Raise your hand if you were as shocked as we were at how expensive weddings are? If you’re reading this you’re probably trying to plan your own wedding + have no idea where to start within your budget (because let’s face it- things add up quickly!)
Fun fact: The average wedding costs anywhere from $19,000-$33,000. This doesn’t even include the rings OR the honeymoon!
So, how do you host an inexpensive wedding without looking “cheap?”
Cut your wedding guest list
- Let’s be honest, the guest list can be full of drama. Be ready to hear about those relatives that MUST be invited, the family friends you haven’t talked to in years, and those co-workers that are suddenly your friends.
- Solution: Limit your guests from the start. Between the food they’d eat, the drinks they’d drink, their favors, and let’s face it- the seat they’d sit in.. every guest is costing you money! By making every effort to cut the guest list, this will be the fastest way to save money.
- Photo above taken at The Quirk Hotel courtyard! It’s the perfect space for intimate ceremonies + receptions!
Pick a different date
- Nowadays, weddings aren’t just on Saturdays in the Spring or Fall (aka the busiest + most expensive times of year to be married). Opt for a Friday or Sunday wedding + you’re guaranteed to save a pocket full of change.
- Want to save even more? Have a wedding in the off season (January-April), (July-August), or (December). Not only do the venues want to book during these off season for extra income, but so do your other vendors.
- Who would’ve guessed the photo above was taken at a JULY wedding!
Save on the Venue
- Think outside the box! Look into a community’s clubhouse, a family piece of land (seriously, one of our favorites!), a local park (or national park).
- Check out local Bed + Breakfast’s, Air B+B’s, or even vacation rentals. We actually paid about the same most people pay for one day rentals for an ENTIRE week at our venue. Now, we opted for a destination wedding and rented a house on the sound in Buxton, NC and this allowed us to use the entire week leading up to the wedding decorating + planning for our wedding! Not to mention we got to relax too! (photo above an example from our wedding by Katelyn James Photography)
- Call local venues until you find venues in your price range. Try new venues trying to get their feet off the ground, or even look into well established venues that will have discounts for military or law enforcement. More than likely venues will be willing to work with your budget or give you a discount (especially in the off-season)- hey it doesn’t hurt to ask!
4. Save on Decorations
- Take a minute + look around your house. Everyone has a few items lying around that they’d never even think about using!
- For our own wedding, we noticed family members had empty wine bottles lying around outside for decoration. We took a handful of them + actually bought a glass cutter (yay- for craft stores!) and cut the tops off the bottles to turn them into vases! **You’ll need tons of patience for this as it didn’t go quite as easily as the box said it would** HOWEVER, you can always use the whole bottles as vases on tables, use them to write table numbers on, put lights in them, etc. (photo above an example from our wedding by Katelyn James Photography)
- Go to local yard sales + stock up! Look for wooden crates (if you don’t already have some) to stack on the cake table or gift table. Look for crazy deals on silverware/plates (sometimes you can get a steal and don’t even have to rent them) *bonus points because you can resell them on wedding pages on Facebook after your wedding to get your money back!* Don’t forget about candles (always ask your venue if you can have an open flame first), you can almost guarantee you’ll find some at yard sales + you can always melt down the wax and pour them into smaller votives that you find.
- ALWAYS think outside of the box!
5. Cut the Booze
- Yes, it’s true that booze + weddings go hand in hand. HOWEVER if you’re balling on a budget, cut it entirely. You’ll save hundreds by not getting a license to serve it, buying multiple types of beer to satisfy your guests, and not to mention the hard liquor or champagne.
- OR if you know you want it at your wedding, you can have a stock the bar party, ask your guests to bring their own favorites to the wedding, buy just beer or even look into just a keg, etc.
- Your guests are there for YOU they shouldn’t be there just to get wasted + leave.
Biggest Tip: Ask!
- People love helping, especially for a wedding! Don’t be afraid to ask family members to help with crafting, planning, cooking, etc. Most people will drop everything to help make your day as special as you’ve ever dreamed it to be (yes, this includes your vendors too!)
Have any other helpful tips? Leave them below.
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