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Tips for a Fantastic Wedding on a Budget

Joined: 6/1/2009
Posts: 4
Planning a wedding is no easy feat and is often stressful. You are trying to imagine the wedding of your dreams and make it all come true. The opportunities are endless, but the price tag can be overwhelming. I think some brides struggle with what a wedding actually costs, or at least I did. My fiancé and I had just moved in together, we had just graduated college and started in our careers meaning we were broke, clueless, yet still trying to plan a wedding that met all of our expectations and fulfilled our dreams.

My husband and I sat down promptly after getting engaged and talked about a budget. I think that is such a vital part to planning a wedding, especially in our case. We didn’t have any money, our parents had given us some money, but we still have a lot of ground to cover financially. We had to take a good, hard look at what we actually wanted and what we wanted our wedding to be. We also didn’t want to put ourselves in debt for our wedding. It just didn’t make sense to do that to ourselves.

So here’s a list of the things we did that allowed us to have the wedding of our dreams, but also stay debt free.

Devise a budget. Set the MAX amount you want to spend. Then list out all the vendors you plan on using and don’t forget to include accessories and other things such as wedding party gifts, your dress, favors, etc. Come up with a budget for each one. Be flexible with your numbers, but keep them reasonable so you can play with them later as you book vendors. I found it helpful to log this into a spreadsheet and add formulas so I could easily keep tabs on what we were spending and what we had left to spend.

Decide what matters most to you. Are lots of flowers a necessity? Custom letter press invitations? Extravagant centerpieces? Custom programs? Think about each of your vendors and what you want carefully. Do you want an easy going ceremony and a really great reception? Or do you want both to be a knock out night to remember? Put the most effort in what matters most to you – allocate most of your funds there.

Decide what you can’t live without. Really think about what you want. Not what you think you need, but what you really want. List out the things that you know you can’t live without or the things you must absolutely have. These are the things you will look back on and be glad you didn’t skip over them.

Determine the number of guests. Catering is expensive and most places charge per head. You need to look at how many people you are planning to invite so you can select a caterer that is within your price range for the number of attendees. Also decide if you want your wedding to be the social event of the year or an intimate family gathering. The food will most likely be the most expensive thing there and the number of attendees determines the final cost.

Look at what you can make yourself. Do it yourself (DIY) is becoming more and more popular these days. Don’t worry if you aren’t crafty. Chances are you know someone who is and I’m sure they would be more than willing to help. A lot of the items vendors or stores offer can easily be made by hand and for a fraction of the price. Save the dates, invitations, place cards, guest books and some center pieces can all be handmade. Also look into places like where you have a world of artisans and handmade items at your finger tips. Retail stores also have box sets of DIY items that are much cheaper than ordering.

These are just some of the things we did to keep a handle on our wedding costs and to avoid them going astronomical. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and it should most definitely be everything you want it to be. I just want every money-conscious bride to know that you can plan a wedding on a budget and still have everything you want. You just have to be smart about it, know what you want, and know how to find a bargain.

Have questions or want to find out more about me? Head over to my blog at
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