Ways to plan a wedding on a shoestring budget
Many brides spend their whole lives dreaming about their wedding day. They have all the details thought out, from the dress to the flowers, but skip the part about the budget. Then reality sets in, and many couples suffer from sticker shock when they realize just how expensive a wedding can be. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to plan a wedding on a shoestring budget.
Take a Reality Check
There are only a few things that are absolutely required to have a wedding: an officiant, a marriage license, a pen with which to sign it, two witnesses and a couple. That's it. Everything else is optional, from the cake to the favors. Stay focused on the true meaning of the day instead of the superficial stuff.
Once you set your budget, prioritize the things that are most important to you. It may be the dress, an awesome DJ, vibrant flowers or an amazing caterer. Cut spending on the things that are less important to you to invest more in what is most important.
No Meal Necessary
You can save thousands of dollars by skipping a meal altogether. Throw your party in a non-meal time, like in the afternoon or evening. Serve appetizers instead of a meal, or stick to just desserts. As long as you don't make your guests skip a meal, they will have a great time.
Think Outside the Box
The wedding industry thrives on charging couples more for goods and services simply because they are planning a wedding. Thinking outside the box can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Instead of renting a hotel hall, look at venues that are not typically associated with weddings. Shop for your dress at a department store instead of a boutique, and talk to your favorite restaurant about catering. Instead of using traditional flowers for your décor, check out some of the unique non-floral ideas on Pinterest to save money.
Cut the Guest List
This is probably the most difficult way to save money, but trimming your guest list will drastically affect how much you spend. Keep a list of everyone who absolutely must be there, then eliminate groups of people, like your co-workers, second cousins or people you only interact with on Facebook. Hosting fewer people means saving on catering, alcohol, favors, table settings, centerpieces and more.