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6 Reasons to Have a Modest Wedding and Focus On Your Financial Life After the Big Day

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There are many reasons to have a modest wedding. Find out why you should save your pennies for all the life that comes after you say “I do!”

6 Reasons to Have a Modest Wedding and Focus On Your Financial Life After the Big Day
Jessica Bishop Headshot

A wedding is said to be the “best day of your life” and for many of us, it’s a day we’ll remember forever. But the reality is that a wedding is also stressful, with so much planning involved and of course, the budget! It’s easy to get caught up in the planning, but it’s also essential you look beyond that single day. Set your focus instead on what lies beyond your big day– here’s why. 

Reasons to have a modest wedding

It’s Not Just About “Today”

Okay, so some people have dreamed of their wedding day their entire lives. The big dress, hundreds of people watching as they float down the aisle, the perfect venue and amazing food, a big white wedding cake, and all the trimmings. The sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky as you say your pre-written vows to each other. And of course, just like a dream, everything goes off without a hitch. But when your “big day” arrives, the reality will likely look a bit different than you dreamed. Whether it’s raining, you left your vows at home, or the cake arrives looking completely different than you envisioned. Sure, these examples might be a little dramatic, but you get the picture.

The fact is, your wedding day is just that – one day. When you marry the person you love, you’re vowing to spend your entire lives together. So why not keep that perspective in mind when it comes to planning your big day? Keep the budget tight and celebrate with the ones you love in a simple, modest way. Intentionally choose to put your focus (and your funds) towards all the days that follow instead! 

Memories Over Size

When it comes to weddings, a common belief is bigger is better. And sure, a grand wedding can be a jaw-dropping experience for your guests to attend, but it’s almost never as intimate as a smaller wedding. Not only can you save money on a smaller location, but having fewer guests means you have more time to spend with each one of them, rather than briefly having a water cooler chat.

A good way to limit guests is by only inviting people you have seen in the past year. There will likely be some special exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb to cut your guest list down quickly. This may mean the distant relatives your parents want to invite can’t come, but at the end of the day it’s your wedding and it’s up to you to decide who you want to come. Furthermore, a smaller celebration doesn’t mean it won’t look as nice. Backyard weddings have always been popular for those who want to host it in a smaller location, and with the right decor, it can produce Instagram perfect memories with a modest budget that’s a fraction of the size. 

Weddings are practice for planning out big things together

Often, the planning of a wedding is left to the bride – simply because many prefer it that way. She might have been dreaming of her wedding day for years, or she just wants to make the day about her. But the amount of time you spend working on wedding plans together could also be an indicator of how you’ll work together in the future. Planning the wedding together will help you communicate with each other better.

Negotiating over reception playlists and guest lists will no doubt thrust you into the world of compromise very fast. Plan the day for the two of you – not for anyone else. Include the things you both want, while at the same time taking into account budget restraints. 

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Having a modest wedding is a great way to keep the focus on what actually matters, while also setting yourself up for a stronger financial future.

A luxurious honeymoon

Why spend all your money on a single day when you can enjoy a full week or two of luxury for the same cost? There are some amazingly cheap vacation destinations and flights have never been more affordable. Why not save your wedding day money and give yourselves a treat? No doubt you’ve been working hard in the lead-up to your marriage vows.

Imagine what that $5000 you saved for a dress could do in North Queensland or Thailand instead? You could live like a Queen or King for two weeks, basking in the sunshine and shopping, snorkeling, and exploring to your heart’s content. A honeymoon is the beginning of the rest of your lives together so start it the right way. Having a modest wedding budget and splurging on the honeymoon is a popular choice for many savvy couples.

Related: The Savvy Secret to Booking Your Dream Honeymoon for (Almost) Free

Renovating the house

Whether you’ve already bought your first home together or you’re planning to do so after the big day, it’s likely you’re going to want to do some renovations or additions to make it your dream home. From renovating your bathroom to upgrading your backyard, the money you save from your wedding could do wonders around your home! Wedding budget savings can be as simple as ditching the wedding planner and sending invites via email instead of print. Or you could skip the expensive dress and shop on eBay instead. You could even hold the reception in your backyard rather than an expensive hall. Do your research and find out what everything costs. Talk to builders, designers, and landscapers and once you have a ballpark figure, you can decide what costs you want to cut from the wedding.

Kids can be expensive

It could be that you’re not even thinking about having kids yet, or maybe you’re planning to start right away. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that these are money-hungry little creatures that are coming directly for your bank account. From the moment they are conceived, there’s new furniture for the nursery and clothes to be bought; not to mention they grow so fast. You’ll easily find yourself spending hundreds of dollars every few months on new clothes.

Then, comes the fact that they eat a lot. Babies generally start to eat whole foods at around 6 months of age and from there the expenses simply don’t stop. One minute you’re spending $100 a week on food for you and hubby while bub drinks from your breast; the next you’re throwing away $200 a week on food for hungry toddlers, and eventually $500 a week for “starving” teenagers. Probably also a good time to mention shoes, which they will go through so often you’ll wonder if they’ve started eating those as well. This is before considering when they got old enough for activities, tutors, and college prep. Oh gosh, don’t even start thinking about the cost of education! If kiddos are in your future, it behooves you to plan a modest wedding and start saving for your future spawns’ college funds.

In conclusion

Having a modest wedding is a great way to keep the focus on what actually matters while also setting yourself up for a stronger financial future. Essentially, your wedding day is just one day– the first day of the rest of your lives together. If you can get through the planning and stress of that first day and stick to a reasonable budget, you’re on the right path.

You don’t need to spend all your money on a single day when you have your whole lives ahead of you. I hope this has given you some food for thought about how planning a modest wedding can be the best thing for your financial futures together.

Happy planning!

Jessica Bishop Headshot

Jessica Bishop is the founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, and has worked in various areas and roles within the wedding industry since 2007. She is the author of the best-selling book,The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer and also hosts The Bouquet Toss Wedding Planning Podcast. Jessica's expert wedding advice and savvy savings tips have been featured by Good Morning America, COSMOPOLITAN, Glamour, and more. You can learn more about Jessica on her personal blog and professional website.