Marriage is a huge commitment. It’s also a significant life change that calls for celebration. Many couples celebrate their commitment to each other by gathering with friends and family. While a wedding is an exciting occasion, it can be expensive.
If you and your partner have limited funds for a wedding, don’t fret. You can host an incredible event without racking up credit card debt. I’ll share a few hacks to plan a dream wedding that fits your budget. You’ll feel better starting this next chapter of your life free of wedding debt.
1. Pick a non-traditional venue
For many couples, the venue is one of the most expensive parts of their wedding. If you want to rent a popular or traditional venue, you can expect to pay a higher rental fee. One way to keep venue costs reasonable is by choosing a non-traditional space for your celebration.
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Here are some options to explore:
- Park shelter
- Coffee shop
- Movie theater
- Restaurant or brewery
- Photography studio
Thinking outside the box could save money and make your event more memorable. But before settling on an inexpensive venue, consider what other unexpected expenses may add to the cost of your day. Here are two examples:
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- You may need to rent tables and chairs if you rent a cabin or other shelter at a local park.
- If you choose a restaurant, brewery, or coffee shop, there may be a minimum order that you must meet, which could add to your food and drink costs.
2. Avoid having your wedding on a Saturday
According to The Knot, a wedding planning website, Saturdays continue to be the most popular day to host a wedding — and the most expensive. Choosing a different day to host your event could result in considerable savings.
My husband and I got married on a Sunday. Our ceremony began at noon, and a brunch reception followed at the same venue. This choice gave guests, most of whom lived nearby or a couple of hours’ drive away, plenty of time to return home before work on Monday.
3. Trim your guest list
Inviting fewer guests to your wedding can be a win for your wallet. Your event could become overly expensive if you’re not intentional about who you add to your guest list.
When adding people to your guest list, consider whether they will be in your life long-term. You might discuss whether inviting casual acquaintances and coworkers you don’t know well is necessary. Once you have an initial guest list, review it again.
Don’t be afraid to trim it down more. Inviting your closest friends and family can make the entire experience more intimate and allow you to keep more cash in the bank.
4. Consider non-traditional food options
Here’s another hack for couples who are comfortable with non-traditional wedding elements. Instead of serving a plated dinner, consider other alternatives for food.
A buffet-style meal could be cheaper. Another option is to host an intimate celebration at a restaurant, which could lower your food costs depending on menu prices.
Since my husband and I hosted a daytime celebration, we had a brunch buffet for our guests. We are big breakfast food fans, but this choice also saved us money on food costs. But whatever you do, don’t sacrifice quality for a deal — guests will remember the food.
Keep your finances top of mind
Consider your finances if you’re a newly engaged couple planning a wedding celebration. With all the excitement, you may be tempted to make choices that exceed your budget. But if you make strategic decisions, you can organize a fantastic wedding you and your guests will love. For additional money-related tips, check out our personal finance resources.
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