19 Secrets to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

secrets to plan a wedding on a budget-Minstrel court

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Budgeting for a wedding can be stressful. There are too many things you must spend money on and it can be difficult to stay within your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to plan a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. All you need is a little creative thinking and some careful planning. In this article, we will tell you some of the secrets to assist with planning a wedding on a budget. We will cover some basic strategies and creative ways to save money to help you achieve your dream wedding. So, if you want to save money while still having a beautiful wedding, read on to find out how.

1. Set a Realistic Budget

Setting a wedding budget is one of the fundamental steps when planning a wedding. It is necessary to determine how much you can afford to spend before making any decisions. Establishing a realistic budget before beginning your wedding planning process will give you an overall image of the type of wedding you can have. Besides, knowing your budget before going shopping will help you stay focused on what you can afford and avoid any financial surprises down the line.

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2. Identify Your Priorities

To allocate your wedding budget efficiently, it’s important to prioritise what matters most for your wedding. Decide what aspects of your wedding are non-negotiable to you and focus your budget on those areas. For example, if you want to have a unique venue, invest more of your budget on this and cut back on other expenses such as decorations or favours. Make sure to sit down with your partner and determine what you both really want.

3. Set a More Affordable Wedding Date

If you’re looking to spend less on your big day, then you should consider choosing an off-peak wedding date. Many venues and wedding vendors will offer discounted rates during the off-peak period. So getting hitched during January or February rather than the peak months of June to August will be ideal for bargain hunters. Another benefit of booking during these months is that it’ll make your honeymoon much less expensive since it’s out of peak travel season, too.

Even if you can’t marry out of season, consider holding your wedding during the week to get better offers. You can contact any of your potential wedding venue choices and ask about their off-peak or mid-week bargains. Then, you can set your wedding date accordingly.

4. Choose a Less Formal Wedding Style

If you’re looking to save on your wedding budget, a more casual approach to the day could be the best way to go. Formal weddings often come with a higher price tag due to the need to provide a more luxurious setting, food and entertainment. For instance, a buffet-style meal is usually cheaper than a full sit-down dinner, and a DJ is less costly than a band. Decorations, such as lighting, linens and flowers, can also add to the cost. Choosing a less formal style for your wedding can help you keep your expenses in check.

5. Shop Around

When searching for wedding vendors, it’s important to compare prices and look for the best deals. Don’t be shy about negotiating rates with potential vendors. Make sure to look into multiple options for each service you need for your wedding. Don’t settle for the first person you find. Take the time to schedule meetings with different vendors to make sure you are getting quality services at an affordable rate. 

Research is key when it comes to planning a budget-friendly wedding. Read blogs, consult with newlyweds, friends and family and search for online bargains. 

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6. Cut Down on Your Guest List

When planning your wedding, one of the best ways to save money is to reduce the number of your invitees. Consider only inviting those closest to you, such as immediate family and close friends, and leave out distant relatives and acquaintances. This might be difficult, but it can help you maintain a budget. This can reduce the costs associated with nearly all aspects of your wedding. Although many people desire a large wedding with numerous guests, a shorter guest list often leads to a more organised and intimate yet less expensive party.

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7. Hold Your Nuptials at One Venue

Opting to have your ceremony and reception at a single venue can be an economical choice for your wedding. You can save on transportation and venue costs, as well as streamline the day’s schedule. Additionally, you may be able to get a better deal when booking one venue for the entire day. Furthermore, you won’t need to worry about hosting a cocktail hour when guests move to the reception. Plus, you can use the same decorations throughout the day. 

8. Look For Unconventional Wedding Venues

Choosing a non-traditional wedding venue can be a great way to save money on your wedding budget. Venues such as barns, parks, museums, and even your own backyard can be great options for couples looking to save money. Not only can these venues provide an intimate and unique setting for your special day, but they can also save you a lot of money on venue hire fees. Additionally, you can decorate the space yourself or hire a local florist or designer to help you create the perfect backdrop for your big day. You can create a magical and memorable wedding that won’t break the bank by going off the beaten path and using a little creativity.

9. Embrace All-Inclusive Services

One of the top secrets to planning a wedding on a budget is to consider a venue that provides all the amenities. Some venues provide all the essentials, such as catering, a kitchen, sound equipment, tables, chairs, a bar and a dance floor. This way, you won’t need to search for rental companies, and you’ll get an all-inclusive rate when you use the vendors they provide. Not only will this spare you the cost and hassle of dealing with multiple vendors, but it will also streamline the process and make it easier to put everything in place. 

10. Think of Borrowing Instead of Buying

From wedding decorations to tableware, or even your wedding attire and bridesmaids’ dresses, you can consider borrowing items to save on your budget. Renting or borrowing helps you still get the look and feel of your dream wedding without spending a fortune. Not only will you save money, but you will also have a more eco-friendly wedding by buying less. Plus, it can be a great way to incorporate sentimental items into your wedding day. 

You can also explore pre-owned wedding dress websites, like The Dress Outlet, to buy or rent pre-owned wedding dresses from designers at discounted prices.

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11. DIY Wherever Possible

Doing it yourself is a great way to save money. Put your own spin on things by tapping into your creativity and asking friends and family for help. You can craft one-of-a-kind stationery, decorations, and favours to make your special day unique without spending too much. Get creative with decor, build a DIY guest book, photo booth and props, or design your own wedding details for a fraction of what it would cost to buy them new.

Print Your Own Wedding Stationery

You can print your own invitations, save the dates, thank you cards, and other stationery items. Not only can you create a custom design tailored to your wedding theme and style, but you can also choose to print as many or as few copies as you need to fit your budget. This cost-saving option allows you to have the perfect stationery for your wedding without the hefty price tag that comes with ordering from a professional printer.

Make Your Own Decorations

By getting creative and using some simple materials, you can create stunning and unique decorations that will make your wedding even more special. Gather natural objects such as tree stumps, leaves and pine cones, and turn them into rustic wedding decor for no cost. You can also craft your own centrepieces with mason jars, twine, and flowers, as well as make table runners and chair covers.

Create Your Own DIY Wedding Photo Booth

You can still have fun with a bit of creativity and a limited budget. Instead of hiring a pricey photo booth, create a backdrop with some decorations and props for a DIY selfie station. Or, why not set up a Polaroid station with a few cameras, some accessories and plenty of film?

12. Go Digital and Save the Environment

Digital invitations are an easy and cost-efficient way to invite guests to your wedding while also saving the environment. With digital invitations, you can save on printing paper invitations, stamps, and envelopes, making it a great way to cut down on your wedding budget. Digital invitations are easy to design. Many online platforms make it simple to personalise your invitations. You can also send and track your guests’ responses through websites like Paperless Post and Evite.

13. Ask a Friend to Be Your Officiant

If you don’t intend to get married in a church and would rather hire an officiant, you can have a friend take on the role and marry you instead. With the right preparation, your friend can make your ceremony more meaningful and special. This will help you save around $200 on your wedding budget and add a personal touch to your big day. Just ensure that they are familiar with the legal requirements of the role and ask them to get the necessary licence online. 

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14. Order a Less Expensive Wedding Cake

Choose a basic cake design such as a buttercream or naked cake. These types of cakes are easier and less expensive to make than fondant cakes. You can order a simple white cake and decorate it yourself with flowers, colourful fruits or a personalised topper. 

To reduce costs, you can have your baker create a single-tier cake or multiple mini-cakes. You can also order a small display cake that can only feed a few guests and then have sheet cakes of the same flavour cut up and served to other guests.

15. Hire a Day-of Coordinator Instead of a Wedding Planner

If you’re looking to save money on your wedding budget, hiring a day-of coordinator is a great option to consider. Day-of coordinators can help you with the last-minute details, such as setting up decorations and making sure everything runs smoothly on the day of the wedding. They can also be a great help with the logistics of the day. Plus, since they are only responsible for the day-of details, they don’t need to be paid as much as a full-service wedding planner. 

16. Consider Having a Destination Wedding

You could save money by having a destination wedding instead of a traditional one. With proper planning, a destination wedding could cost less than you think. Look for places that have a low cost of living and a good exchange rate. 

Additionally, having a destination wedding cuts down the guest list as not everyone is able to travel to your location. This way, you can invite only those closest to you without feeling guilty for leaving anyone out. Moreover, you can combine your wedding and honeymoon into one trip, allowing you to spend less on both events.

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17. Go for a Buffet Instead of a Seated Dinner

At weddings, there are two main methods of serving food: a sit-down dinner and a buffet menu. Sit-down options are generally considered to be more elegant, yet a buffet wedding allows guests to pick and choose their preferred dishes and is often a more economical choice. Additionally, buffets are more cost-effective with regard to staffing, while they may provide more food per dollar spent than plated dinners.

18. Maximise Rewards by Using a Debit Card 

Using a debit card can be a great way to save on your wedding budget and maximise rewards. With a debit card, you can avoid paying interest on purchases, which can add up over time. Additionally, many debit cards offer rewards such as cashback, points, or miles that can be used to pay for wedding expenses. For example, if you have a rewards-based debit card, you could use it to pay for wedding venue rentals, catering services, or wedding attire. You could save your rewards to spend on your honeymoon. 

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19. Save on Your Wedding Decorations

Wedding decorations can be expensive, but there are plenty of ways to save on them. Start by shopping around to get the best prices on decorations such as flowers, candles, tablecloths, banners, and more. 

Consider making some of your own decorations such as centrepieces, garlands, and place cards. Utilise items you already have and what your venue offers, such as vases, photo frames, and lanterns. Also, ask family and friends if they have any decorations or items you can borrow. Finally, take advantage of online deals and sales for your wedding decorations and accessories. With some creativity and resourcefulness, you can save big on your wedding decorations without sacrificing style and beauty. Here are some useful tips to save money on your decor items.

Replace Flowers with Greenery

Incorporating greenery into your wedding decor is an affordable and stylish choice. Greenery can create an elegant atmosphere, from draping garlands over doorways to adding sprigs of eucalyptus to bouquets and centrepieces. It is also a wonderful way to add a natural and beautiful touch to your special day. 

Repurpose Bouquets into Centrepieces

By using the same flowers from the bridesmaids’ bouquets, you can create stunning centrepieces that will look as though they have been professionally done. You can also add in some other elements such as candles, ribbons, and extra greenery to create a more complete look. You can also reuse your ceremony flowers as centrepieces on the guest tables, head table decor, or anywhere else in your reception venue that needs a touch of beauty.

Use Guest Favours as a Part of Your Decoration

You can opt for eco-friendly guest favours like Succulents or potted plants to use as part of your centrepiece decorations, or as a way to add a personal touch to each place setting. You can cleverly use favours as escort card holders or simply include the table numbers on each favour. You could also hang them from the ceiling or place them on a display table as part of your overall decor. 

Mr and Mrs sign decorated with flowers on a table-Minstrel Court
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It is totally feasible to create the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. All you need to do is know the secrets to plan a wedding on a budget. Just remember to keep your and your partner’s priorities in mind. Don’t get distracted by what others expect or what is fashionable. Focus on what the day stands for to you as a couple and stick to it. This will stop you from going over your budget and spending on items you don’t need. 

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