With the cost of weddings on a rise, many people are looking for practical ways to keep that down. There is nothing wrong with being on an extremely tight budget, and it is possible to plan a wedding on that. You can still get the wedding of your dreams, with some fore-planning and careful preparation. Here are five practical tips for wedding planning on a budget.
Get Your Friends Involved
It is time to stop focusing on hiring professionals for everything. There are actually certain parts of your wedding that you really don’t need a professional to help out, like with the actually wedding planning. You may be tempted to hire a wedding planner for your big day, which is understandable to take the pressure off. However, wedding planners usually work based on a commission based on your final spending. They want you to spend more, and will encourage you to go for all the expensive options that could lead to you getting in debt. Not all consultants are this ruthless, but do you really want to risk getting the best one?
Get your friends to help you with the planning instead. You can designate certain parts of the big day to certain groups to make sure it happens in time for the big day, or ask one person you trust to go through the list with you regularly and work on an update. Most friends will be happy to do all this for free or just a small gift, really helping you with your wedding planning on a budget.
You can get your friends involved in many other ways. For example, instead of hiring a professional videographer, look at getting a friend to stand at the back or side with a video camera. Make sure they know how to use the camera before you get shots of the floor instead of the happy couple!
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Prioritize Everything You Want or Need
You’re not going to get everything for your small budget wedding. There will be sacrifices along the way, but you need to determine which parts of your day are more important to you as a couple. Go through a list of everything that is traditionally done at a wedding and all the unique ideas that you have, and then cross out anything you are not bothered about. Then go through and make a note of all the things that you must have.
By having a prioritized list, you can focus on getting everything that you must have within your budget. If there is any money left over, you could opt for the stuff that is lower down on the list. You could even just choose to put the money towards your honeymoon or back into your bank account. The choice here is completely up to you!
Make sure you work together when it comes to prioritizing. There are times that your partner will want one thing in particular that you’re not that bothered about, and vice versa. One of the best ways to do this is to take the list of everything and separate for a few hours to make a list of the top five or 10 things that you must have. Doing it separately will prevent negotiating right now. Once you have the list of everything you must have, you can go through the list for all the things you both agree on. It makes it much easier to cut things out quickly and start working on negotiating with a smaller list.
Do It Yourself Extras
Who said that everything needs to be bought from a store? You could have so much more fun by making everything yourself, from the decorations to the gifts for friends and family members. This is usually cheaper because buying the materials often comes at a lower cost than buying the actual items.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, don’t worry. There are plenty of places online to give you ideas for your wedding decorations and needs. Pinterest is one of the best places to look. There are some great boards that share invitation ideas, table decorations and even innovative ideas for entertainment. Some of the boards are even dedicated to wedding planning on a budget.
This takes more time than anything else. If you’re going to make everything yourself, you need to make sure you have the time to do it all. Don’t leave it all to the last minute, or hope that the week before your big day is enough time. It could take you two hours every evening for the year to get everything done and ready to just put in the right place.
The $1 or Less Wedding Favor Ideas
Keep It All Simple
There is no need to opt for extravagance to get people looking at you and talking about your big day. When you’re wedding planning on a budget, you need to keep everything as low in cost as possible, and that means keeping it all simple. However, that doesn’t mean tacky or plain. Simple can have a very elegant look to it that quickly gets people talking about how great the day was.
You may think that fancy elegant invitations are the way forward, but can’t afford to have them printed. Instead of having swirls and patterns all over the place, put one swirl or a small gem and ribbon in the top corner and you have the perfect option. As long as the invitations are on high quality card, people will think you’ve spent a fortune on them.
One great way to keep it simple is to have a very easy theme to use. Instead of going for big and fantastic ideas, cut it down to something that is easy to source. Consider flowers, love hearts or butterflies. The theme in itself may seem boring at first, but it is how you implement it that really matters. A simple theme gives you so many options to play with, and it’s very easy to source everything you’re going to need at an affordable rate.
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Don't let the lack of wedding budget stop you from having the wedding of your dreams.
Ask the Guests to Pay for Things
Guests want to get you a gift. It’s customary, and many don’t want to take money as an answer. At the same time, they want to feel like they’re contributing to your new life together. You could use this to your advantage and get your guests to pay for vital things that you don’t have the budget for. However, you need to cover this carefully and ask the right people.
Your parents likely want a part in your big day, but may not be able to afford that much. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to focus on one specific part and ask them to make it their gift for you. This could be the cake of your dreams, or you may ask them to help fund the venue that they have really want you to choose.
If you’ve been living together for some time, there are chances that you don’t need the traditional gifts. People often think of china plates, toasters and similar items for the couple, but you have all that already. Put a note with your invitations about your lack of gift list and what you would appreciate instead if they insist on getting you a gift. Many couples now request money to put towards the honeymoon fund. Your guests will feel like they’ve contributed to your first and often most special holiday as a married couple.
Wedding planning on a budget doesn’t need to be difficult. You can have just a couple of thousand dollars available to spend on your big day and it will be enough. The trick is to be sneaky and really cut down on the things for the day. Do you really need that flashy venue? Maybe the simplistic approach is the best option. Not only does it save money, but it keeps the day solely focused on your marriage together.