Desktop and Tablet header image Mobile header image

helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

What is your definition of a budget wedding?

Someone asked me this question and it got me thinking…

What is YOUR definition of a Budget Wedding?

What is a budget wedding? “Budget” is kind of a relative term, isn't it? Everyone's got a budget. Everyone has a dollar amount they are planning to spend based on their personal financial situation.

But as far as defining what a “budget wedding” is, I think it truly depends on the region in which you live or are planning your wedding. I guess for me, in my area, I consider $10,000 or less to be a budget wedding. But that's because the norm for my area is probably around $20,000 to $25,000 for a wedding budget. For someone who lives in a major metropolitan area such as  New York City or Los Angeles, $20,000 might be considered a “budget” wedding because the average for that area is $50,000 or higher. Ya know what I mean?

To me, I'm all about being budget savvy. (Obviously!) It's not about how much you spend, it's about how smartly you spend it. I tend to focus more on how far you can make your money go or stretch. At BSB, I think we advise brides of how to maximize whatever budget you've got to work with, rather than focusing on a specific price tag or range. Obviously you know that we have published weddings with teeny tiny budgets up to around $25,000. Occasionally, if a wedding takes place in one of those major metro areas where things just cost more (it's a plain and simple fact, truly) we'll make an exception and feature a wedding on a slightly larger than “average” budget.

Overall, I think this is a very interesting question for discussion! I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on what you consider to be a budget wedding? I'm so curious to know what our readers think!


So please tell me, friends…

what is YOUR definition of a budget wedding?



Share this post:

About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

Connect with Jessica
  • I think that you are dead on! It really does matter what area of the country you live in … I imagine it is much harder to find an affordable venue in, say California, than it is in Nashville.

    I believe that being creative with your budget or investing in a planner that understands you are on a tight budget and is creative is the first step in creating a truly budget-friendly wedding. There are so many inspiring blogs and resources (hello! BSB!) out there that I believe any bride & groom can adopt to their benefit. Thanks for sharing your creativity and knowledge with the world, Jessica!

  • Budget means getting the best bang for your buck while sharing a special, memorable day. Every couple has different needs and desires. My fiance and I are taking pride in our small, "budget" friendly wedding by making it personal and fun. Every bride and groom are different…that's the fun part!

  • You're right on J. I'm from NYC and my wedding was "budget" here, but may not be in other places. $10k would have been almost impossible for me to do it in Manhattan for 150-200 people.

    I also 100% agree that being savvy is instrumental in really using your money wisely for your wedding.

  • Lindsey

    I agree that it depends on your demographic area as to what a "budget" wedding is defined as. I live outside of Knoxville and I'm sure there is a wide range of budgets out there that is considered breaking the bank for anyone. I am going super budget friendly and getting several of my family and friends involved to make our occassion as budget friendly and savvy as possible. The "love" and I are just out to have a good go at it and have some fun!

  • Meghan

    Hit the nail right on the head! I live in the D.C. area and our wedding is being held in probably the wealthiest county in Maryland, which means our budget of $20k is definitely considered "budget" for our area. Thank goodness our families are helping, either financially or by agreeing to be put to work with DIY projects. 🙂

  • talya

    Our wedding budget is $4000 and that includes airfare for the groom and his son from London to the East Coast (to the Blue Ridge Mountains). Spending 25 grand on a wedding seems absurd to me but I am lucky to have very creative family and friends to help make everything lovely at the lowest cost possible. My sister recently married and we did everything for $1500 and it was really beautiful though a small wedding. My fiancee and I are both experiencing financial issues (he is a business and home owner and I am finishing grad school) and the thought of amassing even more debt for one day does not appeal to us. Anyway, best of luck to everyone regardless of the budget!

  • Rebecca

    I think everyone has made some great points. I really think it comes down to the mentality of getting the most out of every dollar you spend.

    After location, there is one major thing that plays into the budget – number of guests. I have no doubt that a $10,000 wedding is a budget wedding almost anywhere. However, if in the same location and one wedding is 50 people and the other 150 there is a real difference in how budget they are. Yes, it is definitely a mentality for both weddings but there is also a practical side.

    I love the weddings of the week segment on BSB, but I'm always a bit disappointed when the number of guests isn't indicated. These weddings always look amazing, but knowing the number of guests gives me a, idea of what degree of budgeting was done.

    • That's a good point, Rebecca. I could add a question into the survey about the number of guests!

  • Jaime

    I would say that a budget wedding is using limited resources to attempt a wedding that would seem otherwise more expensive. A budget wedding definitely must have DIY projects, friends/family helping out, searches for bargains, and in general the mindset to not just accept the ‘normal’ wedding costs.

    Keeping that in mind, I accept the fact that different areas of the country have higher costs in regards to weddings. However, it still makes me giggle (perhaps a bit hysterically) when someone has a “budget” wedding for $15,000. In comparison to my $6,000… I DREAM of a $15,000 budget. 🙂

    • Sarah

      Ummm, have you seen what the cost of living and the price averages are in San Francisco, LA or NYC? Average weddings there are $30K-$50K for a reason, not just because people are crazy and want to spend, spend, spend. $15,000 for say 100-150 people is a real stretch! And when you throw in a honeymoon in the mix, $15000 goes real fast! It's all about what you want. If you want a laidback backyard BBQ, then $5000 anywhere in the US is very possible. If you want a sit-down, semi-formal dinner for 100 people in Manhattan, then $15000 is definitely budget! But it certainly is possible in say, Alabama. Nothing wrong with that, it's just the reality of cost of living and geography!

  • Sarah K.

    Location, location, location. And a dash of size– don't let the rumors fool you, size matters. 😀

    I'm a bride in the Boston area, planning a wedding for about 110-120 people. First of all, this is a small, intimate wedding for us. My family alone is 30 people, his family is another 15, we have a lot of family friends, we each have college friends, and since we've been dating for ten (yes, TEN) years, we have quite a few mutual friends. So 110 is actually pretty small.

    Second, our budget is around $20,000. For 110 people in Boston, we are without a doubt on a "budget". Everything is more expensive, and the costs could easily get out of hand (I've heard stories for local weddings where flowers and decor alone have cost over $100,000). @Jaime– Our catering bill is going to be over $6k, and if you add the bar (for JUST wine and beer, mind you), it will be almost double that. Food for thought. 😉

  • Eva

    Our budget is $10,000 or less for 175 people, and we live in LA! We set our budget by how much we could afford to save in addition to how much our parents were pitching in. We both have really big families, so 175 is a tiny guest count for us. It was incredibly difficult to find an affordable venue that fit our garden theme, but we finally did after 3 months of searching every chance I got. I googled everything I could think of (budget wedding venue, affordable event venue, budget garden rental, etc.) and finally came upon the Grace E. Simons Lodge in Elysian Park. They have a cute Japanese garden, but we did have to compromise on an indoor reception since their outdoor seating doesn't accommodate our guest count. They allow you to bring in all of your own vendors except the bar, which has very reasonable prices. Although we still have about 8 months to go, I believe it is possible to have a $10,000 wedding in LA. You just really have to prioritize what's most important for you to spend your money on. We're even including the honeymoon in our budget. If you do your research, there are lots of ideas for cutting costs, but many involve compromising on your "perfect" wedding. I gave up that dream a while back, and reminded myself that it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage. It's so easy to get caught up in all the fluff, but it's just fluff that won't last beyond that day, so why spend all that money that we could use toward saving for a home of our own?

  • Pablo

    Wedding Budget is knowing how much you will spend for your wedding. Other than that a non realistic budget you turning your wedding on an art and craft project.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!