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How To Do A Wedding On A Budget

The Average Costs Of A Wedding

How to Do a Wedding Budget That Works (Step-by-Step)

Here are the average price tags for common wedding expenses, according to a 2019 survey by The Knot and WeddingWire’s Wedding Cost Guide:

At the very least, youll need a marriage license. Application fees vary by state, county, city or other conditions. The standard license fee is $27.50 in New Orleans, $50 in Boston and $100 in Santa Barbara, California.

Not Allocating Funds Correctly

Garrett Richardson Photography

Just like buying shoes, an apartment or a pair of jeans, when it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly, and use our budget breakdown above as a guide. To avoid stress, also allot 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund. If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

If you’re asking yourself how you can possibly save up for something as expensive as a wedding, don’t worryâit’s doable. As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a goodâthough loftyâgoal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to put away. You can also save up by limiting your spending on small stuff . These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.

Ask For Wedding Help Instead Of Wedding Gifts

Talk to some of the friends and family youre inviting to the wedding and ask them if they would be willing to provide help at the wedding in lieu of a gift. This is particularly true if you have someone on the guest list with a particular talent.

Guests for your wedding might be able to help with photography, provide emcee services, tend the bar at the reception, or perform any of the other endless tasks that a wedding entails. While some guests may prefer not to do this, others will relish the chance.

Many of the roles at our own wedding were provided by family and friends. From our perspective, we felt that everything would be much more meaningful if people we loved were actually involved with the ceremony in some way, and many of them jumped at the chance. Some of them provided supplies as their wedding gift, while others provided discounts.

Getting even a little help can easily shave 5% off of the total cost of the wedding.

Strategy: Ask family and friends for assistance at the ceremony in lieu of giftsSavings: $1,400

With all that money youve saved on your big day, turn to your next big step in life: Buy the home youll love as much as each other. Compare mortgages below.

Check Your Mortgage Rates

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Prioritise What’s Important To You

Even if you have a strict budget, you dont have to scrimp on everything. Take the time to think about what is most important to you and prioritise those things, then aim to cut costs on the less important elements. Perhaps you have always dreamed of that designer wedding dress but arent as bothered about the cake, or you want to spend more on that unique wedding venue that doesnt require any extra decorations. With some savvy planning you can still create your perfect day on a budget.

Use A Fake Wedding Cake

Top 5 Wedding Planning and Budget Checklists

Wedding cakes can get extremely expensive compared to ordinary cakes.

So, if you have a crafty friend or a family member with great icing skills, ask them to decorate a tiered cake-shaped block of Styrofoam, and serve your guests a store-bought cake instead.

If you have your heart set on the cake-cutting tradition, you could purchase a smaller cake and use it as the fake cakes topper.

Also Check: Officiate A Wedding In Nj

Know What Your Budget Is

You have to have a clear idea of what you want to spend before you start. Be realistic about this and dont make plans based on the money you might get.

Once you know what you want to spend, break it down into to categories so that you know how much you have got to spend on different things. This makes it easier to track whether you are still on budget.

Plan A Simple Honeymoon

Sure, you could book a 20-hour flight to an exotic location for your honeymoon, or you could choose a less-expensive but equally as enjoyable getaway closer to home.

When planning your honeymoon, try to focus on what matters relaxing after the long weeks of wedding prep and enjoying time with your new spouse.

Remember you dont need to travel across the world to have a great time together.

Another variation on this budget wedding tip is to create a fund for your honeymoon and place it on your wedding registry. This way, people can contribute to your honeymoon instead of buying you a gift.

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How To Create A Wedding Budget

The first step to crafting your wedding budget is coming up with a number you feel comfortable with spending for the occasion. Starting to plan with an unclear spending limit could lead to overspending since seemingly small expenses can add up quickly.

When making your wedding budget, consider how much you’ve saved up so far, your wedding timeline , and any outside money, such as from one or both families, you plan to have. Be as specific as possible.

Once you have the budget number in mind, write down all of your potential wedding expenses in order of priority. Here are some expenses that may be involved when planning a wedding:

  • Ceremony space
  • Videography

Next, allocate funds from your budget to different areas of the wedding. You may want to do some price shopping for flowers, catering and venue space at this stage to figure out a ballpark price for each expense.

If you don’t have the funds to cover every wedding cost on the list, you may have to make a few tough decisions about what’s necessary and what you can sacrifice to stay within budget.

Typically, caterers, photographers and other vendors require a deposit upfront to secure the date, and you pay the balance later. Saving up before the final bill is due can help you avoid relying on credit. To build up your wedding savings, you could consider opening up a and contributing to it every week or biweekly when you get paid.

Host A Minimony Or Microwedding

How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Intimate affairs were trending in 2020 out of necessity, but it’s a budget-friendly option you could consider even after the pandemic. A minimony is a ceremony with up to 10 people and a microwedding has up to 50 guests, according to The Knot.

Catering for such a small gathering could cost a fraction of what you might spend on the average-size wedding. That savings could go toward your new life together, a honeymoon or other areas of your wedding budget, such as the perfect location or five-star catering.

Also Check: How To Plan A Wedding Under 5000

Break Your Budget Into Percentages

If you know what you can spend on a wedding and which expenses you plan to include, youre ready for the next step. This involves dividing your budget into percentages to cover each spending category.

Heres an example of what that might look like, based on a $19,000 budget:

  • 40% for the venue and catering
  • 10% for furniture rental
  • 10% for photography
  • 10% for flowers and decor
  • 10% for entertainment
  • 5% for bride and groom attire
  • 5% for hairstyling and makeup
  • 3% for the cake
  • 3% for stationary/invitations
  • 2% for favors
  • 2% for transportation

Your budget percentages may look different based on which expenses you plan to include. Still, using this type of budgeting method can help you see at a glance how much you should be earmarking for each wedding expense.

Consider using a free budgeting app to keep track of your wedding budget and expenses.

Shop Secondhand Or Sale Racks

Shopping for your wedding is a lovely moment, but you dont always have to buy something new to make it special. Buying secondhand or from the sale rack is a great way to save on costs while still having the dress or other ensemble of your dreams. Look for bargains in all areas of your special day from your wedding dress or tuxedo to your centerpieces and wedding party gifts.

Also Check: How To Make A Wedding Spreadsheet

Make Sure You Both Have A Few Of Your Top Desires

When Jenn and Brad married in October 2014, they knew they would need to be budget-conscious. But they also wanted to have a wedding that fulfilled both of their desires. To figure out what was most importantand what they could compromise onthey each made a list of their top three most important things. For Brad, live music at the ceremony and a great DJ at the reception was a necessity. For Jenn, having a talented photographer to capture their special day was a non-negotiable. Other things, though? They could take or leave them, and knowing that from the beginning helped inform their spending. It also made it easier to make decisions. No one has ever said they were disappointed that the groomsmen werent wearing boutonnières or that there wasnt a big fancy cake for our wedding, she shared. Once your budget is set, dont deviate from it without both agreeing to the added cost.

Make It A Family Affair

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The next step towards learning how to plan a wedding on a budget of $1,000 relates to the getting help from your family. There are numerous tasks that your family members can perform and help you save a considerable amount. For instance, you can use your own music system and ask your family member to be the DJ for your wedding night.

While planning your wedding, assign different tasks to your close family members. They can help you while decorating the venue and making other necessary arrangements. For instance, you can use family vehicles for transportation purpose and making other arrangements. This will allow you to cut the cost of your wedding to a great extent.

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It Can Be Hard To Gauge Your Needs But These Strategies Will Help

There are myriad costs that go into getting married, some of them unforeseen: You’ll want to choose a venue, a caterer, a florist, perhaps a band or DJnot to mention wedding clothes. This is why it’s so important to have a plan to save for them, so all those expenditures that make tying the knot special don’t set you back financially for years to come.

These strategies can help you plan for a wedding and put aside enough to meet your needs.

A Beautiful Budget Bouquet

Babys breath, or to give it it’s proper name, Gypsophila, has always been known throughout the floral world as a cheap filler but is now commonly used on its own. A really pretty flower, for some inspiration check out our Gypsophilia budget wedding ideas. Foliage is another growing trend for chic, budget bouquets.

Read Also: How To Address Wedding Invitations To A Family

Budget Wedding Ideas For Your Food And Drink

  • If you have a Mum/Uncle/Cousin who loves baking then ask them to make you a cake, nine times out of ten they will be really flattered and accept your request with gusto.

  • Instead of having a wedding cake, have a Bake-Off style dessert table – ask people to bring cakes and desserts instead of presents or have a cake of cheese so you don’t need to provide an evening buffet.

  • Consider your menu choices. Opt for a BBQ or even a picnic if your venue will let you. Think grazing tables and sharing platters as these might come in at a lower price.

  • Buy booze in bulk throughout the year when it’s on offer at the supermarket or cash and carry and display in an old bathtub/wheelbarrow/bin.

  • Calculate exactly how much alcohol you need so that you don’t overspend. You can listen to Episode 16 of the podcast where we talk all about it.

  • Want ideas of how to make the most of your wedding menu too in order to get value for money? You can check out Episode 39 of the podcast where we interview Recommended Suppliers Caviar & Chips and talk all things wedding menus.

How To Plan The Wedding Of Your Dream Without Going Into Debt

How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget!

Figuring out your wedding budget is no easy feat. Your wedding will likely be the biggest party you’ve ever hostedand the priciest. To make a budget, you’ll need to tally up your savings, maintain a detailed spreadsheet so you don’t go over during the planning process, prepare for unexpected costs, as well as make meaningful cuts if you do exceed your total budget. It’s hard work, we know, but putting in the time and energy now ensures you’ll live happily ever after . Here’s exactly how to set a wedding budget you can stick to.

Read Also: New Jersey Wedding Officiant

Address Your Own Invitations

Paying for calligraphy is not cheap. If you must have calligraphy on your invites, consider buying a calligraphy pen and practicing until you get it right. It’s not that difficult. And only an expert would notice it wasn’t done by a professional. As a starting point, there are tons of tutorials online.

Time Your Wedding For The Winter

The holidays are a popular and pricey time of year for weddings. But January through March is considered the off-season for weddings throughout most of the country. In most locations, youll likely find the lowest cost venue options during deep winter. You may even be able to haggle down the costvenues would rather have a low-cost wedding than no wedding on a particular date.

Recommended Reading: How Many Hotel Rooms To Block For Wedding

The B Word When It Comes To Weddings

JBJ Pictures

Yes, setting your wedding budget can be a B. We know you’d rather skip this step and go straight to the cake tasting, but creating your budget is arguably the most important part of planning a wedding.

And whether you’re working with $100 or $100,000, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide what you can afford to spend, and what you’ll want to save or splurge on.

To get you started, weve broken the wedding budget planning process into 6 easy steps:

Earn Credit Card Points When Possible

If you are planning a wedding on a shoestring budget, it ...

If you’re planning to use a credit card to pay for wedding products and services, take advantage of cards that offer rewards points or other benefits. For example, by spending money on a credit card that offers travel rewards, you can use the accumulated miles to pay for your honeymoon flight. If you’re planning on opening up a new credit card account to pay for wedding expenses, be sure to research any benefits or rewards beforehand.

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