Young Couple Celebrating Wedding With Party In Backyard

Weddings on a budget: Tips for a memorable and affordable wedding day

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your entire life. It should also be an enjoyable event that sets you up for a successful future together.

While throwing a big party is a lot of fun, be sure to remember the true meaning of the day – to come together with family and friends to celebrate your union and love. Here are a few ways that you can have an unforgettable wedding day without breaking the bank.

1. Set the budget

Set a limit and stick to it so that you don’t get caught up in the excitement of the wedding expenses – flowers, chair covers, fancy cakes, a DJ or band, catering and drinks!

2. Prioritize expenses

Pick one or two expenses – such as a live band or late night tacos – that are most important to you and your fiancé. Make sure you save room in your budget for those expenses and try cutting costs in other areas that are not as important to you.

Also read: I do! I do! The money discussion you need to have before the wedding

3. Finalize your guest list

A large guest list is definitely one of the easiest ways to break the bank. Many caterers or banquet halls charge per person, so it is a lot harder to stick to your budget if your guest list expands.

If you are finding it difficult to trim your guest list, think about this factor – the people who attend should be there because they are celebrating your wedding, not just another party.

If you have large families, you may want to consider a brunch or afternoon wedding, or a different day of the week. You can receive discounts for having your special day when the vendors are less busy.

4. Do-It-Yourself

DIY projects are popular, but be careful that you do not overwhelm yourself with projects. Select projects you can realistically handle completing, especially ones you can do well in-advance of your big day.

Perhaps arranging artificial flowers or printing your own ceremony programs are projects you can handle without adding unnecessary stress.

Also read: In a bridal party? Six tips to recover from an expensive wedding season

5. Something old? Something borrowed?

Buying items second-hand is another great way you can save big! Brides wear their dresses once, and often spend hundreds having them cleaned.

From your bridal gown and shoes to center pieces, chair covers and gifts for the bridal party, check out resale websites and stores to find just the right item for a great price.

Bonus: Try to resell it after the wedding to recoup even more money!

6. Feel the beat

Create your own play list on your smartphone and forgo the expense of a live DJ or band. If you want a person to help organize dances, ask a friend or aspiring DJ to help out.

What do you remember most about your childhood birthday parties?  Often sleepovers and pillow fights are more memorable than expensive activities or fancy gifts. The amount of money you spend on your wedding does not directly correlate to a memorable wedding.

You can add plenty of personality without breaking the bank. Consider how your wedding expenses will affect your future after marriage, and remember that your wedding day is just the beginning of a wonderful life together!

Also read: Do we need to merge finances once we’re married?

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Michelle Budzien

Michelle Budzien is an Accredited Financial Counselor for askFinancial Wellness. She also assists with the Foresters Everyday Money financial helpline, providing unbiased financial coaching and education with the goal of improving the financial well-being of Foresters members. Michelle enjoys writing about all aspects of personal finance such as budgeting tips and tools, debt management, understanding credit, analyzing future needs, and industry trends.