Planning a wedding on a budget but your daily pre-wedding scrolls through your social feeds has you daydreaming of a luxurious wedding? No worries! You don’t need to find a money tree to afford all those modern bells and whistles you’re falling in love with online. The average cost of a wedding in 2021 dropped to $22,500 (down from $28,000 in 2019) but let’s face it, that’s still a big chunk of change. And when you’re talking about an event that lasts only 5 – 6 hours, it’s easy to understand why today’s couples want to find other ways to keep costs down.
So, we’ve put together the top tips for planning your wedding on a budget without skimping on experiences. And while the term “budget wedding” can make most cringe, we’re excited to share that an incredible low-budget wedding is doable and even… (wait for it)… unforgettable! From proposing without a ring to DIY decor and food and choosing the best wedding season that will save you money, with these tips, you’ll breeze through planning your dream wedding on a budget.
You CAN have your perfect wedding day with all the dreaminess from those beautiful weddings you’ve pinned and saved on a budget. That’s right! All the awesomeness without the hefty price tag. And we’re going to tell you how.
Top Tips For Planning Your Wedding On A Budget
1. Go DIY
Everyone knows that doing it yourself is a great way to save money. And when it comes to your wedding, there are tons of ways to get your DIY on. From flowers to decor and the grub, here are some excellent ways to DIY your wedding and save on that budget.
DIY Decor – 5 Easy DIY Wedding Decor Ideas
A great way to keep your wedding budget in check is to DIY wedding decorations. Wedding budgets can quickly get out of control, especially when you start to see how many different types of wedding decor are available. When you’re on your never-ending daily social scrolls, you’ll see beautiful signage, decorative lighting, unique dance floors, endless flowers, stunning altar, aisle decor, etc. It can be overwhelming.
1. Wedding Chair Greenery
You don’t have to be a florist to design and create these beautiful wedding chair accents. With some rustic greenery and decorative ribbon, you can easily add extra unique flair and style to your wedding ceremony area.
Simply bunch your favorite greenery together, tie up the bunches with a pretty ribbon and attach them to your chairs. This will help dress up your aisle and make beautiful accents for your wedding ceremony.
Tip: Something that’s full and thick will last longer.
Image Source: Love-The-Day.com
2. DIY Wax Paper Wedding Backdrop
This is nothing short of amazing. If you want an Insta-worthy, jaw-dropping wedding ceremony backdrop, this is it! This is the brainchild of awesomely talented designer Katie M Kulper. It’s hard to believe some string, ribbon, a needle, scissors, wax paper, and a match stick could become something so beautiful. Featured on Style Me Pretty, you can get all the details and steps to create one for your event.
3. DIY Photo Table Runner
What a creative and fantastic idea. No doubt about it! This wedding table runner will be a conversation piece. And we love an easy and affordable project that makes a significant impact.
Image Source: Ruffledblog.com
4. Hand-Painted Paper Lanterns
Hand-painted paper lanterns are another fantastic DIY idea that’s a simple way to infuse your outdoor wedding with some classy and unexpected decor. They’re a romantic and beautiful way to dress up any wedding. We can thank DIY contributor Christy of One Handspun Day for these beauties. Click here to learn how to make them.
Image Source: GreenWeddingShoes.com
5. Arrange Your Own Bouquets
Flowers are one of the most romantic parts of any wedding; no matter what season, they can also eat away at your budget. Rather than hiring a professional florist to design and create your wedding bouquets, save some money and DIY them.
Image Source: Brides.com
DIY Desserts – 5 Easy DIY Wedding Desserts
Forget the five-tier wedding cake! So what’s trendy for weddings right now? Wedding buffets, homemade cakes, and small wedding cake alternatives like cinnamon rolls, cake pops, and donuts are all on the rise.
1. Pink Champagne Truffles
Sounds divine, right? We think so too! Make your wedding toast a bit sweeter with pink champagne truffles. Here’s how to make them.
Image Source: HGTV.com
2. Pre-Made S’Mores
We don’t know a single soul that doesn’t love S’mores, but making them at your wedding may not be an option. So, instead, make them in advance. Just skewer some marshmallows, hold them briefly over a fire, dip in melted chocolate, and then sprinkle them with a graham cracker crust. Simply genius!
Image By: Flynnside Out Productions via HGTV.com
3. Piña Colada Tartlets
This simple recipe will send party attendees to a tropical state of mind no matter what season it is. These petite tarts are ideal for weddings, summer get-togethers, bridal or baby showers, or fall tailgates. And aren’t they just so pretty? Here’s how to make them.
Tip: To cut down on prep time, use pre-made pastry shells.
Image Source: HGTV.com
4. Chocolate Panna Cotta Shooters
A New Year’s Eve wedding would be perfect for these sweet and stylish chocolate panna cotta shooters. Each surprise layer and the martini glass in which it is served will delight your guests. Here’s how to make them.
Image Source: HGTV.com
5. Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips Recipe
Kettle-fried, super-crispy, salty potato chips are the ideal canvas for the addition of sweetness and chocolate. This chip satisfies all of your cravings thanks to a thin covering of caramel and chopped nuts. Here’s how to make them.
Image Source: HGTV.com
2. Get Married During Off-Season
The off-season is a perfect way to get a better rate on many of your wedding vendors, primarily the venue. But what you might not realize is that you can also save some dough if you get married during the week.
3. Limit Your Vendors
Weddings require a lot of different vendors to pull it all together and make the magic. A great way to have a wedding on a budget is to use your community, friends, and family to see where you can save money. Do you know anyone who works in photography, catering? They can be a great resource to save money.
4. Create Your Playlist Ahead Of Time
Hiring a live band can set you back a pretty penny, and hiring a DJ can cost hundreds of dollars. So instead, put someone on music duty to just press play with music you have already lined up in a playlist. This will skip the cost of a live band or Dj!
5. Consider A Micro Wedding
One of the best ways to host a wedding on a budget is to plan a micro wedding. For example, limit your guest list to only close friends and family to make it more of an intimate setting. You can also go a step further and restrict or eliminate plus ones and children. Food and beverage costs are where a big chunk of your wedding budget goes, so reducing the number of invitees will save a lot.
6. Get Creative With Your Venue
Unique wedding venues can be a beautiful setting to tie the knot. And when you think outside the box, you may find that you’re also saving money. Hotel ballrooms and full-service wedding venues can come with hefty rates. Instead, consider renting an Airbnb for your wedding, a backyard wedding, and even courthouse weddings as alternatives. Some pretty cool Airbnb properties are excellent for weddings. Things like castles, chateaus, beachfront mansions, and even barns. Your wedding guests will be amazed. Here are some ideas.
7. Have A Dry Wedding
Ok, here’s the real deal. Food and beverages at weddings suck up most of your wedding budget. So, when you’re trying to keep the budget down, you have to get creative. The Knot puts the average cost for an open bar at $4,147, while one limited to cheaper spirits averages $2,550. Of course, these prices will vary based on your geographic location and number of guests. So, if you want to save a few thousand dollars on your wedding, have a dry wedding.
What Is A Reasonable Budget For A Wedding?
If you’re the thrifty type, love to DIY, limit the guests count, and have friends or family that can help pull your wedding together, you can have an incredible wedding for around $5,000. On the other hand, if you’re a couple that enjoys the finer things and wants a wedding day filled with all the bells and whistles, you should plan to budget around $20,000.
Have An Unforgettable Wedding Without Breaking The Bank
How much you spend on your wedding ultimately relates to your decisions. So to plan an unforgettable wedding day, follow your heart, and incorporate things that are important to you. Remember that your wedding day is about your love story and how you share it with your friends and family.