Beautiful Weddings on a Budget

We all dream of the perfect wedding.  Yet after meeting with vendors and researching the cost of every detail, your ideal setting may seem a little daunting. Don’t lose hope. Here are a few ways you can plan the perfect wedding while eliminating some major added expenses.

  1. Trim the guest list. This is an important tip to remember, you don’t have to include everyone you know. Prioritize an “A List” first and then add friends, distant relatives, or co-workers until you reach your limit. Leaving children off your guest list is an easy way to keep your guest count low.
  2. DIY what you can. Or ask friends and family who can. If you have a baker in the family, recruit them to make your wedding cake. If you know someone who has an eye for beautiful floral arrangements, let them take over. Lastly, load up on the card stock and create your own special wedding invitations. The DIY possibilities are endless.
  3. Schedule your ceremony between meal times. If you get married in the afternoon or late morning, it is easier to get away with serving heavy hors d’oeuvres and appetizers to your guests. Serving a full meal can double or triple your food costs.
  4. Get married at home. Beautiful backyard weddings are cozy and intimate. They also offer more flexibility when choosing your date. You can be as formal or casual as you like, and you never have to follow the guidelines of a rented venue.
  5. Choose your dress carefully. Brides in expensive wedding gowns are just as beautiful as those with a humbler selection. If you know someone who is willing to let you borrow their gown, say yes if it is the right fit!
  6. Have a friend DJ or set up a playlist ahead of time. Plan a list of songs ahead of time that you would like to hear at your reception and let it roll. However, do ask a friend to MC. You may want someone to announce your arrival to the party. The first introduction as husband and wife is joyful to everyone.
  7. Stock your bar. This is the time to shop for cases of wine, beer, liquor and mixers. If the cost gets too high, cash bars are always a great alternative.
  8. Ask for help. This can be a daunting task, but if you have parents or relatives who are willing to help with wedding costs, be grateful and say “Yes!”
  9. Plan well. A longer engagement can give you time to put money aside for wedding expenses. This also gives you an opportunity to recruit help and shop vendor prices.
  10. Budget thoroughly. This is the most important way to keep your cost low. Create a detailed list of everything you want for your wedding and add a maximum dollar amount beside each item.

If you plan well, you will find many benefits to planning a wedding on a budget. You may even find added funds to indulge on your honeymoon!

Tips for Keeping Your Guest List Small

Weddings are an exciting event! We understand your desire to celebrate with the masses. We also understand how difficult it can be to invite everyone you want while staying within your budget. Here are a few tips to trimming down the guest list and making the most of your special day.

Start with the must haves. There are friends and family that simply must be included on your list.  You know who these people are, they have shared pivotal moments with you over the years. Start your list with these names first and make sure it includes parents, siblings, grandparents, and close family that cannot be eliminated. Now that you have created, you’re “A list” it is time to think of co-workers, friends, and extended family you would like to include. As harsh as it may seem, it is crucial to prioritize these names to make sure you do not overextend your limit.

Carefully consider the children you plan to invite. Children bring joy and laughter to any wedding, but if everyone on your guest list can bring their kiddos along, your numbers will quickly double. State clearly on your invitations who is invited. For those guests who seems confused or upset with this decision, a one-on-one conversation may be necessary. Communicating that their precious bundle of joy is not the only child left off the list may help ease any frustrations.

Set expectations. First, understand that it is an honor that people want to celebrate your marriage with you. After spreading the good news of your engagement, go ahead and start planting seeds that you intend to keep the wedding small. If this is well communicated from the beginning, it eliminates a disappointing surprise when an invitation doesn’t show up on a later date.

If you find it challenging to keep your guest list small, remind yourself repeatedly that you are not obligated to invite everyone you know. You and your fiancé should create your list first while taking suggestions from parents and other family second. Also, keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend.