Your wedding is going to be one of the most memorable days of your life. It is a day you will want to look back on years down later and smile at the memories.
Creating such a magical day can be overwhelming and even expensive, and the cost of your special day can take some of that magic away.
Fear not, however! There are ways to balance both the magic of your wedding day and your checkbook! Here are five tips for planning your wedding on a budget.
1. Create Your Own Invitations
Doing things yourself can save loads of money on your wedding. Professional invitations may look good, but they can cost as much as $800 and are sometimes not worth it.
Using websites like moo.com and canva.com allows you to create custom wedding invitations to your liking at a far lower price than it would be if you were to approach a company to do an invitation for you. Additionally, besides a few people like yourself and your parents who will keep your invitation forever, most will end up in a closet or the trash can of most recipients after the wedding.
2. Ask Friends and Family to Exchange Skills for Presents
If you have a family member or a friend with a skill that could be of use, why pay extra for someone else to do it? Whether it be the musical talent, getting a makeup artist, or finding a florist for the bouquets, asking a family friend could be far cheaper than approaching a random business.
3. Limit Your Guest List
One of the most significant issues in throwing a wedding is figuring out who to invite. Your wedding is supposed to be one of the most magical days of your life, so it is only natural that you would want to include everyone in the festivities, from your personal trainer to your parents’ gardener.
As strong as that temptation might be, you have to think of it as “every guest is more money.” Inviting too many people to your wedding means you need to pay for more food and more space.
The rule of thumb in shrinking your invitation list is to take the full list and chop 20% off of that, then an additional 20% off, and see how it feels. Not only is this financially better, but this could also help prevent your wedding from feeling cramped and overstuffed.
4. Do the Catering Yourself, or Hire a Family-Owned Restaurant
One extra advantage of cutting the fat off your wedding guest list is that it opens the opportunity for you to do your own food. If you can do your own food, DO IT. Draft the menu and shop at the market for food with your family, the money you will save will be worth the extra time it takes.
If you simply can’t cook your own meals, look for local, family-owned restaurants instead of chains. Family-owned restaurants will always do their best to make your wedding food as good as possible, and also often be slightly flexible on the pricing based on your budget.
5. Save on Decorations
Price shop for decorations, and consider buying some of them used. Not every decoration at your wedding needs to be new. Gently used decorations can still look new, and they are highly cost-effective.
Arts and craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby have sales year-round, and if you know what to get ahead of time, that could save a nice amount of money, as well. Using sites like Craigslist and OfferUp can be helpful as well for finding centerpieces.
New brides often sell their centerpieces after their weddings for a much lower price than what they would cost new. That could be an opportunity for you to save a substantial amount of money.
Having a magical day can absolutely be achieved on a budget. With a little bit of imagination, resourcefulness, and a little effort, your day can look like you spent much more on it than you actually did.