How to make your wedding memorable without busting your budget
A tight wedding budget can make you feel like you’re wearing heavy iron chains, unable to be creative enough to plan the wedding you’ve been thinking of all these years. But being sentenced to a tight budget doesn’t have to mean that a memorable wedding is out of reach.
To prove it, here are some tips in three categories to help you think of ways to make every dollar you spend go farther, all while creating a wedding that you’ll remember long after you’ve forgotten the bills.
Saving on the Floral Arrangements
Naturally, weddings come with the duty of shopping for beautiful floral arrangements, but those out-of-season blooms can be costly. By exercising a little creativity, like choosing to shop flowers that are in season at your local flower shop, you can save money and present vivacious arrangements your guests won’t forget. Flowers that are already in bloom are usually easier to come by and can help reduce the cost of floral décor. If you’re planning a DIY wedding, then making your own floral arrangements is a great way to cut costs and get creative. Check out your local craft stores for some realistic florals that can also double as gifts for your guests.
Saving on the Venue
Have you ever attended a wedding where the couple had a separate location for the ceremony and the reception? A lot of venues offer ceremony and reception halls in the same space and not only does that make it a little easier on the coordinator, but it also makes it a little easier on the wallet.
If you’re planning on getting hitched here in Atlanta, here’s a sampling of four of the many venues that offer both ceremony and reception spaces on campus. This should give you an idea of what to expect.
- Windermere Golf Club in Cumming, Ga – prices from $5,836 to $10,779
- Dunaway Gardens in Newnan, Ga – prices from $4,352 to 10,264
- Hightower Falls in Cedartown, Ga – prices from $4,900 to $8,375
- Pleasant Union Farms in Canton, Ga – prices from $6,275 to $10,769
Of course, you can really save on the wedding venue by having no venue at all. If your wedding is small, consider the County Clerk’s office, a favorite restaurant, a quiet corner in a park, a bed and breakfast, a friend or family member’s backyard. The list is as long as your imagination. The only essential requirement is that your future spouse is there, and any friends or family that you want. Beyond that, it’s just a building. The wedding takes place in your heart.
Saving on the Dress
Jaw-dropping dresses can be a bit pricey, especially this year’s models, so you might want to consider a vintage gown instead. Thrift stores, yard sales, Etsy, even your mother’s gown are all economical ways to save cash and feel glamorous. If a new dress is an absolute priority, then be sure to check out sales at your local bridal shops. In fact, David’s Bridal offers an entire section dedicated to gowns priced below $100. “Remember that no one has to know where your dress came from or how much it cost,” said wedding planner Stacie Baines. “Shop consignment stores near and far before paying for a new dress.”
“If you absolutely have to cut a big budget item, cut on your catering,” says Peachy Keen’s wedding planner, Victoria Baggett. “I’ve experienced weddings where the ceremony and receptions were split up hours apart to help save money on food that’s usually served at the reception. Instead, the ceremonies take place earlier in the day and the receptions are more like uppity cocktail parties that take place several hours later.” Guests can go out to eat and come back to celebrate! At the end of the day, you still have your pictures and your party but you’re not sitting through dinner. On average, I see people spend anywhere 6K and 15K on catering, said Baggett. Cut costs on the catering and enjoy your party.
Extra tips on how to be memorable
If you’re the dancing type, some of the best weddings Stacie Baines has been to include a coordinated dance from the groom and his groomsmen. Dancing is free and if you’ve seen some of the best coordinated and hilarious dances, you might be tempted to give it a try yourself, said Baines. “Add string lights or Christmas lights. These are easy to find, super affordable and can totally make a plain room look fancy. Buy used decor on social media yard sale sites. Mirrors for tables can come from dollar tree. Use empty wine bottles and shop at thrift stores!”
Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of what you really want for your wedding. After all, it is one of the most important days of your life, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little here and there when it comes to the things that will make your wedding special to you. Although we didn’t touch on all of the ways you can plan a memorable and affordable dream wedding, Time and Marie Claire published detailed lists of additional budget-friendly ideas for you to check out. When making your plans, remember to take your time and have fun. And if you find yourself in need of a little extra cash while planning your big day, you can apply today for a LendingPoint loan.