You have a very precise vision for your wedding… but you also have a very precise budget to stick to. And, unfortunately, a dream wedding doesn’t usually come with a dream price tag — extravagant weddings are called “platinum weddings” for a reason, you know.
You don’t have to give up on those extravagant visions of your wedding, though. Instead, you can work a little bit of wedding planning magic in order to save money while still creating the exact vibe you want. Here are four examples of popular wedding themes — and how you can make them a reality for your big day, even on a budget!
Popular Wedding Themes on a Budget
Glammed Out Wedding
Your wedding vision sparkles just as much as you will on your big day. You probably have a huge rock, a crystal-covered gown and dramatic makeup at the ready. What you don’t have, though, is the budget to make your wedding as over the top as you’ve always imagined.
You can keep your fancy dresses, flowers, and venue, so long as you do this one important thing: slice your guest list. That way, you spend less on food, cake, table and chair rentals, venue size…. The list goes on. A smaller quantity of everything will mean you can pay more for them without completely busting your budget.
Or, if you want to reduce your spending on your wedding dress, you can buy a second-hand designer dress from another bride! Prices are often reduced by over half, and, since they’re only worn once, gowns often come to their second owners in pristine condition. Be sure to educate yourself on what to do prior to buying, such as scouring the frock for any imperfections that might render it unwearable.
So many brides-to-be dream of a completely bohemian wedding. Once they have an engagement ring to match the theme — think moonstone or opal — they can begin envisioning the rest of the shabby-chic details. The lace dress, candles, and mismatched bridesmaids gowns will all come together.
The only problem with a bohemian vibe is that it might require quite a few flowers to make it feel complete, and floral arrangements are a huge wedding expense. If you want to stick to your boho vision, incorporate more greenery into your flower arrangements than actual flowers. They’ll still feel just as whimsical — throw in some baby’s breath, too — but they won’t damage your budget quite like fully floral arrangements.
Your bridal vision might veer from the nearest church and reception hall and onto far away beaches or mountainsides. Again, a destination wedding can cost a serious amount of money for you and your guests, but there’s one way to slash the bottom line: renting a property that doubles as lodging and wedding location.
If you get married by the beach, for example, you can rent a vacation home on the sand. Hold your ceremony by the sea, then retreat to the rental for a reception. Your bridal party can stay with you in the house, further discounting the wedding for everyone involved.
For a bit more incentive to have a destination wedding, consider the fact that a great number of intended guests simply will not be able to make it. You’ll save money by having a smaller wedding party on-hand; you’ll likely have to slash the guest list in the first place in order to afford an out-of-town wedding venue.
The only thing you care about is your wedding reception, and, for that reason, it will be more than memorable. The only problem is that incorporating all of the party elements can put a big price tag on your big day.
For starters, you can create your own playlist of good music rather than hiring a DJ to spin. (Since you want a party-centric wedding, you probably know what songs get people on their feet.) You might also consider having a small ceremony — or even forego a formal ceremony altogether for a courthouse “I do” — and putting your entire budget into the reception instead.
Another huge expense for the party will undoubtedly be the booze. Rather than opening the entire bar to your guests for free, choose a signature cocktail to serve. You can pair that with free wine and beer, which will cost you a whole lot less than liquors.
Finally, you can cut the price on the cake you’ll cut by making the bottom layers of your tier cake a frosted mirage. Nowadays, many couples are using fondant-covered cardboard layers beneath the top tier to create the illusion of a wedding cake. They feed guests with much cheaper sheet cakes and save big bucks on the display, which will undoubtedly look as gorgeous as the cake you envisioned.
If Your Theme Didn’t Make the List…
Fortunately, many of these money-saving tips can be used to make any wedding theme cheaper. So, if your vision isn’t on the list, don’t worry: cut your guest list, shrink your bar, decorate with greenery or buy a secondhand dress and you just might find your wedding is much more affordable without sacrificing any part of your vision. 😉