When it comes to getting married, you want everything to be perfect. Whether it is the decoration, the wedding outfits or catering services, all of it adds up and plays a significant role in how fabulous your marriage will turn out to be. Although planning an elegant wedding on a budget is totally possible, it becomes a difficult task when there are so many aspects to take care of. No matter your budget for the wedding, there are always ways to save money and still have an elegant affair.
Envision the Wedding
When trying to figure out what kind of wedding you want to throw, the first step is to know yourself and think about what’s important to you. For starters, decide if affordability is your primary concern. If so, then it’s up to you to figure out precisely what “affordable” means to you, whether that’s going for a simple backyard barbecue instead of an upscale five-course dinner for 200 at the country club or opting for your closest friend as a witness instead of asking Uncle Bert. After that, it can be helpful to think about how your vision aligns with your priorities. To narrow down these priorities, think about all the weddings you’ve been to and loved, as well as those that left you wanting more.
Pick the Non-negotiable
The budget is the most stressful component of planning your wedding. With so many vendors and costs at play, who doesn’t want to keep their spending down as much as possible? Starting with a clear vision of what you envision for your wedding will ease the process significantly. Because your budget will be dictated by your “must-haves”—things that are non-negotiable for you. Using the percentages method to decide your wedding budget will help you stay focused on what’s important and avoid cutting corners based on price alone. Having a vision of the perfect day—or at least a picture of what you wish things would be like—helps keep you grounded.
Limit Your Guest List
Wedding guest lists can be stressful and confusing, especially if it’s your first time hosting a wedding. When planning your guest list, there are three questions you need to ask yourself: Who do I want to be at my wedding? Who is essential in my life? Who will make a good part of the new family I’m creating with my fiancé?
Few things feel as special as a smaller, more intimate wedding. With a few couples opting for elopements and other small-scale affairs (instead of a traditional church ceremony), it does seem like the idea is catching on. And that’s often for a good reason: The overall cost of such an event is significantly less than larger weddings, and the guest list can be tailored to include only the people closest to you—flawless!
Host Ceremony at Home
We’ve all heard that the venue is one of the more expensive aspects of a wedding. It consumes nearly half of the budget, in fact. That’s because, to many people, a reception hall conjures up images of glitz and glamour and hefty event fees. That figure might make you want to save some money by hosting at home or in an outdoor space. With your own backyard, a nearby park, or even a local hotel, you can cut costs significantly and still get all the perks of having an event space complete with food and drinks. There’s nothing wrong with being practical, and being able to squeeze a little more money from your budget just might make your day that much more special.
Request for Skills instead of Presents
To avoid paying the going rate for services, start by asking around to see if anyone in your network does that kind of work. Maybe your sister-in-law owns a floral business and would be willing to handle your bouquets for a lower price than traditional local florists. Perhaps you have a friend who excels at photography and is eager to do the photography for your wedding at no cost. Maybe you play the piano yourself and know someone who could provide live music on their own instrument (or via digital tools) instead of hiring a full orchestra. You can still take advantage of creative people in your network by asking about prices or potential discounts. And having gifts and prizes in weddings are a separate attraction.
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Weddings are lovely, magical events that we get to enjoy as guests and vow to replicate one day for our lucky someone. But for many, planning a wedding can be even better: a creative outlet mixed with an excuse to indulge in some retail therapy. You want to make sure everything is perfect, and you end up with those “amazing” pictures to look back at, but you also want it to be within your budget. However, if you follow a few simple steps when creating a budget for your wedding, you can keep stress levels low and save some money along the way.