Your wedding day is going to be one of the most beautiful days of your life and planning it can be very exciting. You might be dreaming about having a lavish celebration, but why spend all your savings when you can have an amazingly memorable day without breaking the bank?
From your dress to the venue and decorations, there are many ways to save money when planning your wedding, so you can have your dream day without getting into debt. Check out our list of practical tips designed to help you plan a frugal but wonderful Big Day.
1. Prioritize and Budget Everything
When you’re trying to plan a wedding on a budget, it’s natural to have to make some compromises. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great celebration without piling on massive bills. If you want to make the most of your budget, start by making a list of non-negotiables and non-essentials and set a budget for each item on the list.
For example, if the venue is not the most important thing for you, opt for a small backyard wedding ceremony. And if you are not keen on receiving an expensive diamond ring, there are many unique options out there you can choose from. For a budget-friendly alternative, opt for zirconia, amethyst, or pearl engagement rings.
So instead of spending a fortune on things that are not really important to you, find cheaper alternatives and keep your extra budget for things that really matter.
2. Choose a Low-Cost Venue
One of the biggest expenses that come with planning a wedding is the venue. So, if you really want to save some money, it would be a good idea to swap the traditional wedding locations, like fancy restaurants or expensive beach set-ups, with unique and intimate ones like the backyard of your family home or a friend’s garden.
If you don’t have access to such a location, you can find a chic Airbnb with a nice garden and maybe a pool and rent it for a couple of days. An unconventional venue will help trim down your budget and keep the ceremony more personal.
The best thing about having your wedding in the backyard of your family home is that you can celebrate each year in the same place and make it a tradition. Imagine celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary in the same place you got married – wouldn’t that be special?
3. Keep Your Guest List Intimate
The main priority for many couples on their wedding day is having their closest friends and family there to share the special moment. If you really want to be frugal, keep your ceremony small and intimate. Cutting down the guest list is just something that you should do if you want to spend less on food and drinks.
Instead of inviting all your old friends to the big day, ask yourself when is the last time you met up with that person. And if the answer is over 6 months before, then maybe they shouldn’t be a part of your celebration.
4. Rent the Wedding Attire
We all know how expensive wedding attire is, especially the wedding dress. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for something that you will only wear one time, try renting a beautiful designer gown and a slick and modern tux.
Some bridal boutiques offer this option, but there are also plenty of online wedding rental services with a variety of styles to choose from. Besides being an amazing money-saving opportunity, renting your wedding attire might even give you the chance to snag the dress of your dreams from a high-end designer that you could never be able to afford otherwise. And don’t forget the accessories.
Always ask the rental company if they provide packages that include a veil, shoes, and other accessories for a lower price.
5. Ask for Help Instead of Gifts
Is your cousin a talented photographer? Is your best friend amazing at doing make-up? If you have such talented friends or family members, ask them if they would be willing to provide help at the wedding instead of a gift.
This would work well for photography, DJing, baking and cooking, tending the bar, or other tasks that a wedding entails. While some guests may prefer not to do this, others will jump at the chance. After all, you’re not the only one trying to save money.
6. DIY Whatever You Can
When it comes to budget-friendly weddings, DIY projects can help you save a lot of money. Creating your own bouquets, flower arrangements, wedding favors or decorations can help keep your expenses under control.
Instead of hiring an expensive wedding decorator, try organizing a fun workshop for yourself, your friends and family. Find a few good tutorials online and start crafting your own personal wedding details. Besides being a fun activity you can do with your loved ones, it will definitely help you save a lot of money.
7. Hire a Food Truck
While trimming down the guest list saves a lot on food, you can also save more by finding a low-cost catering alternative. Instead of paying a lot of money to fancy caterers, opt for a small family-owned restaurant and use the food you order to create a cute open buffet table.
In this way, you can also save the money you would have otherwise spent on waiters. But if you are looking for something more unique, a great idea would be to hire a food truck. Besides being cheaper than any restaurant or caterer, it’s fun and perfect for an intimate backyard wedding.
8. Make Your Own Invitations
Trim down your wedding costs by making your own invitations. You can find really nice DIY kits that cost under $100 and print the invitations yourself. If you have access to a printer and can do a basic invite layout, you can easily create classy wedding invitations on your own for a fraction of what the cost would be if you were to hire a professional.
If you are not very talented at design but you’ve always loved your handwriting, writing your own invitations is a great idea that will help save you a lot of money. But make sure you follow an example so you don’t forget any important details.
9. Downsize Your Cake
If you want to reduce your wedding expenses, you might want to forget about ordering a custom-made wedding cake. Instead, purchase 2 or 3 round birthday cakes in different sizes, stack them on top of each other and add some delicate embellishments.
You can opt for real flowers – which you can pick out from your garden – as part of your cake decor, to really help reduce the costs. This will make your unconventional pastry look like a fancy wedding piece. After all, the taste will still be delicious, but the price will be much lower than you would pay for a traditional cake.