20 Ways to Plan a Wedding on a Budget ...

Knowing you have to plan a wedding on a budget is disappointing. Having a wedding is an expensive occasion, and couples feel immense pressure to put on an extravagant celebration that ends up costing way more than they can afford. Tips on how to plan a wedding on a budget can help the bride and groom save money on unnecessary expenses and show how you can still make a great event without flatlining your credit card or getting into a mountain of debt. Wedding planning on a budget can seem like an overwhelming task, but is not impossible still have a fabulous day and show-off event. Here are 20 Ways to Plan a Wedding on a Budget.

1. Get a Planner

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You may think this is a ridiculous thing to suggest on a budget, but a planner could save you a lot of money. Professional planners have the contacts in the industry and will get you the best deal. Give them a budget, tell them what you want, and they will have all the headaches fitting everything that you want into the budget. You don’t overspend at the last minute and you won’t start your marriage with debt.

2. Have a Civil Ceremony

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One of the best ways to plan a wedding on a budget is not aim for the sky. If it was good enough for Carrie from Sex in the City, then it is good enough for anyone. A civil ceremony is just an official procedure, and okay it is not very romantic, but it takes care of all the legalities, and it is substantially cheaper than a church wedding. Prioritise your needs and wants; you could take the money you saved and splash out on your dream honeymoon.

3. Have a Morning Wedding

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Venues usually offer better deals for morning weddings, as they are not that popular, as most people prefer to have an evening wedding and reception. You could save a lot of money on your menu, as it will usually have a less meat and expensive items and you can eliminate the pudding altogether. Also, you can completely cross off a bar, and the alcohol is a very pricey aspect of any wedding.

4. Get Married at Home

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Other tips for planning a wedding on a budget include making the most of what you already have. Whether it is your home, or a friend’s home, you could get married in the garden, or at your parents’ home under the tree house you grew up playing in and your venue could be completely free of charge. Keep the wedding small and make it casual or you could splash out if the property is big enough and have a Bedouin tent with all the bells and whistles.

5. Lose the Flowers

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Flowers - traditionally required according to … well nobody really remembers. But has anybody checked how much of the budget flowers eat up? It is quite astounding, and do you really need them? If so, why not get your friends to bring flowers out of their gardens, you know that the flowers were grown with love from all of your closest people in your life and it will add the colour you require to your wedding setting and with the money you save, you will be well on your way to your budget wedding.

6. Rent the Wedding Dress

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This is a difficult one if you are a sentimental bride, but not impossible to overcome. Do you really want to spend double the money on a custom made dress that you are never going to wear again? A rental dress can be fitted to your exact size and specifications and costs a fraction of what a custom made dress does.

7. Do Your Own Décor

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You may be lucky enough that your venue includes décor in the price of the hire. If not, do your own; borrow table cloths, vases and ribbons and only hire what you absolutely have to. Buy some cheap and cheerful paper lanterns, use lots of candles and you could have a classy and romantic setting that costs next to nothing.

8. Get Married in the Week

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Another of the practical ways to plan a budget friendly wedding is to get married on a weekday. Venues may offer huge discounts to couples who want to make use of their venues in the week, and they could literally run a lottery for those who want the venues for weekends. You could have the venue of your dreams, for a third of the price if you get married on a Thursday instead of a Saturday.

9. Choose a Winter Wedding

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When you say dream wedding, it is usually full of images of outdoor parties, sleeveless dresses and cocktails in the warm summer sun. But you could have your dream wedding in the winter as well, for much less than a summer wedding. Change champers to gluwein, log fires, red wine and winter coats. Could be beautiful and romantic and the money you save could be spent on a hot sunny honeymoon.

10. Elope

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Let’s face it. The guest list is what adds significantly to the cost, so the ways to plan a wedding on a budget have to include strategies that cuts the list down or removes them altogether. Most couples don’t want to elope because they feel guilty about leaving their loved ones out of their special moment. And then there was Internet. Get away from the drama, the stress and the expense of a big, pricey affair and spoil yourselves on a faraway island, send friends and family an Internet video link so they can witness the ceremony, then disconnect the computer and start your honeymoon immediately.

11. Cull the Guest List

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Guilt, in this case is a useless emotion. Don’t feel obliged to invite that aunty or that cousin because it’s the right thing to do, if you have not seen them in the last year, you don’t want them in your wedding photos. They are only coming for the free food, free party, and you could have spent that money on a luxury honeymoon or invites from your extended circle of friends.

12. Don’t Believe the Hype

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Expectations can be an expensive thing and has no place for weddings on a budget - just because the media has socialized us to believe that it is not a real wedding unless it is worthy of a Hello shoot, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. Refrain from looking at bridal and wedding magazines as if they are the benchmark for a wedding. The celebration of the love and life of the bride and groom sets the bar.

13. Don’t Buckle under Pressure

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Family, we love them, we can’t live without them, but when it comes to weddings they are going to drive you batty. Don’t buckle under the pressure to include people on the guest list, don’t feel that you have to follow traditions, and make it clear that this wedding is about you and your fiancé and draw that line right from the start.

14. The Destination Wedding

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This is perfect for those who couples who want to have an idyllic wedding on a budget. Many of the exotic islands that offer weddings offer incredible wedding packages with loads of freebies for the bride and groom, and some of them even have complimentary wedding packages. Invite whoever you want, but make your guests pay for themselves, and only those who count will pitch.

15. Lose the Favors

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Wedding favors - who are they really important for? And how many liquor-filled guests just end up leaving them behind anyway? Lose the favors and instead take pictures of the guests and include them in your thank you card, that will cost a lot less and be that much more memorable, plus you will save loads of money in the long run.

16. Do Your Own Music

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Professional DJs can eat in to a wedding budget. They cost a lot of money and here’s another of the ways of planning a wedding on a budget by using what you already have. Put together a playlist of your favorite music in mp3 format and just play it through your computer; it will pick random tunes and you can dance uninterrupted all night long for free!

17. Get a Friend to Make Your Cake

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The wedding cake is a contentious subject, but it doesn’t have to be done away with all together. Rather than get a professional wedding baker to make you an extravagant, multi tired cake, ask a baker friend to make you and your fiancé your favorite chocolate cake, or even an ice cream cake and double it up as dessert.

18. Ask the Bridesmaids to Get Their Own Dresses

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One of the biggest chunks of the budget is the high cost of the bridesmaid’s dresses. It is absolutely acceptable to ask your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. You can even ask them to wear a dress they already have, just ask them to all wear a specific color. That way your bridesmaids can pick their own style, according to their own budget and they can wear it again afterwards. This will really help you to organize your wedding economically.

19. Bridal Party Gifts

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Gifts for your bridal party are in actual fact an optional extra. Asking your groomsmen and bridesmaids to share your special day is a really big honor, and you can be assured that they do not expect a present as well. A beautiful letter, a small photo album of special moments of the wedding day, or a meal with everybody before the wedding, will mean so much to the special people in your life, and will really not cost much at all.

20. Have a Cash Bar

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Having an open bar at a wedding can do real damage to a conservative wedding budget. Put a bottle of wine on each table and put everything else behind the bar, it will help your guests stay sober, which will prevent chaos as the evening gets later.

A budget wedding doesn’t have to feel like a cheap wedding, just cut out some of the things that are not really than important or be creative and do things in a completely different way. If you are planning a financially conservative wedding, which one of these 20 ways to plan a wedding on a budget would you choose? Or maybe, you have your own ways and tips you can share with us?

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