Tips for Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Community | 03/29/24
Flowers and a wedding checklist

Wedding costs can add up fast. From venue costs to feeding hundreds of guests, what should be one of the greatest days of your life can quickly turn into an overwhelming burden on your wallet.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. With some careful planning, you can have the wedding you desire without breaking the bank.

Prioritize what matters most
Most couples have grand dreams about their wedding day. Maybe it’s an elaborate, custom-made wedding gown, or maybe it’s a wedding aisle filled with hundreds of floating candles.

Whatever you envision for your big day, the costs to make that vision a reality may come with a hefty price tag. To avoid going into debt for your wedding, choose the items that are most important to you, and allocate a larger portion of your budget to them. Remember to trim costs in other places to leave extra room in your budget for your main priorities.

Skip the invites
Tighten your budget by creating a free wedding website and e-invite that includes all the wedding details along with an option to RSVP online. You’ll be doing your wallet a favor and still be able to share important information with your guests!

Choose a nontraditional venue
A typical venue can take the biggest bite out of a wedding budget. Save on costs by choosing an out-of-the-box venue like an art gallery, your favorite upscale restaurant, or even a scenic lookout point. Just make sure to factor in the cost of amenities you may need to rent for your location, such as lights, tents, silverware and flatware, and portable bathrooms. 

Choose a non-bridal gown 
Everything on your list becomes more expensive when you tack on the word “wedding”. Save on one of these expenses by purchasing a gown that is not designed exclusively for a wedding. Any floor-length white gown you pick up in a department store or boutique will do, and you can always add embellishments to dress it up a bit. You’ll still save a fortune on the cost of your bridal gown. 

Limit your guest count 
So many parts of your wedding, such as catering and bar expenses, cost more with each additional guest. Keep your wedding intimate by only inviting guests who will add real joy to your special day. You can limit the plus-ones or specify that the reception is adults-only to help manage costs. Trimming twenty guests from your list can go a long way in helping stick to your budget. 

Get flowers from florists’ overstock 
If you’re getting married during a busy wedding season when florists have events several times a week, you may be able to get your flowers at a fraction of the usual cost — or at no cost at all. Ask floral designers about excess inventory they need to get rid of before it goes bad. They may be more than happy to have you take them off their hands for a low price, or even for free. 

You can also save on the cost of flowers by opting for in-season and locally grown blooms. As a bonus, flowers that didn’t have to travel far will look fresher and more vibrant. 

By following these tips, you can set yourself up to have the wedding of your dreams without putting undue stress on your wallet. With all the big-ticket items you’ll be spending money on, you may want to check out our blog on 5 steps to take before making a large purchase. You can also check out Ascend’s free course on how to create and maintain a budget.

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