If you’re on a really tight budget, and thinking to yourself, “how are we ever going to afford to get married?” – don’t fret, because thankfully there are plenty of ways to have a cheap wedding without it feeling cheap! The average cost of a wedding is now over $25,000! I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have that laying around. To make matters more stressful, with most weddings you’ll need to stay on your budget like a hawk because you’re paying separate vendors at varying times, and you could easily overspend, completely on accident, by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Below are some tips on how to have a cheap wedding.
How To Have A Cheap Wedding
Trim that Guest List Like It’s Going Out of Style
While I’m sure you want as many people as possible to partake in your joy and happiness, the fact of the matter is – the longer the guest list, the bigger the check. This rule starts to go out the window if you’re planning a backyard wedding – which can be quite an appealing option. If you know exactly who you want and don’t want, all the better. If you’re struggling a bit, maybe start big – write out everyone you would possibly think to invite, then trim it down. Think of how long since you’ve talked, how close you are/ever were, etc. You can always explain your wedding away as, “oh it was a small wedding, just family” and most will not balk.
Opt for a Buffet Style Dinner
Seated dinners are certainly great, but they come with a price, partially due to extra hands on deck to serve everyone, and the cost of cooking and plating each dish. Buffet style receptions are rising in popularity largely due to keeping your budget in check. An added bonus to a buffet style is that it allows your guests to choose what they’d like from the selection you have predetermined, rather than them having to know 3 months in advance when you sent your invitation.
Or, Better Yet Have Your Reception at a Restaurant
Another option, besides having a traditional venue with a buffet style dinner, instead of seated dinner, to save money, is to contact a local restaurant that you think may fit the bill. With enough notice they may be willing to accommodate your party, and being a restaurant means they’ll be taking care of the food, wrapping two costs into one! By and large, they’ll also be more than willing to cut and serve a cake you bring in, with advance notice, natch.
Tailor Your Wedding Party
Your wedding party, consisting of maid-of-honor, bridesmaids, best man, and groomsmen can quickly eat up a fair amount of your budget. Between dresses, suits/tuxes, bridesmaid and groomsman gifts, and everything in between – costs can rise quickly and with every extra person you have in your wedding party, become all the more unmanageable.
Rethink Your Decor
You don’t need to rent every yard of pipe and drape your local party rental place has to make your venue beautiful, instead look for the beauty that already exists and see if you can’t get away with less . Doesn’t hurt that most weddings are at night, thus allowing the darkness to assist you in keeping it looking nice. Speaking of decor, take a look at our list of cheap centerpiece ideas to help you keep costs low when designing your tables too.
A New Take on the Cake
You may be able to save some money if you opt for a single tier cake for you and your significant other, and maybe include the wedding party; and then offer cupcakes for your guests. Another option is to skip the cake and offer a dessert buffet with smaller desserts that people can pick and choose from. Sometimes these may be offered with your venue or catering company, other times you may have to find a bakery and ask if they have a party/catering setup.
Save on Your Honeymoon
You can have a cheap wedding by rethinking your honeymoon a bit. Maybe you wait for your first anniversary and have it then? Giving you time to save instead of wedding and right into vacation. Another option is to register at sites like Honeyfund, where instead of picking sheets and towels you want your guests to get for you, you put together a crowdfunding registry of what you want to do on your honeymoon and ask your guests to donate there in lieu of traditional gifts.
Silk Flowers Can Be Beautiful Too
Another way to have an inexpensive wedding is to opt for silk flowers whenever possible, in place of fresh flowers. Some benefits are that they won’t wilt or die, thus you can assemble the bouquets whenever and have them ready to go. You also don’t have to worry about seasonality, some silk flowers may be more expensive than others, but at least you’ll have a constant to budget for.
Skip the Saturday
If you can, plan your wedding for a Friday night, rather than a more popular Saturday. Your venue may have lower rates for Friday evening weddings, or if not, you may have some wiggle room when negotiating. Another bonus is that your guests may have an excuse to have a three-day weekend thanks to you! If you just can’t get away from a Saturday wedding, consider a morning wedding with a lunch reception… just be sure to have your bachelor and bachelorette parties over early enough to get up in time. 🙂
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can save money on your wedding. These just happen to be a few tips on how to have a cheap wedding, we have more in various posts on the site, and as we find more, we’ll be sure to keep this post up to date!