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Avoid These Mistakes When Planning A Budget Wedding

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Though the supposed national average wedding cost is hovering close to $34K according to The Knot, you can still have the wedding of your dreams when you’re working with a smaller budget. The important thing is to know what you’ve got to spend, make a plan, and take care to stick to your chosen budget.

wedding calendar timeline
photo by: normadorothy.com

In order to help you stay on track with planning your wedding while sticking to a budget, check out of some common mistakes below. Being aware of these possible budget-busting moves will help you to avoid getting into a financial pickle along the course of your planning process.

To ensure your dream wedding doesn’t turn into a wedding nightmare, make note of the following mistakes, and make every effort to avoid them!

Mistake #1: Blowing the majority of your budget on one thing

As you already know if you regularly visit our site, there are all kinds of ways to save money on your wedding. That’s good news because you can easily cut costs no matter what your total budget may be. It’s important to watch your spending and keep thorough records of your expenses along the way. If you assume you can get away with saving money in one area, you may be tempted to splurge in another. This could be a big potential problem, especially if you later discover there are hidden costs that you hadn’t anticipated.

This is especially relevant as it relates to choosing your wedding venue. It might be seemingly perfect for your budget, but if it doesn’t come with any extras, such as tables, chairs, dinnerware, or catering staff, then you might fall short of cash later on when you’re trying to accommodate these things. 

So, do yourself a favor and think twice before splashing your cash. And to make life easier for yourself, use an online wedding budget planner or expense tracker to help you make a spending plan. This typically works as a checklist of your essential wedding items, which allows you to attribute part of your budget to each aspect of your day.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to buy something vital

There are certain wedding essentials that we would never forget to buy, of course. How many of us would forget to shop for wedding rings or the wedding dress? How many of us would neglect to shop for or send wedding invitations? It just wouldn’t happen, but while you’re in a whirlwind frenzy of wedding planning, there could be a few things you do forget.

That checklist we mentioned will come in handy for those easily overlooked items that seem to pop up along the way. The things that often come up as surprise expenses are things like forgetting to buy gifts as a thank you to those who have helped plan the wedding, host a shower, or been generally supportive. Or you may forget to buy the guestbook (and cute pens) for your guests to sign on the big day. Then there are little details like place cards and holders for your reception seating arrangements, and the cake topper for your wedding cake.

These may seem like little things, but they are all important, and many little expenses can add up along the way. With the frenzy of general life and planning the big things for your wedding such as venue, photography, and catering, you very well might forget about these little things. So, add them to your checklist ahead of time alongside those other wedding essentials, big and small.

Mistake #3: Asking the wrong family members or friends to help you

Tbh, if you have the money available to you, then it makes sense to hire professionals for your wedding. A quality wedding photographer will give you memories you can look back on for years to come, and a professional catering team will make sure your guests are well fed after your wedding ceremony. Provided you do your research in advance, you should be able to find the best people for the work required on your big day. Using pros will make you and your guests more happy, comfortable, and relaxed, knowing things are all taken care of by trained pros.

On the other hand, if you are working with a super tight budget, you might want to ask some of your friends or family members to help you. We say ‘might’ because they do need to be up to the challenge before them. If you ask your mother-in-law to do the catering and later discover she doesn’t have the skills or the stress-capacity to cook for your legion of wedding guests, it could end in disaster. Or if you ask your friend to take photos, and later discover he left the lens cap on during your ceremony, then you are going to end up with wedding regret and wishing you’d just spent the money on a pro.

Our advice is this: make sure any “friend-ors” are up to the task beforehand, perhaps by asking for evidence of their credentials if they offer their services. Or follow our tips for hiring budget-friendly vendors, as this might be the safer option if you have any doubts about the skills of your nearest and dearest.


Being aware of and watching out for potential pitfalls is half the battle. Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, you are all set for a smoother process of planning a fantastic wedding on whatever budget you’ve got. If you think we’ve missed anything or you have other tips for our readers, be sweet, and share your advice in the comments below!


The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!