Wedding Planning On A Shoestring Budget

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Wedding Planning On A Shoestring Budget

Planning a wedding should be the most memorable experience of your life. After all, you are about to begin a new adventure shared with the one you love.

Unfortunately, when it comes to planning a wedding unless you have an unlimited budget, it can be a frustrating and overwhelming task. 

First, you have to determine your budget and then you need to do your best to stay within this amount, which often means cutting corners and eliminating some of the most important elements and features of your day.

Weddings are incredibly expensive if you go the traditional route without knowing how to deal with vendors or negotiate on costs. 

With the “Wedding Planning On A Shoestring Budget” report I reveal my personal strategies for saving money on all aspects of your wedding planning as well as how to ensure that your day goes as smoothly as possible, while helping you save as much money in the process – so that you can still have your dream wedding, even on a shoestring budget!


Setting Your Wedding Budget

Setting a budget is something that you need to do very early on. That way, you know exactly what you have to work with and can begin the planning phase of your wedding. 

Many couples overlook this very important step, and start planning their wedding without a firm budget in mind. This will make things incredibly difficult when you find yourself out of money and out of time, without the wedding completely planned and ready for your big day.

Choosing a budget that you are both comfortable isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially if you are trying to avoid taking out a loan, and instead, save money for your wedding each week.  

The best way to go about this is to write down an estimate that you feel would cover the bulk of your expenses, then determine how much you can afford to put aside each week until you reach your objective. 

Depending on when your wedding will take place, you should allocate at least 12 weeks or more to saving up money for your big day.

Sit down together and determine a fair budget. You can always adjust the budget later on down the road if needed, but for now, be open with each other, discuss possible numbers until you come to a reasonable budget without leaving you both struggling to pay off a massive debt once you begin your married life together.

Keeping organized is critical when working with a budget. Each time you make a purchase, keep a copy of your receipt in an envelope or file, and write down exactly what you purchased. 

Make sure that you keep ongoing communication with your partner, so that you are both on the same page and feel a part of the process.

After all, it’s their big day, too.
So without further delay, here’s exactly how you can plan your dream wedding without spending a fortune in the process!


Lower Cost Flower Arrangements

Flowers can be a very expensive part of a wedding.  Many people spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the flowers for their wedding.   But there are some tricks you can use to make sure you get beautiful flowers without spending too much money. 

To start, you must have the idea about the type of flowers that are in season, if you want to save the most money possible, or go with perennial flowers that are usually that most affordable option of all.

Be careful with color choice.  Some colors of flowers are rare than others, and those colors will be more expensive.  Discuss with your florist the prices of different colors, and choose one that is affordable, but also one that will make you happy.

For saving money on your flowers you can buy them in bulk as they will be used for several purposes on your wedding day, and quite often, you will receive a discount when you purchase a larger quantity of flowers, from a local florist.

If you are providing your own centerpieces for your tables you have many options. You can create floral centerpieces out of fresh or silk flowers if you are creating the flowers for the rest of your wedding. If you wish not to have flowers, you can float petals in bowls of water or fill glass bowls with colored beads for a pretty look that is easy on the budget.

Candle arrangements also make lovely centerpieces and can be inexpensive if you buy candles in bulk, on clearance, or using coupons.

When you are buying the flowers from florists you need to explore various shops and ask questions about the varieties, sizes, number and prices.

Unless you are a flower enthusiast, you will want to be sure to ask as many questions regarding potential bouquets and centerpieces, so that you can compare pricing and determine what shop to purchase from.

With flowers such as daisies, roses, lilies and carnations, the price structure remains almost the same whereas with flowers including Hydrangea, Tulips, and Lilacs, the price will fluctuate.

Discuss your ideas with a local florist, ensuring that she or he is aware of your budget.  Be open to suggestions, even if it’s not exactly as you initially envisioned it, there are hundreds of affordable flower types that when mixed together, can create a stunning presentation, so let your florist show you examples of possibilities before you set your mind on a specific flower type.

When discussing your flower arrangements with your florist, be sure to give them a general style and color scheme that you like, as well as any flower types that you simply aren’t interested in.

Tip: Carnations are one of the most affordable flowers out there, and even if you aren’t a fan of carnations, using small amounts as fillers can cut down on costs and still look absolutely beautiful.

For affordable centerpiece creations, you could put left over flowers to good use by carefully peeling off the petals and placing them into colored glass vases or bowls, where they can float with votive candles.

You could also consider melding a handful of roses with cheaper flowers and baby’s breath to give it a full look without the hefty costs involved in pre-created centerpieces. Add in four or five pillar candles for a gorgeous array, at a very little cost.


Save $500 On Wedding Invitations

When it comes to saving money on your wedding invitations, there are very simple options available that will save you hundreds of dollars in costs. 

To start, you need to spend some time researching the different options from local stationary stores, as well as investigating online wedding shops where you can purchase invitations from wholesalers at cost.

Another great option is to simply create them yourself, with online websites featuring downloadable templates that you can type in and print out, including envelopes and pre-printed labels. 

While engraved wedding invitations are absolutely stunning, they will take a lot from your budget, unnecessarily.  Invitations are often thrown in the trash after the guest RSVP’s, remember, and so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a large portion of your budget on them.

Get creative!   If you are a crafty person, you could purchase scrapbook elements from your local craft store and offer hand-created, personalized scrapbook style invitations. 

This is a great way to show your creative side while injecting your own personality and style, plus you’ll save a ton of money in the process.

You should also stick with standard size invitations, to save on postage costs and rather than include a return envelope with a stamp, set up a free email account exclusively for people to respond to, indicating whether they can attend or not. 

This is an easy to save a couple of hundred dollars on postage costs while staying organized with a guest list that you can manage directly in your email. 


Reduce Reception Costs Easily

Of all the costs associated with your wedding, your reception can be one of the biggest costs of all, especially if you are renting space or using in house caterers.  Discuss what your ideal reception venue would be and then research potential spots in your area, by phoning the venues and asking for prices, availability and included items.

When using caterers that are provided by the venue, you can expect to pay 35% more than if you hire an outside caterer, however there are many venues that require you use their in-house vendors so be sure to ask about this when calling each location.

When it comes to your reception keep in mind that certain vendors will charge you for “un used space”. This means that if your guest list is 150 and only 100 show up, you still may be required to pay for the remaining 50 seats. 

Therefore, it’s very important to have a closely estimated number of guests and to discuss with your vendor, prior to reserving the reception site, whether you will be charged for anyone not attending your wedding without prior notice.

When you must use an in house caterer, there is not much you will be able to do to save money other than choosing less expensive food items. A buffet tends to be cheaper than a sit down dinner, and a soda only reception is cheaper than a reception with a full bar.

Discuss your options with the venue’s caterer prior to finalizing your menu details. Many caterers offer a wide variety of services, ranging from hot and cold appetizers, to buffet or served dinners, your choice of bars and some caterers will even include the cake.

The actual food served can save you money as well. Cheaper dishes such as pasta or chicken can be just as lovely, but less expensive than pricey cuts of meat or expensive seafood dishes.

A great idea for many couples is to have the wedding at the home of a friend or relative.  This makes for a homier wedding, and the reception can be held right on the premises.  This is certainly easier logistically, but it can also be very romantic to have a wedding at the home where the bride grew up, or the home where the groom’s grandparents said their vows!

Wherever you choose, just be sure it suits you both.  This is a day you will never forget, and it should be held in a place that will make you both happy. 

Don’t worry about what anyone else says.  Choose the place that will make YOU happiest.


Save Money On Your Gown (while still looking like a Queen)

As a bride, you are likely already dreaming of the perfect wedding gown. Whether you are interested in a traditional, classic or contemporary style, it’s always best to begin your search early on, months before your actual wedding day.

To begin, scour the Internet for wholesale discount bridal shops and wedding magazines to determine the style you are interested in and to get an idea for the price range of each style.

As you probably know, every website, every magazine and every offline store will have different prices, sometimes for the very same gown, so it’s very important to shop around ahead of time, so you aren’t rushed into making a purchase, days before your wedding.

Since its likely that your gown may need alterations, it’s yet another reason why you should purchase your gown well in advance. Remember to take into account your body type, size as well as the time of year you are getting married.

If your wedding is in the fall or winter, long sleeves makes sense, or if you are having a summer wedding, a short sleeve or sleeveless would be more in fashion.

Once you have determined the style and type of wedding dress that you are interested in, start price shopping.  Begin with searching local bridal shops in your area, as well as online. 

Most online bridal shops offer a money back guarantee so that if you are not happy with the gown once received, you will be able to return it (unaltered) for a quick refund, but be sure to check through the terms of service and return policy prior to ordering.

You will also want to make sure that if you do order a gown online that the distributor provides Fed Ex or overnight delivery, so that you can easily track where your package is as well as confirm receipt. 

The last thing you want is your gown to be lost in transit so always request that a tracking number be provided upon purchase.

If purchasing your dress from a local bridal shop, inquire as to the cost of hiring an in-house seamstress, as it’s often far more affordable to hire an outside seamstress for your alterations.

If purchasing a gown isn’t important to you, you could opt to rent your dress as well as the tuxedo’s and bridesmaid dresses for your wedding party.

Check your department stores for tuxedo rentals and inquire as to whether there are any special offers, such as the groom receiving his tux rental for free if the groomsmen rent their tuxedo’s there. Tux rentals often include cufflinks, vest, tie and sometimes even shoes so be sure to ask.

Otherwise, search through local thrift shops or outlets for second hand tuxedo’s or suits that will save you a fortune while ensuring your groom and his men look fantastic!

Keep budget in mind when selecting dresses for your bridesmaids as well. While a bridesmaid traditionally will purchase her own dress, keep in mind that weddings can be expensive for bridesmaids and try to find inexpensive options for them.

Many internet stores sell inexpensive bridesmaid dresses at discounted rates, and these are a good option as long as they have an acceptable return policy.

If you are purchasing your bridesmaid dresses, be sure to choose something that they can use later on, enabling them to get far more use out of it.

If you have your heart set on a designer gown, consider hiring a local seamstress to create it for you.  This can be an easy way to have the wedding gown of your dreams without the hefty price tag attached.  Simply bring in a couple of photos of the gown you like, and discuss options with a local (skilled) seamstress. 

When it comes to your veil, you can spice up a low priced veil with an affordable jeweled or tulle tiara to give it a special look, all your own without paying top dollar for a long beaded veil.




Lower Cost Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is one of the most important aspects of the wedding reception.  The cake will adorn the main table, and guests should marvel at its beauty.  The cake will feature prominently in photos of the reception, and it will be the main attraction when the bride and groom cut the cake.

Sometimes you may be able to get a good deal on a cake by allowing the bakery to give you the cake they choose.  Many bakers love to get especially creative, and they are sometimes willing to give you a discount if they can create a cake based on their own vision.  These types of cakes are fantastic for their portfolio, and it’s rare when they are given free rein to create whatever they want.

Often, a cake that is simply decorated will be cheaper than a cake that requires many hours of work. In that same vein, cakes that are iced in butter cream frosting tend to be less expensive than cakes iced with fondant.

Simple cakes with few fillings will be less labor intensive and therefore cheaper than cakes with special flavors and fillings. Call local bakeries in your area and get price estimates for the number of guests you are having.

Often, grocery store bakeries will also create wedding cakes at a far cheaper price than local bakeries.


Conclusion: Final Thoughts

Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life and both you and your partner should be able to celebrate your love without the stress that comes with excessive debt from taking out loans to pay for your wedding day.

It’s important to think beyond the wedding day, and to begin your married life in a way that enables you both to continue celebrating one another, rather than struggle for years to pay off a loan. 

Set your budget and use my tips and strategies to ensure that you stay within this price range when planning out your wedding.  You can have a beautiful wedding without spending a fortune in the process, if you take your time, stay organized and on track.

To your happily ever after!

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