Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean you have to blow all your savings on the wedding. You can still have the wedding of your dreams and have enough left for your dream honeymoon and for setting up your new life as husband and wife! All it takes is a lot of creativity and a little help from your friends. Here we have some tips to help you plan your dream wedding on a (relatively) shoestring budget.
Keep your guest list to family and close friends
Unless you’re royalty, and people expect you to invite almost everyone to your wedding day, chances are you only truly want to celebrate with loved ones who mean a lot to you and your future spouse. Keep it that way – cutting that guest list down to just the core people helps you save money instantly, letting you allocate that money on other aspects of your wedding.
Decide what you can skimp on (and what you can’t)
Look at the different elements of your wedding and see what you can do on your own and what you cannot skimp on. You can make some decorations on your own with a little help from your friends, like table centerpieces, napkin holders, place cards, and personalized goody bags (check out our blog for creative and fun wedding reception ideas – you’ll get a few ideas from there!). Other elements, like the dress, the photographer, and the drinks, deserve to get a substantial budget for you to get the quality you want.
Enlist one or two of your friends as your DJ / emcee
Instead of hiring someone to be your DJ and emcee, get your friends to help out! Talk to your friends and create your own reception program, which they will be hosting. This personalizes your celebration because your friends can share personal stories about you and your spouse-to-be throughout the celebration. You can bring a phone or your laptop and use it as the makeshift “DJ bay,” complete with songs you and your future spouse picked out for your special day. Put one friend in charge of keeping the music playing and switching songs according to the program.
Skip the flowers for the reception
Skip the expensive floral arrangements for your reception venue and opt for DIY or multipurpose decorations instead. Make your centerpieces edible, such as a candy centerpiece or a mini-cupcake tower that doubles as a take-home treat. Change the mood up with strategic lighting, paper cranes, and other DIY decorations that you can hang up around your reception venue. The only flowers you’ll need are the ones for your bouquets and for your wedding ceremony venue.
Find accommodation and reception venue deals from hotels and B&Bs
Some B&Bs and hotels let you use their event venue for free if you are able to fill their accommodations. This is perfect if you are planning a destination wedding: you can get your guests to check into the hotel where the reception will be held, and you’ll get to use the reception venue either for free or for a very low fee.
Stick to your budget no matter what
Compromises have to be made to create the perfect wedding on a shoestring budget, so be prepared to compromise. This is why we’ve mentioned DIY many times – enlisting the help of family and friends can fulfill many of the elements of your celebration that you would usually pay for. Be prepared to allot time for these DIY wedding projects, and keep the materials within your budget. You’ll thank your bank account for it later.