Whether you are newly engaged or already planning your event, you are busy dreaming about your perfect wedding day. Before you make any major decisions, you will need to determine an appropriate budget for the occasion. You will need to prioritize key components of your wedding, like invitations, guest favors, photography, and the venue. To get the wedding of your dreams on any budget, use these brilliant tips to maximize your wedding budget!
Start with Styling
As you start your wedding planning, one of your first decisions is the theme or style of your wedding. For example, you might choose Rustic Chic or Hollywood Glam for the big event. Your theme is going to dictate many of your other decisions, including décor and your wedding dress.
To stay on a budget, select a style theme that matches your financial situation. If you want to recreate the royal wedding, it is probably going to cost much more than a vintage theme. As you choose a color palette, also keep in mind the budget. The more colors you have and the more specific they are, the higher your costs will be.
Professional Photography Package
Every wedding ought to have a professional photographer. These are once-in-a-lifetime moments that you will want to capture to perfection. However, keep your sentimentality in check as you select a professional photography package.
Many packages include all-day photography and multiple wedding albums. Instead, look at booking a photographer to capture the ceremony, some of the key moments, and some portraits. Then, use DIY methods and the help of guests to get great photos of those other moments throughout the event. Most of your guests will have their smartphones. You can use a special Instagram hashtag to encourage guests to share their candid photos. This can result in great reception photos. You can also ask a family friend to oversee a DIY Photo Booth.
Frugal Floral Arrangements
As you select your floral arrangements, the choices can make or break your budget. Be smart by selecting in-season and locally grown flowers. Select larger flowers, so you need fewer. Include greenery such as ferns or ivy to fill out your arrangements without emptying your wallet.
You can also use ribbon or tulle to add size and color, with less cost compared to flowers. You can also save money by letting your bouquets do double-duty. Many florists can arrange for these to double as table decor at the head table.
At the reception tables, you can mix things up with votives or other decorations. Overall, keep your floral choices simple to reduce costs.
DIY the Décor
As you develop the décor plan for your ceremony and reception venues, consider ways you can save money through smart selections and DIY projects. Depending on your venue, there may be some decorative elements (for example, stained glass windows or chandeliers) you can rely on for part of your wedding day aesthetics. Additionally, around some holidays, venues often have decorations you can incorporate into your wedding design.
As you plan for your reception décor, start shopping early. You may be able to get many items on sale around the holidays. For example, white tree branches from an after-Christmas sale would look great at many rustic or vintage weddings. After-holiday sales are also a great place to stock up on strands of white lights, which are a staple at many wedding receptions. Shop the sales and think creatively about the items you see.
Also, look around your own home and the homes of friends/family for items you can borrow. Maybe a family friend has a large collection of vases you could borrow. They might have items from their own weddings you can use, like a gift table.
If you are crafty or have friends that are, then consider DIY-ing some of the décor. This could be a fun activity with friends, perhaps during your bridal shower.
Food and Drink Ideas
Your catering budget is another area where costs can be high but you can manage them with some careful planning. First, consider the time of day for your wedding and whether you want to have a catered meal or a casual buffet.
Mid-afternoon weddings could offer light hors-d'oeuvres and a cake. If you decide that you want to serve a meal, limit your food options with just a few main dishes with reasonably priced ingredients.
A multi-tiered, fully decorated wedding cake can also be costly. You can trim costs by having a smaller wedding cake for the bride and groom to serve each other. Then, supplement that cake with sheet cakes for the guests. Also consider alternatives like a dessert table with less expensive options like cookies, candy, and chocolates.
You may envision celebrating your wedding reception with a full bar, but that cost will add up quickly. If you want to offer your guests drinks, consider having just a small wine and beer selection.
You could also have one or two signature cocktails as well as a festive mocktail. These could be made with a variety of less-expensive ingredients. Also, consider eliminating champagne toasts. Most guests will be happy to toast the new couple with whatever beverage they have in hand.
DIY DJ Selection
With today’s technology, great music is more accessible to everyone. Save money on a DJ or live band by DIY-ing your own music selection. In many ways, this approach will be much more personal. As a couple, you can select songs that are meaningful to the two of you. You can also add family/friend favorites to the list. You can set up a playlist and then ask a tech-savvy friend to monitor it throughout the reception. Many venues have a sound system you can use but, if not, ask your friends if they can lend you a good pair of speakers.
Tying It All Together
When it comes to wedding planning, there are some areas where you will not want to cut costs. You will want better quality in some of the items to last for years to come. Items like wedding invitations and tableware will be your lasting keepsake. For these items, look for a balance of value and quality, making smart choices without compromising your wedding dreams.
Your wedding is a big event that you have probably dreamed of your whole life. As you look to plan your wedding, the reality is your budget could limit some of your choices. However, using these smart tips can help you find ways to maximize your spending power.
Hope these tips help you to Maximize Your Wedding Budget!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.