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40 Creative Ways To Make Massive Savings on your Budget Wedding


how to plan a low budget wedding
Establish a budget, and then establish budget priorities


You can have the wedding of your dreams on a small budget with some creative thinking and forward planning. This wedding planning guide will give you the tools you need to do have a wedding that will create memories you will treasure for a lifetime. 

Visit our Amazon storefront for our handpicked lists of popular budget wedding supplies.

You'll need to set aside money for the following expenses (this list is not exhaustive). The affiliate-linked items here will take you to a variety of the named items via Amazon or Zazzle. I may make a fee on items bought at no extra cost to you.


how to plan a low budget wedding

Choose (as a couple) the items on this list that are the MOST important to you. Typically, a bride has a clear idea of where she wants and her attention is usually focused on the dress, the venue and the photographs. That being the case, set aside from your overall budget the amounts you believe are necessary to spend on those two areas in order to achieve the best possible result in accordance with your 'wants.

This will give you an idea of what is left over in terms of all those other things, and it is on those other things that you should concentrate your efforts in terms of saving money. Not to say that you won't be able to save money on your dress and venue; you most certainly can! However, the items for which you have the least amount of money available will inspire the most original thinking.


Favored online retailers for low budget wedding items

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How to Keep Your Guests List as Short as Possible


Keep it intimate

Invite your closest friends and family members who live nearby, and inform others that while you would appreciate it if they could attend, it will be a small, intimate gathering. Keep your wedding from being publicized outside of the group of guests if it makes you feel uncomfortable saying "no."

Exclusions

Exclude +1s and children who are not members of the bridal party - this may seem harsh, but it keeps costs down by not catering to people you don't know and who may or may not show up.

Live Streaming

Have live streaming of the wedding for guests who cannot attend or you are not able to include on the guest list. This is something which became popular during the Covid19 pandemic with wedding paries being restricted on numbers, social distancing etc. It is an excellent way to include those who can't be there in person. 



Low Budget Wedding Venue Ideas


Backyard, garden wedding

It goes without saying that you can only do this if you have the necessary space! If you are planning a garden wedding reception, you will incur additional costs because you will need to prepare for both good and bad weather, which will include shelter, possible heating, and waterproofing. Only if you have space inside as well as outside, of course. A garden wedding reception with a barbecue, pig roast or potluck is a fantastic way to save money while also having a lot of fun and being relaxed.

Community hall, pub, or church room in your neighborhood.

There are numerous locations in most communities that provide wedding reception space for rent, and they are not prohibitively expensive, especially if you agree to provide your own floral arrangements.

Visit a local bar where guests are expected to pay for their own drinks.

In order to avoid the expense of renting a space, you could work out a deal with your local bar and food landlord to create a space for you, which they will be more than happy to do given all of the new business that will be coming their way. After that, the guests are responsible for their own food and beverages.

Choose a wedding date that is during the week and out of season.

You can save a lot of money on wedding venues if you follow these steps. Choosing a less popular time, day of the week, and month of the year for your wedding can result in savings of up to 50% on the total cost of the ceremony and reception. Make sure you read their terms and conditions before making a reservation, and that any fee quoted remains the same no matter how the date changes!!


Have a joint wedding

Think about having a joint wedding with another couple. If you are close with the other couple this could work out really well and cut both your costs in half. If you happen to share the same friends and family even better as that keeps the guest list the same as for one wedding. Your guests will also appreciate not having to cover the cost of attending two weddings.

Elope

Elopement is a popular choice for couples these days, and it no longer carries the stigma that it once did. You can always have a wedding reception when you're back home.

Have a Destination Wedding

Destination weddings can be less expensive if you choose a package deal and guests pay for their own transportation and accommodation. You will save money by not paying for a separate honeymoon.




Bridal and Wedding Party Savings



Bridesmaids, Maids of Honor, Mother of the Bride, Groomsmen, Bestman, Father of the Bride, and Flower girls are all examples of wedding party members.

Keep your wedding party small

There is an endless list of expenses, including outfits, shoes, grooming, hair and make-up for the ladies, as well as gifts for the ladies afterward. This is where keeping your bridal party small or non-existent is the most cost-effective method of saving money on your wedding. 

Compromise

This may not be possible, however, if you have a large number of family members and friends who want to be a part of the celebration. So, what should we do? Inform your bridal party that you are on a tight budget and that you intend to keep things simple but elegant. Explain that you will not be able to purchase their outfits for them, but that they should consider wearing something in the color scheme you have planned so that they can take their place in the Bridal Party.

As long as you aren't dictating what they wear (aside from the color theme), this request isn't unreasonable, as they would almost certainly be purchasing something to wear to your wedding regardless of your wishes. If they are unable to do so, they will be opting out of the bridal party, which will put an end to the whole "we want to be in it" situation!!

Preloved

You can also save money by purchasing pre-owned bridal party outfits on occasion, but you will have difficulty finding a set that is appropriate for your bridal party.



Wedding Dress On A Budget


Preloved

Clothing that has been worn once and has been professionally cleaned can be purchased for up to 75% less than the original purchase price. If you decide to go this route, make sure to set aside a small budget in case you need to have your dress altered and give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect dress.

There are numerous Facebook groups, Facebook Marketplace, eBay lists, and other online resources, as well as charity and thrift stores, that sell beautiful pre-owned wedding gowns.

Online Sellers - Amazon

You can save a lot of money if you buy your wedding dress online (no fittings).

It appears from the feedback I've seen so far on Facebook groups about online dresses that, while the bride is delighted, the dress is often not quite like the promotional photo, so make sure you read the reviews and keep your expectations realistic! Most importantly, make certain that the measurements you provide to them are accurate.

Borrow

Occasionally, a family member or friend will be willing to loan you their wedding dress at no cost to you, other than the cost of professional cleaning afterward.

Make it Yourself

Why not, if you have the necessary skills? I recently saw a beautiful wedding gown that had been crocheted by the bride! It was absolutely breathtaking. Many of us, however, do not possess those abilities; however, if you do, it is well worth considering, and what a wonderful sentimental keepsake that would be.

Prom Dress

Prom dresses are a great alternative to wedding gowns because they are often much more affordable and have a similar look.



Be a DIY bride

diy bride

Host a crafting party

You are not required to be crafty yourself; instead, you can enlist the assistance of helpful friends and family members! Hosting a crafting party, which is similar to a wedding shower but with a different theme, is a great way to enlist the help of your crafty friends for your DIY wedding projects. Bring in your friends, set up a space, provide wedding crafting materials, a workspace, and refreshments (no alcohol, because you don't want messed-up fixings or spilled drinks!)


Wedding Centerpieces and Table Decorations You Can Make Yourself


For weddings in 2022 and 2023, mason jars or recycled jam jars, which you can fill with little strings of LED lights or tea lights, are popular wedding decorations. You can also use pebbles and shells to create a beach theme, or you can use water and a floating candle or artificial silk, wood, plastic flowers to create a more simple arrangement. There are a plethora of alternatives.

The jars themselves can be embellished with ribbon, glitter, burlap, lace, and other embellishments. If you're having an outdoor wedding, you can use these jars as DIY centerpieces, or you can hang them from trees or the ceiling (carefully).

In addition, if you enjoy rustic and shabby chic themes, you can find unique vases at thrift stores.

For a tea party vintage theme, you can find some very inexpensive pretty china at thrift stores that you can use to make cake stands (dinner plates for this) and centerpieces out of teacups filled with candy or flowers, or turn the teacup into a home-made candle holder by filling it with an incandescent candle and some wax. As well as popular craft materials for creating your own table decorations.

Amazon has a large selection of books that are full of creative inspiration.

Use Old Vintage Bottles


Old vintage glass perfumes can be found at charity shops and carboot sales fairly inexpensively as well as online via stores like Amazon (image). Fill them with colored liquid, sand, flowers, flower petals to create a very unique table decoration. You can also buy bulk old glass bottles for table decorations via sites like Amazon fairly inexpensively HERE.





A simple spray of cherry blossom in a glass bottle filled with sand makes a subtle rustic wedding table decoration. The sand rather than water gives the bottle added weight and stability. Use colored sand to match your wedding colors.

Look how fresh these green blooms look in these heavu gree glass bottles with twine. You can also add burlap ribbon and lace to compliment the rustic wedding theme. You can personalize further with custom gift tags or stickers. 


decoupage decorated bottlesThese painted decorated bottles look fantastic and you can make them yourself! Take any bottle and thin gift wrap torn into pieces and paper glue (PVA) to secure and seal creating a lovely vintage decoupage wedding table decoration.

Paint old bottles with chalkboard paint and write on them for a unique twist to a rustic wedding table decoration. Vary the color of the glass bottles and add single stems for a simple, elegant wedding table decoration. 


These blue bottles with white flowers and pearls look stunning and will make an excellent table decoration for beach or blue themed weddings.







Wedding Invitations



We have a massive selection of trending quality but low-priced wedding invitations and matching items over at Zazzle, from 0.40. Our reviews speak for themselves. Quality product, low budget price.

You could opt out of paper/card wedding invitations and use social media, email, text to send your invitations. This is a modern method, environmentally friendly, zero cost.


DIY Wedding Invitations


There are though lots of great DIY favor tutorials on YouTube. Check them out as a cheap way to learn how to make them. The advantage that DIY wedding invitations have over pre-ordered ones is that they will be very personal and unique to you. Your guests will appreciate the thought and the gesture that bit more. If you're not very crafty choose a simple design and print out the wording. Make sure to spell check thoroughly! Bad spelling is a clear sign an amateur is at work!

Personalized Printed Invitations


Another source of budget wedding invitations that are personalized is Zazzle. They may not appear cheap at first glance BUT Zazzle often has mega sales on, with as much as 50% off so you can save here by keeping an eye on those sales!

***This is Zazzle's COUPON page - bookmark it!***


Wedding trends do change year on year, season on season BUT NOT THAT MUCH! So you can buy a wedding dress in an out-of-season sale or closing down sale that remains trendy for when your wedding date comes around and this applies to much of the rest of the items too. Consider wedding decoration sales (that won't perish if stored), wedding invitation and stationery sales and job-lots of favors and accessories on places like eBay.


That's it for the moment Beautiful Brides-To-Be! Please do add to these wedding budget tips and advice in the comments below and share your saving stories!



How to Save Money on Your Wedding Entertainment


  • Make a recording of your favorite wedding songs and dance music and play it through the music device at your reception venue.
  • Hire a local band that is eager to gain exposure and is willing to work at a discounted rate.
  • Recruit talented friends and family members to work with you for a period of time.
  • Let's sing some karaoke!


What You Can Do to Save Money on Wedding Transportation


There is almost always someone in the family who drives a nicer car than the rest of the family. Inquire as to whether they will decorate it with a ribbon and transport you on the day in question. Make an offer to cover any cleaning or other expenses that may arise, fuel etc.



Methods for Saving Money on Your Wedding Catering



  • Keep the number of people on your guest list to a minimum.
  • Instead of a pre-set meal, a buffet can be served.
  • Make your own food and enlist the assistance of friends and family members who are skilled in the kitchen!
  • With a buffet menu, you can still enjoy a traditional sit-down meal. Make sure everything is well-organized so that people don't get hungry while waiting in long lines, and that the food doesn't run out. Make certain that you have enough seating and tables for everyone. 
  • Provide your own disposable tableware to save money on the cost of the tableware provided by the venue. 
  • If you're hosting a party with a bar, allow your guests to pay for their own drinks. This is something I've done at every wedding I've attended, and it's perfectly acceptable and expected by me.
  • Have a Pot-luck wedding where guests bring a dish. You can specify the type of food so you know what to expect. Set it up like a gift registry list whereby guests can choose what to bring, so there are no duplicates. And of course, ensure food hygiene practices are adopted.



How to save money on your wedding cake


How to save money on your wedding cake


The pros of cupcake tower wedding cakes:



  • wedding cupcake towers
    Can be flexible re number
  • If one gets damaged it can be removed without affecting the whole look of the cake display
  • No 'cutting and wrapping in napkins' duties
  • Easily boxed up leftovers
  • Can still have a decorative top tier (see pics)
  • Can have different flavors including vegan, gluten-free to accommodate different tastes and dietary needs.
  • Can look equally as fabulous as a traditional wedding cake.
  • You can recruit more than one person to bake the cupcakes
  • Your children can be involved in baking cupcakes for a tier which makes it very special and sentimental



Wedding photography tips to help you save money



Friends and family

The cheapest option is, of course, to rely on a friend or family member to take your wedding photos and videography; however, be aware that this person will not want to spend the majority of their time (despite the fact that it is your day) taking photos and they may not take the photos you want them to take; therefore, even if you rely on a friend or family member re this, DO try to have an element of the organisation agreed with them beforehand, re what group photos you want and where they In addition, don't forget to mention them in your thank you speeches and regifting!

Wedding Hashtag

Build an online presence for your wedding on Facebook by inviting all of your guests to upload the wedding photos they took on the big day. You will undoubtedly find some that are wonderful, unexpected, and deserving of inclusion in your wedding album. It is possible to choose your favorites, save them, and upload them to a site like SnapFish for low-cost printing! Use a wedding hashtag so you can find them all. You can have a sign at your wedding featuring your hashtag so that guests are advised ahead of time of your wishes.

Student photographer, new business / off-peak

Booking a student photographer, a qualified new business owner, or booking out of season will all result in lower photographer rates than booking a seasoned professional, a well-established business owner, and will, of course, be less expensive off-peak.



Wedding Flowers



DIY 

I created my own floral centerpieces for the reception tables, and I was able to reuse the flower arrangements that had been leftover from a previous wedding reception. I didn't care about matching everything up, so I just took what was given to me. If you decide to go this route, make a few practice runs to ensure that you understand what you're doing and which flowers will work best. Rustic themes allow you to be extremely creative, such as by using glass jars as vases and strings of LED lights.

Artificial Flowers

In today's world, there are many alternatives to real flowers, including silk, paper, and rubber, that look every bit as beautiful as the real thing. They also last longer and require less planning in terms of timing and storage. Make these yourself by following a YouTube tutorial to save even more money on your next shopping trip.

Alternatives to flowers

Pampas Grass is currently very popular for wedding decorations and bouquets as are dried floral arrangements. You can collect these items throughout the year, visiting thrift shops, checking out Facebook Marketplace for used bargains. Wedding groups often have brides selling off their own decorations at bargain prices and don't forget they've only been used once! And you can of course then sell them on after you have used them.


Engagement Photos - Ideas and Venues



Many couples are now having a pre-wedding photo shoot to create engagement photos which they use for their save the dates or for a memory of their engagement. Featured here are some couple photos and great venue ideas to inspire your own engagement photo shoot.






This concludes our wedding savings tips for now. if you had a low budget wedding and would like to share your savings, please do so in comments.


 

Fun and informative blog supporting you on your wedding planning journey. Part of the Low Budget Wedding Planning Network ®, we have got you covered! Join our FB Group and be part of our online community.

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