Is It Possible to Have a Wedding On a Budget of 5000?

Weddings are arguably one of the most important milestones in anyone’s life.

Some couples go all out to celebrate it, without worrying about the logistics or budget, to bring their most outlandish and extravagant dream weddings to life. Others however, have to be a little more realistic and modest with their spending.

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According to studies, the average cost of weddings in the US is somewhere around $30,000. In some states, such as New York, budgets can go up to as much as $76,944. That’s a lot by most couple’s standards. So we wondered if it was at all possible to scale that amount way down and have a wedding on a budget of 5000.

The short answer is yes—but it takes a lot of focus and discipline to do so. To help you stay on track, check out our must-follow guidelines below—

1. Limit the guest list

Of course you’d love to share this special moment with everyone you know. But when you’re working with a limited budget, this simply isn’t possible. So we suggest that you whittle it down to as little people as possible. Around 20-30 guests is ideal for the ceremony and reception.

Remember, you do have the option to also host an after-party for all remaining friends or family that didn’t make it to the list. It’s not uncommon to have a running tab at the after party or to send out invites that inform guests that drinks will be on you (and you pre-purchase several bottles from the bar) to make sure that you don’t go over your budget.

2. Be creative about where you can find your dress

There are no hard and fast rules about wedding dress. No one ever said that you only had to wear grand, princess cut ball gowns from a dedicated bridal store. Even Carrie Bradshaw ended up trading her iconic Vivienne Westwood ball gown for a simple, chic, and practical two-piece dress she found in a vintage shop on her actual wedding day.

The point is, when it comes your wedding, it’s all about what you feel good and look good in. You can visit vintage stores to find rare finds, check out department stores and narrow your search downs to “white dresses” to explore hundreds of options, or even purchase pre-loved dresses for more affordable wedding dress options.

3. Prioritize

We’ve spoken to a lot of brides who, in retrospect, will always maintain that their best investment for their wedding day includes photographers and videographers.

“Wedding days, when it’s stripped off all pomp and pageantry, is ultimately just a one-day affair that brings together everyone you love in your life in a single venue. After that, all you’re really left with are the memories of how special that day was for you. And I can only really relive it if I have an album full of photos and videos that capture the nuances of my wedding day,” says <insert name>.

That said, if you’re working with a limited budget make sure you dedicate some of it for a good photographer or videographer. These are two things that you should never skimp on. Any couple who did regretted the decision immensely after the fact. Meet with them early, make sure they’re a good fit, check their portfolio, and try to see if you can negotiate for good rates.

“Too many couples think of photographers or videographers as an afterthought. They focus too much on the party itself that they forget all they will really have are memories of that day through pictures and film reels.”

4. Get creative with your venue

Venues can be one of the most expensive things on your wedding budget. But if you explore non-traditional options, you’ll realize that you have a lot more choices than you can imagine. For example, if your family has a backyard big enough to accommodate your guests, you can decorate and set it up yourself for the ceremony and reception.

5. Consider a destination wedding

Destination weddings somehow have this reputation of being expensive. But while you do have to spend for your flights and accommodations, consider this—a destination wedding is a great excuse for cutting down your guest list to tbe bare minimum. Basically, by creating logistical boundaries for your guests, others won’t necessarily get offended if they don’t make your invite list. In addition, guests also don’t automatically expect the bride and groom to foot their flights and accommodations. 

6. Be creative about your catering options

Look at your wedding as a way to allow family and friends to be more involved in your planning. Do you have a sister who loves to bake, ask if they’d be willing to help you create the perfect wedding cake. Does someone have a specialty dish that the entire family loves? Would they want to make it and share it for your special day? More often than not, they will feel very honored that you asked to contribute and be a part of this huge milestone.

At the end of the day, your wedding is about gathering friends and family in one place to share this moment with you. It’s possible to plan a wedding on a budget of 5000—start with our guidelines above. And if you’re looking for a wedding videographer who can preserve the memories of this day for posterity, let’s have a drink. I’d love to sit down and discuss what my team can do for you.

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