Wedding Planning On A Budget

My daughter is getting married in October, so we have spent a great deal of time looking at different venues, flowers, photography, etc.  When she first got engaged, she was determined to have the wedding of her dreams, no expense spared….that was before the reality hit of just how expensive wedding planning can be.Wedding Planning On A BudgetDon’t get me wrong, even though she has now decided to plan on a budget, she is still determined to get the wedding of her dreams.  She and her finance are paying for the wedding themselves, and I admire this.  My husband and I paid for ours, and while we will help her here and there she is the type of person that take great pride out of doing it herself.  

Here are some of the things we have done to help cut wedding expense.

Dress shopping off the rack
Sure the specialty boutiques are nice and are filled with gorgeous dresses, but in reality this is a dress that’s going to be worn for a few hours and then tucked away in a basement. I’m not saying this isn’t an important purchase. I feel that everyone should find that one dress, but it doesn’t need to break the bank.It’s worth looking to see what you can find by shopping off the rack. You might be surprised.weddingdress

Pick a day other than Saturday and Sunday
This was something we learned fairly early in the planning process.  Most places have a huge discount offered if you get married on a Friday, while others also offer a huge discount on Sundays.  Not all gave Sunday discounts, but the bulk of what we checked, had a considerable price cut for Monday-Friday weddings.  While this may not be ideal for some, it is something to consider.

Decorations don’t have to cost a fortune
Why  not DIY when it comes to decorations? My daughter is very crafty and has spent time creating her own centerpieces and decorations.  They are exactly what she was looking for and basically at a quarter of the cost she would have paid had she not made them herself. 13457646_10210101288027880_892056730_n

Venues, Venues, Venues
There are so many options out there when it comes to venues. We have looked at some absolutely amazing and beautiful places, but when you get down to number crunching, you quickly learn what will and will not work for you.  Some in our area consider themselves destination weddings and while beautiful, we had no need to rent the cabins and all that for the wedding. Sadly, this was a requirement so we had to pass.  IMG_6872

After endless searching, she found her “perfect” venue.  She had wanted an outdoor/barn wedding from the start, and that is what she’s going to have.  The plus side isn’t going to break the bank. They don’t require you to use their food service like a lot of places.  This was going to save her a ton of money.  Also, this barn basically has everything she could possible need when it came to the wedding.  It’s already decorated with lights, tables, decorations. Basically all she had to add, were her centerpieces that she has already made and flowers to give it a nice touch.

Guest list
This was something we have had to keep in check for sure, since this is where the numbers can add up quick.  While my daughter adores children, she has opted to not have them at the wedding reception (with the exception of the wedding party). This is saving a huge amount, and also allows the adults to enjoy the evening without having to chase the kiddos around. While this was her choice, we have had to be very careful with the wording so as not come off rude. So far though, she has gotten a very positive response.

I know this is not the norm, but surprisingly it can be done successfully.  If you have a service that can be provided that is going to be of value, then it’s worth a shot.  Recently a friend had a venue picked out that they loved.  However, given the price they knew that it wouldn’t fit into their budget.  That’s when the bartering came into play.  They found out the venue actually needed work done, and they were qualified to do the work.  It was really a win, win for both parties.

Rehearsal Dinner:
Who says that it has to be held in an upscale restaurant or a special venue? We have opted to have a casual outdoor barbecue for just immediate family, bridal party and officiant. It’s going to be very low key and actually held at the venue we will be having the wedding at. Combining it with the rehearsal and decorating.

Let’s face it. Flowers are a big expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. After meeting with numerous florists, the last florist was so nice in offering money saving options. While she is going to do the brides and bridesmaid bouquets, the flowers down the aisle as well as the centerpiece flowers will be grown and purchased in bulk. We are going to be purchasing hydrangeas and baby’s breath in bulk and ordering from Sam’s or Costco. We haven’t set a specific store at this point. This came from the suggestion of the florist that says she’s had numerous clients do that with wonderful success. You might also want to check out sites like

When it comes to finding a photographer we found an array of different prices. Don’t feel pressured to accept the basic packages that the photographer lays out. A lot of times, they are willing to negotiate and offer à la Carte based on their clients needs. It never hurts to ask.

Skip the Wedding Favors:
Yes, they are cute and fun but seriously guests aren’t going to miss them. For the most part, they rarely make it in the door after the celebration or quickly end up in the trash.

These are just a few of the ways that we’ll be cutting expenses for an upcoming wedding. If you have additional ideas, I’d love to hear about them.


Samantha has been blogging for over 8 years and is a wife and homeschool mom of 4 from North Carolina.

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