Create a wedding budget to reduce expenses. Decide how much to spend on wedding items, what to buy, and stick to the budget.
The last thing you might wish to consider is having to budget on your special, once in a lifetime day. But a frugal wedding these days is actually a lot more impressive than one in which the couple has spent on foolishly, only to regret it later.
The “boom” mentality can often lead to bust when it comes to weddings. Normally financially savvy people throw discretion out the window when it comes to planning their wedding. However, you don’t want your one special day to turn into years of debts. Therefore, you need a wedding budget.
A Wedding Budget
Weddings can be extremely expensive to plan due to all of the little extras that people rarely think about, but which can all add up to big bucks if you are not careful. Staying on budget is not always possible when unforeseen events occur, and last-minute items are needed.
However, getting married does not have to be a costly affair. For one thing, you can elope or go to Vegas. But seriously, every couple needs a wedding budget, no matter how much or how little you can afford to spend. On the lower end of this spectrum? All the more reason for you to create a wedding budget and stick to it as closely as possible.
Planning and Budgeting for Your Wedding
Make a list of all the things you need for your wedding. Absolutely, positively need. Then take the list and divide it into three. Decide on the “must-haves,” “the optionals,” and “the nice if we have anything left in the budget for things.” Then cross off this last list. Repeat these words.”We can’t afford it.”
There, now you’ve said it. Practice a few more times. Now you are getting the hang of it. Now you can start budgeting for the wedding.
It may seem a terrible thing to say about your own wedding, but the truth of the matter is all those little extras make other people happy, not you. Especially the people who are selling you those seemingly harmless little extras! Or the people who want to be able to invite a date to your small reception without thinking of all the extra costs involved when there are additional guests.
What do you really need for your wedding? A nice outfit for the bride and groom, the license, any fee charged by a justice of the peace, priest or minister to officiate at your ceremony, a couple of witnesses, and perhaps rings for each partner. Everything else is optional.
So if you decide to have guests, a cake, reception route, wedding favors, flowers, and so on, obviously all these will cost more. It is up to you to decide if it is worth all the extra expenses. You’ll also have to figure out how to pay for all these.
Do It Yourself (DIY) Wedding Items
Here are a few suggestions to get everything you need on your must-have wedding list.
If you or your future spouse are handy in any way, there are many things that you can do in order to cut costs and still give guests the royal treatment.
My friend had 30 guests at her wedding for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sleepover, and breakfast and lunch the next day at her and her husband’s new home. She cooked as much of the food as she could ahead of time and drafted in helpers to lay the buffet table. She made sure there was enough for everyone to have a taste of the finger foods and had some do double duty for several meals, such as different varieties of quiche.
She had a store-bought gown and veil and did not spend ages in the salon. She went to a discount liquor store and bought it in bulk. She got durable plastic plates and glasses that could be re-used, with enough changes so there would be time to get everything washed and dried.
She made her own wedding cake and decorated it simply with royal icing and silk flowers, which matched those in her bouquet. She comparison shopped for wedding favors and her old, new, borrowed, and blue items not only served for her wedding but that of her sister-in-law a few months later. For the larger reception with all their friends who wanted to wish them well, they rented out the local union hall, which gave them a reasonable rate on the free bar all night.
She designed and sent out her own wedding invitations, buying inexpensive card stock, and printing it on her computer. The total cost of her wedding was less than $1000, and most of those expenses were for the marriage license and related fees.
And lest you say she had nothing better to do with her time, she was working full time, many long hours.
Therefore, with a bit of planning and creativity and a do it yourself attitude, it is possible to put together a great wedding without spending a fortune. For any items, you can’t manage to do yourself, be sure to budget for them carefully and shop around for the best price. Look for end of the line items, clearance sales, end of season sales, and more.
Becoming a bargain hunter is almost essential these days. It may seem unfair to do it on your wedding day as well, but it’s better than starting out your new life with a mountain of debts.