Your significant other asked, and you said yes. Or perhaps you did the asking? Either way, a hearty round of congratulations is in order.
Few milestones prove as highly anticipated as your wedding day. Of course, planning for the big event can get overwhelming very quickly. Especially when you consider that the average wedding costs $19,000.
How to plan a cheap wedding? Here’s our go-to guide to make your day both blissful and budget-friendly.
Planning a Wedding
When it comes to planning a wedding, you have many decisions to make. For starters, what type of ceremony do you want to have? Are you thinking vintage or chic? Outdoorsy or modern?
There are so many routes that you can take with your ceremony and reception. So many of your choices will depend on your couple style.
Where’s a fantastic place to start if you need some inspiration? The wedding boards on Pinterest. You’ll be amazed by all of the ideas and concepts that people share, and, thankfully, many of them are DIY.
While you want to start fleshing out what your event will look like, avoid the temptation to get too detail-oriented yet. You must stay flexible when it comes to making the right decisions to ensure you have your wedding cake and remain within budget, too.
Have Wedding Budget Conversations
Make sure you sit down with your significant other to discuss your wedding budget early and often. After all, it’s easy for costs to start creeping up, so you need to check in regularly.
You’ll also want to have some heart-to-heart chats with your family members about who will pay for what. Yes, bridging the budget talk may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s not something you can or should put off. After all, if you don’t know what you’re planning for, how can you plan?
It’s essential to stay in open and transparent communication with your significant other even when tensions start to run high, or you have budget disagreements. Think of this as practice for budget talks in other areas of your life. Finances can be a considerable source of tension throughout marriage, so get a headstart on negotiating.
Categorize Your Wedding Budget
To ensure the conversations you have about budgeting prove productive, we recommend dividing expenses into categories and assigning percentages. Consider using the following categories to get started:
- Wedding planner
- Dress and tux
From there, allocate specific percentages you’ll spend in each area. For example, you may devote 50 percent of your budget to the reception and 15 percent to the ceremony.
You may get a photography deal that comes in at ten percent and a wedding planner for ten percent, too. And always remember to leave yourself a cushion (a.k.a. miscellaneous category) with at least five percent for life’s unexpected moments.
Decide What You Can’t Live Without
By reviewing your wedding budget by category and percentage, you can make vital decisions about what’s most important to you. This strategy will also help you see areas where you might be able to trim back if you fear you’re getting too close to your budget cap.
Besides breaking things out by category and percentage, sit down with your significant other and discuss your non-negotiables. These are the things that you can’t live without when it comes to your wedding day.
We suggest settling on three must-haves. Remember, these don’t have to be practical items, but they do need to be items you and your spouse-to-be can’t live without.
For example, are flowers one of the most critical aspects of the ceremony for you? Or do you have a cake design you’ve got to have? From live musicians to serving a particular dish, decide what you must have at your wedding and then build your budget accordingly.
Sure, these items may feel like a splurge or frivolous to some, but if they float your boat (as a couple), prioritize them. Once you’ve decided on what these non-negotiable will be, you can guarantee they make it to the top of your budget breakdown.
Other Ways to Save When Planning a Wedding
Whether you’re planning a small wedding or renting an art museum, there are many clever ways to stay within your given budget. For starters, many people ask how long does it take to plan a wedding? While planning a wedding in 6 months proves feasible, more lead time will ensure you can shop around and get the best deals possible.
Other ways to go frugal while still having a beautiful ceremony include keeping your guest list in check. Every guest that you send an invitation to represents an expense. So, don’t feel like you’ve got to invite your veterinarian and dental hygienist to the wedding (unless you’re close to them.)
You can save a significant amount of money simply by keeping your ceremony intimate. For example, cutting your list by 20 or even 25 percent will result in hundreds of dollars worth of savings. And you’ll also enjoy a more intimate experience with those who matter the most to you.
When planning a wedding, consider asking guests to provide skills rather than gifts for your big day. For example, if you’ve got a carpenter friend, perhaps they can build the wedding arch. Or, if your mother loves arranging flowers, enlist her in DIY wedding arrangements.
Last but not least, figure out what you can do yourself and then dive in. You’d be surprised by how many pieces of a wedding you can tackle on your own. From assembling wedding favors to invitations, a little extra elbow grease can help you stay on budget.
How to Plan a Cheap Wedding
As you can see, there are many clever ways to keep costs down when it comes to how to plan a cheap wedding. And just because your ceremony and reception don’t break the bank doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a wonderful day with cherished memories.
Are you interested in more ideas to help you plan the perfect day? Browse our blog now for more tips to help you rock your best life and enjoy every step along the way.