Planning a wedding can be expensive. In fact, planning a wedding can be overwhelmingly expensive. The wedding industry certainly has it down: Sometimes it feels like the cost of venues, food, and photographers (not to mention dresses, florists and the bar tab!) are all terrifyingly high. What's a couple with a budget to do? In fact, I remember looking at caterers for my own wedding day, and getting a quote that literally sent me straight into tears. I was convinced that there was no way my then-fiancé and I could afford to have at wedding at all, let alone feed the people that showed up. Well, we could maybe offer them carrot sticks and glasses of water. Maybe.
But along the way I learned that planning a wedding doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming and that there are ways to save money, manage your budget, and even cut corners without looking or feeling like you're losing any part of your dream wedding. I don't have any magical suggestions up my sleeve (like where to find designer gowns for under five hundred dollars or how to convince your caterer to just throw in the cake for free), but I do have some general tips that might make looking at your budget and putting together the perfect day a little less intimidating.
You probably know what you want when it comes to your wedding, but do you know how you're going to get there? Big-picture creativity can save you time and heartache. For example, working on a tight budget and wanting to invite everyone you know to the celebration doesn't have to mean spending all your money on food to feed the throng. A cocktail hour style reception is one option for cutting costs, and it can also be a fun change of pace from the traditional wedding reception format.
Try Out DIY
When it comes to weddings, do it yourself projects almost always cut the cost. For our wedding, my husband and I designed our own invitations and had them printed on our own through a local shop. The result? We ultimately bought our invitations, envelopes, and postage for about twenty percent of what it would have cost us to order them online or have someone design them for us.
Enlist Extra Help
That's right, you can put your friends to work. Admittedly, there's a fine line on this one. But odds are that your friends and family are not only thrilled that you're getting married, they're also thrilled that they might get to be involved and help out. Whether that means helping set up and run errands or that your cousin makes the best cupcakes you've ever had and would be thrilled to put together your dessert table as a wedding gift, your loved ones want to make your wedding work.
Use the Right Tools
From wedding websites to budget and checklist tools, finding the right tools to plan your wedding is not only a helpful first step, it's an essential one. Don't forget to track down options that don't take a toll on your budget themselves. This wedding website design is one of our favorite places to start your search.
There is absolutely no reason that your budget (large or small) should make you feel restricted from having your wedding look just the way you want it to. Looking for more practical wedding planning advice? Try these articles.