Most women dream of a wedding day that reflects her and her partner’s styles, interests, and personalities which made them fall for each other.
And I know a lot of them. In fact, I am one of them!
I have always imagined myself walking down the aisle with simplicity, class and elegance – the perfect image of how my husband and I met one fine evening filled with champagne, cold cuts, and slow music (which, of course, we danced to).
Planning an elegant wedding while sticking to the budget had been quite a struggle, though. I thought to myself: No wonder couples spend thousands of dollars for the big day. From clothes, decorations, food, and other services, the list just goes on and on.
But with a few adjustments, you’ll be able to pull it off. I met a lot of couples who were able to pull off their dream wedding without breaking the bank.
Here are some helpful tips, hoping I could inspire other couples who would like to create a grand plan for their special day, without compromising the celebratory quality of the whole ceremony.
Ask for wedding favors instead of gifts
All of us probably have friends or family members that have some pretty great talents that could be used at a wedding.
Maybe a cousin who is a DJ in his or her spare time or a friend who is a singer that can perform your wedding song, or a friend who is a photographer.
Ask them if they would be willing to provide their services or even just give a discount, instead of getting a wedding gift.
If lucky enough, this could save money and add a memorable touch to your big day.
As the Wedding Show UK stated, asking family and friends to offer help or services that align with their talents in lieu of a gift is a great way to keep your wedding on a budget.
Involve your closest friends and family in the preparations.
When brainstorming wedding ideas, try to involve closest friends and families with the details.
Most often, they will have great recommendations and insightful comments to benefit from. There may also be loved ones with connections with venue owners, wedding coordinators, suppliers, etc. that may help save time, effort, and money.
Who knows? They might even offer a discount deal on their services or give them for free.
Good friends and families are always there to help, and they will be happy to contribute to make such occasions more memorable – so enjoy their generosity.
Do the catering yourself or hire a family-owned restaurant
Catering may be pricey, especially if the event is intended for a wedding day.
So entrusting the task to a few family members of mine gave me more chances to choose certain sets of food that suit my taste buds for a much less cost.
However, the idea of organizing the catering might be too much for others. If that is the case, I suggest you try looking for a family-owned restaurant and ask the owners regarding catering for the wedding – most of the time, they go the extra mile and even surpass expectations.
They are, generally, more understanding when it comes to negotiating due to particular budget needs. Plenty of small, family-owned restaurants would grab opportunities to serve their food for a big event.
It would also help them to promote their business and for them to be known within the local community.
Shop around for decorations and consider second-hand
Oftentimes, the go-to option to get and prepare decorations for a wedding is to buy everything new.
Though it is true that the convenience of running to a high-end store and picking up these items can be tempting, it would amount to double or even triple of what is typically expected. I personally consider the word “sale” whenever I want to buy from high-street stores.
And I applied this practice when I shopped for my wedding. I first flagged on my budget limit for that aspect, then checked my calendar schedule to pounce on the right time to buy those on “sale” items.
Browsing through websites and looking into online shops where I can find coupons and discounts for certain items needed for the wedding also helped. I remember checking through Facebook Marketplace wherein recent brides sell a couple of wedding decorations they have used. This literally saved me from losing bundles of bucks.
My husband and I also went to thrift shops to look for second-hand decorations and to look into items like plates, lamps, and candle holders, which we could upcycle into beautiful center pieces or cupcake displays.
We were able to create cool and amazing decorations by being creative and resourceful (with the help of some friends, of course).
I have also had family members and friends go to their local thrift stores to purchase some items there. It was fun to see who could get the best deal on those lamps I wanted from the dollar store.
Make your own wedding invitations
Special touches from the couple that really speak about their love for each other makes the wedding special. On average, couples spend at least $2,000 on decorations for their wedding celebration. By creating my own invitations or decorations, I have saved money and made the event more focused on me and my partner. I think I have saved up to around half the cost of ordering my invitations from a printing company.
There are people who can work on do-it-yourself or DIY projects when it comes to weddings, but even the least creative can manage to make some stylish invitations with a tutorial, probably from YouTube, and some basic supplies from the craft store.
Creating invitations nowadays is easy with programs and online tools like Canva. Canva even has ready-made templates for easy access and quality assurance of the design. With just a quality home scanner and a printer, my siblings and I have made very classy and innovative invitation cards for the wedding. I even customized the design I wanted.
Whether one wants a classic or vintage style and simple text or imagery, anything is possible to do from home.