You can have your dream wedding at a fraction of the cost. No one should have to postpone their wedding because of finances. No one should start out their marriage in debt because of the wedding. Make your dream come true by following these 5 simple steps.
When my husband and I began planning our wedding, the first thing we did was make a list of all of the things that needed to get done. Ok, kind of. The first thing I did was make this list - then show it to him. I'm a list person, which he soon discovered.
We went through the list and each chose which item mattered most to us. Luckily for us, it was the same thing. We were willing to spend half of our budget on creating lasting images - like the one above! (PC: Scott Jarvie) Everything after that was ordered by importance. It looked something like this:
Flowers (did my own)
Hair (had a friend do it)
Venue (ended up in my inlaws backyard, loved it)
Bridesmaids (bought each a cute $5 top, they wore their own skirt)
Music (did myself)
Cake (didn't want one)
Not saying you have to use my list. You know what fairy tale you want. For a lot, it will be the venue. The reception. The honeymoon. You find out what matters to you and your fiancee, compromise, and then PRIORITIZE. Don't shell out a ton of money on every tiny detail.
2. Find the Local Budget Wedding Vendor Community
Where? Facebook. Truly. You have a wedding yard sale page (or 3 or 5) around you. You have a community facebook yard sale page. Get on and ask questions. You'll be amazed at the response! There are many talented vendors out there that want to get into the wedding scene but have not yet paid to be listed on the official "wedding vendor" sites. They want to add you to their portfolio. There are many untalented vendors as well. Ask questions, do the sorting, and find the gem.
For more information and other places to look, read my post about BOOKING BUDGET FRIENDLY VENDORS
3. Buy Used or Rent
Did decorations not make it to the top of your priority list? No worries. After their wedding, everyone tries to recoup the ridiculous amount they just spent. They do this by attempting to sell off what they bought but no longer need. Their decorations. Their dress. Even their ring at times. You get to be the beneficiary. Check your local classifieds, look on facebook, ask your friends. I've seen full decoration sets (including runners, table decor, signs, lights, chair covers) for $150.
And then there's renting. There are companies out there that will rent you everything and anything. Better than that, most people are willing to rent out their possessions (as long as they are approached in a complimentary reassuring way).
Here's just a short list of items I've seen for rent:
Bridal attire. Bridesmaids outfits. Chairs. Any decoration. Fake Flowers. Fondue fountains. Popcorn machines. Headpieces. Tuxes. Dishes. Floors. Photo booths. Shoes. Jewelry. Candles. See something in a friend's home you love? Ask them about it!
4. Choose a free or cheap venue
If you chose a venue as your splurge item, then disregard this section. For everyone else, the venue can be one of the most expensive items on your list. However, with the right decorations, you can make any place perfect. Backyards and parks are some of my favorite. Churches usually don't charge, or are minimal if they do. Gyms. Greenhouses. Art Gallery. Local bed and breakfast. Cabins. Be creative!
I have two secrets for finding a cheap venue: go smalltown and don't mention that the "party" is a wedding until you receive a price. Prices are often jacked up in cities or as soon as someone hears the "w" word.
5. Recognize that it's about the marraige and not the display
You are marrying your best friend. You have chosen to live your life together. To have and to hold. To cherish through good times and bad. The wedding is just a small blip in comparison to what you are about to embark on. Yes, it's important. Hey, we've dedicated a website and a blog to it! But remember, that in the end, it's your love that matters.
What are original ways that you saved money for your wedding? Answer in the comments below!