off season is the best season for planning a budget wedding. Prices will be lower, and venues will be more likely to offer deals during this time of year as well…especially if you are willing to book early!


Now that you’ve read our tips, go forth and save money! We hope that you learned something new, but if not — don’t worry. This is all about what works for you and your partner. If a budget wedding isn’t for you, then it’s not for you! Your wedding should be a happy day that reflects who you two are as a couple. And if that includes spending lots of money on things like an elaborate cake or expensive venue? Well then so be it! We hope this article has helped with some ideas in any case 🙂

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