Monday, June 16, 2014

Planning a wedding on a budget {part 2}

Soooo… if you missed part one… you can find it here! The first post was overarching tips… while this one is about the details.  That being said, if one of these things is a priority to you, don't cut it.  I am just telling you some ways that you CAN make cuts if you want.

Wedding Dress

Buy a reasonably priced or used wedding dress, or rent a dress.   I am not a fashionista, so personally, I am not going to notice too much if you spent in the hundreds, thousands, or even ten thousands.  Every time I watch Say Yes to the Dress and see someone shelling out big bucks for a dress, it makes me ill.  How many real needs could we meet with that money?  
Also, did you know you can make your veil?  The veil I wanted with my dress was $300.  I bought a comb and some tulle (and friends I am not crafty) and my mama and I made it… for around $15.  
Afterwords, if you bought a dress… sell it.  So someone is going to yell at me for this one… but how many of you women out there wore your mother's wedding dress?  I would venture to say not too many.  Your mama's dress is probably still preserved in her closet waiting for…??? If you want something to pass down, think smaller scale- jewelry, hairpiece,  veil and the like.

Food and Beverages

I would say just do finger foods… but sometimes that can be just as expensive as a meal.  I have had friends do desserts and I thought that was perfectly fine.  If you are serving a meal, keep to safe (read inexpensive foods that everyone likes) and simple foods.  One way to really save money in this category is to cut the alcohol.  Some people are going to yell at me for this one and some will praise me… but for us, we weren't planing on drinking and did not see it as a necessary part of our day.  And as far as I know, our guests still had fun.  If you don't have a cash bar you can save some serious money- like $30-$50 a person (that is about what it cost through our caterer 5 years ago).


Go out on a limb and try some new vendors.  How new just depends on how much of a risk you want to take.  I told y'all in the last post how we went with someone who was starting their own cake business.  In that situation we had tried and seen the cake, so it was an easy decision.  Another instance that we went with a new business was our photography.  A couple we knew from college had just started their business.  We had seen enough pictures to know they were good.  This is actually the first thing we booked (before we even had a venue!), and I am glad we did, because their first price increase happened the weekend after we met with them!  By the way they are still fabulous if you are wanting to splurge on photography.

Guest List

Keep the guest list down… keep your costs down.  This is some advise I did not follow myself… we had 300+ at our wedding.  Since food drink and venue are such huge portions of your budget, the less people the less it costs.  If I could have kept it to 100-200 the savings would have been huge.  Maybe you can learn from me and save :)

Ceremony and Reception

Find a place that is already pretty for your ceremony and don't decorate too much.  Use the decorations from the ceremony at the reception too.  Personally, I think less is more when it comes to decor… keep it simple.  When looking for reception cites, make sure to ask about bringing your own caterer and cake cutting fees.  You had to get the food from our reception site, but there was not rental fee, just a food and beverage minimum- which was a pretty good deal for us since we has so many guests.  


I mentioned this in the last post, but flowers just were not that important to us.  I just met with the florist with a set budget, the details of our wedding, things I liked and things I did not like.  She stayed in budget… I did not have to do that much work.  Also, with the flowers, if you have a particular favorite be carful if it is out of season, it will be expensive.  I came with color and some flower preferences, but mainly let her choose based on what flowers were in season.
We also used our bridemaid's bouquets on some of the tables and my bouquet on the cake table.
Also I have heard going wholesale on the flowers is a great deal.

Get Off of Pinterest

There was no pressure when I got married, because there was no Pinterest.  I am not saying don't use it at all, because it can be a great tool.  What I am saying is that not all of those pictures are from real weddings, your don't have to micromanage every detail and even DIY projects get expensive.  Keep it simple (have I said simple enough yet?).

Get Flexible with Your Vision

You don't have to give up all your girlhood wedding dreams… but you may have to give up a few and that is okay.  I always envisioned a summer wedding in one of those old houses… you know the ones I am talking about.  But winter just worked for our timing (and budget) and those houses don't hold a ton of people.  So much of what I thought my wedding would look like changed, but it was still beautiful and I still loved it!

Ultimately, Andrew and I focused on the fact that at the end of the day we would be married.  We memorized Colossians 3:1-4 in the midst of wedding consumerism.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
What did I miss other suggestions for keeping a wedding on budget???



  1. This is great advice! It's important to decide what are priorities for you. Having everyone who wanted to come be able to come was important to me--so we had a larger guest list but just had a dessert and nacho buffet....and we made and served all the food ourselves to save money there. My dress cost $150, I didn't have a veil or flowers--and keeping my dress is a priority to me because the husband and I have a tradition of getting dressed up in our wedding clothes every anniversary and taking a fun photo. 4 years so far--I hope we keep it up for a while! :)

  2. Yes, get off of Pinterest! It really can make you feel like you aren't doing enough.

    1. This could probably go for other areas of life too!