Guest post by James Ponds
Planning a wedding should be exciting, but it can also be stressful. Your budget can be a huge factor in throwing your dream wedding, so it’s important to establish upfront. If you’re working with a frugal budget for your wedding, here are some tips to consider while you plan.
1. Combine your Wedding and Honeymoon
If paying for both a wedding and a honeymoon stress you out, you may want to think about combining the two. Cruise weddings can be a great package deal. You choose the location and the ship takes care of everything else. Many cruise companies have different wedding options, so you can choose whether you want to hold the ceremony at sea, on shore, or just celebrate with a reception. They can also handle everything from flowers to music. Since you’ll be on a luxury cruise ship, you’ll have spa options close at hand.
2. Declare Your Non-negotiables
If a destination wedding isn’t for you but you’re still having to budget, it can be a good idea to speak with your partner about which wedding elements you want most. Do you want an extensive photography option or the four-course seated dinner? Or maybe you want more guests but the venue can only handle smaller weddings. Before you determine the budget for the different wedding expenses, figure out which things you can’t live without and which you’re willing to compromise on.
The do-it-yourself route isn’t always cheaper, but it’s certainly worth a try. If you can make your own flower arrangements or know how to bake, you could save some serious money. You can enlist your wedding party to help. Crafting can even be a fun activity you all do together. If you won’t want to pay someone to set up your ceremony space beforehand, get the groomsmen to help with the heavy lifting. Stocking the bar yourself can be way cheaper than paying the venue. Chances are you won’t have the skill or desire to DIY every aspect of your wedding, but choosing to tackle a few can make a huge difference in your budget.
4. Embrace the Non-Traditional
There are a lot of traditional wedding aspects you could toss out the window without your guests ever noticing. Wedding favors are expensive and are rarely prized by guests in the years to come. Your grandparents and a few other family members are likely to keep the printed programs. All those wedding invitations you packaged and mailed aren’t going to be kept past the wedding date. If that prized wedding venue is too expensive, try someplace more unique. If you don’t have the cash for bridal party gifts, cut down wedding party, or forgo it completely. There are plenty of other little things you can save money on that your guests won’t miss.
5. Ask for Help
If you’ve got talented friends, ask for their help instead of gifts. That friend who owns a bakery can make your cake, or your partner’s DJ brother can handle the music. Maybe your maid of honor does beautiful calligraphy, or your mom has an eye for floral arrangements. If you don’t know anyone that can help you directly, keep exploring your network. Maybe your best man knows a great caterer who will offer you a discount, or your long-lost cousin can let you use their venue for cheap.
6. Shop Around
Having a limited budget makes it even more important to compare prices and be ready for compromise. If you’re willing to be flexible with your expectations and invest a bit of time, you can find some great deals. Your dream venue might not be available on the date you wanted, but it is available during the off-season for a fraction of the price.
Planning a wedding on a budget is no easy feat, but there are lots of easy ways to accomplish your goals. Whether you take to the seas or the smaller venue you didn’t realize existed, there are lots of sensible ways to have a glamorous wedding day.