How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Budget wedding planning can be challenging, but also rewarding. You can plan a memorable and beautiful wedding on a budget with a little creativity and planning. This comprehensive guide will help you plan a dream wedding within your budget. It is divided into key sections, including: setting a budget; prioritizing expenses; choosing a venue; saving on drinks and catering, finding affordable clothing and DIY decorations.

1. Budgeting Your Budget

To plan a wedding within a budget, you must first determine what you can afford. This includes:

  • How to Assess Your finances: Take into account your savings, family contributions, and monthly income when deciding how much money you can spend on your wedding.
  • How to Create a Detailed budget: Divide your budget up into categories, such as venue, caterer, attire, decor, and entertainment. Each category should receive a certain percentage of the total budget.
  • Tracking Costs: Use a spreadsheet to keep track of every expense. This will allow you to stay within budget and identify where you may need to make cuts.

2. Prioritizing Your Expenses

Prioritize the wedding aspects that are important to you and to your partner once you’ve established a budget. Spend more money on things that are important and save on less-important elements. Priorities that are often shared include:

  • Venue: Many couples find the location of their wedding to be one of the most significant parts.
  • Photography/Videography: Capturing memories of the day is often a high priority.
  • Food and Beverage: A good experience often involves great food and drinks.
  • Attire: For many couples, looking and feeling their best is a priority.

3. Selecting Your Venue

There are several ways to cut costs on the venue.

  • Non Traditional Venues: You can consider non-traditional locations like parks, community centres, or even your friend’s backyard. These venues can be much cheaper than the traditional ones.
  • Avoid the Peak Season: A wedding held in off-peak seasons (usually winter) or during weekdays is often much cheaper.
  • Negotiation: Do not be afraid to bargain with the venue of your choice. Some venues offer discounts if you have a smaller wedding or book in advance.

4. Save on Food and Drinks

There are several ways to reduce the cost of catering.

  • Buffet and Family-style Meals: These options are usually cheaper than plated meals.
  • Local Restaurants or Food Trucks: Hiring a restaurant or food truck can be an affordable and fun alternative to traditional catering.
  • DIY and Potluck: If you have a small guest list, consider DIY where family members and friends contribute dishes.
  • Limit Alcohol Options: Rather than offering a full-service bar, offer a selection of beer, wines, and signature cocktails.

5. Find Affordable Clothing

The cost of wedding attire can also quickly add up. You can still look great for less.

  • Sample Sale and Off-the Rack: Many bridal shops have sample sales, where you can get dresses for a fraction of their original price.
  • Second Hand Dresses: Buy a gently-used dress at a consignment store or online marketplace.
  • Renting: Some companies rent wedding dresses at a lower price than buying.
  • Sales: Be on the lookout for discounts and sales, particularly during major sales events.

6. DIY Decorations for the Holidays

DIY projects will save you money and add a personal touch.

  • Invitations: Create and print your invitations online using templates, or use a digital version for a reduced postage cost.
  • Decor: Make your own centerpieces and bouquets. Use inexpensive materials such as candles, seasonal flowers and repurposed objects.
  • Favors: Handmade favors are more meaningful and affordable. Consider making cookies, candles or small potted plants as favors for your guests.

7. Manage the guest list

Reduce your guest list to save money.

  • Smaller Weddings: A smaller guest list will mean less money spent on food, drink, and favors.
  • Invite your closest family and friends: Prioritise inviting those who are most important to you and your partner.
  • No plus-ones: Limit the number of plus-ones only to those in serious relationships.

8. Consider Alternative Options

When planning a wedding on a budget, there are several options to consider:

  • Destination Weddings: While they may seem expensive, destination marriages are actually more affordable due to their smaller guest lists.
  • Elopements: If a large wedding doesn’t appeal to you, consider eloping. It’s a cost-effective and romantic way to get married.
  • Backyard weddings: A backyard wedding can be intimate, and inexpensive.

Detail Breakdown

Here are some more details on how to save money for your wedding.

The Venue

  • Public Parks: Many parks in the public sector offer beautiful locations for weddings, at minimal cost. Verify local laws and requirements.
  • Community halls: These venues can often be found at low costs and decorated to suit your needs.
  • At Home Weddings: If you own a large backyard, or know someone with one, an in-home wedding could save you a lot on venue costs.

You can also find out more about Catering

  • Food Stations or Buffet: They are more affordable than plated meals, and provide a wide variety of choices for guests.
  • Brunch and Lunch Receptions: These meals are usually less expensive than dinners.
  • BYOB: If you are allowed to do so, purchase your alcohol from a wholesaler. You can save a lot of money on beverages.


  • Bridal consignment shops: This shop sells pre-owned wedding gowns at a fraction the price of their original cost.
  • Bridesmaid dresses: Select a color, and let the bridesmaids choose their own dress. It can help them save money while ensuring they choose something they like.
  • Renting a Suit: Groomsmen and brides can save money if they rent suits or tuxedos rather than buying them.

Decorate your home with these beautiful decorations

  • Seasonal Flower: Save money by choosing flowers in season.
  • Repurposing: Use the decorations from the ceremony at the reception.
  • Simple Elegance: Sometimes, less is more. Few well-placed decors can make a greater impact than extravagant designs.


  • Digital Invites: Send digital invites to save on printing costs and postal fees.
  • DIY printing: Design your own invitations and print them at home or in a print shop.

Photographie and videography

  • Hiring Amateurs or Students: Photographers who are students or amateurs can offer quality services for a cheaper price.
  • Limited hours: Hire an expert for only a few important hours, instead of a whole day.
  • Digital Files: Choose digital files over printed albums. You can always print your favorite photos later.

Enjoy the Entertainment

  • DIY music: Instead of hiring a band or DJ, create a playlist using a sound system.
  • Local talent: Hire local musicians and bands that may charge less than professional wedding entertainment.
  • Photo booth: Create a DIY photo booth with props, a tripod and a digital camera.

Final Tips

  • Plan early: Allow yourself ample time to plan. You will be able to find the best prices and avoid any last-minute costs.
  • Keep your documents organized: Store all of your contracts, receipts, and planning documents in a single place. You will be able to stay on top your budget and payments.
  • Be Flexible: Be flexible if you can find a better offer or if a certain item doesn’t match your budget.
  • Ask For Help: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Friends and Family for Help. Many people are happy to help you celebrate your special day.


To plan a wedding within a budget, you need to be creative, flexible, and have a good sense of planning. You can have a memorable and beautiful wedding without spending too much money by prioritizing your priorities, looking for affordable alternatives and doing DIY projects. The most important thing about your wedding is to celebrate your love and commitment. You can create a wedding that is both stylish and affordable by using these tips.

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