How to Plan a Beautiful Wedding on a Tight Budget

Even in financially challenging times, people find ways to celebrate their union in marriage. A wedding doesn’t need to be expensive in order to be beautiful and unforgettable, and going into a debt that will linger for years in the future is not a good way to start your marriage. I always tell my clients this, and try to explain ways for them to save money on wedding planning and still create a beautiful wedding on a tight budget. In this article I would like to provide you with some tips on how to cut costs on your wedding, but still plan a gorgeous event.

1. Plan Your Wedding Budget.

Before you do any planning, pay attention your budget. You and your fiance should spend some time creating a list of categories for each aspect of the wedding and set priorities before you get caught up in the excitement of wedding planning. If you know exactly what you wish your grand total budget to be, create categories such as Venue, Catering, Wedding Dress and Attire, Photography, Invitations, Decorations, Floral, etc., and allocate your funds according to which category you value highest. However, if you do not have a set total in mind, do the categories first and in the end you can see what your grand total will be, and tweak the categories to make that total suitable. Utilizing this list will keep you from overspending and will help you stay within the budget you originally set out for your wedding.

2. Minimize Your Guest List

Before you start to invite your guests, sit down and try to minimize the guest list. Just because your cousin’s half-sister’s best friend invited you to her wedding, does not mean you must reciprocate the favor. Understand that each person you invite is an additional cost for almost every aspect of the wedding; reception seats, food, drinks, invitations, favors and decorations. Remember, in most cases, almost half of your total budget will go to the venue and catering. Your main goal now is to save! So invite those who are most important to you, your groom or your parents personally, not because you feel as though you “have” to invite them.

3. Serve Buffet Instead Of A Formal Plated Dinner

Buffet is a great solution for those who want to save money, yet enjoy a large wedding. First of all, a formal dinner will require more staff to serve – and secondly – per person, a caterer’s menu is usually cheaper than a venue’s.

4. Get Married In Off-Season – Save on Venue Costs

It is well known that everything is cheaper in off season months. This – for weddings in Canada – runs November to March. Of course on-peak and off-peak months vary from venue to venue, but generally speaking, you will definitely be able to save more if you decide to get married during the Fall-Winter months. Not only are set prices usually lower, but vendors are more likely willing to cut you a deal when they have less work to do.

5. Do It Yourself

Why pay someone else to do it, when you can do it yourself? Think of what you like most and how you can create this little something yourself and add a personal touch to your wedding. For example, if you like to bake, you might consider baking little pastries as favors and wrap them nicely. Or if you like to paint, you could use your painting talent to create unique table numbers or place cards. The creative possibilities are endless! One of my couples used items from their family’s antique collection as centrepieces. Another couple used book tags surrounded with little flowers as centrepieces, as both loved to read. Both couples personalized their wedding with this little personal touch and the spending was minimal. But when entering the DIY world, if the materials are expensive – or a replacement in case of failure cannot be ordered last minute – ensure this is a project you are fully capable of completing. Otherwise, it might be cheaper and less stressful to hire a professional.

6. Hire a Professional Wedding Planner

A wedding planner’s “little black book” will become your best friend when trying to save money on your wedding. Planners spend lots of time and energy developing relationships with the best vendors in the city. Planners know who will provide the best work, for the least amount of money, and have worked out discount deals with these vendors to better save you money.