Plan a beautiful wedding without spending a lot of money.

Wedding Day!Credit: micha wixom

Having been through weddings for four daughters I have learned a bit on saving money, because face it, we ain’t loaded!  We wanted our daughters' to have a very special wedding day but had to look at the budget and be practical in the way we spent our money.  I have always been one to make a budget for big expenditures such as travel, home decorating, and weddings and not only do I make a budget, I stick to it!  With this mind-set I have found ways that have worked for us to save money.  Here are a few suggestions that might work for you as well:

Invitations:  With all of the fantastic products out there that make designing and printing your own invitations very easy, it’s silly to pay someone else to do it for you!  There are also budget-printing sites that can print your invitations very inexpensively.  We have also done handmade “scrapbooked” type of invitations that have turned out beautifully.  This wouldn’t be practical for a large number of invitations, but for smaller weddings can add an extra special touch.

Menu:  Ask family and friends to help instead of hiring a catering service.  Offer to reciprocate the favor.  Consider making many of your own refreshments for the reception, purchase them from a discount center such as Sam’s Club, or have a potluck type of meal with family members helping out!  Do you really need that sit-down dinner? Would beautifully served cold cuts and a chocolate fountain work just as well?  Other less expensive menus might include:

  • A backyard barbeque
  • A make-your-own ice cream sundae bar
  • Trays of homemade cup cakes decorated in the wedding colors
  • Homemade soups and breads

 Decorations:  Make your own table centerpieces.  There are so many simple and beautiful ideas, which can be very inexpensive, and once the dinner and reception is over they can be used as gifts for people who have helped with the wedding plans.

Photographer:  Hire a nice wedding photographer for a minimum of time and then have a friend or relative help out with the candid shots throughout the rest of the day.

Guest Book:  Order a photo book with plenty of blank spaces on it for the guests to sign.  Use photos of the bride and groom together through their dating days and add memories and quotes.  Purchase a wide mat that frames the wedding couple and have the guests sign around their picture. 

Wedding Dress:  Is it possible to borrow or rent a dress?  Consider looking online for beautiful gowns that have been discounted. 

Wedding Line:  Do you really need a full team of bridesmaids and groomsmen?  It really saves a lot of money to have only a maid-of-honor and best man.

Music:  Hire a disc jockey instead of a full band for great savings. 

Location:  Consider alternative locations for the reception such as a beautiful backyard instead of the Country Club.  What about using a historic old church instead of the ballroom at an expensive hotel?

A beautiful wedding day doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Just look at the planned expenses and ask yourself if there is a way you could trim the costs by doing things yourself or if there is a way it could be done a little less expensively with a little creativity.