Save money on a wedding: How to plan a wedding on a budget

Asian couple just married

(Photo: LINGSTUDIO®/Flickr/CC BY)

Planning a wedding doesn’t have to require ridiculous amounts of money. In fact, there are many simple ways to plan a wedding on a budget without breaking the bank or needing a last minute cash advance. Whether your limit is $500 or $5,000, with these wedding planning tips, you can have a beautiful inexpensive wedding with memories that will last a lifetime.

Plan a wedding on a budget by cutting the guest list

To really plan a wedding on a budget, one of the first places you should look is your guest list. Cutting down the number of guests can greatly reduce the amount of money spent on caterers and food, among other costs. Each time a name is added to the list, you’re adding more tension to your budget. So don’t be afraid to skip inviting those you haven’t seen in ages or ones you can’t stand to be with for more than a minute. Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feeling; it’s you, your wedding and your budget that need the pleasing.

Save money on a wedding dress

One of the main highlights of planning a wedding is choosing the right wedding dress. However, for those who are planning on a budget, it can get pretty overwhelming. So before you settle on a wedding dress and request a cash advance to pay the difference, consider your options. You can save big by shopping around and comparing prices online. There are many websites that offer a variety of wedding dresses that won’t put a hole in your wallet. And for the brides who don’t mind, perhaps renting a dress is right for you.

Wedding date and location

Where and when you have your wedding will also determine how much you spend and how much you save. The best time to plan a wedding on a budget is during off-season months, which vary depending on your regional climate. For cold-weather states, off-season savings kick in during winter and vice-versa for places with warmer climates. Planning an off-season wedding can save you big bucks because many wedding vendors are out hunting for business and are willing to offer great saving deals to draw you in. Also, the wedding location doesn’t have to be at a lavish club house or hotel. Check out local restaurants, parks and even your community college and compare prices.

Save money on food and drinks

Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer for the least expensive entrees. Would a buffet cost less than a seated dinner? Can you skip the main course and stick with just drinks and appetizers? Can you serve only wine and beer instead of having a full bar? Food costs take up a large portion of the budget, so don’t hesitate to make changes to the menu if needed.

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