Oftentimes, a dream wedding is equated with large spending. Especially when you consider all the things that go into making it so dreamy--the wedding dress, invitations, flowers, band, venue, reception, food, and decorations just to name a few. Even with those few things, you can hear the bills adding up exponentially in your head, and that is enough to give anyone a bit of worry. But when on a budget, it can seem even scarier to plan a wedding.
Don't fret, you can still have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. With a little creativity, budget planning, and imagination, here are five helpful tips to bring your dream wedding to a reality while saving you money along the way.
Have a concrete dream theme
Every good thing starts with a good plan. And in a wedding, this planning starts with determining the wedding theme. This will set the vision for the venue, the motifs, the catering, the invitations, and the entire ambiance for the wedding. And in such a case, this is where you get a good estimate of the expenses you’ll then have to tackle along the way. With a solid plan on hand, you will be able to arrive at an amount that you’ll have to work around.
Set an initial budget
Once you have envisioned your dream theme, estimate the initial budget. Is the budget too big for an intimate, small gathering? Is the budget too small for a wedding with many guests invited? Having an initial budget will help you decide on which aspects of the wedding you will prioritize.
This initial budget will keep your expenses intact and you on track to your budget allotment, making you thriftier and smarter in spending for specific parts of the wedding.
DIYs are your best friends
You don’t have to have everything commissioned. If there are things you are talented enough to do yourself, and you have time to accomplish them, then this is something you can do by yourself or with your soon-to-be partner in life. This will save you more money, which you can then use for some other wedding preparations. At the same time, you get to enjoy the bonding experience of sharing each other’s company as you both make the preparations even more special. These will be wedding memories you will cherish in years to come.
Giveaways and invitation cards? You can always browse for inspirations and printable options online. Prenuptial photoshoot? Ask a friend to help or set up a timer on your camera. Landscapes and sunsets are free, not to mention gorgeous backdrops. Photo editing software and filter presets are all available on the Internet, and you can always use them to amplify your photos.
Renting can be an option
A wedding is indeed a very special moment. As much as possible, we want to keep everything as a memento, to make the memories stay fresh and alive. That's why many couples opt to have everything customized and bought for their wedding. Undeniably, it is very expensive, and where do all the mementos end up? In a box in the attic? Who really can still fit in their dresses after the child or two, and if they did still fit, is anyone really going to wear them ever again? Probably not.
You can still create a perfect moment even if the gowns and tuxedos are not yours. Renting is always a cheaper option. There are shops that offer high-quality services for an affordable price, and they can always be negotiated depending on your budget.
If you are afraid of looking for a wedding gown in a second-hand shop for fear of getting one tainted from a divorce—well, you might want to rethink this one. Second-hand or consignment shops are a great place to shop for gowns if you still want to own one. They receive brand new bridal gowns from stores with last season’s styles, or inventory in odd sizes, even high-end wedding boutiques have been known to donate to secondhand stores or consignment stores. You never know what you might find.
Be smart with the guest list
The number of people invited to the wedding venue itself plays a huge role in your finances. The more guests you invite, the more you will need to account for in your budget, larger venues, more giveaways, more food and drinks, larger cake, etc. … It is important to remember that your wedding day is a celebration for you and your future partner. It is about making this day special so you will have memories you will both cherish throughout your marriage. As much as you want to have your friends and family there, your wedding is about your happiness, not your guests. If you are on a limited budget, try and keep the number of guests intimate, such as just your family and closest friends. Be clear in your wedding invitation about how many reserved seats are allotted for them and give a specific date to RSVP by in order to get an accurate count for your venue and food.
A wedding is one day in our lives we all want to make memorable. While we want only the best for our wedding day, practicality must also be considered, if we were to indulge ourselves on every aspect of our dream wedding, we might be paying for it for years to come. Thankfully, there are many creative ways to save without compromising the charm or quality of your beautiful day. Utilizing your talents, looking for sales, and putting in time can save you money and the stress from the financial pressures associated with weddings. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, you are marrying the love of your life and that is what it is really all about. Your day will be filled with beautiful memories you will cherish whether you spend a little or a lot of money. Thankfully, memories are yours to make for free—no money required—so laugh, love, and create lots of special ones.
Woodhaven at Park Bridge in Alpharetta, GA